3/7/2019

Choosing a Space Management Software

Coworking management software have evolved tremendously over the past seven years. As many more options have been made available, it has been increasingly difficult to select the right one for your space. In my experience of operating a space and working as a consultant, there are are four key points to pay attention to when you make your selection:

1. Find Out How Long the Software Has Been Around

As newer and seemingly better software platforms emerge, the opportunity to hop on to all the latest developments can be very alluring. However, newer platforms also bring along challenges of their own as they continue to improve, fix bugs and and develop their systems over time. Time-tested software often bring the best rewards and value to your space.

2. Evaluate User Reviews

After doing years of software research, the best way to learn about different software fast is to either search online for reviews or gather feedback from space managers and users. Functionality is often best known from coworking space members and managers who interact with the product daily. Space operators who already have feedback from the rest of the space are good people to approach to find out more about a product too.

3. Ensure Scalability of Your Software

You want to be able to use the same software for your location as the number of members in your space increases. One oversight coworking operators have is that they do not consider the scalability of their software. When one location becomes two and more, you want your software to be flexible enough, allowing fluidity between members traveling from one location to the other. For example, you would want the same access control system to be used throughout all locations so one manager can control all of it at once.

4. A Good Dashboard Overview

A solid member login page is a critical part to a space management platform. This portion of the software should not be overlooked. A member log in should be a place where your members can see their invoice history, book conference rooms, see upcoming events, add additional product available, and even connect with other members through a chat board or directory. The more concise and functional, the better. Always try a free trial or request for a demo before you commit to a service.

Recommendations

While this list is a great place to start, there is more to choosing your space management software. In today’s market, you can easily find one platform that integrates with your door access, manages Wi-fi connections, handles conference room bookings, auto-billing, newsletters, and your CRM. Narrowing it down to the right one suited to your needs, however, takes time, research, and a good knowledge of software operations.

To help facilitate this process, I recommend a couple of free resources you can start looking at:

General resource: Coworking Resources

Spreadsheet of software available: List

Groups/forum: Coworking Google Forum

Or, hire a consultant with software expertise!

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Finding One, Good Software is Tough

In my experience of searching for a management software solution, I have gone through the excitement of thinking a platform is awesome, then realizing over time that it is not going to work.

Running a space is a lot of commitment and effort. Dedicating time to do trials and sitting through the demos of different platforms can also cause a lot of frustration. This is why I think choosing a platform and then actually implementing it is not for the faint hearted.

If you don’t have someone who can dedicate their time to learn it all and work with the company to roll it out, this will be a process that you’ll need to set a good portion of time to as well. All in all, you have potentially spent 2-3 months on research, demos, and then trial to make a choice. Next you have the migration and implementation time period, 4-6 weeks depending on what you are migrating from.

As a owner or space manager this is a big decision for your location as your members experience is also tied to the platform you choose. As an alternative, you can hire a consultant that can help you navigate the choices and bring your space into operation with the software you choose.  

This article is written by Coworking expert, Jana Greer. Jana's experience as a Community Coordinator and Technical Support Lead for the coworking Franchise Venture X has led her to start Colliding Clouds. She consults with coworking spaces at all stages of growth and development, to help them with operations, software, and support.

Platform

Location

Croissant

International

Included.co

International

Hubble

London

Coworker

International

Instant Offices

International

Pickspace

International

Share Desk

International

Happy Desk

International

DesksNear.me

International

DeskTime

International

Coworking London

London

Desk Pass

International

Copass

International

Coworking Wiki

International

Desk Surfing

International

Near Desk

US

Liquid Space

International

GoCoWo

International

Find Workspaces

US

Sneed

India

Ofixu

International

Meetings Booker

International

Qdesq

India

eWorky

International

Share your office

US

Spacelist

US and Canada

42 Floors

US

Office List

US and Canada

Coffices

International

Breather

US, Canada, Europe

Setting

Berlin

Key to Office

International

Peerspace

US and Europe

Bizly

US

Spacewhiz

India

Beewake

US and Europe

Awfis

India

Allofficecenters

Germany

Splacer

US

Lexc

International

Desk Camping

International

Worksnug

International

Seats 2 Meet

US

Coworking.Coffee

International

Commercial Cafe

US

Preferred Office Network

US

Heydesk

International

Office Freedom

International

Flexas

International

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