11/2/2018

Suburban Coworking: An Interview with 25N Coworking

Mara Hauser, the director of Global Workspace and founder of 25N Coworking, is an expert in suburban coworking and runs six coworking spaces in the U.S. When 25N Coworking first opened its doors in Geneva, Illinois, they weren’t expecting it to be the overnight success that it soon became. It’s now entering its fourth year, with over 200 members in this location alone.

We spoke with Mara about suburban coworking, its contrast with spaces in city centers and the strategies she took to make suburban coworking profitable.

25N Coworking Space

Key differences between coworking spaces in the suburbs and city centers

The target audience in the suburbs is different. People based in the suburbs often have families at home and an active community in the neighborhood. They are looking for a workspace away from home that can minimize distractions.

A second factor is that coworking members hold their memberships for longer, meaning that they stay longer compared to rental units in city centres where people change work locations based on relocation. The 25N Coworking branch in Geneva have many members who have had long stays of an average of 9-18 months.

It is also important to note that about half of 25N’s suburban members are corporate users and the rest are freelancers or small businesses. Corporate users are usually more active in city centres and lesser in suburban areas. In general, the age range there is also slightly older—between 35 to 55 years old.

Engaging the community is a big part of marketing suburban coworking

When people have home offices, you need to know how to communicate the value of coworking, Mara told us. Four years ago when she first started, people were less knowledgeable about the concept. It was a new transition because the older generation hadn’t been in a collaborative working environment or open coworking space before.

To overcome this, she spent a lot of energy and resources in the beginning to have community-based events. She held local sharings, charities, non-profit events and more. Her space became very involved in the local community, not just through social media advertising but other promotional events, as well, to bring people in.

Branding is another part of marketing a space to a new community. She held campaigns like the month-long one when her space in Dallas first opened for publicity and interaction with the suburban community.

Today, people are more familiar with the concept of coworking spaces, Mara says. But marketing to the community especially for suburban areas, still plays an important role.

What is an inspirational workspace to you?

Workspaces need to help people be productive and feel inspired. A workspace with awesome design and good functionality is inspirational to me. In suburbs, there isn’t much viable open flex areas. Ours was designed specially for mixed-use, customized sitting areas and so on. A workspace can be small but look extremely comfortable and spacious. Ours is about 2,000 square feet, but we try our best to maximize the space. Suburb or city center alike, you also have to cater to all different types of people—introverts, extroverts, etc.

Conference room in a 25N coworking space

What’s the best thing about suburban coworking?

The best thing about suburban coworking is the existing community. Having neighbors that inspire your work is a magical thing that you can’t get outside of the suburbs.

I heard this story from one of our members: The usual group of soccer moms were sitting together waiting for their children, one person brought up working at a coworking space and another replied, “I work at home now! I would love to work at a space like that, it’s another way to connect.” And just like that, you’re doing business with someone you thought you’d only see at soccer games with your son.

In the suburbs, you’re not just surrounded by friends and neighbors, but also potential business partners. That’s the value I see in suburban coworking.

What kind of technologies and softwares have been the most useful to you?

I use Zoom and Wepresent for calls and meeting presentations with my team in multiple locations. I use Kisi to regulate access for the different membership options—it’s integrated with Kube to keep the front door open during opening hours only. Slack chats and channels help me bring my community closer.

One last piece of advice for someone looking to open a suburban coworking space?

You have to know the local community. For starters, pick the right location and know that you have to introduce yourself to the community that comes with it. Your success is dependent on the community’s acceptance and engagement with your coworking space.

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3. Benefits of Tagging Others

Social data also describes the interaction between social media users. While comments, likes, and shares are the most obvious forms of interaction on social media, tags are another form of communication between social media users. 

Tagging is one of the most effective tips for coworking on social media. When it comes to promoting your coworking space, tags do an amazing job at increasing your visibility. On Facebook, for instance, your post will have more reaches if you tag others:

Image credit: CENTRL Office

If you often organize events at your coworking space, you can tag the participants. If you have some special offers, tag someone who helps you promote them. Any tag conveys social data, as it transfers information from one user to another. It’s a great way to become more visible online and attract potential clients. 

In Conclusion

Like any other big data, social data has limitations, as not every social media user shares information. Nevertheless, social data is still very effective for marketing purposes, as it can help your coworking space become more recognizable. 

Using the above-mentioned social data techniques together will help you increase visibility, as they will help others find your coworking space more easily. In general, these techniques are aimed at targeting large numbers of people and help them easily navigate the space of social media to find the best coworking spaces. 

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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