The business model we follow is located at the intersection of hospitality and real estate. Our products include everything from a luxury business hotel to serviced offices and shared office space, event venues for conferences and training, board rooms, meeting rooms, etc.
Another thing we’re proud of is that Evoma is a home for our members – entrepreneurs, SMEs, startup founders and enterprise branch offices that are all part of the Evoma community.
It’s the hospitality-style services and flexible real estate options we provide in the space that add value to the offering. We’ve been doing this for over a decade, and the rest of the office space sector is now catching up, moving towards greater flexibility and managed spaces.
In fact, office space providers are now offering real estate as a service. How do you move real estate into the cloud? There are a few variations, but I’ll explain it as a progression of the traditional rental model.
The typical office space rental model works on rent arbitrage, with the space provider paying the costs of renting from the landlord and operating the space, and then charging a higher amount as rent. Coworking and serviced offices moved the needle a bit towards the new cloud-based subscription system that software companies follow.
Now some companies are helping enterprises focus on their core competencies by taking the real estate part out of their hands, and putting it on a managed platform that leads to estimated cost savings* of between 25% to 50%.
1. Real Estate as a Service for third-party office management
This Real Estate as a Service platform, offered by “technology” companies such as WeWork, enables clients to find, build and operate their own space without any of the hassles, manpower and other resource requirements. You can choose office space; design the space to match your brand; and the software and hardware infrastructure together help manage building operations.
A CBInsights report on this service platform notes that WeWork claims to have loads of data on ideal office locations and layouts, and uses software to determine everything from ideal desk layout to optimal conference room size.
Even the new office space location is chosen based on factors such as proximity to other existing locations, so that it becomes easier for employees to work from whichever location they happen to be nearest to in the city.
2. Landlords as brands, Tenants as members
The aforementioned CBInsights report also notes that WeWork has earned its $20 billion valuation by putting hipster touches on formerly drab spaces and positioning itself as a startup incubator, then charging sky-high rent.
A more ideal customer-centric approach, one that we follow too, is that of Convene, which provides an integrated workplace-as-a-service platform.
Convene partners with commercial real estate landlords to design and service office buildings that are more like full-service lifestyle hotels. The landlord becomes a brand, and the tenants become members of this community.
This is how we do it at our EPIP Zone tech park business center in Whitefield, Bangalore, where we have rented commercial property and turned it into serviced offices and coworking spaces with common facilities such as meeting rooms, reception, etc.
All members use the common facilities and a shared ecosystem of growth, and we provide a layer of real estate as a service between the landlord and tenants.
3. Real Estate as a Service (REaaS) for better efficiency
This REaaS model could replace the whole concept of energy efficient buildings and IoT connected smart office spaces of the future. Rather than move into any available building or retrofit it to maximize energy efficiency, companies can customize their workspace to match their business processes for maximum efficiency.
The integration of the real estate module (as a service) with other business modules automates the flow of data from the building to your business processes. In other words, the building becomes a part of your process flow and gets the same advantage of efficiency that the other modules do from platforms such as ERP.
*Building a Better Office – The Atlantic, by Laura Bliss; Feb 2018.