WeWork Wants to Take Its Brand Beyond Its Own Real Estate

WeWork Wants to Take Its Brand Beyond Its Own Real Estate Axios (06/29/2017) Kokalitcheva, Kia

WeWork is best known for its dozens of hip office buildings worldwide where start-up firms and freelancers can rent out desks by the month and mingle with each other. The company is now looking to extend its brand beyond the walls of its own buildings. Companies "are now starting to ask if we can bring in the experience and environment to them," states WeWork product chief Dave Fano. WeWork's business model has faced skepticism from the real estate industry, with its potential over-reliance on the ongoing start-up boom having raised questions about its long-term prospects. Proving that it is not limited in such a way could help the company counter some of that skepticism.

WeWork is planning to help manage and design companies' existing offices and corporate campuses on a subscription basis. The most basic service will be WeWork's own suite of office management tech tools. For firms that want more, though, it will deploy "community managers" who will manage their office space. For those that want the full WeWork experience, the firm will provide design and renovation consulting services. The idea for this expansion came from WeWork's own "enterprise" customers, which are large companies with 1,000 or more employees that have signed agreements to house some of them at WeWork's buildings. In May, these customers accounted for 30 percent of WeWork's total sales and approximately 20 percent of its occupied office inventory. IBM and Microsoft are just two of the major companies that have inked deals with WeWork.

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