Space Management for Coworking – KISI at GCUC Montreal, Canada

become a coworking owner

From October 5th to 7th the Kisi team has been hanging out at GCUC’s Montreal annual gathering. Ashley Proctor was hosting a great group of coworking enthusiasts. Attendees were both existing coworking managers as well as individuals interested in starting their own space.

become a coworking owner

Kisi in discussion with coworking owners from the GCUC community.

In conversations we heard why these conferences are so important for them:

  • Operators do not have a reliable source of information to get everything they need
  • Everyone is focused on tools that allow the to manage their space efficiently
  • Everyone is looking for how to crunch down operational costs (both time and money)

After a full packed day of conference, we were looking to get feedback on a concept we call the “coworking KPI dashboard” and asked people about their most important KPI – the number they want to run their space on. For many that most important number was revenue, but a large group of people stated they really need occupancy data. This means they want to see data around how long a certain member was at their space, as well as how many members are in the space at any given time. Operators can use this data to charge for only the time spent in the space, rather than flat-fees.

The coworking KPI dashboard

We always wondered why coworking spaces do not track their business via software like Geckoboard that many startups (including us) use to track their KPI’s and numbers. Here is how a prototypical dashboard could look like:

  • On the left side showing the top of the funnel traction: Web site visits but that could also be people in waiting list
  • In the middle: Occupancy in terms of seats currently occupied (physical). A coworking space should only be worried about how many people are actually in the space. Similar to airlines, coworking operators can overbook the space to a certain extent for hot-desking areas
  • Revenue generated per month: The number resulting from booked seats

coworking dashboard

The coworking KPI dashboard beta

Kisi & Space Management

We were impressed by how many folks were already familiar with Kisi. A notable trend is the market for space management platforms is becoming crowded (Cobot, Nexudus, Office RND, Meshwork, and others). None of these companies have managed to become a dominant player in the market and these companies are in relative infancy, much like the majority of coworking spaces in the US. In the end, everyone was trying to keep up with each other and at Kisi we are happy to integrate with all of them to provide a streamlined workflow from member management to seamless access provisioning.

organize coworking happy hour

Kisi in discussion with coworking members and enthusiasts about the future of space management.

Community in Coworking Spaces

More important than space management is the community that resides in the space. Without community, a space can quickly fail. At Kisi, we believe community is a huge factor, but coworking spaces are best run like startups – based on data.
Sometimes it can be easy to get swept up into nurturing your community and thinking of nothing else. However, you can leverage numbers to get to a very important point for young coworking spaces: breakeven. Coworking is a business and tracking numbers do not necessarily impact culture – even more so they can stimulate and create unique opportunities.

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