Introducing On-Demand Spaces
What are On-Demand Spaces?
Spaces that you can access, by the hour, whenever you need them. This is unlike what we are used to with the property market, where the shortest time you can usually access a commercial space is through a rental lease.
Just like how food and groceries deliveries have been made easily accessible through delivery, the team at GetSpaces believes that spaces booked by the hour will begin to increase in adoption by the public.
The spaces on our platform are versatile and are for a wide range of activities. They range from:
- a simple work desk that you can work at if working from home is not conducive
- a meeting room for a team discussion or gathering
- a video studio for your live streaming videos, content creation or photoshoots
- or even just any kind of space for any milestone celebrations such as your baby shower or birthdays.
What are people using such spaces for?
More than you might expect! While most might typically relate such spaces with event venues or co-working spaces, the use cases for spaces are way more diverse and will continue to evolve over time. O
n a personal level, we’ve had people come in to book a simple work desk as they needed to get some work done and the environment in a cafe could not really compare. We’ve also had people rent our spaces for celebrations, gatherings and many have even booked for proposals such as the picture above!
When we move from the person to the business, we have had many freelance instructors (fitness/crafts/dance) use our space to conduct their workshops. For entrepreneurs or small business owners, exorbitant commercial rental costs can be a huge burden for them especially in the early stages of their business. Being able to access a network of spaces only when they need it allows them the ability to have more capital and to grow their business.
We’ve also had many e-commerce brands use our spaces for live streaming, catalogue shoots or video content! With how e-commerce sales and content generation have exploded during the pandemic, there has been a very significant increase in demand for photo/video studios.
Nevertheless, there are so many more use cases that cannot be covered in just a simple article. Our job is to simply provide the widest variety of spaces as a blank canvas for users to really express their creativity in how they use it.
Why use an On-Demand Space?
Avoiding high initial costs and freeing up your capital. For one, commercial leases are getting more expensive over time and are expected to increase further, pricing it out for many aspiring business owners or entrepreneurs. There are many hidden costs associated with taking on a new commercial lease, and that presents a very significant barrier towards getting started. Say you provide a consulting service, renting a dedicated office space for meeting your clients of just 100 sq-ft might only look like it costs 1-2k a month in rental overheads. However, upfront costs such as a 2-3-month rental deposit, utilities payments, legal fees, furniture and furnishing and all of that add up and you might be forking close to a 5 digit upfront payment for a simple office space.
Renting an on-demand space allows you to subvert these high initial costs, and allow you to actually test the effectiveness of your business and marketing channels. You’ll get to build out your cash flow at the early parts without locking any significant amount with your landlord.
Versatility of Spaces – If you’re running an e-commerce business, you might have to dedicate as much of your business space towards your own warehousing and operations. However, you’ll need a space to create your catalogue photos, social media content and livestreaming shows. That’s where GetSpaces comes in. You’ll get to rent professionally managed photography or videography studios where you can get access to lighting equipment and unique backdrops or sets that can help your visuals stand out. You’ll get access to all sorts of creative spaces that you can book whenever you need. After all, the pandemic has caused e-commerce sales to explode, and many e-commerce brands now need to constantly find new ways to create unique visuals and having access to hundreds of different spaces on our platform will give you that.
If you plan to get into physical retail as an e-commerce brand, 1 way to test the market would be to do pop-ups first! Many businesses have increasingly eschewed renting long-term leases with high rents in the central shopping areas even if they have significant foot traffic. Instead, we have observed that many e-commerce brands are choosing to do a pop-up over 1 or 2 days to build out that offline presence with their online customers. They typically also choose to collaborate with a few other brands to do a pop-up together so that there can be cross-marketing of their products and the rent becomes super affordable for everyone.
Adapting to Remote Work Trends – Whether you are a freelancer, employee or a business owner, there has been a strong trend towards hybrid or full remote working arrangements. What that means is that for many of us, we might not even have an office to work from even if we wanted to. Even if we did, we might just want the flexibility of staying at home but maybe just require a few hours to focus on some high-focus tasks at a place relatively close to home. Cafes with spotty internet connections or a high level of background noise don’t cut it, especially if you plan to do a zoom conference or a video call.
For businesses, you might want to consider offering your employees a co-working stipend so they can find the best working arrangement for themselves. We believe that most of us still want a minimum level of face-to-face interactions, whether to build rapport, trust or to iron out high level discussions that just cannot be done digitally. After all, a HBR article stated that a face-to-face request is up to 34 times more successful than an email. Allowing your employees to have access to hundreds of on-demand meeting or work spaces islandwide might be the smartest investment you can make in your human capital!
That sums up most of the points we have made about On-Demand Spaces. For us, we started GetSpaces because we also recognized that there were many underutilized spaces around, especially during the off-peak hours. A commercial space is typically more empty during office hours, and an office space is more empty in the evenings or weekends. We firmly believe that these are inefficiencies that we want to bridge, and overall lead to a more sustainable use of property. We also hope that this will eventually lead to less construction or renovation waste.
By increasing the utilization of spaces, we also hope to make commercial property accessible to a much wider pool of users. Tenants on long-term leases get to offset their monthly rental costs with the revenue earned on our platform, and new businesses get to use these spaces for their needs without having to commit huge amounts of capital which might limit their strategic flexibility. This is a space that the team behind GetSpaces, (no pun intended :D), is super excited about and we intend to build this whole new category not just in Singapore, but eventually in Asia.