Editor: The continued expansion of the flexible workspace market will be driven by existing operator participants and established property owners entering the sector. We are already seeing a number of traditional landlords embrace a more flexible and tenant-focused approach.
Shorter lease terms without fixed rent review provisions and repairing obligations, and a more turnkey occupier solution, are increasingly being offered across London. As a result, the number of occupational lease opportunities available to flexible providers in the capital may well reduce in the future as landlords choose to participate directly.
Office providers should welcome the growth of the sector. While competition has undoubtedly intensified in recent years, there are opportunities both in terms of new occupational customers and a wider range of landlords to partner with.
Direct participation by landlords can be via the creation of their own product, via an investment in an existing operational business or by entering a partnership with an existing operator. For example, London Executive Offices’ prime London portfolio consists not just of owned and leased assets, but also a number of landlord collaborations – either profit-share leases or management agreements.
A landlord with quality real estate can leverage an existing provider’s brand, operational experience and extensive sales and marketing expertise by entering a partnership, rather than becoming a competitor. Office providers should embrace collaboration with landlords to deliver best-in-class flexible workplaces.
Conal O’Hara, chief operating officer, London Executive Offices