New York is a truly inspirational city especially when it comes to coworking. While there, we’ve been able to understand what experience in the workplace truly means and we’ve also seen various approaches to it. One of the highlight of our exploration was meeting Knotel – a place where knowledge comes to stay. Not “exactly” a coworking space but also not “just” closed offices, Knotel is revolutionizing the office as we know it. We’ve interviewed Ron Zori, who manages part of their New York facilities to talk about its concept, uniqueness and future.
Knotel, more than a brand, a vision.
Could you explain to our readers what is the concept behind Knotel?
Knotel saves companies time and risk, simplifying the historically complex process of leasing, building, and operating commercial real estate.
We’ve replaced the painful leasing process, which requires companies to make long term commitment and outlay lots of cash upfront, with an on-demand model allowing them to sign for a year to five at a time and the ability to flex up and down as needed at anytime during such term.
That’s exactly what coworking has done for freelancers and small companies; we just bring that value to the rest of the market. Catering to larger companies, however, the experience with Knotel is quite distinct from what coworking offers. As growing companies form their DNA, a space that reflects and enhances exactly who they are is key to continued growth and employee satisfaction. The need is similar for enterprise companies with established personas and cultures.
To have a place that is their own, a space that is them. And that’s exactly what our internal team of designers, workspace strategists, and operations managers are commissioned with solving for.
We run ~2mm square feet of space globally, in 100+ buildings, with no one space looking like another. That’s key to understanding our business and mission: to help companies focus on growing and doing beautiful things, leaving the ongoing troubles of real estate management to us.
Some Key Facts about Knotel
100 locations – 2,000,000 sqft of space
What is your role and how does a regular day at Knotel looks like for you?
Currently, I run part of Knotel’s NY market and am responsible for roughly a third of our global revenue. As such, my main point of focus is ensuring we continue to expand our member base, while having the appropriate real-estate strategy to support such expansion.
Growing so quickly, every day at Knotel looks different. Externally, It’ll range from meeting Fortune 100 executives to discuss an international real estate partnership, to going to one of our member spaces to meet a series A CEO to check in on their experience with us.
And then internally, it’s the usual stuff. Some meetings, some process, progress and performance reviews, and of course, leaving time for some play. The best thing about Knotel is the people, and the balance in the office is great.
The Community at Knotel.
Who are some of your members and what do they enjoy in the concept of Knotel?
Our members represent recognized companies. Netflix, Starbucks, and Universal McCann, as well as relatively young companies that you will be hearing about as they grow during the coming years. Hotel Tonight, Monday.com, and Cheddar for instance.
Knotel’s value has two main components: simplicity & quality.
Working with Knotel is easy. You can be in your own beautiful, customized space within weeks of the first engagement with our team. Once in, expanding or contracting is equally seamless. All along, instead of working with and coordinating multiple vendors to set things up, you’re accompanied by one account manager and an integrated team of experts, dedicated to servicing your company throughout the journey.
And since that’s all our team does, quality ensues. We pair building and operating truly unique spaces that our members are proud of and in which they feel at home with an uncompromising focus on functionality. We have an expert servicing every piece of the complex of running an office, to ensure our client experience is impeccable. In turn that translates to employee satisfaction and increased productivity.
Evidently, so far we’ve experienced negative churn, as far more members grow and expand with Knotel than leave.
Knotel and the future.
You are expanding so fast in New York and now opening in London, Berlin. Are there any other locations you are looking at? What does 2019 look like for Knotel?
In fact, we’re up and running in six cities already. In addition to the three you mention, we have established a major presence in San Francisco, along with footholds in Los Angeles and São Paolo. We have also announced plans to enter Rio de Janeiro by mid-year and we expect to be in the Paris market shortly as well.
Others are possible this year, while we continue to grow within existing markets. Longer term, our goal is to establish major presences in 25-30 of the world’s most important commercial centers. They account for about 50% of business flow, so we think that’s the right way to go.
Knotel has recently announced a new platform involving blockchain. Between the physical spaces and the online projects you have in the pipeline, you guys are everywhere, which is great! But, if you had to summarize the vision/mission for Knotel what is it?
Our enterprise was established to meet the locational and operational needs of office space users. We do it in ways that were traditionally unavailable and served as a drag on their growth. That still serves as our core business.
We know that there is always a way to do something more efficiently and effectively. That is why we are constantly looking to innovate in complementary ways.
The two most obvious examples so far are our project to create the first truly automated appraisal process, which you referenced and KnotelExpress, our streamlined online process for working with brokers and owners to establish new locations far more quickly than previous industry standards. Stay tuned for more!
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