Commercial real estate brokers generally are not threatened by WeWork and the overall co-working trend, according to the latest Apto National Broker Buzz Poll, which was conducted the week of August 20.
The poll asked specifically: “How much of a threat is WeWork to the CRE brokerage business?” Here’s how brokers responded:
49% said “Not a threat”
44% said “Somewhat of a threat”
7% said “A major threat”
Brokers also were asked how concerned they are that tenants, over time, will opt for co-working space versus traditional lease or sub-lease space. Here’s how brokers responded:
63% said they are “Not concerned”
35% said they are “Somewhat concerned”
2% said they are “Very concerned”
Commenting on the poll results, Tanner McGraw, Apto’s founder and chief strategy officer, said, “For all the attention WeWork gets as a disruptor shaking up how people think about work, commercial real estate brokers don’t see coworking as a particularly big threat to either the brokerage business or the traditional model of real estate space occupancy.
“On some level WeWork may represent more of an existential threat — and a reminder that the only constant in business is change, and that we should never be complacent with any of our approaches to business.”
Poll results also demonstrate that brokers generally are not interested in lease transactions under 2,000 square feet, but highly interested in transactions between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet.
Specifically, the poll asked: “How interested are you as a broker in small lease transactions?”
Broker Interest in Deals Under 2,000 Square Feet
Not interested: 44%
Somewhat interested: 24%
Very interested: 18%
Not applicable: 14%
Broker Interest in Deals Between 3,000 and 5,000 Square Feet
Very interested: 47%
Somewhat interested: 30%
Not interested: 11%
Not applicable: 12%
“As the poll results demonstrate, WeWork’s market opportunity appears strongest relative to small businesses, particularly tenants with space requirements under 2,000 square feet. Brokers have historically been less interested in these deals, which has contributed to WeWork’s rise as a player in that market.”
Thanks to those members of the commercial real estate brokerage community who participated in the poll, which included Apto customers and non-customers.
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