Regional News

WeWork, a new real estate business model in Latin America

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Patricio Fuks, CEO of WeWork Latin America, describes the keys to this new business. The growth of the model, its operation and the rates according to the needs.

That technology has changed the world is no longer a novelty, but that changes will continue far beyond a device, and even real life will be modified according to new customs and possibilities, if it is a fact that surprises day by day.

Among the changes that are already palpable in everyday life, one of them is lived in the offices. A traditional business where innovation seemed to have no place, but since the creation of WeWork, in 2010, a new concept has emerged that makes work more enjoyable and easier to relate to. Perhaps this is the most important disruption in the non-virtual world of recent years.

WeWork is a company that in little more than six years became one of the fastest growing in the world, with a quotation that exceeds 23 billion dollars, with 200 locations, in 64 cities in 20 countries.

Patricio Fuks has been at the helm of WeWork Latin America for just over a year. He was elected as CEO of the region, which, at the same time, is one of the most vertiginous, with 35 new projects developed in a matter of months.

In Real Estate Report we interviewed him back from a trip to Brazil, where he also collected several anecdotes and new experiences. The truth is that, from each trip he takes to get to know a project of the group or in each work meeting that is generated, Fucks brings many new stories that allow us to understand and give, increasingly more value, to these new workspaces.

-RI: How is your start in WeWork?

-PF: I joined the company as CEO in July of last year, assuming responsibility in one of the fastest growing regions. We have presence in Mexico, Santiago de Chile, Brazil and Bogotá, among other cities, with more than 15,500 m2 installed. In the case of Argentina we have a building in Esmeralda 950, Torre Bellini, and another in Vicente López.

-RI: What is the profile of the companies that are installed in WeWork?

-PF: There are all kinds of profiles, from companies that take 5 floors, as did Santander in Mexico, to a lawyer who installs his own studio. A notable trend is that large corporations increasingly choose these places, because they really feel comfortable. Today, 30% are large companies.

-RI: What are the advantages compared to a traditional office?

-PF: There are many. It is about the way of working, communities are created, new people are known every day. We are 180,000 members around the world who are part of this brand.

Another advantage is that being a member you can use the facilities around the world. If you are in San Pablo or New York, just by booking a room, you have secured a space to receive people during a trip.

-RI: When a traditional office is rented there is a contract with a deadline to comply. In this case, how is the relationship established?

-PF: In this case it is agreed by means of a membership that is paid per person. It has to be paid as if it were a gym fee, which is low, and gives you the possibility to expand and meet new customers every day. In addition there is a spectacular wave among all.

Another important fact is that you do not invest money to decorate, because they give you the armed offices. With a basic cost of a membership of 350 dollars you have your space.

-RI: When you talk about WeWork, you mean a place that is much more than a workspace. How would you define it?

-PF: Precisely, it is much more than a workspace, that's why it grows so much in the world. We are not a coworking, but we create communities. Each employee is a member, that is why the customized packages are assembled according to each person or company.

According to the needs the plan is designed: it is not the same as 10 members to a company that has 140 people.
Membership is renewed monthly. Only in some cases that the offices are designed to measure, the terms are established in another way, but in general those who want this adaptation are companies with more than 100 or 200 members. Anyway, if we personalize spaces, we always keep our idea of ​​having a lot of glass, without brick walls and many transparencies.

-RI: How was your move from the traditional real estate world to this new business concept?

-PF: I was in the hotel world for 15 years, and what I take from there, is that we must treat our members as guests. That is the great value of WeWork, the treatment of members, and that is what makes the difference between one hotel chain and another, or the same when we talk about this office business.

Here the person is not treated as when renting an office, which is never again related. There is the category of Community Manager who are in charge of the community, who approach the members and generate relationships.

In addition, with this important figure within WeWork, we help generate business among the same members. If someone needs a service, we recommend someone from our space, and that is how the chain is extended. There are many examples. For example, a customer who produced wines posted his activity and was quickly linked to a London importer. Now he exports his wines to that market. It is about helping to solve their needs, and that is the great break that WeWork did and the difference with any coworking space. Here is a real interaction.

There is a key fact to highlight: the community is what makes the added value of WeWork.

-RI: Are there thematic buildings, or are all the items mixed?

-PF: I think, and this is a personal opinion, that diversity is what makes the community work. If it were thematic it would be less important, because who sells service to whom. It can happen in some places but diversity is what creates wealth for this community.

Personally, I would not go to a place where everyone does the same, because there is more competition. Success has to do with the diversity of the community of finding different industries with people who give you different business visions.

-RI: How much do we disembark in We Work?

-PF: In Argentina there are four types of spaces to be a member. The personalized office, which is for companies with 50 to 500 employees. In this case, the space is defined according to the needs of the company and the cost varies according to the type of customization.

In Torre Bellini, the private office starts with prices starting at $ 5,600 per month. They are closed spaces, ready to move with desks, chairs and cabinets.

There are also dedicated desks, which start at $ 4,400 per month, where a desk is occupied in a shared space, but you always access the same place.

Finally, the Hot Desk, with a price of $ 3,200 per month, which is a guaranteed work space in a common area of ​​the facilities. There the notebook itself is taken and a place available for work is chosen.

The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article

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