Syncaroo is designed to make running your coworking space more efficient. Syncaroo offers integrations and tools to link your coworking platforms together to keep everything in sync.
To successfully build a product that truly empowers coworking spaces to better manage their platforms, data and workflows, very specific pain points needed to be deeply understood and addressed.
We spoke to Hector Kolonas, cofounder of Syncaroo, to find out how they determine what coworking space operators need and how they address their pain points to offer them a product that makes running a coworking space easier, and more profitable
The pain points of coworking spaces
Hector starts off by explaining that “some pain points are really obvious, and others are deep below the surface. The obvious ones are the fact that spaces will always want more customers, more recurring revenue, increased sustainability, and a clear view of their operating expenses.”
However, according to him there are less obvious things that have always been done in a specific way. Hector points to how systems work, “coworking spaces have always copy and pasted from one system to another, or had to send out 30+ emails to land a commercial client, and they have always had to manually update all of their profiles on listing platforms and space-booking apps.”
“Those are the two areas of operator challengers that we look at resolving. Syncaroo is focused on helping workspace operators optimise their operations, their revenue, their reach, all while also reducing their overheads. We do so by helping to cut down the amount of manual, tedious, and error prone tasks that all spaces have to do every single day,” Hector explains.
He also adds that there are other pain points within the industry, however these are the areas Syncaroo focuses on to reduce the stress of space operators.
Automation allows coworking space owners to concentrate on ensuring that the community of coworkers are cared for, rather than spending huge amounts of time on admin tasks. “It allows coworking space owners and managers to focus on community engagement through improving partner relationships or improving engagement within their hyperlocal economy. These are the things that make coworking spaces not only survive, but thrive and really engage their local communities,” explains Hector.
Closing the gap in the market
Hector discovered coworking in 2013 when he had launched coworking spaces in suddenly-empty advertising agencies, after an economic collapse that hit countries like Cyprus, Greece, and Spain. He says that “having seen how successful and how quickly people who were suddenly unemployed came into these spaces and started collaborating, I bought into coworking at that point.”
In autumn of that year a Forbes article appeared on what he was doing and coworking spaces started contacting him to ask for marketing assistance. Hector says that “by mistake, I launched an Airbnb for coworking spaces.”
Though, he wanted to start a new venture. He realised that very little could stop other people from creating directories of coworking spaces, which would mean it’d become very competitive to be the platform that connected people and businesses to coworking spaces, and community operators would struggle to keep track of all their listings, leads and partnerships. So he pivoted and founded included.co, the coworking perks program used by about 800 plus coworking spaces around the world.
Hector then moved to the United States to expand his member perks business there. It’s there that he realised that in both Europe and in the US, community managers were still hitting their heads against their desk with frustration about admin tasks, especially regarding marketing, lead generation and sales.
So, Hector asked, why has this not been solved yet, and “I wrote a blog post in 2019 about how coworking spaces aren’t synced yet: Building a Coworking Listing Sync-er-er”
Hector wrote the blog to challenge the idea that no one has solved the issue of platforms syncing with one another. He knew that there were some technical difficulties to overcome and asked the readers to share their ideas with him. “A bunch of people from around the coworking world, tech world and investment sector reached out to me,” says Hector.
It was through this blog that Hector met Robert Kropp, cofounder of Syncaroo. Together they founded Syncaroo, started building the business online, and then only meeting months later.
They saw the frustration that community managers felt when it came to admin tasks that were part of running a coworking space. “Many felt and expressed that they weren’t hired to copy and paste things from one system to another or to reply to emails. That wasn’t why they took the job. That wasn’t why they fell in love with coworking. And operators just wouldn’t hire people to do them, after all it shouldn’t be a full-time job that a human needs to do in the modern tech era,” says Hector.
Hector adds that “obviously, digging deeper into it, since 2019, we’ve seen that the issue was going to become even more serious as the length of each stay shrank, and the frequency and quantity of the transactions increased. People started using space differently. It’s safe to say that the way people engage and interact with spaces today is extremely different from how it was in 2019.”
This project started before the pandemic, and Hector feels that they were lucky to see these trends before COVID made it more obvious for everyone. “We started building towards this future where people engage with space as and when they need it for what they need it, where they need it. As opposed to someone telling me I have to go to this office at specific times,” explains Hector.
The London Coworking Assembly can help your space
As a closing statement Hector explains the importance of being part of an assembly or alliance to help your coworking space grow.
“For coworking spaces in London, whether you are a multinational trillion dollar company, or a local space with 13 desks or less, get involved with the London Coworking Assembly. It’s a great bunch of people, they do everything to support you.”
“They work with companies like Syncaroo, because they truly believe that we’re doing things that help you improve the sustainability of your business. They are representing you with the local mayors and your local councils. They do a whole bunch of great media and marketing and storytelling,” concludes Hector.