WeWork an­nounces Iveagh Court as first Dublin base

Irish Independent - Business Week - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Ronald Quin­lan

WEWORK, the world’s big­gest and most suc­cess­ful provider of flex­i­ble work spa­ces on flex­i­ble lease terms, has an­nounced that the open­ing of its first Dublin lo­ca­tion will take place in­spring2018.

The US-head­quar­tered com­pany’s ini­tial foray into the Ir­ish of­fice mar­ket will see it take four floors at the McGar­rell Reilly-de­vel­oped Iveagh Court on Har­court Road. WeWork is un­der­stood to have agreed a rent of €538 per sq m (€50 per sq ft) un­der a 25-year lease with a 15-year break op­tion.

Asked if the com­pany would ex­pand its Ir­ish op­er­a­tions be­yond its new premises at Iveagh Court, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of WeWork Eu­rope and Is­rael, Eu­gen Miropol­ski, said that while there were no plans to look out­side Dublin as of now, this might change if WeWork saw de­mand for space in other Ir­ish cities from its mem­bers.

Out­lin­ing the ra­tio­nale be­hind WeWork’s de­ci­sion to es­tab­lish its first Dublin base, Mr Miropol­ski said: “We’ve been look­ing at the Dublin mar­ket for quite a while. What’s in­ter­est­ing is that we talk a lot to our mem­bers [around the world] and we ask ‘what is it that you need? How we can we strengthen your busi­nesses?’ A lot of our mem­bers ask us not only in Lon­don, but also in Ber­lin and Am­s­ter­dam, when we would open our first lo­ca­tion in Dublin. So that’s why Dublin was a very nat­u­ral step”.

Mr Miropol­ski con­firmed his com­pany’s in­ten­tion to open its Iveagh Court base for busi­ness by spring 2018. Ex­tend­ing to 5,109 sq m (55,000 sq ft), the prop­erty has the ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­date in the re­gion of 1,000 work­ers, or ‘mem­bers’ as WeWork refers to its ten­ants and those em­ployed by them. Iveagh Court had served as an over­flow fa­cil­ity for the Cen­tral Bank in the pe­riod lead­ing up to its move to its new head­quar­ters at North Wall Quay in the IFSC.

Asked if WeWork had se­cured oc­cu­piers for Iveagh Court, Mr Miropol­ski said: “We have a lot of in­ter­est al­ready and that has been grow­ing or­gan­i­cally with peo­ple reach­ing out to us.”

Lo­cated next to Dublin’s fa­mous Iveagh Gar­dens in the city cen­tre, Iveagh Court is the 40th WeWork lo­ca­tion to be an­nounced in Eu­rope, Founded by Adam Neu­mann and Miguel McKelvey in New York in 2010, WeWork al­ready has 23 open lo­ca­tions com­pris­ing 25,000 mem­bers across Eu­rope.

All told, the com­pany cur­rently has 170 phys­i­cal lo­ca­tions across 18 coun­tries and 56 cities around the world, pro­vid­ing its mem­bers with what it de­scribes as “the com­mu­nity and ser­vices to cre­ate their life’s work through both phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal of­fer­ings”.

In choos­ing to lo­cate in Dublin, Mr Miropol­ski said WeWork was ac­knowl­edg­ing the city’s tech cre­den­tials and com­mu­nity of start-ups and es­tab­lished com­pa­nies.

He said: “Be­yond best-in­class build­ings, staffed by lo­cal teams pro­vid­ing sup­port, net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and events, we know our mem­bers value ac­cess to wider net­work­ing and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tions and trans­port con­nec­tions.”

WeWork was ad­vised on the Iveagh Court deal by Daniel Shan­non of CBRE.

ES­TATE agents, and all firms in­volved in the prop­erty sec­tor,are sell­ing their pro­fes­sional ser­vices to their clients, in com­pe­ti­tion with other firms. It’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing to ask a firm ‘So, which of the firms you are com­pet­ing with, pro­vides the best ser­vice?’

Sur­pris­ingly, there is rarely con­sen­sus on who the best firm in any sec­tor is — de­spite the fact that most of the com­pa­nies have known each other for decades. In fact, most firms put them­selves

‘top of the league’, and, of course, most of them are wrong. The re­al­ity is that most firms pro­vide a very sim­i­lar stan­dard of ser­vice. And therein lies the op­por­tu­nity.

I was re­minded of this by the re­cent pub­li­ca­tion of the CXI Ire­land 2017 Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Re­port. It makes for in­ter­est­ing read­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately, the sur­vey doesn’t in­clude cus­tomers of firms in the prop­erty busi­ness be­cause, as CXI told me, not enough of the peo­ple sur­veyed would have done busi­ness with a prop­erty ser­vices provider within the pre­vi­ous year.

None­the­less, there are valu­able lessons to be learned; for ex­am­ple, the top ten rated brands in Ire­land all have real peo­ple an­swer­ing the phone, rather than the au­to­mated sys­tems, which so many of us hate.

The re­port also con­cludes that the com­pa­nies which de­liver the best cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence ul­ti­mately cre­ate greater share­holder value.

When one con­sid­ers that the qual­ity of the ser­vice we pro­vide should be top pri­or­ity, I don’t be­lieve that firms pay enough at­ten­tion to con­stantly try­ing to im­prove what they do. A big dif­fi­culty in do­ing that is the ab­sence of feed­back from clients. Con­se­quently, or­gan­i­sa­tions have no idea how they are per­form­ing in re­la­tion to their com­peti­tors.

In my years in es­tate agency I be­came in­ter­ested in qual­ity sys­tems such as the ‘qual­ity mark’ and ISO 9000. One of the ben­e­fits of these sys­tems is that they re­quire or­gan­i­sa­tions to con­stantly mea­sure how they are per­form­ing and to keep try­ing to im­prove. For pro­fes­sional ser­vices firms, this usu­ally means ask­ing clients to rate you on ques­tion­naires.

Un­for­tu­nately, re­peat clients get tired of fill­ing out sur­veys, with the re­sult that the f low of in­for­ma­tion dries up.

Thebest­wayto es­tab­lish how you are do­ing com­pared to your com­peti­tors is to en­gage ‘mys­tery shop­pers’ who pose as po­ten­tial clients, en­quir­ers and view­ers. Now you can get ob­jec­tive scor­ing of your pitches for busi­ness, the qual­ity of

WeWork’s first Dublin lo­ca­tion at Iveagh Court has suf­fi­cient space for 1,000 work­ers

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