Singapore boasts well over 100 flexible office centres and counting, and now property brokerage Savills is rolling out a new online platform to help fast-growing businesses cut through that thicket of options to find the space of their dreams.
The platform, Workthere, was launched in the UK in February of last year and is currently being introduced across several European countries. The brokerage service and listing website allows co-working and serviced office providers to let their spaces, and potential tenants to find workspaces that meet their specifications.
Savills Singapore plans for Workthere to service the entire flexible workspace market in the city-state, ranging from traditional serviced office brands – such as The Executive Centre and Servcorp – to co-working startups including WeWork.
Flexible Office Brokerage, with a Digital Twist
“The demand for flexible workspaces has been growing phenomenally across the globe,” commented Yann Deschamps, who moved to Singapore late last year to take the role of Head of Workthere Asia Pacific. “Combining Workthere’s online search capabilities with a bespoke ‘in-market’ Savills advisor for free, delivers a key differentiator that sets us apart and is a unique proposition over and above any normal search engine.”
Deschamps was previously director of Savills’ Commercial Department in Shanghai since 2013. The 20-year commercial property veteran will now be managing the development and roll-out of Workthere in the Asia Pacific region, working closely with local occupier services teams.
The platform, at workthere.com.sg, offers free searching and listing of properties. Companies looking for space can compare options and create a shortlist, at which point Savills advisors spring into action to help them book viewings, negotiate terms and move in to their desired address.
Workthere takes a 10 percent commission of the monthly or annual rent (up to the first year) from a space provider after introducing a tenant. The global platform is headed by Cal Lee, a chartered surveyor who founded Workthere in mid-2016 as a member of the Savills Commercial Development team in London.
Savills Taps Booming Co-Working Demand in Singapore
“Singapore has witnessed considerable growth in the flexible workspace sector, with many new entrants coming to the market,” Lee said in the statement. “At the same time, demand for flexible workspace continues to grow as more businesses, including startups, SMEs and even larger corporate companies, are seeing the benefits of flexible workspace over a more traditional lease.”
Singapore is estimated to have 113 flexible workspaces, including serviced offices and co-working venues, according to a recent report by property consultancy Colliers International. Flexible office operators leased 543,000 square feet (50,466 square metres) of space in the city-state – some 18.7 percent of the total 2.9 million square feet of office take-up – and are forecast to gobble up another 550,000 square feet (51,097 square metres) in 2018.
In addition to well-known international brands, Workthere said it will add serviced office providers Centennial BusinessSuites, GreenHub Suited Offices, and Just Office to its platform, along with co-working or mixed operators including The Work Project, District6, Collective Works, The Great Room and JustCo, among others.
Following its launch in Britain, the platform is being rolled out across Europe, starting with Ireland, Germany and most recently the Netherlands. London Stock Exchange-listed Savills is one of the leading global property consultancies with over 600 offices and associates around the world.