Eric Zellhart is the VP of Product & Growth at LiquidSpace, he leads the digital marketplace and platforms for LiquidSpace, and is on a mission to eliminate complexity and enable flexibility in the commercial real estate industry.
Hi Eric, thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Can you tell me a little bit about what LiquidSpace does and your role at the company?
LiquidSpace is the largest marketplace for flexible office space, we partner with over 9,500 coworking spaces, landlords and private businesses who list workspace on flexible terms, whether meeting rooms for a couple hours to desks and offices for a month or longer.
As the VP Product at LiquidSpace, my role is to lead our digital platform for both our customers and hosts. We pride ourselves on being a real-time marketplace that facilities direct communication between customers searching for space and the hosts on our platform.
It was great to meet you in person at the Global Workspace Association conference, did you learn anything interesting at the conference that you’d like to share?
It was a pleasure to meet you as well. And great to be in DC for the GWA conference and to talk to so many leaders in the flexible office space industry.
I had three big takeaways from the GWA conference. First, the growth of the industry is tremendous both in the number of new spaces opening but also the size and quality of spaces. It was wonderful to connect with veteran operators and new operators at the conference to hear about their growth plans. Second, there were more companies attending that talked about how they’re incorporating flexible office space into their growth plans, both to expand to new markets and to augment their real estate strategy in markets where they have more employees than their existing office can fit. Third, it was wonderful to see how the products and services for coworking operators have matured over the past few years. Operators have access to some truly world class platforms!
Could you tell us about your experience working exclusively out of coworking spaces? How has that shaped your team dynamic?
LiquidSpace was founded in San Francisco, but our team has always been distributed across many cities. We want to recruit the best talent wherever they happen to be.
Working remotely is in our DNA, so it’s very natural that our team leverages our own marketplace to reserve a day-pass or meeting room with one of our coworking partners. In my role in Product, this allows me to use and experience our product just as our customers do which provides excellent feedback to improve our service.
Everyone on our team has access to use coworking space in whatever city they’re in which constantly reminds us of our awesome partners and the incredible job they do on creating beautiful workspaces and delivering wonderful hospitality to their members and guests.
Do you have a favorite coworking space? What makes them special?
This is a hard question, there are so many amazing spaces that I’ve had the chance to visit and work from that I don’t have a single favorite. But I do often get to visit a local neighborhood coworking space near where I live called Temescal Works. What’s special about them is it’s truly a neighborhood space, the building was neglected and purchased by a group of neighbors, they renovated the space on their own investment, and that same group of neighbors actually run the space. It’s outside of the downtown so it truly serves people from the neighborhood and has great collaboration with nearby coffee shops and other local businesses. From an economic development standpoint, this is what coworking is supposed to look like.
What do you think the future of coworking will look like?
I believe coworking will continue to impact the entire commercial office space market, building owners are incorporating coworking type solutions as amenity spaces within their core assets as well as coworking is inspiring their spec-suite offerings as they fit out private office suites for tenants looking for their own office on flexible terms.
But coworking’s impact will go beyond traditional office space to touch retail and hospitality. We see that in examples of coffee shops offering either more formal workspace, or office supply companies putting coworking into their stores. And increasingly were seeing hotel operators and gyms offer dedicated space within their properties for touchdown work.
The future of coworking is the future of work, as technology continues to allow people to work from anywhere, and businesses culture increasingly embrace workplace flexibility to attract and retain talent, workspace is being consumerized and workers are empowered to choose where they want to work.
How can our readers connect with LiquidSpace?
If you are looking to check out coworking spaces you can start at LiquidSpace.com and search and compare spaces near you. If you’re new to coworking start by booking a day pass or meeting room for a couple hours. Or become a member and try it out for a month… it can be life changing!
If you operate a coworking space or are a business with space to share click the List Space button in the header at LiquidSpace.com to join our network.
Thanks so much Sam for the opportunity to connect with you and the Cobot team to discuss my favorite topic.
If you aren’t already using Cobot as your coworking management software, give it a go! You’ll find that our features can help you run your coworking space more effectively and grow your community. Just sign up for a free trial or a live demo session. And if you have questions, our support team is all ears!