April 4, 2022

Your members are the most important part of your coworking space.

You need to make sure you’re efficiently turning leads into customers, and customers into enthusiastic evangelists after that. 

So how do you manage this process? Insert, a CRM.

In this article, we’ll break down what a CRM system is, why your coworking space needs a CRM system and how to find the best one for your business. 

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What is a CRM system?

You’ve likely heard other business owners and managers talk about their CRM systems, but what exactly is CRM? 

The acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is designed to help you: 

  • Collect customer data
  • Streamline engagement processes
  • Nurture strong connections with leads and customers

The goal of a CRM system is to help you better manage your customer relationships so you can convert leads faster and drive more revenue for your business.

What does a CRM system do for coworking spaces?

A CRM system will help you automate your customer management processes, saving you time and money overall. 

A CRM system can:

  • Consolidate all customer data in one place
  • Update dynamic content in real time
  • Act as a single source of truth for your business 

Here’s what that means for you as a coworking operator:

  • You can see what date someone booked a tour, what date they signed up for a plan, what plan they signed up for, and how engaged with your emails they are all in one place
  • You can see the complete transaction history of all of your customers at any given time
  • Everyone in the business, from your community manager to your CEO can see information about customers as needed.

This becomes especially important when you think about scaling your coworking business. You can’t take your business to the next level without having solid organizational processes in place.

Why do I need a CRM system for my coworking space?

Running a coworking business can feel like a juggling act. Between marketing your space, handling daily operations, and nurturing member relationships, your team has a lot of responsibilities on their plate.

A CRM system can help you maximize your time, stay organized and better serve your members. Here are some of the ways a CRM system can benefit your coworking space.

Builds relationships with customers & leads

As your team grows, it can become increasingly tricky to keep track of everyone’s customer interactions. Did someone already send your prospect a pricing sheet? Did anyone answer your member’s question about printer setup? 

A coworking CRM system will help you define, collect and manage these data points by pulling all of your information into one place.

As a result, your team will have an accurate record of all customer interactions. 

This ensures everyone stays on the same page and customers receive exceptional service, without anything slipping through the cracks.

Helps you master your marketing

Effective marketing is crucial for your coworking business. 

It fills your sales funnel and ensures you have a steady stream of new members joining your space. 

A CRM system can be extremely useful for optimizing your marketing campaigns. Here how a CRM system can support your coworking space marketing:

  • Sends newsletters to your database
  • Tracks content engagement to better understand member interests
  • Runs email drip campaigns to prospects
  • Delivers specific marketing messages based on actions users have taken 

Some systems even offer integrated social media management and web analytics to help maximize your marketing efforts even more.

Automates your sales workflow

Nurturing leads through the sales cycle is time consuming. 

It can present a serious challenge for business owners and sales teams, especially when just starting out. 

By implementing a CRM system you can automate many aspects of this process. A CRM system can optimize your coworking sales process by:

  • Capturing and tracking leads for you
  • Showing you where leads are in the sales process
  • Centralizing all customer information to assist in lead scoring

One of the most valuable things you can do in a CRM is create rules-based workflows that automatically trigger when people in your database meet certain criteria.

For example, when a prospect signs up for your newsletter but doesn’t sign up to be a member, you can create a trigger where they automatically receive an invite to your next open house.

Complies with the GDPR

Need to stay compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? Complying with this complex shift in data privacy laws has kept more than one business owner up at night. 

Luckily, many CRM systems offer tools to ensure you always follow the legal requirements for contacting people.

What’s the difference between a CRM system and coworking software?

There is often some overlap between what CRM systems and coworking software can do. 

Most coworking software offers a degree of CRM functionality, typically focused on contact management. 

Take Optix for example. Our platform is designed to help you with everything from lead conversion through to member management. We offer:

  • Tour booking and sign up via white lablled web widgets on your website
  • Membership upgrades in-app for members to self-select
  • Membership management via our admin dashboard to see data points such as what date they signed up for a plan, what plan they signed up for, and any history related to a specific plan
  • Integrated invoicing and billing capabilities
  • Ability to create custom user properties to store additional information on your member within Optix 

What are the best CRM systems for coworking spaces?

For those starting out, a coworking software’s native CRM functionality may be sufficient. 

When to supplement with another CRM system depends on the scope and complexity of your business. Here are some of the most common we see our clients using in order of complexity.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that can:

  • Send automate emails to members
  • Create landing pages and pop-ups
  • Organize email addresses by list

Adding a solution like Mailchimp to support your email marketing will likely be enough when you’re just starting out. It is free to start with and can integrate with your coworking management software. 

Pipedrive

As your space and its needs evolve, investing in a cost-effective CRM system like Pipedrive may make sense. 

Pipedrive is a CRM system that helps you manage leads and deals, track communications, and automate and grow your business.

Plans start at just $12.50 a month per user for the most basic functionality.

Hubspot

Once your coworking business is fully established, a more sophisticated, full-featured CRM system such as Hubspot may be a good addition to your tech ecosystem. 

Hubspot is the number one CRM system for small and medium-sized businesses. It can do everything you need for your coworking space including:

  • Send automated email campaigns
  • Manage your social media accounts
  • Create embedded forms for your website
  • Provide detailed data and analytics on users

There really is nothing Hubspot can’t do for coworking spaces. You can access some features with a free account. However, to truly scale with Hubspot, you’ll need a paid version of the plan beginning at $45/mo.

Salesforce

Salesforce is another powerful option for scaling coworking spaces. 

Salesforce is targeted towards enterprise organizations. Given its steep learning curve and high price tag, you probably won’t need it unless your organization is very large.

As you assess all these options, however, we recommend one key thing – avoid the all-in-one coworking CRM solution. Trying to be all things to all people, these systems often fail to live up to expectations in any area.

A CRM system can be a powerful tool for your coworking space

It helps you collect insightful customer data, execute effective marketing campaigns and stay organized to deliver the best possible service. 

As a result, you’ll be able to nurture deeper connections with both members and prospects, creating a loyal and growing base that sets your coworking business up for sustained success.

Learn how Optix can help you better manage your customer relationships today.