The Habu team set out on a remote working day and learned how hard it is to find coworking spaces that offer day passes. It's hard to do day passes right. That's making it easy for your workspace users but without the admin headache for you. If you get your process down, you'll be generating extra revenue and new leads for your community. This article first appeared on Allwork.space.
It was a cloudy Bristol morning when Jak Ollett, Habu’s CEO, and I set off for London on the 7:00 coach. Our goal: for each of our team members to work remotely for the day at various coworking spaces across Bristol and London. Though we already have a base coworking space, we do “remote days”’ every couple of months or so because we believe that visiting others spaces is important and necessary. Doing so allows us to observe the different ways coworking spaces operate, providing us with knowledge and insights that can help us design a better product.
We had done some preliminary research to find coworking spaces we’d like to work from. Mark, one of our highly talented developers, decided to work from Desklodge in Bristol, which was rated as one of the UK’s best coworking spaces. Robert worked from a couple of different spaces through the course of the day. As for Jak and I, we hadn’t figured out where we would work from yet even as we rode along the M4 to London.
And so while commuting, Jak and I pulled out our phones and got to the task of finding some awesome London coworking spaces that sold day passes.
To our amazement and frustration, we found only a handful of coworking spaces in London that offer day passes. To add to the frustration, purchasing these online wasn't an easy task at all. In the end, I was able to book my day at Huckletree, a rapidly growing and beautiful shared workspace with multiple locations across London and Dublin. Though I was covered, as we neared the Shoreditch Huckletree location, we still hadn’t found a place for Jak to work from.
We searched, we called, we emailed, yet to no avail.
In the end, Jak went for a tour of The Brew, where he was given a free trial day. We gladly would have paid, but the space didn’t have a system set up to take day pass payments any more. They previously had a system in place but for them it was more effort than it was worth, with managing payments, tracking pass use and more.
As shared workspace software providers, we found this experience surprising. We know that there are various coworking software platforms; some of these claim to provide the ability to sell day passes online without much fuss and redeem them at the space.
However, during the course of our last “remote day” we learned that many spaces which had once used some day pass booking feature or platform, opted out because the processes were clunky and the systems created more hassle and confusion than they were worth.
Especially in a busy city like London, where business travelers are frequent, day passes can be a plentiful source of otherwise abandoned revenue. If we assume the average day pass in London is around £30, and many are up to £40, and we expect that with a simple day pass booking process you could attract four individuals a day, that’s an additional £120 per working day in revenue. That adds up to £2,600 per month and £31,200 per annum, not accounting for holidays. That’s potentially enough to hire another staff member to make your space even better, or perhaps to buy some sleek new furniture.
Now, I know coworking spaces aren’t all about money for most people, so let's put money to the side for a mo. Day passes are a great way to bring fresh people into your community who might not want to, or be able to, commit to a full-time membership. Some people merely want more flexibility than your membership plans offer.
Additionally, day passes provide a way for casual users to connect with your community where both the community and the day pass user benefit. In fact, I made a few new friends in the kitchen at Huckletree within my first half an hour in the space.
However, I have to be honest here. The fact is: day passes are a real pain in the ass for coworking spaces. There’s too much friction in the process.
Sure, users can buy day passes through something like PayPal or some of the various coworking booking platforms, but how does that information get conveyed to the space manager for redemption? And yes, you can sell day passes through your coworking management software if somebody walks in, but what if they walk in and the space is full? The user will leave frustrated and probably not come back to your space.
As the upstanding coworking software providers that we are, we decided enough was enough. We decided to fix the day pass problem.
After a lot of design thinking, tech talk, development, and testing, Habu released day passes (and a whole bunch of other products) you can sell directly through the Habu check out, which removes the core friction around day pass sales and redemption.
Our customers can now create fully customizable products, like day passes, and sell them on their websites via a generated button code or link.
When a customer clicks to purchase a day pass, the link redirects them to a white-labeled checkout process.
Upon completing their purchase both the user and the admin receive a notification via email and the day pass is added to the user’s newly created account.
When the user comes to the space to redeem the day pass, the admin can easily see the day pass on the account and check them in.
Admins can even require users to select a day to use the day pass before completing the purchase, ensuring their spot is reserved and you know when to expect them so you can manage supply and demand. Habu even creates a check-in for the user on the day they’ve selected, so all the admin needs to do is verify the check-in is there and give the day pass user a high five.
After trying the new feature, Sue Reardon, founder of Suite Spotte, commented:
"The first impression our future members get of Suite Spotte is when buying a day pass on our website. It’s super easy with Habu. A couple of clicks and you’re done. Habu’s clean, intuitive design makes us look good and our users happy. Need I say more?"
You can test Habu’s day pass feature by heading over to habu.co and sign up for a free trial account.
Marketing Director, founder at Coworking Insights, coworking maven, digital nomad, lover of wine & tacos.