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OfficeRnD 2017 Year in Review

Coworking Europe Conference 2017, Dublin – one of the unconference topics was ‘What’s wrong with the coworking software?’ – hosted by Hector Kolonas from included.co.

‘It’s over-complicated, not integrated, and really not good enough.’ said the crowd.

Some operators start thinking about building their own solution but building coworking management software on your own is a terrible idea.

The truth is that developing exceptionally good software needs tons of time, resources, effort, technical and business expertise. Software companies spend years developing a solution and constantly adapting it to the market.

We’ve explained this in more detail in a separate post. We also have a case study with a customer who tried to build their own solution before realizing it’s not worth it and moving to OfficeRnD.

But if you still wanna try developing a custom solution, below you will find 4 of the most common issues with building coworking management software. Hope they will help you understand why developing such systems is that complex and requires enormous expertise and a huge resource.

Lack of financial investments

Building software is the best but also, the worst thing you can do. It’s expensive. Very expensive! More expensive than you can imagine. Why’s that? Because software engineers are very expensive. Then you need to document it, you need to support it, you need to ensure its high quality, you need to extend it. Yes, the more you add, the more your users will demand. Building software is a never-ending process. If it ends and you stop pouring money into it, then it’s dead.

Coworking as a business used to be a small, niche market. This resulted in being unattractive to software companies, investors, and tech startups. So the first coworking management tools had to deal with it by themselves with the resources they have.

On the other side, you have sophisticated users – the coworking manager. People, who are used to work with advanced, professional tools built by big software companies and startups, such as Slack, Xero, QuickBooks, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Intercom, and so on. The standard for Software is higher than ever. We all have big expectations and little patience and tolerance because we’re used to using great software. But behind these great software solutions, there are big companies with hundreds of engineers, support, QAs working on them, and millions of dollars in investment.

That’s why we raised $1M in 2017 and another $3M in 2019. You can’t build great software with 2 engineers sitting in their coworking space.

Lack of product and UX Vision

Some of the first coworking management solutions were built with a complete lack of product and user experience vision. In today’s world, UX is key. If the software looks bad, feels out-dated, and is hard to use, there’s no way to be successful, of course. As mentioned, users have very high expectations for software and the user experience is one of the first bits that all of us see.

That’s why, we emphasize the user experience, both for managers and members. 
Software Development - How it works

Poor performance and lack of speed

Coworking management solutions are very complicated platforms. It’s a business-critical type of software – ERP as it’s known in the traditional business world, or PMS in the Hotels world. It is a HUGE piece of software. The amount of functionality, integrations, and reliability that’s required is massive. In order, to build great coworking management software you need speed. You need speed and dedication from your product development team.

That’s why we invest all resources in Product Development. We release new functionality and updates weekly and the number of changes is great. Check out our Release history.

Bad support and no integrity

In order to provide a great software solution, you have to start with good support and a great team. You need people that actually care about others and care about the industry. People with high emotional intelligence, who are willing to sacrifice their comfort for their customers. Something that is key and is the ethos of Coworking – members and customers comfort is first.

Building great software also requires integrity which is not present in some of the vendors. One of our competitors tried to hack us. Others are using nasty marketing techniques and paid Google ads containing ‘OfficeR&D’ to get you to their misleading comparison pages. Not sure if this will bring them any good opportunities. I’m only sure that investing in their product will bring more value to their customers.

Being nice usually helps. Having integrity also helps to build better software. We invest a lot in our team and the quality of support that we provide. 

So, as a conclusion, choose coworking management software wisely!

At OfficeRnD we are dedicating 200% of our energy into developing a great software solution. We have a vision, we have a great team and amazing customers, we secured good investment, and we move fast. If you are interested in learning more, you can book a demo.

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