‘We’re on the radio! FORUM is thrilled to share that we were featured on “Janie Flores Live” with local host Janie Flores.
Janie Flores is the host of the “Janie Flores Live” Podcast on the Miami area Bloomberg Financial affiliate station, 880 the Biz. Janie is also the president of Buena Vida media, a media company that focuses on video and podcast productions, public relations, digital marketing, and social media marketing.
On her podcast, Janie shares the amazing stories and business ventures of her diverse guests from around the country.
Rishi Kapoor, founder of Location Ventures, the parent company of FORUM had the pleasure of joining Janie on her radio show on April 17th, 2020 to talk FORUM and why we think coworking is the future.
Radio Transcript | Janie Flores Live
JANIE: We want to talk to a person who has a lot of insight into what ‘s going to be happening in the real estate area, what’s going to be happening with small businesses, and, especially what is happening in the coworking space industry. That market is quickly changing for us. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking things will be back to normal once we return to work. We want to talk to him to hear his insights, and to have him paint a picture of what will be happening. We love to welcome Rishi Kapoor, the CEO of FORUM Miami. Welcome Rishi!
RISHI: Hi! Thank you for having me.
JANIE: Tell us a little more about FORUM Miami and the unique offering that you give.
RISHI: Sure. Thank you again for having me. I would be happy to share some of our observations and philosophies for moving forward in this environment. For us at FORUM, the idea is an elevated coworking space where we’re not only an office, ultimately we’re there as business support.
We’re trying to look at it as real estate as a service. What we mean by that is included in our offering are a variety of services to help the small business. I think that is relevant in this environment, and as we move forward with the national recovery of our economy. We provide marketing support, administrative support, and a legal referral network. In addition to that, we have a Program Director that acts as a small business coach on-site. All of this is designed to incubate businesses and give them additional tools, so that they can spend more time and energy focusing on the core aspect of their business.
Many smaller entrepreneurs are the “Chief everything officer” at that stage in their business life, so we want to give everybody an environment to succeed in, and be a resource for them. To do that, we’re providing an hour of services along with our base rent. In addition to that, we have a full time team to provide any support the business might need. We think that is an elevated aspect and approach to the coworking space market and ultimately it is a way to differentiate ourselves and really add value to the tenants.
JANIE: I definitely agree with you. I think these services that are a part of what you’re offering are definitely something that small businesses will need, if they want to be able to not just survive but thrive.
How do you see FORUM Miami and really the coworking space market in general, adapting to COVID-19? What are some of the measures you see adapting to help tenants feel more at ease, so that they can get back into the coworking space and get back into the business world?
RISHI: We’ve always operated with the mindset of having smaller private spaces as our core offering. We’re not a huge open floor plan environment, and we think that is going to be well received in “the new normal” that we’re moving forward with. It’s ultimately where people feel more comfortable, in their own environment, as opposed to a wide open floor plan. We think that’s going to be a sensitive topic and very much “on the mind” of entrepreneurs as they get back to work.
We are also focusing on obviously cleanliness, so we upped the staffing that we will have available to ensure that after common spaces are used, they’re getting wiped down every night and there’s sanitizing throughout the facilities. We know that will be on the minds of our members, so we’re putting that on the forefront of our communications, consistent cleaning as an amenity if you will, in order to help people feel more confident in their health in the space.
Then from a big picture standpoint, the coworking model and the flex space market has already been on the rise over the last decade. My family has owned and operated 40,000 sq ft of flex space in the Atlanta, Georgia area for the last decade. We went through the recession previously, where we never saw less than 78% occupancy. What’s important about that is that you can see that the flex space model is where many businesses will contract their floor plans; they’ll realize that video conferencing has been much more widely adopted and convenient, and that they need more centralized offices and places for meetings.
We also very much believe we’ll see larger businesses end up contracting their floor plans to get into more flex space arrangements. You’ll also see just like in the heart of the last recession, this phoenix rising from the ashes moment where you have many new businesses that will look at this as an opportunity to get out on their own, or people who may have been considering a move, see this as an opportunity to go out on their own. Using an office environment like ours is an opportunity since people are very cost conscious of their top line dollars, and how they’re spending each and every dollar of their expenses.
Having gone through a recessionary environment in the past, we’re feeling very comfortable with how we’ll be able to operate, and how we’ll support community members who are looking to conduct their business.
JANIE: Wow! Thank you so much Rishi! I really appreciate you giving us an insight into what the future is going to be like for many businesses coming back to offices. I appreciate you giving us that information. So Rishi, how do we follow you on social media to access more information on FORUM Miami? Give us all the details on that.
RISHI: You can reach us at our website which is www.forum.miami and then we’re on all the major social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, etc. You’ll be able to follow us at each of those handles, but going to our website would be a good launching point to start interacting with us online.
JANIE: Wonderful! Well thanks so much Rishi for joining us today and really sharing your insights. Thank you so much and we’ll be talking to you soon!
RISHI: Alright, well you take care and thank you again for having me.
Ready to Cowork Together?
FORUM is a coworking space in Downtown Coral Gables that offers various membership levels created to suit the needs of entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and enterprise businesses. From hot desks to private suites, business support and more, FORUM is focused on community, connection and support.
In these times, it is also important that business owners stay informed. FORUM official statement on COVID-19.
Contact us today to learn more [email protected] | 786-522-4466.