Although COVID continues to create ripples of uncertainty for organizations, all signs continue pointing to a resilient recovery. CBRE anticipates that many of the factors that prevented growth in 2021, including supply disruptions, labor shortages, and inflation, will begin to let up, paving the way for a potential “record year for commercial real estate investment.”
Given the volatility of the past few years, this is good news. But it’s important to keep in mind that demand and supply are both continuing to evolve within commercial real estate. Results of PwCUS and the Urban Land Institute’s “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022” revealed that most real estate professionals expect 75% or fewer workers to work in the company office three or more days per week in 2022. Many leaders in the industry anticipate that office space needs will diminish by as much as 15% over the three years. Working from home, the “Great Relocation” and the “Great Resignation” are all driving change and the need for increased flexibility.
As the number of occupiers who no longer want to commit to long-term office leases continues to rise, it’s become more important than ever for owners to look towards solutions that offer potential tenants the freedom to find and access the right place(s), at the right time, that best fits an organization’s constantly evolving needs. And that’s where Space-as-a-Service (SpaaS) really shines.
Like other “as a service” models made so popular in the technology world, Space-as-a-Service is simple in its application. SpaaS gives you a model that allows a business to generate revenue by providing real estate (space) as a product (service), but this is complex in its implementation. On the service (product) side, SpaaS challenges the traditional practices used in commercial real estate transactions, particularly when it comes to long-term office leases.
It may be simple, but it does deliver the access over ownership, on-demand, flexible convenience that a growing number of consumers are seeking. One CORT Workplace customer has been leveraging the power of SpaaS as part of its business model for the past three decades. Metro Offices is a private, female-owned company and an early leader in SpaaS. The company has provided flexible workspaces to its clients, including those in the federal government, for 32 years.
Let’s take a moment to not only examine who Metro Offices is, but also see how it’s been able to meet the demands of its government clients for more than three decades and why it’s chosen CORT Furniture Rental and Furniture as a Service to be its exclusive office furniture solution when providing flexibility, choice, and experience through Flexible-Workspace-as-a-Service (FWaaS).
Why Did Metro Offices Become a Flexible-Workspace-as-a-Service Provider?
As the pandemic forced many workplace professionals to re-evaluate the importance of providing flexible and personalized experiences to better support the evolving needs of today’s increasingly mobile and collaborative workforce, Metro Offices was already there and ready to offer an outsourced real estate solution for departments within the U.S. government to meet them with a full-service solution for turnkey facility solutions.
Metro Offices got its start in 1989, and it has been dedicated to providing superior customer service to its clients along with forward-thinking solutions with office space and services to Metropolitan Washington, DC ever since. Its solutions are built on a strong foundation of policies and procedures that Metro had developed to build, equip and operate business centers for multiple clients within each of its centers — concepts it can use for many or just one client in each business center.
One of the company’s core beliefs is that flexibility is the driving force behind many decisions on workspace today. It believes that the needs, visions, and structure of agencies and companies constantly change and that static workspace solutions make it harder for those changes to happen.
Metro’s Flexible-Workspace-as-a-Service (FWaaS) contracts provide organizations with a turnkey facility. Its contracts are flexible and scalable with terms ranging from one to five years. Included comes everything a business needs to move in and hit the ground running, including furniture, utilities, communications, IT services, and all related infrastructure along with support staff under a services contract. Agencies and organizations can modify those contracts as their needs change, making it easier for them to scale and hire top talent. A few of the ways Metro FWaaS contracts flex include the:
- Term of the contract
- Number of seats
- Furniture styles and configuration
- Space configuration
Endless scalability on every aspect of the workplace that matters is one of the top benefits of adopting a FWaaS model, and that doesn’t only apply to organizations and workplaces that are growing. When its clients need a contraction of space or the same amount of space in a different configuration to best suit its workers’ needs, Metro provides it.
In one recent example, Metro was able to set up a 145-seat workplace in just six weeks. Over the course of 10 years, it provided dozens of reconfigurations, contractions, and expansions of that space to help meet its clients’ ever-changing business needs, which sometimes grew to 300 seats. Throughout the entire time, the client only paid for what they needed and were using at the time.
How Does Metro Offices Use CORT Furniture as a Service™ for Its Flexible Workspace Solutions?
Metro’s FWaaS model offers a variety of benefits that allow organizations to expand and contract quickly, including tangible cost savings with no upfront capital needed, and intangible cost savings associated with staff productivity and managerial time. Additionally, Metro significantly reduces the lead time associated with moving into a new space — something that can take years when you consider everything needed to secure, build-out, furnish and operate a space. Metro can do the same in a matter of months and continue adapting the space to fit its clients’ evolving needs.
That’s very much aligned with the benefits that CORT offers with our Furniture as a Service (FaaS) solution, which Metro Offices has been able to leverage to support its FWaaS solutions. Immediately after launching FWaaS, the VA selected Metro to be one of three providers giving the agency turnkey space. While the other two offered vacant offices in existing business centers, Metro was able to provide turnkey space for a large volume of personnel.
It has delivered more than $53 million in contract services to government agencies and holds the distinction of being the only U.S. company providing this solution with its stellar past performance in delivering complete offerings that enable its clients to get everything from real estate to furniture to staffing while only having to deal with Metro to address any issues.
One of the keys to Metro’s success? CORT’s FaaS solution. By leveraging the flexibility that CORT offers, Metro was able to offer truly “flexible” solutions to federal agencies that not only evolved and changed to meet its clients’ needs but also did so quickly and efficiently. Just as Metro Office continues to succeed by delivering responsiveness, adaptivity, and convenience, so too does CORT — and not just for the SPaaS or FWaaS space.
Why CORT Furniture as a Service for any Industry?
For our clients — whether SpaaS or more traditional, no matter the industry or size of the organization — we offer the highest flexibility with the lowest risk. FaaS shines in today’s evolving landscape, allowing you to quickly and effectively adapt to your changing business goals.
Like Metro Offices, our FaaS solution provides the benefits of access over ownership that offers maximum agility, which is critical in these changing times. Because we also understand that there’s value in ownership, CORT Workplace offers ownership options too. And our experts are always on hand to provide advice and access to our extensive resources – and that’s The Power of Furniture Flexibility™.