Written by Laurent Dhollande, CEO
1) PAC is profitable and has been for over 16 years
Not many operators can say that they successfully weathered two recessions, while staying cash flow positive. PAC can. This is in part because many operators were founded after the last Great Recession. What will happen when the economy softens? Many coworking companies who tried to grow quickly when access to equity was easy the last few years will have a hard time. WeWork is a special case. They did not need a recession to show huge losses and implode. See “Life After WeWork” for an analysis of what to do next. This gives well managed companies, like PAC, a desirability premium. Pacific Workplaces is totally transparent about its financial and operational track record, including through tough times. Download this introduction to Pacific Workplaces for Landlords and review slides #11 and #12 for 16 years of EBITDA performance of our portfolio and cash-on-cash return to Investors.
2) We support mobility and distributed workforces
Another key differentiator for PAC is the support of mobile workers and distributed workforces via our affiliation with the CloudTouchdown network of CloudVO. CloudVO is a sister company of PAC. The CloudTouchdown network is currently 750 locations strong, with close to 500 in the US and 250 internationally. It is particularly helpful for corporate accounts who want to support a distributed workforce such that employees can use day offices and meeting rooms under a subscription package anywhere in the country (and not just in large cities!). The only company that can claim to have a quasi-ubiquitous network is Regus, with a presence in 900 cities worldwide (3,000 locations). The CloudVO approach to supporting a distributed workforce is less expensive and provides a higher level of flexibility than Regus. WeWork is considerably short of being able to compete on this segment of the market since they are present in only 123 cities. In this case, a wide geographic coverage matters more than a high concentration of centers in any one city (7 per city for WeWork, versus 2 for CloudVO).
3) We provide a better customer experience
It’s easy to say, “We provide great customer service.” In our case, we can prove it in multiple ways. First we can claim higher customer review ratings on Google, Yelp, and Trustpilot than our competition. See the “Pacific Workplaces vs Regus comparison” and scroll down to the bottom of the page to compare averages that are statistically significant. Second, our annual customer satisfaction surveys tell us we do most things right. In fact, the high ratings surprise us every year. We do not publish them to the outside world to safekeep the integrity of the process. We want to avoid any potential bias in the process, or anything that could be designed to make us look good if we used them for marketing purposes. But trust me, they are very strong.
Third, we believe we have the highest retention rate of employees and customers in the industry for operators with more than 5 locations. On average a PAC member has an average tenure of 56 months. Considering that the majority of our locations are in Silicon Valley, with companies that have a shorter life span than those in the rest of the country and employees who jump ship quite often, this is a remarkable accomplishment. Often, a member that leaves one company and goes to work for another will keep their membership with us. One of the reasons is the deep connections with the rest of the community that our talented staff does an excellent job at fostering. This includes putting on events that go way beyond a weekly happy hour, such as building relationships with our members, and helping them build relationships with each other.
4) WE CARE – What is our secret sauce to achieve all of that? It is rooted in our foundational core value of “WE CARE.” We remind ourselves of that simple, yet immensely powerful statement every time Pac-mates (the Pac staff) get together for a team meeting. It’s in our DNA. All Pac-mates are very clear about these statements:
- We care about our members, because without them we don’t have a business
- We care about our brand, because it is our reputation in the marketplace
- We care about our investors, because they put their trust in us and we owe them a good return on investment
- We care about our landlords, because they are equally key to our success
- We care about our communities, because we are social beings, and healthy communities drive the well-being of the individuals that compose them
- We care about each other because we are a special group
- We live and breathe all of this to our core.
About Pacific Workplaces
Pacific Workplaces (PAC for short) are great flexible offices and coworking places, with a wide range of part-time and full-time furnished office spaces including virtual offices, private offices, open coworking and mini-suites, in a shared infrastructure environment, with curated communities that maximize networking opportunities and serendipity. Members have access to meeting rooms, coworking areas, business lounges, VoIP telephony, phone answering services, IT support, admin support, an online legal library, and preferential access to a network of nearly 1,000 touchdown locations worldwide, under a pay-per-need hosted model PAC refers to as Workplace-as-a-Service. Most of the PAC centers are located in Northern California and all are operated by PBC Management LLC under the Pacific Workplaces and NextSpace brands.