SiSebenza partners with Office Hub to launch a prop-tech marketplace for flexible workspaces, shared offices, co-working and serviced offices. File photo: Reuters
SiSebenza partners with Office Hub to launch a prop-tech marketplace for flexible workspaces, shared offices, co-working and serviced offices. File photo: Reuters

Australia’s Office Hub shakes up SA office rental market

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 5, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - SiSebenza partners with Office Hub to launch a prop-tech marketplace for flexible workspaces, shared offices, co-working and serviced offices.

Office Hub, the world’s leading proptech marketplace for listing and finding shared, serviced and co-working office space has entered South Africa through a partnership with SiSebenza, the local co-working and flexi office experts.

“The local economic slump, exacerbated by Covid-19 has left local businesses overcommitted on floor space,” says Andrew Robinson co-founder & executive director of SiSebenza. “Companies are increasingly moving to remote working or distributed working models, meaning that they’re downsizing, moving out of, or breaking up, their existing office spaces.”

Office Hub’s advanced tenant search platform uses machine learning to match and connect companies looking for short term furnished space to flexi providers and private companies who have excess space that they want to rent out. The Office Hub marketplace is a world first as it delivers a seamless experience for the flexi industry to list real-time inventory, whilst producing advanced data analytics on the supply and demand for flexi space and an integrated CRM system – MyOfficeHub.

Office Hub’s sophisticated AI-based technology is backed by a team of property specialists who support every enquiry with expert advice to help with shortlisting spaces, organising tours and negotiating the best deal for both the tenant and workspace owner.

The combination of cutting-edge tech and real-life teams delivers an “Uber-like” customer journey from the moment a search commences to the day a tenant moves in.

“Beyond being the smartest proptech in the world, our faith remains firmly in the magic of human connection and hard-earned know-how. In partnership with SiSebenza, the South African leader in the flexible workspace market, we have created a best-of-breed experience to deliver an unmatched and personal process,” says Office Hub founder and CEO Grant Philipp.

With the South Africa Property Owners Association (Sapoa) reporting that in the quarter to end-June 2020, South Africa’s national office vacancy was at a 16-year high of 12.3% and A-grade office rentals 2.8% down year-on-year, local landlords are in desperate need of finding effective and efficient ways to fill their spaces.

Pre-Covid, global flexible, co-working and shared offices accounted for 5% of the office space market with an estimated value of $26 billion, having shown 15% year-on-year growth over five years. And now as we emerge into a new way of working, flexi and co-working solutions are a vital part of commercial real estate strategies for everyone from start-ups to corporates.

“Peer-to-peer sharing of commercial office space is once again gaining traction as the flexibility, cost and culture benefits come in at a more affordable price,” says Robinson. “With greater choice, softening rates and vastly improved quality across the board, it’s an exciting time to take the plunge and tap into the benefits of flexible workspaces.”

Global partners and serviced office providers such as WeWork, IWG and Servcorp can market their locations, centres and suites in real-time with live availability and pricing. Private landlords can list whatever space they have available to rent; from a desk to a private office or even a sublet.

“It’s no surprise that both established businesses and start-ups are moving away from the traditional commercial industry standard of long and rigid leases,” says Philipp. “Not only because of the benefits with flexible workspace vs conventional office leasing but also the efficiency, transparency and cost-effectiveness of our technology that helps tenants find flexible space.”

Since launching in 2014, Office Hub has helped over 50,000 companies find their dream office; BMW, Accenture, Adecco and Sephora are just a few. The Aussie proptech pioneer now spans 15 countries including Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, China, India, the Middle East, Europe and North and South America. South Africa will be the first African market for Office Hub and already has more than 1,000 offices nationally on its platform.

BUSINESS REPORT

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