WeWork, the largest occupier of office space in Manhattan, has continued to rapidly expand in the enterprise market through innovative product offerings like Powered by We (PxWe), its office space “as-a-service” offering.
Now, the company’s white-label product is being led by a commercial real estate corporate services veteran, Craig Robinson, Powered by We’s global head of Enterprise Services, who spoke briefly about his new role and innovation in the Proptech sector at CREtech’s Chicago event last week.
“We are at a moment in time when there is so much innovation and capital in the industry and to be on a platform like WeWork, which is a vessel for that innovation, is amazing,” said Robinson.
Robinson was previously the CEO of global corporate services at Newmark, will serve as global head of enterprise services for Powered by We and oversee project management, facilities management and design services for the company’s clients in his newly created role.
“As the CEO of corporate services for Newmark, I’ve seen where the pain points are in the operating models that have governed the way we have served occupiers for the past fifty years. Now I think there’s an opportunity to bring those insights into a platform that is looking to challenge some of those assumptions with technology,” Robinson said.
Powered By We is a one-stop-shop for enterprise companies looking to procure office physical space and provides services that range from site-selection construction, office decor/design, software and building management tools, back-end data and on-site employees.
“Essentially, Powered by We is about taking all of what WeWork has perfected over the past eight years, through use-space utilization, design, construction and in the operation space and taking it out of our properties and bringing it to our client’s properties. No longer do you have to come to WeWork for the culture and excitement – we can bring it to you,” said Robinson.
The Powered By We business segment, launched in late 2017, has been serving WeWork’s coveted enterprise clients like IBM, Airbnb, Amazon and most recently UBS. It has received considerable interest both globally in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S., and much of its success has grown directly from WeWork’s expanding ecosystem of enterprise client companies.
“We now have 1,000 enterprise clients. We didn’t have this business two years ago. The pent-up demand for occupiers for these services was something that we weren’t expecting,” said Robinson adding that he expects strong growth in the coming years with the company’s plans for WeGrow (its solutions for schools) and WeLive (for homes and residential dwellings) on the horizon.
“Our founders, Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, have an overall vision which is to be thoughtful about how we will ultimately impact the human experience in all walks of life,” Robinson said.
Robinson’ advice to both CRE executives and companies developing technology products in the Proptech sector is that it’s time to seize the moment and capitalize on opportunities.
“For years, the conversations have been about how to get the commercial real estate industry to have a seat at the table. Now billions are being poured into the industry as smart capital is starting to look to real estate for innovation. Let’s embrace the change, not resist it,” Robinson said.