The panel at Property Week's event

Runway East CEO Joins Panel on Flex Sector

Runway East

14th December 2023

Natasha Guerra, CEO of Runway East, joined a panel hosted by Property Week and Yardi about the rise of the flexible office sector. They were asked about why scaling a flex business is so important, the challenges that operators face when trying to scale, and the pros and cons of management agreements.

When asked about her experience scaling Runway East, Natasha shared: "From a smaller operator’s perspective, scale is about getting access to buildings. As you grow you build a track record of deals and data. Four years ago we never really got invited to tender. Now that we have nine buildings we are doing a lot of tenders where we are pitched against other operators, so that track record really makes a difference."

She spoke of the challenges she has faced in growing the business: "As we’ve grown, we’ve found that consistency is the hardest thing to scale. And that it gets more expensive before it gets cheaper – we actually need to increase our cost base to get consistency across our buildings. It’s much easier to be consistent when you have a small management team and you can walk between all your buildings than it is when you are in multiple regions and you are sheltered from the frontline.

"The challenge of getting from 10 buildings to 20 is that the capital required is quite high – you need more sophisticated management, more sophisticated data and more sophisticated tech, and that is all quite expensive."

During a discussion about hybrid working, she commented: "We are not yet at a stabilised point – many customers don’t really know how much time their people will be spending at home versus in the office. That has been great for the sector because so many large occupiers have moved to taking flex space."

You can read the full discussion here on Property Week's website.