"Without Forloop and the valuable data that we get, I’ve hard time imagining how we would have entered the markets that we did, how fast we did so, and how much money we saved."
ShareSpace is a digital marketplace that makes it easy to find and lease office space. Founded in 2016, ShareSpace has over 3,000 customers in the UK, Germany, and Poland. Including customers like Bitpanda, Uber, and American Express.
Marcin is CTO and Co-founder of ShareSpace, which all started with making commercial real estate digital and transparent. Matching businesses with offices that match them, in other words.
When we met Marcin and ShareSpace 12 months ago, they had established themselves in their home market (Poland) and were now looking for new markets and ways to capture those cost-efficiently. The questions ShareSpace faced were as follows.
Entering a new market is risky, expensive, and time-intensive. Thus, a decision you rather not fumble. In ShareSpace’s case, commercial real estate exists globally, but where to start?
To limit those risks and select best markets to enter, data about the different markets (commercial real estate in Europe), competition insights, and customer patterns were of interest. More specifically: rent data about the different markets (commercial real estate in Europe), competition insights, and customer patterns were of interest.
However, the conventional alternatives to get these insights needed to make these decisions in a fact-based manner would either drain a lot of time or money. Not optimal for ShareSpace.
As a marketplace company, getting to network-effect power as fast as possible (before competition) is vital. For that to happen, having a fast and cost-efficient customer acquisition process is essential.
In the case of ShareSpace, the signup process was manual, with a high drop-out rate. The main reason behind this was because of all the information their customers needed to fill in (property information, photos, prices, and more) to become a user.
If not solving this, it would be hard to scale up customer acquisition cost-efficiently, along with a suboptimal user experience with a high drop-out rate.
For ShareSpace, data is essential. Via their platform, they are collecting valuable data on the commercial real estate market (price trends, volume trends in districts, time for deals to confirm, and more).However, without external market data - this data is not as valuable as it could be. And to sell insights to existing customers and help them make good decisions on office investments, combining their internal insights with market data was requested.
Solving this would mean higher margins and increasing the value of their solution.
ShareSpace was looking at ways to collect external market data continuously. I.e., to know each day's supply & demand of offices, rental levels, location trends and more. And, as soon as a new office would be on the market, ShareSpace would be the first to know and act upon it. Potentially, this would give them a serious competitive advantage.
However, ShareSpace could not exactly find what they needed. As Marcin explains:
"The alternatives out there were either A) enterprise solutions like UiPath (expensive, slow implementation, and complex), or B) web-scraping browser extensions that works for one-time scrape , but not continous flow.I just wanted a SaaS tool, cheap and easy, to gather web data and get continuous updates in our database"
To get data to analyze the markets, ShareSpace used Forloop to aggregate commercial real estate listings across Europe. With processes running automatically every day, they could fastly amass a high volume of data and instantly spot when listenings got updated or deactivated.
"With Forloop, we get a continuous update of data, aggregated from several websites, directly in our Airtable (database). Since it's cleaning and structuring the data, we can apply real-time analytics and monitor trends. The best thing is that we have one updated database with everything in it, instead of multiple files"
After having reliable processes running around listenings data, ShareSpace started to think about how to improve the insights even more. They came up with two more data sources:
The solution looked like this:
ShareSpace was looking at ways to accelerate user onboarding and be more user-friendly. The friction point was all the information their customers needed to fill in (property information, photos, prices and more) to become a user, leading to a high drop-out rate.
To solve this, the hypothesis was that if profiles could be pre-filled, allowing customers to register instantly, then ShareSpace could unlock cost-efficient growth by:
With the data gathered with Forloop, ShareSpace got all the office data required to create profiles at scale. By gathering office owner information they could match the two, and know whom to target with a personalized profile already created. In essence, a lead-generation machine with no manual work while providing a great customer experience.
The solution looked like this:
With Forloop, ShareSpace had tangible impact in deciding what market segments to target, capturing those cost-efficent and upselling exisiting customers. Resulting in a return-of-investment (ROI) of 78X in the first 12 months.
"Without Forloop and the valuable data that we get, I’ve hard time imagining how we would have entered the markets that we did, how fast we did so, and how much money we saved. Great investment, I’m very pleased."
"Entering a new market is risky, expensive and time intensive. You want to make those decisions right. But you don’t have all the time in the world. With Forloop, we got superior data and could justify our decisions in a matter of weeks. This otherwise would have taken months and cost a lot more."
With Forloop, ShareSpace was able to gather relevant data to analyze different markets in a matter of hours and come to an ultimate decision within weeks.
With rich data about the Office-space markets across Europe (with data about price- and volume trends, type of properties on the market, time for deals to close and more), ShareSpace were able to make justified decisions on what markets to enter on - with great results.
"With pre-made profiles, the prospects thought that we were hyper-personal, along with that they could create and claim a profile in seconds. With this, we could enter hypergrowth. The secret is that we did this with no extra headcount, just automation"
With Forloop, ShareSpace had customers onboarded 2x (twice) as fast, which led to a +30% increase in revenue over 12 months. No extra headcount needed, just automation.
The key behind these achievements was pre-made profiles which allowed for hyperpersonal marketing at scale and an easy process for the prospects to get started.
ShareSpace created pre-made profiles at scale by using Forloop to scan the whole web for office owners, gather data about their offices and have this data in a single database updated every single day.
With Forloop, ShareSpace could offer additional value with “insights as a service” to their customers.
Since investing in an office, or commercial real estate overall is a big decision combining the insights of what happens on the Sharespace marketplace, with data from the market overall, turned out to be very valuable for their customers and investors. Making their “insights as a service” really take off.
ShareSpace used Forloop to have an updated database of the Office space market in Europe, at their fingertips. Helping them to decide what markets to enter, capture those way faster and cost-efficient while delighting customers.
With this they achieved a ROI of 20X what they spent in the first 12 months.