Presented By: Breather
Breather Sets a Path to Profitability Through a Unique Flexible Office Model
With over 500 locations, flexible workspace provider Breather offers turnkey office space up to 10,000 square feet, as well as on-demand access to conferencing, meeting, and working spaces for firms of all sizes. With a history of brokerage and business development at JLL, The Regus Group, and Workframe, industry veteran Dan Suozzi recently joined Breather as their chief real estate officer. Suozzi spoke with Commercial Observer’s Partner Insights team about his newest challenge.
Talk about why you joined Breather. What attracted you to the company?
Dan Suozzi: There were a couple of key factors. Having been a broker and also having run a portfolio for Regus, it’s clear that the demand for flexible office will continue to grow and evolve as the future of commercial real estate.
What makes Breather unique is that we are the only company offering a proprietary flexible workspace SaaS solution and the most comprehensive geospatial data in the market enabling us to target growth with extreme accuracy. The combination of the two was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
What differentiates Breather from its competitors?
We are not a coworking company. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions in the marketplace. So at any Breather location, our customers have their own private workspace to themselves. You will not find multiple companies in one space.
Also different is that our technology enables us to flex our spaces to have two revenue streams. One revenue stream is private, on-demand workspace available for instant booking by the hour or day, which was the initial model of the business. The other is private, turnkey, flexible office suites.
To dive a little deeper, other flexible workspace companies focus on larger spaces. WeWork, by comparison, can be up to 50,000 or 60,000 square feet, if not more. But most of the demand on an annualized basis is for smaller spaces — the average lease is about 3,000-5,000 square feet. And that’s our sweet spot. We focus on companies that need about 2,000-10,000 square feet of space with their own branding for a HQ or regional office. There’s much larger leasing volume in this segment of the market, and catering to that market allows us to grow methodically and strategically with an eye toward profitability, which we have in sight by the end of 2020.
What keeps clients coming back to Breather?
Ninety percent of customers believe a Breather office is substantially better than their previous office. It really boils down to the quality of private office experience, customer service and the unmatched flexibility we offer for private office space.
All of our locations are fully built out and furnished by our in-house team. We have an excellent interior design and procurement team that focuses on modern, clean designs and resilient materials that will hold up to commercial use wear and tear. We also constantly incorporate customer feedback to make adjustments to our space experience.
What is Breather’s design philosophy?
We maintain a cohesive modern design standard across our portfolio that appeals to the majority of the innovative and growth-stage companies that turn to Breather. In fact, for people under the age of 35, 75 percent reported that a Breather office would increase their likelihood of accepting a job offer.
We turn to research into workplace design and behavioral science to help ensure we’ve accounted for best practices when it comes to natural light in our spaces, the ratio of meeting spaces to dedicated work areas, a good mix of spaces for small meetings and larger ones, private kitchenettes and eating areas — considerations like that.
As a result, we make it simple for our customers. When they plan for move in, it’s not about a lot of customizations and planning. It’s about moving into a great space so they can get to work.
Who should turn to Breather for space?
That’s the interesting part of our business — really any working company or team could likely have a Breather need at some point.
On the flexible office side, the majority of our customers are growing tech companies and professional services firms that use Breather for everything from a private HQ, regional office, spillover space, or temporary team or project space. They want private space to benefit company culture without the commitment of a lease.
On the on-demand workspace side, we get a full gamut from small to large, enterprise-size companies looking for private space for hours, days or weeks — for off-site workshops, trainings, board meetings, or client presentations. Anything that would require a private meeting space and would benefit from a beautifully designed, dedicated space.
Has everything that’s happened recently with WeWork changed how Breather views the future of the industry?
We have a very different business model. For one thing, we’re not a coworking provider. Second, our north star as a business is responsible growth with a path to profitability. We have over 16,000 customers and are thoughtful and methodical about building spaces in locations where there is demand by our customer base.
What is the long-term vision for Breather?
Our mission is to build a great business that provides frictionless access to flexible, productive space that enables people to reach their full potential at work. The path to building a great company is clear to us. It’s meeting client demand and ensuring that processes are established to get us there. That’s what we’re really embarking on through meeting customer demand and taking a strategic approach, and all with an aim toward profitability.