Do we need the middle man?

In our line of work, we often find ourselves asking a similar question. Is there any point in the middle man? Can we do everything in house? As a co-working space, attempting to welcome businesses of all shapes and sizes into our community, this question often applies to the agencies that we work alongside. These agencies help us to attract a diverse range of businesses and freelancers and get the word out about the community we are creating here at AW.

However, by combining strong branding, a presence on social media and boosting recommendations, do modern companies need agencies? Is the role of the middle man, now in fact, obsolete?

At AW, we place significant emphasis upon building a brand identity and cultivating a philosophy. Whilst we may not be at the size and scale of some of our competitors, we have a strong personality, based upon smaller, friendly and welcoming co-working spaces. Greg and I work every day out of our King’s Cross branch and are accessible, chatty presences within the office. Through Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and our weekly blog on our website we try and sell this philosophy, promoting what we feel makes us stand out as a co-working community.

However, despite our strong in-house marketing and social media presence, it can be difficult for a small business like us to breakthrough the monopolies that dominate Google searches. The biggest co-working spaces and letting agencies tend to dominate search engines, possessing the necessary capital to be able to do so.

Therefore, a combination of strong in-house marketing and the help of external letting agents works best in our view. Whilst being an expense, these agencies get our growing brand on the map, giving potential members of our community access to what we’re building here at AW.

Despite the help of agencies, it is still important that small businesses like ours maintain a strong brand identity. All that an agency, or middle man in general, can do is unlock existing potential. This potential is created through a strong, well-marketed vision within the company, and distinctive features that set it apart from competitors.

As we grow bigger as a brand, hoping to create more co-working communities in line with our vision of modern professional life, we see ourselves as middle men of a sort. We aim to help landlords to nourish the potential in their office spaces. The corporate world is changing and gone are the days where a landlord can simply rent office space out to a major company for the next decade. Flexible, hybrid co-working is here to stay, and we aim to help landlords to future-proof their investments for a changing environment, by converting offices into co-working communities.

Whether it’s a brand, idea or building with potential, sometimes a middle man is needed to realise a vision. Agencies are important to us in terms of getting the word out to potential co-workers. Similarly, we help to put some of London’s best office spaces on the map, modernising them for a changing climate, by incorporating them under the AW brand.