REA Group, the News Corp-backed company behind digital property marketplace realestate.com.au, has announced the launch of Spacely, a new platform focused on helping Australian businesses find short-term commercial rental properties and coworking spaces.
Spacely offers businesses looking for a short-term location to work the ability to discover ‘space listings’.
Using a location search, customers can find spaces designed for creative, retail or general office work, and also hire areas styled for events and meetings. Each space lists the minimum term it can be rented for, ranging from as little as one hour for a tiny meeting space, to one month for a furnished city office.
REA Group’s Executive General Manager, Joseph Lyons, said the marketplace was designed as a response to the rising trend of Australian businesses looking to find shorter-term office space.
“The nature of work is changing and there are a growing number of short-term commercial spaces for rent or lease in Australia. The current difficulty is they are spread across multiple websites depending on location and type of space,” he said.
Accessing spaces with shorter minimum terms is becoming increasingly relevant for Australia’s growing startup ecosystem, with small to medium scale teams exposed to fluctuations in cash flow and employee count. The pricing slope of a traditional office space isn’t exactly affordable for a startup either, with the cost of an office in Sydney or Melbourne CBD rising each year.
Following this trend, Tracey Fellows, REA Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said Spacely would offer exactly what Australian businesses are looking for.
“With almost 600,000 Australian businesses renting a short-term commercial space last year alone, there is a clear opportunity to make it easier for Australians to find the solution that’s right for them,” Fellows said.
Also looking to expand its listing opportunities in other markets, REA Group earlier this year announced the acquisition of Indian real estate platform PropTiger for US$50 million (AU$67 million). With India expected to become the world’s third largest real estate market by 2030 thanks to its 1 billion-plus and growing population, Fellows said at the time the acquisition formed part of the company’s international growth strategy.
“REA invests in companies that are leaders in their markets. The joint entity will have access to REA Group’s expertise and know-how from its operations across the globe,” she said.
The opportunity in Asia had been in REA Group’s sights for some time, with the company also acquiring a stake in digital real estate company iProperty, a platform operating in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand, last February.
Currently in beta, Spacely has already secured a number of listings across Australia’s major cities, with spaces from OfficeHub, Servcorp and Regus available for rent, as well as coworking space at Inspire9, Gravity and The Workery.
Image: Tracey Fellows. Source: heraldsun.com.au