The world of renting office space can be a little confusing at first so we want to clear up where we stand in the market. Below we've compiled a set of questions that friends, clients, providers and investors often ask us.
What does Upmo do?
We’re a digital platform that provides you with everything you need to find your ideal office all without engaging a broker.
We’ve got an incredibly powerful search that allows you to find and compare spaces from all the providers of serviced office space across London.
Once you’ve found one you like, we’ll connect you directly with that provider so that you can either book a viewing or simply start chatting with them.
All that’s left for you to do after that is to negotiate a deal, sign a contract and move in.
What do you charge for all this?
For now we’re doing this entirely for free. No fees, no hidden commission. Nothing.
This means that unlike other websites where the brokers make at least 10% from the provider on every deal they sign, you’ll have 10% more to negotiate with. Why pay a broker thousands of pounds when you can manage the process yourself with the aid of our simple tools and pocket the difference?
How does your platform work?
We’ve kept things simple. Our intuitive search will scour all the serviced offices across London and will return results that match.
Once you’ve found one you like, you can shortlist the buildings to compare them or add them to a viewings planner to create a tour of multiple buildings.
We’ll help you book your viewings and connect you directly with the provider.
Once you’ve been to see a few places you’ll receive offers from your providers.
And then all that’s left to do is negotiate, sign and move in.
What areas do you cover?
The entire London serviced office market.
Right now we only deal with London but we’re working on expanding our reach to other areas and regions in the UK.
Our ambitions don’t stop there though. Because we don’t have any agents, we plan to be in Europe and US within the next 2 years.
What types of offices do you deal with?
We deal exclusively with serviced offices. This includes co-working spaces, managed offices, flexible office space etc.
These offices offer the best solution for companies returning to work, who want flexibility and do not want to enter into long leases.
You won’t find any long leases on our site.
We’ve chosen to go down this route because traditional leases are complex and are best dealt with through an office advisor or a broker. They do not suit the self-serving model that we operate on our platform.
Serviced offices on the other hand are simple contracts that don’t need an expert and can be complete in hours. There is no need for a broker and as such we list all providers of this type of space on our platform.
It’s also worth mentioning that serviced offices can cater for all companies large and small. We’ve seen large banks take up multiple floors of a serviced office complete with kitchens, private meeting rooms, breakout spaces.
What's included in a serviced office
Serviced offices are designed to remove the hassle of managing an office and so wrap up all the costs into one simple monthly fee.
While this does depend on the provider a little bit - and you should always check what’s included - the following is typically part of the package:
- The rent, business rates and service charge.
- Furniture, although if you have your own most providers will allow you to bring this in.
- Cleaning and maintenance of the property.
- Utilities including water, gas, electricity and…
- Internet (although if you need a dedicated line or additional bandwidth this is usually extra)
Most providers also offer the following:
- Use of communal spaces such as break out spaces, lounge areas, kitchens and quiet spaces such as phone booths.
- Use of meeting rooms. While some have these included for free, most offer a small number of credits as part of your monthly fee.
- Reception and concierge services are usually included although in smaller centres this is often an automated services rather than an on-site presence.
How long does it take to complete the process
In theory you can find and move into a serviced office space in a day or two, but usually it takes a little longer, especially if you have a large requirement. Even if you don’t, we’d recommend starting the process a month or two ahead of time. Mostly this is so that you have plenty of opportunity to see what’s out there in the market before you settle on a place. As a rule of thumb we typically recommend going to see at least 6-8 spaces.
Unless you have an incredibly large or complex requirement it is unlikely that the Providers will allow you to sign for a vacant space more than 6 to 10 weeks ahead of time, so starting your search any sooner might actually lead to disappointment unless of course you’re just wanting to get a feel for what’s out there in the market.
It’s worth noting that this timeframe is specific to serviced offices. If you go to other sites where you might find traditional leases you will likely have to plan for 6-8 months.