I Created An Airbnb For Startups In NYC & Make $3.6M/Yr

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Whats up! Who’re you, and what enterprise did you begin?

I’m Lucas Seyhun. I’m the founding father of one of many earliest New York Metropolis coworking areas, The Farm Soho, established in 2014. In contrast to most of our opponents (don’t wish to give any names), we adopted the reasonably priced workspace mannequin which turned our gas each earlier than and throughout the pandemic.

We primarily began specializing in early-stage startups, solopreneurs, or digital nomads to construct a spot for them to name dwelling, within the coronary heart of New York Metropolis, by slashing costs to lower than half of what our competitions have been providing.

Now we cater to all these in addition to established companies discovering the agility and cost-effectiveness of versatile workplace house rental versus standard lengthy leases; and in addition to occasion organizers in want of distinctive areas backed up by skilled help.

What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

At some point as I used to be sitting in my 2,700-square foot loft with none furnishings, I used to be dreaming about turning the property into an ‘unauthorized’ Airbnb. After I was on the verge of executing, certainly one of my closest mates requested me “why don’t you do an Airbnb for startups?” I responded, “Is it unlawful?” and the reply was no.

Unintentionally and magically, The Farm Soho ended up changing into one of many earliest coworking areas in New York Metropolis. Nonetheless, we knew so little about advertising and marketing and so we weren’t in a position to purchase any members.

Typically, if you happen to’re working an organization with money move limitations, you are inclined to gravitate in direction of short-term income simply that will help you to outlive, though that call can harm you in the long term.

After numerous time on Google and watching related YouTube movies, we realized the best way to conquer advertising and marketing which finally served to position us on the map in our business. We got here by with restricted assets, the uncertainty of having the ability to pay the following month’s hire, alongside numerous sleepless nights and worry of failure. We did our greatest to study the enterprise to the extent that was required to achieve and retain new clients.

Now, quick ahead to eight years later, after coming by the worst of the pandemic and with an enormous toll on our membership portfolio, now we have survived to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel. Submit pandemic coworking has develop into some of the in-demand providers within the New York business actual property business and we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize.

Take us by the method of designing the operation

In 2015, after a 12 months working an IKEA-furnished prototype operation, we not solely assembled furnishings, we additionally assembled the way forward for the Farm.

Nonetheless, on a shoestring finances, a visit to the farmlands of Southern Missouri led us to a century-old barn that we set about dismantling and changing to supplies for our furnishings, tables, chairs, and different props required for the house. It was a mammoth process, however the result’s an natural coworking atmosphere impressed by nature amid a bustling metropolis – The Farm Soho, situated at 447 Broadway only a half-block south of Grand Road within the coronary heart of NYC, is a really particular, distinctive place.


Our Farm Soho East is situated inside a traditional NYC landmark constructing within the coronary heart of Nolita, on 188 Grand Road. It gives absolutely furnished non-public workplaces to full branded flooring, with a number of non-public telephone cubicles, and a rooftop house superb for occasions.

And our latest house is Nomad, a fusion of Americana-inspired and minimalist industrial design. It’s situated in New York’s burgeoning high-tech enterprise district, at 1178 Broadway in Midtown, and gives non-public workplaces, customized full-floors, and a soothing lounge space.

Describe the method of launching The Farm Soho.

As a founder, I spearheaded the development day-to-day, staying on high of each little element – which included personally loading 30 huge tables and driving them throughout the nation. No job is simply too insignificant when you’re a founder.

The whole operation was funded by exhausting work and just a little bit of money that we gained from our early-stage advertising and marketing. Subsequently, The Farm is a real do-it-yourself coworking house – accepted in fact by consultants to make sure probably the most rigorous security requirements.

Since launch, what has labored to draw clients?

To make use of the time period coined by Invoice Gates, ‘content material is king.’ As a main technique of attracting members, now we have centered numerous assets on producing skilled, well-crafted, informative, unique content material to each inform our story and share our imaginative and prescient.

Our keyword-rich, high-traffic weblog options content material of actual worth to entrepreneurs, startups, location unbiased professionals aka digital nomads, occasion organizers, and the like. Our posts are cited throughout the online, so we’re gaining a strong fame as an authoritative supply of data on coworking, versatile workplace options, beginning and rising a enterprise, managing distant groups, internet hosting occasions, and the whole lot associated in-between.

Pondering and performing as if you’re your buyer is essential. If you happen to don’t, you’ll by no means perceive why they purchased your product or extra importantly why they did not. When you perceive the ‘why’, then you’ll perceive how they’re trying to find you – and supply the data they want.

Are they trying to find you on social media? Are they simply responding to advertisements? Are they utilizing their laptops and iPads? Are they discovering you of their iPhones however then going again to their desktops to click on that ‘buy’ button? Do they wish to see your product earlier than shopping for or would they fairly buy with out speaking to anybody?

As you’ll be able to see, considering as if you’re the shopper is crucial for any advertising and marketing technique.

What we understood was that there was a spot between a conventional coworking house and a espresso store, the place a espresso store can’t provide the flexibility of utilizing it as a homely house whereas coworking areas offer you useful options resembling dependable web, convention rooms, quietness, and naturally a vibrant and various group. So we determined to fuse each of those settings as our anchor providing and as soon as we understood that, we knew the best way to start telling our story.

Phrase of mouth has additionally been an actual boon to our enterprise – a lot of our members have come to us on account of suggestions, in order that’s an excellent signal that we’re doing it proper.

Other than studying your clients’ habits, what has been your high technique to maintain folks coming again for extra?

Handy areas, ease of on-line reserving, full transparency with no-obligation excursions, 24/7 entry, devoted help employees, immaculately maintained and absolutely outfitted areas, an atmosphere that feels uniquely natural, a well-nurtured group offering great alternatives for networking and collaboration, availability of digital mailbox, HR and different providers.

And naturally the array of versatile choices we offer, the whole lot from day passes, sizzling desks, and devoted desks to convention rooms, non-public and full-floor workplaces, and occasion areas that may be repurposed for any event, whether or not it’s a proper or casual gathering.

We additionally host occasions of actual worth to startups with consultants in a variety of fields, and equally routinely create alternatives for networking to actively encourage collaboration amongst our members. We aren’t simply making areas obtainable, we’re serving to our group to work together with like-minded folks, generate leads, study new tips, develop their companies. Our final goal is to domesticate success – if we’re going to succeed, we have to present an ecosystem that makes it simpler for our members to succeed.

How are you doing immediately and what does the longer term appear to be?

Our occupancies will quickly attain pre-pandemic ranges, however with one compromise: the costs have been dramatically decreased. Nonetheless, the way forward for actual property in New York Metropolis goes to be short-term leases of serviced workplaces.

With our present portfolio, we’re attracting bigger gamers within the startup tech ecosystem. Alongside our advertising and marketing efforts, phrase of mouth is changing into one other gravitating think about motivating startups to develop into Farm members.

We predict that throughout the subsequent 12 months, in 2022, we’ll attain and cross pre-pandemic income alongside sure anticipated progress that we plan so as to add to our portfolio.

What profit has hindsight given you?

My greatest remorse has been prioritizing short-term income over long-term acquire. Typically, if you happen to’re working an organization with money move limitations, you are inclined to gravitate in direction of short-term income simply that will help you to outlive, though that call can harm you in the long term. Reminiscent of scaring away clients who’ve deeper pockets that would carry you to the following stage of revenue. However it’s a double-edged sword. It’s only a query of survival vs. imaginative and prescient.

Subsequently, I’d advise anybody launching a brand new challenge, enterprise, or startup, to all the time have ample finance. As a result of when you begin working out of cash, the worry will begin controlling your organization, which means that you’re not in cost and that may put you in very harmful territory.

What platforms/instruments do you employ for your enterprise?

Zapier, Zapier, Zapier – it was important to combine our net functions to attain environment friendly advertising and marketing automation.

We love Google Sheets. We love Pipedrive. And just lately, we began falling in love with Asana and Trello. Trello is sweet as a result of it is tremendous customizable. Asana is proscribed but it surely offers a transparent perform to customers. And having mentioned this, we most likely might have been utilizing the entire instruments extra successfully – however we’re studying quick!

My newest time-saving discovery is Loom! By no means ship an e mail. All the time ship a video. Loom saves you the 30-minutes it could take to put in writing an e mail when, for instance, you want to describe the way you need a widget to be positioned in your web site – a 4-minute video makes the whole lot far more clear. If time is cash, Loom has saved us a fortune!

What e-book has most affected your management model?

I like actionable and result-driven steps. One e-book that gave me that in recent times is: The way to speak to anybody: 92 Little Tips for Huge Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes.

Not solely did it illuminate the rules of navigating a convention, but it surely additionally helped me perceive easy human conduct with suggestions that I might use throughout negotiations, interviews, or every other managerial duties that I encounter in my day-to-day work. I extremely advocate it – it’s a game-changer.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?

If I knew this on the earlier phases of my startup, it could have been a lot, a lot better for me: psychological well being, mindfulness, and bodily well being are of equal significance to what number of hours you’re employed.

As a result of you’ll by no means work on the identical velocity and the identical charge. Your focus will range. However the stronger your underlying bodily and psychological well being, the extra probably you’ll develop into a simpler chief. The usual of your work goes to range relying on how you’re feeling.

For the primary 12 months, you’re going to sacrifice your work-life stability. So you must ensure that what you’re about to do is the love of your life. Would you marry right into a relationship that isn’t fulfilling? Since you’ll be married to this job; this place, this firm that you just’re constructing could also be with you for the remainder of your life – if you happen to get it proper, in fact. So take into account this relationship rigorously and ensure it is precisely what you need.

Are you trying to rent for sure positions proper now?

We’re specializing in scalability so knowledge entry and advertising and marketing have gotten increasingly essential for us. We’re additionally implementing the Belief however confirm, reward system, which means: ensuring your staff are adhering to process and correctly executing their duties. In the event that they do, they’re rewarded and in the event that they don’t, properly, they’re not.

We’re additionally at the moment growing our advertising and marketing staff as a result of we wish to develop from simply promoting coworking areas to thrilling new services which are on the verge of being launched. Keep tuned!

The place can we go to study extra?

You may verify us out on Fb, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus you can too go to our official web site for extra info and to order your house.


Lucas Seyhun
Founding father of The Farm Soho

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