How SMEs can turn their venues into revenue

Eric Shoup, CEO, Peerspace on the potential for monetising your unused spaces
Eric Shoup
A meeting
A previously under-used space now hosts conferences

Space is a significant asset for most businesses. Whether it’s an office, a hotel, studio, restaurant, or bar, space is often one of the most valuable–and expensive–assets for small businesses. In challenging economic conditions, additional expenses like rising interest rates and soaring energy bills can really add up. One factor to consider: is this space working as hard as it could be, or are there other avenues to make money from the space itself? Many small businesses generate income outside of their primary income stream by listing their space for events, meetings, or media productions. Online marketplaces promote your offering to an existing target audience full of potential customers. Getting started is simple and there’s no cost to list your space.

Small businesses with unused desks, studios, meeting rooms, or even outdoor space to spare can list these spaces to rent online by the hour. Renting your space out used to be a major hassle, requiring a lot of coordination with potential guests, establishing legal agreements for using the space, and investing heavily in promoting the space to begin reaching an audience. Online marketplaces make it easy to connect with guests and manage your bookings all in one place. In the last few years, many companies shifted to a hybrid or remote work model, many online first businesses launched, and content creation has continued to grow, creating more demand for creative, and affordable hourly space rentals. At Peerspace, we have seen small businesses including restaurants, bars, fitness studios, stores, and art galleries, among others, put their spaces to work for them during hours when they’d otherwise be closed.

How can SME’s list their space?

Listing a space for rent is a straightforward process. Once you have chosen the space to list and the type of events you can offer (a meeting? A photoshoot?) you can set hours and availability that suit you and your business. This means bookings can be flexible and work to your schedule - rent from an hour to a full day. It’s important you set these criteria up front and be clear on the type of bookings you are able to receive.

Step 1: List your space for free – set price, upload high quality photos and provide plenty of information in your listing. There’s no cost to list a space

Step 2: Welcome guests to your space – When guests inquire, you can coordinate securely on Peerspace, accept the booking, and prepare to host guests

Step 3: Receive payment - Guests are charged through Peerspace’s secure payment system. Your payout will be directly deposited after each booking

Some of the most successful hosts consider the following:

· Great photography – Invest in high quality, well-lit photos that show off the best features of the space

· Clear information – Make sure your listing is clear about what extras you have, including AV equipment, lighting, and speakers. Have your space set up and ready for guests to use

· Welcome package – Providing a welcome note and instructions for using the space creates a great first impression and shows you are thinking of your customer and their needs

· Be available – Ensure guests know how to reach you during the booking in case questions arise

· Be yourself! – A great host leaves a smile putting you top of mind for any repeat bookings, recommendations and reviews

As soon as you are live, you are up and running and ready to receive bookings. Peerspace venues receive on average 10 enquiries per month globally.

Depending on the activities you’d like to host, there are a few administrative considerations to take into account. For example, any events involving alcohol require 18+ legal requirements, and if a business does not own the space itself but rents it, owners will have to consult their individual contractual agreements before listing. Small business owners want to ensure their space is respected and cared for, and providing peace of mind is important to us. We provide $1 million supplemental general liability insurance coverage for every booking, all hosts and guests using Peerspace are required to adhere to our Community Guidelines, and we have a trust and safety team hard at work behind the scenes to make sure hosts and guests have a great experience.

By diversifying your offering, turning unused spaces into sought-after spaces for creative opportunities, like meetings, events and photo shoots, small businesses can help future-proof against quieter cashflow periods and access an existing pool of eager customers wanting to book. Take your existing assets, and turn a budget drainer into a budget booster.

Written by
Eric Shoup
CEO, Peerspace
May 19, 2023
Written by
May 19, 2023