Curious what everyone's plans are for sticking it out as an event or production venue?

Curious what everyone’s plans are for sticking it out ? Thought it might be nice to talk to each other about how others are working thru or reworking or rethinking? What are you posting to build connections or content? Or perhaps we can connect over ideas?

Hope everyone is safe and well.
Trish- NYC

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As always, we ended up blessed with ‘survivor’s guilt’. My fiancee’s mother owned a clothing factory before all this and we all came up with the idea of selling face masks. I’m a former CNA, so I helped design them and gave critique on the fit and function and we ended up with some extremely high quality masks - 100% cotton with a filter pocket and an adjustable nose bridge bar and a REALLY REALLY well made design.

We converted part of the downstairs of our loft into a factory and hired remote workers to sew, in addition to my family sewing and packing orders.

We ended up not only successful, but we broke every sales record that Etsy had (the orders were coming in so fast that I had to turn the store off).

Etsy freaked out and held our money because they never saw anything like this before, but today they deposited the equivalent of around 4 months of regular income.

We then got a request from a hospital so large that I nearly freaked (they haven’t booked us yet though) and I am applying to make PPE for fema.

Anything can happen, but we are probably done with rentals.

Our plans are to make as much money as we can in the next month or two and then flee the city and buy a small ranch or farm or something.

After moving, I’ll go into podcasting and voiceovers in the basement. My fiancee’s family has experience as fishermen and farmers, so everything works out too such a degree that I could not believe it.

I believe that infections will slow down in the summer, but then come back worse than ever in the fall.

Please stay safe everyone. Just stay safe :frowning:

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Wow! Deacon, what a story! Completely unexpected. Congrats for making a good situation out of a dire one and so fortunate to have connected to sell to others in need at this time. Hope you can outfit the hospitals and first responders too. I had been trying to encourage a friend to do the same but she wasn’t so motivated. Disappointing for sure but interesting how you are completely transforming. Would love to hear more if you wanted to DM me. I’m feeling ya! Stay safe & healthy.

Well Trish, Aside from making facemasks and protective clothing and taking advantage of a pandemic, which i understand is something that people “need” at this time. Personally, I would leave that up the big boys like 3M who makes hundreds of millions a year, as opposed to 500 designer masks for the pretentious. I like yourself, am in the studio rental business in new york city, I pay high rent of about $8k per month, and my business is pretty much shot. In addition to websites like peerspace and Splacer forcing us to lower our prices to ridiculous levels just to compete with the other spaces they have listed on their websites. On top of that, they take a cut and we’re left with the change! I get a few rentals from these websites but not enough to justify the relationship, but we dont have a choice, or do we? Collectively, like the restaurants with seamless and grubhub, we should all boycott and rely on organic leads where like in the old days. Just venting, but truth be told, the business is shot, no events in the foreseeable future, just rent… I hope peerspace and splacer go down as well, as they should. But unfortunately these are all privately funded venture capitol deals, so they’ll just raise more money and some small / rich individuals will make or lose money, no big deal. We lose no matter what. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, fortunately i started my rental business as a side business, so i will get by, i just need to get rid of my space and scale back to only what i need for production. so unfortunately, I’m not feeling ya! Would be nice to collaborate like the VC’s, I’m always interested in a good idea and I think I have many, just no like minded entrepreneurs like myself who can invest now and handle not making money for 6 - 12 months.

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Hi Anthony, I know you’re venting (and believe me, we are all feeling this in a big way right now), but I feel the need to step in and correct some of your disparagements about Peerspace and the broader host community:

  • Peerspace does not force hosts to charge a certain price point for any rental whatsoever. In fact, as a marketplace we rely on hosts to set a price that they are willing to accept bookings for. We do not control any inventory, nor do we own any space on the platform. While some guests are price-sensitive, much of our customer research tells us that location and aesthetic are the top contributing factors for booking spaces.
  • Peerspace has always been transparent about what fees we charge when a booking is confirmed. For hosts, your payout is always 85% of your list price. If you want to charge $100 an hour, you get $85. We feel (and continue to believe) that a 15% commission is warranted for the millions of dollars we spend marketing spaces on the platform, and the many talented engineers, marketers, host teams, and customer experience agents we employ to build the product and provide the services that bring so many guests your way.
  • Yes, Peerspace has been funded by sweat, and eventually by outside investment which has allowed us to build and grow the platform. Like most startups, we are not profitable despite our best efforts, and COVID-19 has cut business for all hosts (and Peerspace, by extension) very deeply. This situation really sucks. There are no winners in this. But we built Peerspace because we wanted to bring people together in partnership with our hosts in cities all over the country. That is still our mission, and it’s worth it to think big in that context.

I’m sorry that your experience to date with Peerspace, and our team’s efforts to partner with you have been sub par. Perhaps you will relish in the idea of Peerspace going out of business and our team out of work, as you say. Perhaps you don’t really mean it. I’m giving everyone a little benefit of the doubt in these times.

I hope that you will come out of this in the best shape possible, with your space and with your health. And I wish that for all Peerspace hosts and thank them for the years of support and partnership they’ve provided. I look forward to continuing that relationship with you all as we fight our way through this difficult period.

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Hi Trish!

I have a 1000 sq/ft loft in SoHo and have run it for almost 2 years now. I’m super optimistic about a lot, but, realistically, anyone who thinks they’ll be able to rent space for any sort of gathering in NYC before the end of the year either isn’t living in actuality or lying. It just can’t happen safely. We have three months left on our lease and are going to let it go. Also, I don’t think the country, even most New Yorkers, realize how bad things are going to get. I don’t mean with the virus I mean with the collapse after. We are NOT ‘on pause’. ‘Pause’ means you pick up where you left off. Right now we’re in a free fall backwards. The President will do all he can to save the economy because it’s all he really has but it won’t be enough. How do I know all this? I’ve been an event co-ordinate for 50 Fortune 100 companies and I’ve been doing it for over a decade here in NYC and San Fran. Events are done. At least for the rest of the year. Nobody will be willing to put down a deposit for an event without a virus clause. But insurance companies don’t offer that. As soon as the first wave of SARs hit, all the insurance put clauses in their contracts for no payouts for viruses/pandemics. We will see a contraction in many ways. Some very challenging some very good. We’re going to see the death of a lot of platforms, such as Peerspace. WeWork is in a freefall right now and has stopped paying rent on some leases. This pay to play, platform takes a cut is going to get hit hard. As will we. So, in short, our space will close and we’ll explore the many other exciting opportunities that arise. But events in NYC are done for the rest of the year. They won’t be safe physically, financially or otherwise.

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HI Matthew,
I appreciate your viewpoint and am glad that my post has caught your attention. Let me first say that i have been renting studio space in nyc far longer than peerspace has existed, almost 20 years and only until the emergence of such companies, have i seen the decling in my business. I realize the founders and investors who created this platform are well aware of the consequences to the hosts when a 3rd party comes in and increases competition as opposed to leaving it up to the hosts to fight it out themselves through organic marketing strategies. While you are correct, in saying that PS “does not force hosts to charge a certain price point”. I am sure you are well aware that what ultimately happens due to the emergence of Peerspace and the likes, is that hosts are now inclined to drop prices due to the competition that has been brought to the surface only through your website. Before Peerspaces i was charging $175 for 2 hours + tax. Now I am charging through Peerspace $150 flat, I get $127, a 28% drop. So yes, you are correct, peerspace doesn’t force me to do anything, but you guys are smart enough to know what this is doing to small business owners like me. However you like to spin it, all’s fair…
As for the fee, sure you are transparent and I have no problem with people making money, I just wish it wasnt at my expense. I cant afford to operate at a loss like PS, I don’t have angel investors contributing as you say “millions of dollars”, I make about $80k, down from $150k average, far from the millions you get in funding and still don’t even make a profit. If you don’t think i built my company on sweat and my own hard earned money well then that’s being blatently tone deaf. It seems obvious that when a person sees an opportunity to exploit businesses and make a buck without actually participating in the bones of that business, it’s like getting a knock on your door and someone says “hey, if you want to keep renting space, you have to pay us because we’re bringing you customers, so if you want customers, you have to compete with everyone else who we’re taking care of as well”. So now i have to put a couch in my office cuz everyone else has one.
I realize you have an agenda to grow your business, and that is totally fine with me. Just like Amazon who will ultimately lead to downfall of all retail mom and pop shops, or anyone else they see in their path, they will conquer.
Matthew, I am venting and apparently you are too, which is why you replied to my post. You are bothered by this whole situation just like the rest of us. I would survive even with competition but with the pandemic, I am out of business like so many others in this industry. I don’t wish ill will on any particular person but we all fight against big business that drives down entrepreneurs like myself, they are our biggest competitors. Lucky for you, you get paid to reply to my post. Im putting this out there and i am not getting paid to do it. I’m on my couch at home as i have been from the past 5 weeks! Best of luck to you and yours, hopefully Trump can save us all? God help us!

Happy Easter / Happy Passover

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@Anthony_L & @Michael_C1 @Matthew_B

Thx so much for much needed feedback and experience. It’s really helpful to hear other experiences so as to be able to make informed choices. I’m feeling the above noted perspectives as well without question. It’s also helpful to see contributions regarding different business models ie. WeWork etc. @Michael_C1, do you have a go to business resource for keeping abreast of such info?

Not having a solution & interested in having the discussion, just to say that along with the exposure this business model provides, on some level it does dilute the gain being so widely compared to the competition & to be focused on the end of the line, consumer to platform income. Is there an in between solution? I recently received a notice that the avg income from a space listing similar to mine through these platforms was $600 a month. Clearly, no business can be sustained through such low numbers, (especially during difficult times). We all need at least that several times per week to survive, let alone profit.

Though I am not an expert, it does seem that web platforms in general are far more destructive to the middle man in so many independent businesses ie.) photo, artists, tech, developers, owner-renters, assistants, babysitters, and the list goes on), than say, a yellow pages listing would have been. I wonder how these platforms can innovate so that they along with us can be equally profitable? Maybe a shareholder option?

I agree we are owners of spaces, and although I hopefully can pivot as needed, it won’t be easy and I too may have to let my space go. : ( . Some people can make it through with the help of SBA loans and/or much bank behind them, the rest will close shop in a climate such as this. I guess that is the underbelly of capitalism.

I hope we hear from many more people on this platform to get a realistic cross section of how they weathered past challenges, & are handing current rough times to hear solutions or changes in the making. I’d love to hear when owners might feel they would be safe to offer rentals. I’m hoping to stay in the game on some level and it would be great to participate in and ongoing sharing of information. Thx to Peerspace for providing the community forum.

I’m also wondering how some of us NYC or regional peeps can come together. Who knows what will come of it. Please feel free to reach out if you are interested.

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Hi Everyone,
Thank you so much to the other hosts who are weighing in! This is indeed a very challenging and uncertain time for all of us and this forum is a welcome outlet for discussion. It is really great to hear what other hosts are planning to do and how you are coping with all of these challenges.
I am a Philadelphia host so my overhead isn’t as bad as hosts in NYC or SF, but my hourly prices are also lower. I was seeing a lot of growth through the Peerspace platform before the quarantine. Still, my prices were very low for the quality of my space and I still needed at least 10 bookings a month just to break even. This was a lot of work. Some days, I did feel exploited for the 15%. ALSO, it is really much more than 15% when you compare our payout to what to guest pays. It is more like 25-30% in reality with all the fees that Peerspace charges on top of my hourly rate.
I was also using the space for an emerging art collective, and Peerspace was a welcome business opportunity to help support the philanthropic venture. Still, I understand what some of the hosts are saying when they feel that Peerspace has basically had the same effect as Airbnb has had on hotels. It drives competition up and prices down. I also had an issue in the past with a guest who trashed my space and Peerspace was extremely insupportive, and asked me to pay out of pocket for repairs and send them an invoice within 3 days. Umm… just think about that. I was shocked by the lack of support from that incident but I digress… so much for their “insurance “ policy.
To answer the original thread, we are most likely closing up shop at the end of the month. It is just too risky to continue paying rent on a space that is unusable. I am going to try to hold out as long as possible for the sake of the Art Collective, but I don’t see things getting much better anytime soon. Even when the virus calms down, there won’t be enough demand for space rentals to keep us afloat. Even if the demand is there, people won’t have enough money to afford those kinds of luxury expenses.
So, most likely I will have to abandon my space and stop hosting. If things pick back up in the future, I would consider hosting again, but only if I found a better priced space to lease. As others have said, the profit margin is just too low as someone who leases the space they rent out. I believe that Peerspace as a whole will survive, along with its owner-hosts. Smaller fish in the pond will not be able to compete.
Thank you all for weighing in and I wish you all health in the coming weeks and months. Stay safe.

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@Liza_M thx for sharing and sorry to hear thar. Also sorry for my late reply. Please keep us updated and the same for anyone who wants to post here. It def helps to get a variety of solutions. Not fun to be an “extra” as things are but it seems like people are coming up with solutions. Guess, i’d shoot models thru plexi…

Us hosts all know the rental business has TANKED in the past 2 months. We haven’t had 1 rental since SIP started. We’re just hoping a forgivable PPP loan can get us thru to the other side of this crisis.

I’d be very curious to find out some demographics from PeerSpace as to which venues are still capable of renting during the SIP mandate? What types of rentals would PS even consider safe (or even legal) during this pandemic? And I’d like to know if PS will be able to put out any recommendations on how to make our spaces safer for our clients when we do open for business again?

What does everyone think?

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