Is Peerspace destroying your studio rental business?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but ever since Peerspace and all these other platforms for listing rental spaces have started popping up, my rental business has gone down hill and I am strongly considering closing up shop. Just like Amazon, these companies are driving up competition while at the same time driving down prices for the renters while my real estate rental prices are still going up. Renters are expecting more for less and unfortunately some people are giving it to them. I myself have dramatically lowered my prices to compete with other local rentals and unfortunately haven’t seen any increase in traffic. A recipe for disaster is what they’ve cooked up for us while they keep taking finders fees, decreasing our income even more. I know I wont be able to survive charging those prices and still getting very little from these platforms. I hate to say it but I don’t think I can make it work any more, after over 10 years of managing a successful rental business I am going to have to shut down and I don’t think Peerspace gives a flying #$%^!

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I hear you loud and clear. There are many…but that said, I think Peerspace still does it the best. They deliver, by far, the most inquiries and provide a near seamless experience.

It seems that lots more people are going into this business or deciding to list their existing spaces. We can do what we can do, but to me, it’s up to Peerspace to dominate the field and have that be the “go to” platform.

It’s such a bummer how things online get oversaturated these days. Here in LA I’m sure the location companies are for sure suffering because of cutting them out of the booking process. Peerspace is interesting, they want you to share your links and tweet your listing on social media. I don’t dare share our info unless screening any inquiries. Why do we want more competition? My social media account is focused on our 2 locations. I have received legitimate inquiries and sent the link along that have led to bookings, but I mostly get people that want to know how to rent their location out for production like we do. I pretty much say figure it out, especially with the huge decrease in bookings over the years.

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Peerspace is making our business. It’s responsible for around 40% of our rental revenue. The platform centralizes and streamlines the search for studio space and exposes more locations to more people than was possible 10 years ago. The reason it is thriving is because more people are shooting more video and photography than ever before on an exponential scale. If your business is decreasing, it may be because you’re not matching your offering with demand. People are looking for quick cheap solutions. If you are trying to compete for bare-bones requests with excessively premium options then you may need to rethink your operation.

Thanks for your reply. What is the primary use for your space? Do you allow alcohol and if so how can you? Our space was primarily a photo studio but now we get mostly party requests which I can only think would turn ugly at some point. I don’t know…, I do know i passed up about 20 NYE parties because of the risk something would go bad. We are in the middle of manhattan about 12 blocks from times square. I appreciate your advice.

There are positives and negatives to every business model, but ultimately, it’s the positives to the consumer that will dictate which business model will be the most successful.

May I have a link to your listing so I could make a couple of recommendations?

Cheers!

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Hi Anthony,
I’d say we get about 30% events, and we avoid straight up parties because it is a studio environment. Birthdays for under 30’s and dance partiers aren’t usually a good fit and result in a lot of cleaning, damage, and often sneak in alcohol.

We only allow alcohol if it’s lightweight, for instance a shoot we have booked in early February is providing champagne to a few of the VIP’s showing up and we find that’s lightweight enough to not cause problems, and we have hosted our own networking events where we offer beer and wine to guests in a professional social setting. We don’t allow guests to sell alcohol or give it away if they are selling tickets because it’s illegal without a liquor license.

We find we have a lot of photo and video shoots and workshops/training in our various rooms as well as a number of video clients and recreational photographers that use the studio on recurring monthly memberships.

It’s a small stage, only 20ft across with 8-ft side-walls in an 1100 sq/ft room, but it’s attached to a decent amount of productivity space, and we charge average rates for the area. The biggest factors for us have been convenience and proximity to clients. By clients I mean the clients of the professionals that rent our space. Offering memberships has allowed us to land both B2B clients for regular use as well as B2C clients. We’ve automated entry and don’t have to be there all the time either.

Finally, we’ve added a lot of semi-permanent lighting to our cyc as well as a dedicated sound system to create a backdrop useful for intimate music performances, small plays, and screenings. We’re able to hit a lot of markets and fill a lot of time slots that way.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Chris

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I own a 5,000 sq ft studio space in Brooklyn. Peerspace is also making my business better. I list on other platforms, but I get far more inquiries (and bookings) on here than elsewhere.

I do allow events, but, after 2 years of trial and error, I’ve dialed in my threshold for the hassle that comes with them.

In the end, Peerspace is simply one way to attract clients. Instagram, Facebook, other platforms, email marketing, snail mail marketing, word of mouth referrals, etc, etc, should be factored into your efforts to gain clients. If you’re relying on Peerspace to save your business, you’re doing it wrong.

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