A year in review: In 2021, we tripled our global presence
It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since our last year in review. Back then, we were proud to share some major achievements, such as our deployment in 53 new properties and hiring over 20 new team members. But while last year was full of both challenge and accomplishment, 2021 has been an even bigger trip around the Sun for us!
The theme of our year
A central theme we embraced in 2021 was transformation. As our co-founder and CEO Lukas Balik explains, “the need for digitalization of the real estate industry grew significantly in 2021, as a result, digital transformation and tenant experience are a business imperative.”
We have always thought this applies equally to commercial buildings, residential ones, and the mixed-use properties that unite the two, and this year we expanded our presence across each property type globally.
As we worked to take Spaceflow to the next level through the year and in preparation for an even greater 2022, the new generation of Spaceflow will mark a high point for our entire team. “The next generation of Spaceflow is already live with a few first select projects and will be fully launched next year,” comments Lukas. The main purpose is to provide the market with a 100% modular product, which empowers landlords to roll out one digital platform to the whole portfolio of living and working spaces and properties. “The new generation allows for customizing features according to their needs and use cases,” says Lukas.
It includes optimized easy-to-use dashboards that make visualizing property information easier for managers, brand new features like our Document Management System and upgraded features like Ticketing, Vendors, Access Control System and Visitor Management System. Every new module that we will be launching was carefully planned to offer maximum impact, giving people the spaces and services they need, when they need them.
Spaceflow’s most successful year commercially
Jan Jilek, co-founder and CCO, says that 2021 was by far Spaceflow’s most successful year commercially. Over the course of the year we brought on 12 new clients including Orange Capital Partners, HIH Real Estate, and Xior for a total of 130 new buildings across office, mixed-use, and multifamily property types. We also finalized our plans to roll out Spaceflow at one of the top 10 largest landlords in Europe.
Even more strikingly, Spaceflow tripled the size of its business in 2021. We think it stands as testament to both the importance of digitalization and the value and resilience of Spaceflow’s product offering that we were able to bring on such a large volume of business despite the lingering impacts of COVID-19.
While supporting our business development goals, Spaceflow marketing launched a series of new initiatives in 2021 aimed at educating the market and getting us ready for even bigger things in 2022. That includes an overall focus on more data-driven marketing strategies and content, and the launch of a series of LinkedIn Live events featuring expert interviews and important lessons for the international real estate community.
“We were able to maintain 360-degree marketing operations with a lean team and manage all our marketing activities internally to prepare for the next year. In 2022, our team will scale,” Petr Boruta, Head of Marketing, says.
The technology at the heart of our success
Bringing on all that new business comes with behind-the-scenes challenges. While onboarding some of our biggest clients and growing our international team, we also pivoted to a module-oriented approach. According to Milan Mimra, Spaceflow’s CTO, “With all the demand accelerated by the need to digitize buildings operations during the pandemic, we needed to keep our focus on the right things while continuously improving our way of working tight with the team growth.”
Expanding and reshaping the customer success team
While our own team was grappling with the impacts of COVID-19, our clients were also facing their own pandemic-era challenges, particularly in terms of limited occupancy in commercial buildings. This issue is one that Anna Gäfvert Veloso, our Head of Community Management, has been tracking very closely. According to Anna, “We remained successful in engaging occupiers remotely in the new reality of hybrid working." In response, we tailored our customer success efforts to help offices bounce back while helping residential buildings expand in the new hybrid reality where people blend leisure with work.
2021 has been a year of development for the team, becoming key influencers internally and stronger partners for every customer that comes on board. “We’re reshaping the team to deliver a differentiated value to both tenants and customers, Anna says. “Hence, customer success management will be the new norm within our team, while community management will be available in select locations. We’re looking forward to growing the team in 2022 and continuing on our journey to build a customer experience culture across the company.”
Spaceflow fully embraced a hybrid working routine
While we were busy evolving our own product and services in 2021, the lingering impacts of COVID-19 prompted us to become more flexible and creative than ever before.
An excellent example of this came from our HR team. Andrea Marettova, Office Manager & HR Support for Spaceflow, grappled with the challenge of continued social distancing rules while also working to begin bringing people back together once the coronavirus vaccine had rolled out. Andy hosted several virtual coffee mornings, sports events, and “fun o’clock” social events for that.
At our offices in Prague and London, we introduced a hybrid scheme and dedicated team days for better interdepartmental collaboration.
A centerpiece of Andrea’s strategy was a comprehensive team survey, which focused on surveying our team on important issues like bridging the gap between our on-site and remote teams, diversity, communication, and professional development. The insights gained from the survey are helping us become a better company to work for.
Andy was also busy overseeing the digital onboarding of several important new roles on the team, including Engineers, a new Digital Marketing Specialist, new Business Development Team members, a Market Research Specialist and our new VP of Sales.
As we move into 2022, we are absolutely excited and hopeful for what the new year will bring.
We’re particularly enthusiastic about the scaling of our team, the rollouts to portfolios across Europe and our ESG initiatives. As climate change continues to be a global issue and real estate construction and operation accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions, landlords and proptech companies must act now. Spaceflow itself launched our new FLOW extension and other sustainability activities to empower landlords and tenants on their journey to reach net-zero targets and create sustainable building communities.
With much of our 2021 spent preparing for the next phase of our company’s evolution, we look forward to learning from our challenges and celebrating our victories together.