Guest Post by Edward Moon, Growth Marketer, WhereiPark / Spacer Technologies

Technology has opened so many ways for people to connect, make friends, and do business. Since the advent of the Internet, we’ve seen people form communities of all sorts and envision new and revolutionary methods to succeed in the free market. The interconnectedness of the digital world also allows people to pool their resources like never before, sharing ideas, selling and loaning equipment, and influencing each other across long distances.

This willingness to collaborate and make sure our available resources don’t go to waste has been the foundation of the gig economy, the alternate asset economy, and the sharing economy. All three models have exploded in popularity in the past decade and could easily join forces to reshape the face of corporate property management for decades to come.

The gig economy is the best known of these three. Going back to rideshare services like Lyft and Uber, the gig economy refers to a system whereby individuals sell their services and skills on a per-use basis, or for every individual “gig.” A gig might be a ride to the airport, home repair or cleaning services, certain healthcare procedures like massage therapy, or various beauty treatments.

A gig economy worker pays a commission to an app that matches them with their customer, but they set their own hours and provide their own equipment. While not every sort of work is well-suited for gigging the gig economy has been a great tool to allow people to make money on their own terms.

The alternate asset economy is similar to the gig economy but rather than bill for their time as when gigging, individuals charge customers to use their resources. Using an app, a customer pays a resource owner to use that resource for a given period of time. Car-sharing apps are one example, though the most famous may be lodging rental app Airbnb. Airbnb and similar marketplaces let people monetize their unused assets such as living space, electronics, vehicles, parking, storage, and more.

Finally, the sharing economy describes a recent movement to reduce waste and build community by voluntarily pooling resources, swapping items, and giving away or loaning unused items to those who need them. Programs like Buy Nothing or the swap movement are both examples of the sharing economy.

Like the alternate asset economy, the sharing economy is a great way to keep valuable tools and assets from going to waste. Both of these economies can go hand-in-hand with the gig economy to create a world where corporate property managers are always leveraging their money-making possibilities to the fullest extent.

In the wake of COVID-19 many corporate spaces are going unused or underused. Many companies have switched to a hybrid or full work-from-home model, meaning less office space is needed and used. With fewer people coming in to work, more space is available in parking garages, gyms, and day-care centers. Property owners who have built all these facilities at great expense can no longer always expect the same return on that investment.

That’s where these three exciting new marketplaces come in. Imagine if unused office spaces could be rented out as coworking spaces for conventions, startups, or friend groups looking to escape the work-from-home ennui and wear pants on the job. These offices could also become server banks, pop-up cafes or restaurants, warehouse space, personal storage, or distribution centers.

Gig workers could rent space in office gyms to work as physical trainers or teach classes or use a daycare center for babysitting services. Property owners can even participate in the sharing economy, volunteering their unused spaces for social programs, enrichment classes, public health, and more.

Formerly unused parking space could be a major source of income as alternate assets. Drivers could reserve parking near their destinations and not have to worry about cruising the neighborhood for free spots.

Delivery, taxi, and rideshare services could also use these parking spaces to recharge electric vehicles or wait in queue between calls rather than clog up street traffic. Or better yet, property owners could rent unused office space as driver lounges or field offices for rideshare and delivery services. Property owners could even allow food trucks or farmers’ markets to rent or use those parking spaces, becoming a hub for local shopping and community.

In many cases, property owners are already optimizing their assets in a way that embraces these new elements of the economy, however, it is just beginning and there are many opportunities to growth this substantially.

The sharing, alternate asset, and gig economies are all examples of how technology brings people closer together and makes us more flexible and more generous. By embracing and fusing these three exciting models, corporate property owners could turn empty space into a serious boost for profits and PR alike.

Edward Moon is a Growth Marketer at Spacer Technologies, a technology company that enables property owners and managers to discover new revenue sources through innovative solutions that leverage unused parking spaces. Spacer Technologies operates as and in North America.

Edward Moon is a Growth Marketer at Spacer Technologies.