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Maria Montis, Loom Spaces: Fostering Community and Excellence in Coworking Spaces.

  • PropTech

In an exclusive interview with María Montis, COO of Loom, one of the leading providers of coworking spaces in Spain, we explore the history and vision of this Merlin Properties-owned company. From her personal experience to Loom’s challenges and strategic approaches to fostering community and innovation in their spaces, Maria Montis shares valuable information on how her role has developed and how her company has adapted to the changing needs of the industry.

What has been Loom’s growth since its founding and what are the future plans for expansion?

Loom began its journey at the The Royal Tapestry Factory of Madrid in 2016. In fact, the company’s name comes from the English word “Loom”. From my joining in 2017, when it was still a start-up, to the full acquisition by Merlin Properties in 2019, Loom has experienced significant growth. We currently have 8 spaces in Madrid and 4 in Barcelona, but our goal is to continue expanding our presence. We are working to open a new flagship in Madrid in 2024, with more than 4,000 m², which will be the largest space to date. We are also exploring expansion to other cities in Spain and Portugal.

What is the most rewarding part of your work at Loom?

Undoubtedly, the strong focus we place on people. As Director of Operations, I am responsible for all operations of Loom’s 12 spaces. This gives me the opportunity to interact with all kinds of people, from my own team to everyday users. We have an incredible internal and host team that is more than prepared to solve any kind of doubts, concerns and incidences that users may have, with infinite dedication and customer orientation. The importance that Loom places on user satisfaction is very high, so finding solutions effectively and being able to be the central link that distributes responsibilities to our client is one of the things I value most about my position.

Additionally, the transversality of the Operations Director position is something I value highly. No two days are the same and it allows me to interact with all departments of LOOM and our parent company MERLIN PROPERTIES.

How do you foster community in Loom and what activities do you organize for users?

Since Loom’s inception, we have put a strong focus on taking care of the user community and it is part of our hallmark. We organize activities both internally, so that users can get to know each other and share experiences; and at a multi-space level, to promote networking among companies and managers. One of the highlights are the monthly community breakfasts, where attendees can interact, share ideas and meet new users of each LOOM Space. These activities not only help strengthen ties between community members, but also promote collaboration and the generation of business opportunities.

What role does technology play in your spaces and how have you been adapting to the changing needs of the industry?

Technology plays a fundamental role in our coworking spaces. This is a basic requirement for our customers, who expect the latest technology and high quality connectivity. We strive to offer fast wifi networks and additional services, such as the possibility of contracting private networks according to users’ needs.

As for adaptation, it is a constant in our business. We try to keep abreast of market trends and needs, as our customers are increasingly demanding and knowledgeable about their environment. We have therefore introduced flexible products, such as hourly vouchers, and have been pioneering the sale of coworking services via e-commerce as early as 2021.

In addition, we seek to constantly improve the customer experience, not only by providing free coffee and beverages, but also by offering additional services such as quality fruit and sending out recurring satisfaction surveys for continuous improvement. We strive to make working from our spaces even more pleasant than working from home, making us a strategic partner for companies wishing to combat remote work and absenteeism.

And finally, where do you think the Flex sector is heading?

I personally believe that the Flex sector will continue to experience significant growth and consolidation. Consulting firms engaged in such studies say it could account for as much as 30% of the future office market by 2030. Humbly, I think it is difficult to venture a concrete figure, but from our perspective, we are convinced that this model will become increasingly attractive to corporations and startups, as it offers the flexibility to adapt quickly to business development.

Still, I doubt it will completely replace the traditional office. I strongly believe in the importance of having a concrete physical space where employees can meet, interact and build strong working relationships. Although remote work has gained relevance in recent times, I believe that companies will continue to look for options that provide employees with professional workspaces close to their homes. And in this way, we believe that the Flex model will continue to be an attractive option for companies of various sizes, offering the flexibility and quality needed to adapt to the changing needs of the world of work.