WeWork revamps broker referral program

Co-working company now offers more fees, tracking tool

WeWork space at 1 Little West 12th Street in Meatpacking (inset from top: Julia Davis and Francis Lobo)
WeWork space at 1 Little West 12th Street in Meatpacking (inset from top: Julia Davis and Francis Lobo)


WeWork changed its partnership program for office leasing brokers, offering additional fees and new tracking tools in a bid to win referrals.

Brokers who refer clients to the co-working company now earn referral fees beyond the first year of WeWork membership, and also get paid if their clients renew or expand their membership agreements.

Under WeWork [TRDataCustom]’s prior referral system, brokers received 10 percent of a client’s monthly membership fee for up to a year – which they still do. But now brokers also earn 2 percent for months 13-36 if their clients sign longer-term membership deals, plus additional fees if they sign further agreements. WeWork also lets brokers track clients through an online portal and notifies them if they are in talks to expand their footprint.

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“I think it’s really important for brokers to realize that they continue to own the relationship (with their clients),” WeWork’s chief revenue officer Francis Lobo told The Real Deal, adding that the changes sprang from conversations with brokers.

The company hired former JLL broker Julia Davis to manage the partnership program, and says it installed an account management team to ensure brokers get properly credited for referrals and paid on time.

“We’re not making salaries so the commissionable event is what we’re in it for,” said Derrick Ades, a broker at CBRE who has used the referral program. “I think it would be a disincentive if there was no compensation offered.”

WeWork currently operates 32 co-working spaces in New York City and was valued at $16 billion in a funding round earlier this year.

Bloomberg, citing a leaked internal document, reported last week that the Adam Neumann-led firm recently cut its profit projections by nearly 80 percent.