Why Speed Matters

Speed serves as one of the foundations of today’s business world, but the revved-up pace of everything from working with freelancers to finding a ride to the airport has largely escaped commercial real estate transactions. There, the hunt for space, the lease negotiations, and the build-out have remained painfully slow. Only now, with agile office companies like Knotel addressing commercial real estate logjams, is the industry catching up with the rest of the world.

How speedy are other industries? We highlight a few examples below. Compare these hallmarks of 2018 business to the traditional office search. It’s the difference between videoconferencing and conducting business correspondence via handwritten letters.


It’s a job seekers’ market. Promising companies receive healthy investments, they understand their innovations are doable and potentially transformative, and all it takes to triumph is hiring the right team — and fast. Winners nail the “fast” part of the equation. Today’s marketplace enjoys myriad tools that help speed-up the process, from straightforward social networking sites (LinkedIn) to more HR-oriented applications like Zoho People (which frees-up more time for HR staff to focus on hiring, rather than managing employees), iCIMS Talent Acquisition (a candidate search-oriented software that speeds up and organizes searches) and Kaltura (a collaborative video platform ideal for remote interviewing, among other things). Hiring doesn’t creep along anymore, the way it did for generations. It’s sprints.


Gone are the days that revolve entirely around print drawings and in-person collaborations. Crafting corporate identities back in the slow old days (circa early aughts) took months. It involved creating conceptual works on paper, meeting in conference rooms to discuss, returning to the drafting table to incorporate input, more meetings, et cetera. Today, even tiny startups can leverage services like Packlane, which makes it easy to design custom product packaging. Tools like Mural and Conceptboard are made for nimble graphic design collaboration — no face-to-face meeting needed for input. And when it comes time to share final ideas with clients, tools like GoVisually and Concept Inbox are custom-made for sharing the big reveal, and incorporating client suggestions and feedback.


It always has been, and shall remain, an occupation that hinges on relationships — including the face-to-face kind. But it wasn’t too long ago that the many behind-the-scenes details that go into nailing sales — following-up with inbound leads, searching for fresh business, sending thank-you letters, sending birthday presents to key clients, and so on — demanded close attention and time. With only so many hours in the day, too much time got spent attending to sideline details, rather than focusing on new business and getting those signed contracts.

Speedy? Not by today’s standards. Now, Sales Cloud by Salesforce has become almost a given among sales teams. Many of sales’ complexities get streamlined and organized through Sales Cloud, making everything move at a faster clip. Management is important for sales, as there usually is plenty of room for improvement among members of the team; it’s managers’ job to help improve their skills. Clari is one of many sales productivity platforms that give managers a hand, helping them turn team members into savvy selling machines. Sales results even get gamified with software like Hoopla. Its Sales Motivation Platform combines gaming, video and data analytics to help managers, for example, create contests that lead to upped — and speeded-up — sales contracts.

These industries and many more have undergone immense disruption during the past decade, and much of the change revolves in one way or another around speed. Commercial real estate, on the other hand, is more like a Victrola, stuck in a distant decade. But companies like Knotel are swiftly driving commercial real estate into the end of this century’s second decade. Ready to speed through a new office search and build-out without compromising on quality? Excellent. For the first time ever, you can.