Put Your Space To Work

While the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, us middle-income earners are left.. Well, stuck in the middle. Living paycheck to paycheck and working long, unending hours chasing that elusive promise of promotion being dangled over our heads and still we come up short. With our current economic situation looking dismal at best, the perpetual increase of cost of living, i.e. parking charges, toll charges, groceries and quite recently, to the collective outrage of the daily commuters, LRT prices, it seems like you just can’t win these days. So it should come as no surprise then that almost everyone is looking to make a quick buck to sustain their lifestyles. Whilst this counts as the third recession I’ve seen to pass in my lifetime, this is probably the very first of which I can fully grasp the implications of. Curse you, adulthood. You’re suffocating me. I need some space.

Although having one job is the current norm, many are in desperate need of other (legal) ways to bring in secondary income because, let’s be real, we’re all feeling the pinch. I’m not married (yet), nor do I have to pay rent (Thanks, mom!), but those married with families to support are already struggling to manage with monthly bills, let alone savings. And I think it goes without saying that cultivating savings for a rainy day is crucial future planning.

Now, before running off in a panic to moonlight as a burger ramly stall cook, look around you; what do you have that you can offer others for a small sum? Be it extra space, an unused room, or even a house that is yet to be occupied? Or perhaps a beautiful garden that you’ve painstakingly and lovingly tended to that only sees appreciation when you host the rare function. If so, consider transforming your extra space, room, or garden into an event venue for private parties instead. For all you know, your house might be an ideal venue for social parties, weddings, as well as corporate functions.

I know, you must be thinking, an event venue surely has to be a grand ballroom or a nice and fancy restaurant with tiny hard to pronounce French foods that make you hungrier than full. Well, while you aren’t wrong, that is but one aspect of the multitudes of options that people are open to these days. People are increasingly looking beyond traditional, conventional places and spaces to offer their guests a memorable, one-of-kind experience that ends up being ‘the best party I’ve attended in a while’. The idea of having a birthday party in someone’s beautifully landscaped garden does have its own appeal, don’t you think? I have seen, first hand, many of these unconventional (so to speak) spaces and let me tell you, they are selling like hot cakes.

We often crave the new and the novel; whether it’s a new pair of running shoes or that latest phone model which came at a steal, that insatiable desire for novelty is bound to catch our eye. Imagine the excitement of introducing a new and exciting place to friends and family that you just know they’ll love. While we actively seek novelty we are hardwired just the same to share that appreciation with our loved ones.

In my line of work, I am constantly faced with people who are on the lookout for unique, fresh places to host their private parties on a daily basis. And no, I’m not talking about the hyper-teenage-yuppie parties. Think birthdays, family functions, corporate appreciation and annual dinners, press conferences, product launches as well as intimate weddings and ROM ceremonies (Registration of Marriage). If you have a space that’s great for playing host to a variety of events, please, consider this: We humans are celebratory creatures. We are perpetually looking for excuses to celebrate each and every milestone of our lives and are perfectly willing to bear the costs of these festivities- be it your baby’s very first birthday, landing that big client for your company and, of course, your daughter’s wedding day.

Despite the almost doubling of wedding costs over the years, I know couples (guilty of being one myself, here) who are willing to spend their savings and money they do not have because the once-in-a-lifetime union of two people ‘deserves’ an extravagant celebration. When I started the process that is the insanity of planning my very own wedding, the outrageous and over-the-top figures that came along with it has made me question my very own rationale. While the PM can afford to spend RM3 Mil. on flowers for his daughter’s wedding, unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the rest of us normal folk.

Nowadays, hotel hosted wedding banquets cost nothing less than RM120 per head. I am a Punjabi, my fiancé is Malayalee and we both come with big extended families. So between the two of us, realistically speaking, we are looking at around 300 guests, at the very least. The numbers alone were making me dizzy. Did I mention that these figures do not yet include our surely sizable alcohol budget? So instead, we are opting for unique venues that wouldn’t cost us an arm, a leg and our first born child, while allowing us to hire our preferred caterers and still ‘wow’ our guests.

A chief example of venues that have recently come up in demand are places like Glasshouse at Seputeh. These spaces cost an average of RM15,000 for a full day rental and event planners are allowed to bring in their own caterers at RM25 per head. Do the math, it’s a steal! And let me tell you, Glasshouse has since created waves by hosting notable events such as Facebook Malaysia’s launch, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah’s birthday party, as well as numerous weddings and corporate events.

When lifestyles suffer, businesses are affected too. Don’t worry, businesses, I have not forgotten you. Companies too are often on the lookout for spaces to host their meetings and town hall discussions and every year, a nice place to host their annual dinners. Most (if not all) companies have a meeting or a conference room which often goes underutilised. More often than not, these rooms are well equipped with state of the art facilities and garner a creative and conducive environment essential for brainstorming sessions and meetings. Consider renting out these rooms to like minded people who would appreciate the space, for additional revenue.

The events industry is a lucrative one. Regardless of budget cuts, people will always have something to celebrate at least once a year, and here’s where you can leverage on this market. If you have extra space, a gorgeous backyard, or a home which can be transformed into an event venue, you have a cash cow right there. Lend your space to people who are looking for ingenious, resourceful places that won’t burn a hole in their pockets while retaining the elements of a unique experience. You are, quite literally, sitting on a potential gold mine.

At the end of the day, we all have something or another that we can offer to other like-minded individuals that have the potential to earn us that little bit of extra income to cushion us in the future. We’ve got people willingly providing their homes to travelers during their adventures; sometimes a room and sometimes a whole house, we’ve got people (our very own personal driver for the day) who drive us around with their own car to our destination when we are without a car, and we’ve even volunteered to pick up or run some stranger’s errands all for a little bit of cold hard cash. Why not a company’s meeting room or an entire home that has yet to be rented out?

So the next time you look at your extra space, meeting room, and/or unoccupied home, think about the mutual benefits of the sharing economy and transform your extra space into an event space for private events. You money, they happy, everyone party.

 

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