GCUC Blog

GCUC Podcast Recap: Chris Davies

By Stormy McBride On March 1, 2023 In GCUC PodcastCoworkingSustainabilityCommunity

GCUC Podcast

With a background in property and an eye for opulence, the CEO at Uncommon, Chris Davies, created five buzzworthy spaces that feel luxurious while facilitating member success. We explore his famous plant strategy, future proofing your business, the necessary ingredients that make up a good space, and more in this episode of the GCUC Podcast.

Invest in your space with these juicy sound bites:

Uncommon is currently at five assets and we’ve done it slightly differently, as we own all of them freehold. That’s the logic that we’ve had from the very beginning. My background is in the property space so I came at it from a property angle. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

How can we take space and then use the operational side of the business to effectively create cash flow? -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

What we started with, on the outskirts of London, is different from what we have now. We’ve evolved along the way but so has the market. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

We have taken something that originally people didn’t want to talk to me about, to now…lots of people want to talk to me about it. It’s one of my favorite things, the fact that it has changed and evolved. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

Members want exceptional spaces and that’s what we do. We sit and try to create the best spaces we can. We’ve done that in the hope that people will come, and we’ve proven with all our sites that they kinda do. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

High occupancy in the London market is a testament to the quality of what we are trying to do and a testament to the team that’s in there. It’s a people business. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

We’ve learned from every single building. We’ve learned from every single mistake, I hope we have, and it’s a very exciting future coming up. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

Different pressures and elements make us who we are. From the financial literacy that we have to operate with, all the way through to the data and everything we try to record about ourselves and our members. Like ‘why are we attracting people?’. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

You’ve doubled down on ESG in a way that most companies haven’t. It is the first offering on your website while everyone else is talking about their coffee or Wi-Fi. It’s such a great differentiator and one we have been calling out for years. -Liz Elam, Founder at GCUC

For me, where it really starts is the senior people in the business. We’ve all been sitting there, from a personal level, saying this is important, and that’s what makes it authentic. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

We have an obvious advantage of owning all of the buildings so we can make changes. But that also means we have the responsibility to make those changes. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

The spaces are absolutely stunning. The design is top notch and you just feel luxurious and successful, just by being in the space. -Liz Elam, Founder at GCUC

You’ve got to have good bones of a building. Then we can layer in all the bits that we do whether that’s the plants, center of the building, the music or lighting in the building. We can do that layer that makes you feel and know that you’re in an Uncommon space. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

We are nothing without the people in our business. That is so evident to me. I love it. Seeing people get to their fifth anniversary with us, there’s something really nice about that. That comes from looking after people. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

If the team is happy, guess who they’re looking after – they’re looking after our members and that just shines through. That ‘hello’ that they give when people walk through the door, counts for everything. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

The hospitality element of our business is so important. It gives me enormous pleasure when I have days like today where I can walk around and actually make a difference to the team. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

It takes a lot of discipline to not go after those things. Is your reason for expanding because you want to build your empire or is it because it makes proper business sense? There’s logic there and we’ve always tried to be on the logic side instead of saying we want it for brand or ego. -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

We launched Uncommon Jiu jitsu, it’s like chess with the body. Exercising is a very big part of the mental health side. I really value that. I know I can’t operate without that being in place. I’ve seen myself break when I don’t exercise so I do try to look after myself. If I’m not the best version of me, what version is showing up? -Chris Davies, CEO at Uncommon

Click HERE to listen to the full podcast with Liz Elam and Chris Davies. It’s juicy!