It’s no secret that the days of creating lifeless, generic office blocks are gone.
Today it’s all about creating a unique user experience and desirable workspace, and to achieve the right product the user needs to be considered from the outset of the design and build process to ensure the building meets those needs come practical completion.
Whether you’re looking to attract occupiers on a traditional leasing model, flexible workplace providers, or a mix of the two, delivering an asset that is fully adaptable, whatever the leasing market, is key to a successful asset.
So how can you ensure what is promised to occupiers during marketing, is actually delivered on occupation? The answer could be to engage a proactive property manager...
Property managers are uniquely placed to advise on a customer-led design of your asset. Not only do we understand what occupiers and visitors are looking for from their office experience but we also have in-house expertise within our property management, technology, customer experience, and ESG teams.
Identifying the experience you want to deliver to occupiers, their staff, and guests early on and recognising which technologies, machinery, and systems you will require to deliver the desired outcome will pay dividends in the long run. Doing all this too late in the construction/early occupation phase can be very costly and time-consuming, as an element of retrofitting can often be required to improve the efficiency, performance, or experience of a building.
Planning ahead also supports the marketing strategy for the building as it allows early visibility of the finished product and ensures the project team is able to talk with confidence about the technology, systems and sustainability accreditations the building will have in place upon completion - all helping to paint a picture of what a building will look and feel like for the occupier and increasing opportunities for those all-important pre-lets.
Currently, the smart implementation of technology is high on the agenda for both owners and occupiers. There’s a wealth of options out there, offering solutions and measurement tools for every possible touchpoint. This can range from desk occupancy, light and heat sensors, access control and occupier apps. However the phrase ‘all the gear, no idea’ certainly applies here and there can be too much of a good thing. Occupier apps are a prime example of this, seeming great on paper as a resource to create a sense of community but in reality, many are too expensive, difficult to run, and have historically low levels of take-up from occupiers.
Involving property managers at the design stage of a build or refurbishment will use our understanding of occupier demands to advise on the most efficient use of technology and other issues, such as ESG and rental trends. For example, ensuring the design team runs a fibre spine throughout the building can allow occupiers to get online within hours of occupation, rather than months. All contributing to that overall customer satisfaction and quality user experience.
Data provides a powerful insight into the current performance and future potential of an asset, but most property managers are not making the most of the valuable information they have at their fingertips.
At Colliers Property Management, we are harnessing and analysing the data collected through our clients’ and our own solutions and using these insights to make recommendations on space usage, cost-saving initiatives and occupier behaviours.
If done properly, it’s clear that seeking the right property management advice early on in the build process can have significant benefits to the value of an asset. From enabling higher rents and reducing service charge costs to enhancing the marketability of a building to attract new tenants quickly and leverage on lease events. The question to developers and landlords is: What are you waiting for?
About the author
Mark Jarrett is head of property management at Colliers, he has worked for the business for more than 20 years and his clients include Astrea Asset Management, British Land, Delancey Estates and SI Pension Trustees Ltd.
To contact Mark, email Mark.Jarrett@colliers.com