The face of the commercial property industry is changing, which will inevitably filter to the residential sector pretty quickly. It’s time to sit up and get involved, because the property industry is about to become a more beautiful place centred around tenant’s wellbeing. What you will be pleased to hear is that by getting involved, you should see greater returns both in rental income and additional capital value… are you ready to find out more?
On Wednesday I was invited to the Property Asset Management Summit on behalf of the Estates Gazette. It’s an event for all of the thought leaders within the industry to gather and discuss the future and emerging trends within the industry. It’s such a positive event, and one that brings the property community together.
Let me give you a round up on what went down:
Terrorism & Asset Management
It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare, the threat of terrorism and how to handle it. If you don’t implement a reasonable policy, you could be in breach of the Health and Safety Act 1974 and so you have to make sure that you are doing your utmost to risk manage.
With a simple bollard costing in the region of £10,000, it can be expensive to alter your buildings to accommodate a threat.
However, the uplifting discussion from industry experts suggests that property managers don’t have to spend that much. If your budget doesn’t extend that far then risk management strategy can be as simple as staff training in how to report any suspicious behaviour and what to do in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, you can also form a neighbourhood watch, share resources with local land owners and have an alert system, therefore any potential terrorist can be stopped at a wider range.
Wellbeing in the Built Environment
A favourite topic of mine; how to enhance spaces to improve its users wellbeing. Tests are being conducted at the moment for whether it is important to make office space more sensory, so that it takes occupants back to their happy place… OK, this may be slightly far-fetched and a little unnecessary for an office environment.
However, bringing services into an office, such as gyms, doctors surgeries, break out spaces and places to get healthy food and beverages lead to better staff welfare and therefore greater output in less hours. So staff can go home at good hours, improve their work/life balance and come back feeling refreshed.
This prompted discussions around whether buildings capital value improved because of wellbeing initiatives being implemented on construction. The answer: probably yes, because they attract better tenants who would be prepared to take longer leases to take advantage of the facilities.
Pro tech is huge and isn’t a one size fits all thing. Now you can find your tenants through the click of a button and get them signed up on a lease equally as quickly. Services such as Appear Here (retail units) and Just Park (parking spaces) offer an online portal whereby Landlords list their spaces and tenants snap it up.
Leases are flexible, ranging from a few days to longer term. These initiatives are like the Air BnB of the residential world and are growing rapidly in the commercial sector.
WiredScore – A New Connectivity Standard
The day finished with a presentation from WiredScore, a ‘commercial real estate rating system that empowers landlords to understand, improve, and promote their buildings’ digital infrastructure’ (WiredScore, 2017).
In an age where being digitally connected is the backbone of business, this score matters. WiredScore gives a building a rating from ‘certified’ to ‘platinum’ and where necessary advises Landlords on how to increase their digital infrastructure to attract better tenants.
What was apparent from this summit is that the mentality of the industry is shifting. It’s now more important than ever to think about what you can do to improve the standard of occupation for your tenants, from making it simple to sign a lease, protecting them from new word threats and making sure that they maintain a good wellbeing, whilst being able to get online easily. The good news is about this, is that if you successfully implement this the return on investment could be huge!