Europe, UK, 10/05/2023

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A marked shift has taken place in the real estate industry – one towards flexibility and digitalisation. Research from Instant’s Future of Flex (December 2022) report shows that by 2025, 36% of landlords plan to offer their own flexible space. Furthermore, as landlords enter the flex arena 64% are looking to deliver flexible solutions in some capacity to accommodate high demand.

Graphic that says 36% of landlords plan to offer their own flexible space by 2025 and 64% of landlords are looking to deliver flexible solutions in some capacity to accommodate high demand

For forward thinking landlords, flexible real estate and a digital strategy are a staple part of the conversation as to how they can transform their portfolios to accommodate today’s modern workforce. However, the same is true of asset managers who are increasingly looking at these key areas to ensure that assets remain resilient and competitive against a difficult climate.

The ability to understand a building’s utilisation and increase its performance and attractiveness to tenants, both at an asset and portfolio level, is vital. There is a clear opportunity to reassess how spaces are delivered and operationalised in order to improve offerings for tenants and to reduce operational complexity. There is also a great opportunity for flexibility and technology to impact the environmental sustainability of an asset, which is becoming increasingly more important as societal and regulatory expectations change.

Recent research by Verdantix which interviewed 90 asset and portfolio managers across Europe, has brought some interesting observations about these trends to the fore.

Digitalisation helps drive efficiency

Being innovative with digitalisation is allowing real estate managers to determine which operational priorities they should be focusing on. Digitalisation helps to drive efficiencies, utilise data to gain efficiencies, and to enhance tenant experiences. The interviewees shared that the areas that should be prioritised were tech to boost the tenant experience, building technology infrastructure (e.g. private WiFi networks), generating insights into occupant needs, and monetizing indoor services as examples.

Decarbonisation of assets

It is evident that the ability to provide assets that are environmentally sustainable will be ever more important to the future of office real estate. It is therefore no surprise that asset managers are increasingly turning to technology to support the decarbonisation of their assets. In fact, over half of asset and portfolio managers surveyed said that technology plays an important role and should be used in targeted areas.

Delivering assets fit for purpose

Ultimately technology has a big part to play in delivering assets fit for purpose in the current and future landscape – where digitalisation, sustainability and flexibility are not just demanded but expected.

Verdantix research has shown that 92% of asset and portfolio managers think that a smart building will act as a means of attracting and retaining tenants, with the majority (79%) indicating that they can lower the total cost of properties over their lifecycle, as well as being a remedy for obsolescence.

Technology that supports energy savings, increases automation and enhances asset performance, can ultimately deliver a reduced total building cost, combat low vacancy rates, and help assets to remain competitive and future-proofed as market dynamics continue to evolve.

As such, there is a shift occurring with asset managers looking to attach a high level of investment into deploying technology in core assets (84%), core plus (80%) and value add (59%).

Technology is the great enabler

Hand in hand with the increased deployment of technology is the rise of flexibility. In fact, 100% of asset managers are now recommending the increased provisioning of co-working and flexible space to support their clients. Having more flexible real estate as part of the real estate mix means more moves, adds and changes and therefore more operational complexity. The only way to solve for this at scale and to deliver the enhanced assets desired is through having the right digital strategy in place.

Want to find out more about how this is achieved? Contact us! At essensys we connect, control and automate digital services to deliver exceptional experiences end-users demand from asset to portfolio level. From streamlined on-boarding and secure and reliable network connectivity, through to easy management of access control and bookable resources essensys provides the software and technology needed to deliver flexible, dynamic places at scale.