Commercial Property & Smart City

From deal making to place making

Re-inventing the property sector

Commercial property development is fast becoming the de facto, third, financial asset class.  Hence why defining competitive set and marketing strategy involves looking to The City or Wall Street investment houses rather than real estate space.  The business is becoming more strategic, holistic, advisory and global.

Extend downstream into property management, the picture is equally dynamic and disruptive. Here the shift is from tenant negotiation, and sweating and maintaining assets, to creative stewardship of the assets, and enabling omni-channel experiences.

Inspiration to reposition a property management business, is now just as likely to come from innovation incubators, places where creative energy and ideas are the defining qualities.

Clearly, it’s an exciting time to be in the property sector. It’s akin to a genuine Renaissance. Technology is transforming business models. The day may come when footfall and emotional engagement (perhaps measured through neuro-science) will decide rents. Already, the top performing malls are a mix of theatrical, leisure and retailing, blended with eCommerce and diverse, personalised digital touch-points – that are active and passive. The focus is increasingly on how to leverage time, space and context.

And the commercial office space is being transformed by a combination of the gig and collaborative economies. These trends call for space that flex to changes in demand and need.

So, in the commercial property field, the client conversations that underpin the regeneration of entire communities, start upstream in trending research, insight, consulting and concept development. The property developer’s clients, today, are as interested in creativity and a digital savvy mind-set, as they are deal-making or negotiation skills.

And, the picture for companies supplying smart-infrastructure for tomorrow’s hyper-connected cities, is similar, with the additional need to create engagement programs that harness diverse stakeholder groups. For these organisations, social innovation becomes the mantra.  It’s about creating a better world, where technology enhances human endeavour and relationships.

Further reading