Commercial Property & Smart City Sector
Deal makers to place makers
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. The business is becoming more strategic, holistic, advisory and, global.
Extend downstream into property management and 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 energy (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 the collaborative economy that needs space that can blend complementary skills and then ebb, flow and adapt, as a company’s needs morph at an ever-accelerating speed.
So, in the commercial property development field, the client conversations that underpin the inception or 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 organizations, social innovation becomes the mantra. It’s about creating a better world, where technology enhances human endeavour and relationships.