The business model for commercial real estate is likely to change in ways that will demand a more strategic view of user experience and a more strategic view of digital technology which, according to IPUT, include the following ways:
- Tenants are starting to require more landlord support to deliver user experience and extract data;
- New demands for flexible space provision will require more focus on data and experience; and
- New roles for asset managers as curators of services, requiring more data on tenants and on the performance of their assets.
This will require a strategic view of user experience, with new roles such as Chief Experience Officers and changing role of asset managers to be curators of services for tenants, managing ecosystem of partners. Landlords will need to work with operators such as JLL, Knotel, CBRE but not lose sight of their ultimate customers. They will need to work out how to get data and understanding of them.
Using experience design in the early stages of design will inform key spatial decisions by understanding the current and future needs of a building’s users. When setting a vision and aspirations for a building, an understanding of current behaviours and technologies can highlight key trends and user expectations.
During the early design stages, experience design can inform key spatial decisions and challenge designs to incorporate new behaviours (e.g. space for delivery lockers; electric scooter charging points). User journey development should involve all disciplines in order to collaboratively translate the building vision into tangible experiences.
As the design of the building progresses, service blueprints or designs can identify requirements for tender specifications (both for technology and for non-technology products and services), operational plans, tenant pitches, for ensuring performance during testing and operation.
There is not yet a standard approach for how to pay for these initiatives. In some markets this will be part of differentiating the building and attracting certain classes of tenants. Some technology will be required to support changing business models (e.g. operating flexible space). Some tenant services may be operated as pay per use, or be part of the service charge.
Some technology solutions may allow for cost savings, e.g. having a better understanding of space usage may allow for estate rationalisation. It will be important to align services and the supporting technology to the overall development strategy and develop business cases for specific buildings.
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