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A New Approach in Office Space Leasing – Part 3: Agents

Agents, who act as representatives or mediators between landlords and tenants, must now find new answers to the challenges brought by the pandemic. 

First of all, some of the biggest agencies or developers have already recommended measures to be implemented in work spaces:  

  • Colliers talks about space changes that help maintain social distancing, about new behaviors, flexible working hours, rules for visitors, placement of alcohol dispensers and, of course, use of technology.  
  • CBRE talks about 3 steps when going back to work: Planning for the Return to the Workplace, Bringing Employees Back to Work, and Ongoing Management and Workplace Evolution; their findings also suggested that many companies have implemented extremely strict Return-to-Work Guidelines, which is encouraging for the employees
  • Hines published a letter from their CEO promoting 7 practices to ensure health and safety of tenants
  • Cushman & Wakefield talks about a 6 feet office display, that actually guides people through the space in a way that ensures social distancing.

But what about their usual ways of doing business? 

New Ways of Presenting New Layouts 

Both tenants and landlords need safer, digital means of seeing, respectively presenting, office spaces. Agents cannot continue scheduling numerous meetings so solutions such as virtual tours, AR and VR are the best approach in a post-Covid context.

Let’s take virtual tours, for example. As a recent article shows, these 360 presentations are a safer, innovative option and they have the benefits of easing the sales and marketing processes.

 AR and VR also help visualising office space buildings, reducing risks of exposure and improving marketing efforts.

Another useful tool are 3D floor plans, that work amazingly even when a building is unfinished. Complex solutions such as Bright Spaces allow tenants not only to envision how their future work space might look like when finished, but also customize its layouts.

Focus on digitalization

Digitalization goes beyond online presentations of the space and translates nowadays in improved communication and interactivity.

As we saw in our previous articles, tenants and landlords need a better way of communicating, of sending and receiving personalized, modern offers and of accessing  information such as layouts and facilities.

By using technology in their leasing processes, agents can help both find what they are looking for. Integrated digital showcasing platforms, for example, can easily transform into a one-stop shop for tenants and agents, by mapping the buildings the main points of interest and personalized metrics for each building.

Agents should constantly look for this type of innovative new measures, but at the same time there are 2 main issues they have to address: quality & complexity of the representations and safety of data.

Business Challenges 

The pandemic and its financial consequences impact landlords, tenants and thus, agents. But big players are not too pessimistic – i.e., Colliers declared that they are still stable, with a decrease of only 1% compared  to the same quarter in the prior year.

Furthermore, CBRE predicts that the average office rent will recover by the first quarter of 2022.

But at the same time, brokers should keep up with their clients’ (both tenants and landlords) needs and constantly innovate in order to offer safe, digital solutions that will ensure all of them financial continuity.

In order to support them, Cubecom Full Service Really suggests bringing new solutions to the table, such as having clients  “lease for cheap and reconfigure the space” or finance furniture packages.

Conclusions

So these are the changes agents face and this also gets us to the end of the series. We talked about a new approach in office space leasing from the point of view of the tenants, landlords and finally, agents. We will definitely see new opportunities and challenges related to the way they used to do business and most important, technology is here to stay in real estate, forever reshaping the industry.

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Cover photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash