Trilogy employ a specialist community engagement team to keep their workspace animated and successful. ‘Hospitality isn’t about pushing things as part of your agenda, it is about having things there when they want them. Stimuli, really.
‘Our job is to make the customer experience as frictionless as possible so that our occupiers can have the best, most productive, most powerful work experience they can, and do all that without them really having to think about it. So, for instance, we’ve arranged for barbers and hairdressers and all kinds of services so they can get it done in the day, and leave the weekend free. That helps everyone,’ he explains.
Laurence says that developers have learned that their audience is no longer a single, fairly homogeneous group of occupiers who all want pretty much the same experience (or lack of it). Instead, they have a cross-section of users with very different needs. Some want a few weeks of good studio space, some want 20 years of corporate HQ – quite possibly all in the same building.
The difficulty is that multi-let buildings with a variety of tenures come at a cost. It also comes fairly slowly, because whilst most of the world is used to a tap-it-and-its-done approach to life, the construction business is still slow to deliver (and probably always will be).
‘Yes, for developers, flexibility comes at a cost, because we have to build in facilities for breakout areas, or kitchens, and provide superb broadband connectivity, but that is generally reflected in a premium rent,’ Laurence explains.
Exact figures are hard to find, but industry sources suggest the kind of floorspace Trilogy provide at Republic attracts a rental premium of 10-20%. With construction costs up but by rather less, the appeal to developers is clear.