Beware! Investors and developers are watching you
Tech in the workplace might not be the biggest innovation that office designers and interior fit-out specialists have to contend with. Nuveen’s Jack Sibley says that asset managers and landlords are working on ways to package design and fit-out services for potential tenants as they strive to provide a seamless service for their occupiers.
‘What we want is a single pane of glass, a consistent interaction, between the occupier and the landlord, because today occupiers have to deal with agents, then property managers, then with fit-out firms, and the aim for us is to streamline this process. The outcome might be that you deal with all those same people but occupiers do it through us, the landlord, through one interface. That would make the landlord a real partner for the occupier, and not just a rent collector,’ Jack predicts.
The idea is that tenants would be approached about office fit-out early in the courting process, before leases are signed. The landlord’s one-stop-shop would put them in touch with trusted design partners who could show them how the new floorspace could work to meet their specific needs.
‘This is about giving tenants options. They may want help with their workplace strategy, or they might want to be left alone. The landlord might end up more involved or not.’
Jack predicts that, at some point, there will be vertical integration so that landlords don’t just act as a clearing house or consultant on design and fit-out, but also offer a direct hands-on service. ‘It must feel to the occupier like there is no inconsistency between the different services that affect their workspace. We’re trying to make real estate easier and more convenient, more enjoyable, and not a fragmented headache,’ says Jack.