The concept of real estate now goes beyond physical bricks and mortar and is no longer just space for occupiers to live or work – they are becoming places for experiences allowing for greater interaction and social harmony.

In a bid to retain a competitive market position, landlords and property owners have cottoned on that they need to deliver more than simply a space but provide a service too, creating a comprehensive and welcoming environment. At the heart of any commercial or residential real estate development is creating a destination, and for this to be a success, an interconnected living or working environment is crucial.

But there is another driver which is changing the way property interacts with its occupiers and that is technology. Technology is not something you traditionally associate with the creation of a community, but they are becoming natural bedfellows. State-of-the-art digital solutions can help ensure a building physically performs to its maximum ability and support building managers by allowing them to take on a more active role in creating a community and improving social interactions. In turn, we are seeing a shift from the traditional Facilities Manager to more of an experience manager. This is only possible because of technology.

Instant Building Communication

Technology is connecting buildings and the people within them in a completely new way. Through social media and similar chat functions, it is easier than ever to create groups of like minded people and allow them to interact. Our clients are using technology as the method to organise social cohesion rather than replace it; making it quicker to coordinate across varied and diverse communities.

This kind of communication also provides valuable insight into the needs and wants of those living and working in these buildings, allowing occupants to tailor services, events, facilities and initiatives that directly appeal to those individuals.

Integration of Local Services & Initiatives

Outside a building, it is even easier to integrate with local initiatives and community projects with the aid of technology. A building’s occupiers, be they residents or a workforce, can benefit from the econnectivity with local services or groups facilitated by technology, driving human interaction and creating a lively and thriving centre in the vicinity of the building.

Removing geographical barriers – knowledge sharing

The definition of community can be a group of people living in the same place, but it can also be the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes or interests in common. The latter has the same need for social cohesion, however this may need to break the boundaries of geographical location; this is where technology comes to the fore. Whether it’s an online forum for the fans of the same book can discuss character theories, or in a formal capacity, like a client of Locale’s which uses our Groups platform to facilitate discussion across its science parks in Edinburgh and Bristol,knowledge sharing via these channels aids discussion and debate instantly. This community is enabled through technology in a way that could not otherwise be achieved, in a secure platform for their users only.

While a lot of tech is considered to hinder social interaction, if applied properly it can facilitate the creation of a close-knit community and bonding. From residential, mixed-use, build-to-rent to flexible workspace, effective digital property management solutions will offer direct benefits to the occupier. It gives them the ability to manage their environment, including security, deliveries, room bookings, visitors and local services removed from the property managers’ workload, enabling them to deliver greater service elsewhere, which in turn provides a more sustainable workplace or home. This engages the occupier community, increasing tenant retention, satisfaction and by extension, income to clients.

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