We’ve exchanged the beautiful scenery of Cannes for historic Oxford. As in previous years, MIPIM was a whirlwind, full of innovation

and new developments within the industry. One common theme throughout the conference was customer experience, and the technology and principles behind implementing this ideology within the property sector.

It seems that property is still slower than its counterpart industries when it comes to embracing technology. A lot of emphasis is being placed on data and its ability to provide building analytics for both managers and landlords. But again this is still proving a drawn out process.

“Providing a digital building will provide a 4.7% uplift in rent compared to other comparable buildings in London”

Radius Data Exchange, Powered by Estates Gazette

It is not breaking news that customer experience is an important factor in retaining a competitive market position and that consumers are expecting a digital environment as part of this service. However according to new research, tenants are also prepared to spend more for a digital building, according to Radius Data Exchange. So for those looking for longevity within the industry, it seems customer experience and technology should not be overlooked.

What is Hotelisation?

At MIPIM we saw the emergence ‘hotelisation’, a philosophy within commercial real estate whereby the view of customers is changing from tenants of the building to valued guests. The premise being that building occupants should receive the same level of service within a commercial building than at a hotel or restaurant.

Not only is the emphasis on delivering a hospitality style service but also on creating a destination. One that stands out to occupiers as an environment that fosters creativity and collaboration for its employees; one that understands their customer base – appealing to younger generation digital natives who expect a seamless digital experience as standard.

What does it mean for commercial property?

What does this mean in practice? In essence we’re seeing the growing importance being placed on customer experience within property, the focus on not just the tangible and explicit but also on the intangible and implicit.

“You can enter a commercial building and experience over 25 different services from arriving outside to entering the lift to reach your destination. From the cleanliness of the outside facing windows, to the software that alerts the receptionist to provide a personal welcome. Each single element makes up the experience, whether you notice the intricacies or not”

Guy Windsor-Lewis, CEO & Founder, Locale

Investigating every part of the experience within your building seems to be the key, as well as using the analytics technology provides in order to deliver the experience. PropTech has its part to play in more ways than one, providing data and perceptions of the building to deliver a service that meets the needs of customers; and to deliver it digitally.

It seems to be the new norm that a space also provides a service. That commercial property should and will(?) take on more and more elements of the hospitality sector in order to remain competitive. How well will the industry adapt to keep up with customer expectations? An interesting outlook for the future, one that if embraced will surely be mutually beneficial for occupiers and owners alike…

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