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Adapting to the Changing Landscape of Corporate Real Estate in 2023


As companies face an unpredictable and volatile external environment, it is crucial to remain agile and transformative to respond to the pace of change. With real estate being the largest expense after salaries for most large corporate occupiers, it is imperative to find ways to remain prepared to meet the changing needs of the external environment.

Importance of data and AI-driven technology

The importance of data and AI-driven technology cannot be overstated. Having accurate and accessible portfolio data is key to implementing cost-saving real estate strategies, such as space optimization and energy efficiency. Integrating technology and data analytics into occupier services allows companies to make informed decisions about their office space, facilities management, and utilities management. Finding the right proptech solution for portfolio management can prove challenging and costly. Therefore, it is essential to scope out the requirement effectively before going to market to find a solution and to ensure that outputs are linked to milestone-driven payment structures. Resource capacity to work with proptech companies to implement SAAS solutions is also a major element of success.

The rise of sustainability and energy stability

Sustainability and energy stability are becoming increasingly important to large occupiers, who seek to reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption while ensuring energy stability in their buildings. To manage energy consumption effectively, companies must have systemized municipal data and tech-enabled monitoring systems. In leased buildings, tenants must remain compliant with the obligations of a ‘Green Lease’ and minimize the cost of doing so through ongoing engagement with landlords to achieve shared sustainability goals. Tenant engagement and communication are more critical than ever, and landlords and occupier services providers must find new ways to build stronger relationships with tenants and provide more tailored, customer-centric services.

Planning for flexible and transformative office and retail space solutions

As companies seek cost-effective and flexible options for their employees, co-working spaces and agile office solutions are becoming increasingly popular. Space utilisation technology is expected to play a significant role in 2023 as more companies seek to gather occupancy data to design spaces that can accommodate a hybrid work policy. Forward planning on occupancy supply and demand and flexible lease structures will ensure occupiers future-proof their real estate footprint. For retailers, the intersection between the metaverse and corporate real estate is anticipated to be similar to that of the physical world. Retail space occupiers will be evaluating the costs, customer base, and store layouts of a physical store rollout vs. a virtual option, with the potential to buy products and services in the metaverse.

The future of occupier services in South Africa

The real estate industry is constantly transforming as business needs evolve and technology offers new approaches. Forward-thinking companies are originating and catalysing new solutions and innovations in this ever-changing landscape. They are also pioneering expansion into new markets, which presents an exciting opportunity for occupier services providers to grow with their clients and partners and bring the tremendous value of their services to a broader audience.

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