Leasing & Sales in Energy Crises
📢 We were very much looking forward to hosting this Webinar 💻 /Podcast 🎙.
💡 It is part of larger series called “Real Estate Better” featured by PropTech Slovakia and our partners on new solutions that can serve for solving actual REAL Estate challenges : this one was focused on our February challenge: 🔦 “SALES & LEASING in times of energy crises”.
Milan Bogár, our founder and host of the webinar/podcast from PropTech Slovakia was discussing this topic with Daria Mircea and Catalin Dragutoiu from Bright Spaces, Digital twin 👯♀️ /VR solutions of which are applied on some of the greenest office buildings in Romania and quickly spreading to other countries in Europe. Despite their solution was not present in Slovakia yet, the discussion highlighted some specifics of the market situation in Slovakia.
As we are partner of Smart Building Collective | Certification, we were especially interested in this challenge because we used to miss two things on number of smart buildings that we worked with: 1. supporting sales/leasing technology and respective data even if there were tons of other data and technologies (maybe a reason why they were not able to deliver their whole embedded value so well) and 2. digital twins (even if we were speaking about a bit different versions of digital twins here than those used for detailed design and building operation).
Links to our podcast and webinar from 16 February 2023 on www.youtube.com:
Couple of our highlighs from the webinar/podcast:
“Practically, it’s why I am trying to help support and grow the whole ecosystem of developers, brokers, the tenants themselves to try and streamline everything and save as much resources as we can within the whole process because this is also the point of aligning to ESG policies and practices.” – Daria Mircea
” Never, in the history of economics, a situation such as today was encountered. It had singular crisis events that we overcome, but today we live in a multi-crisis situation. …. So, how do we do our business today if we are a developer? We are facing all these challenges. What the answer is? Technology. The traditional way of leasing an office needs to be boosted with technology because technology is actually a result of two major needs in the market. One is the need for optimization. … and, also answering more emerging needs in the market. ” – Catalin Dragutoiu
“In traditional way of leasing offices today you go, you see the office, you see the building. Then you go, you see another, you see another, you see another, and then, three weeks pass and then you want to go again to an office building that you like and discuss again. And again, you increase the time. While, being digital means, that after you also have the in-person meeting with the potential tenant, you can send them the link to the space to review at any time that they desire in order to remind them what they have seen.”- Catalin Dragutoiu
“The workplace is a dynamic place we’re not gonna see because of the pandemic and, seeing workplace as a destination. And, that’s something that needs to adapt together with us. It’s become a live place, so you can do different alterations to it to make it more adaptable to your needs and seeing these alterations as a proposal before you actually invest the money to execute them in reality can be again very helpful.” – Daria Mircea
Time stamps of chapter
on youtube for more direct access to information you wish to get:
02:49 Daria’s background
04:49 Catalin’s background
09:36 The toughest macroeconomic situation ever…
11:49 How to face all these challenges
14:49 We are past big transfer files
16:13 Unique Selling Proposition.
19:16 There are so many factors to consider…
22:01 The tour through planned building highlighting all relevant benefits
25:13 Showcasing standard fitout or custom
28:33 CRM functions or CRM integration
34:25 Ideal customer
38:40 Pricing and time needed to be considered for implementation
41:12 Why continual usage makes even more sense
43:10 More continual benefits
47:35 Plans for 2023
(Dear visitor, this is complete transcription of our podcast (and a webinar) made by an AI Whisper. Whisper is very good, but not perfect and we dared to make just a very quick human supervision of its work. Anyway, if you find some gaps, errors, etc. do not let them disturb you. You can freely contact us or any of our podcast participants via LI profiles, should you wish corrections or further explanations)
Milan: Hi, I’m Milan Bogar and this is Real Estate Better, our webinar and podcast featured by Proptech Slovakia and its partners in Slovakia and abroad.
Each webinar we select a couple of hot real estate topics and challenges and we share tips, solutions and experiences on how to solve them.
We focus on Slovak real estate but because the best solutions are more often flowing from and out of more countries, our guests will not be just from Slovakia, especially if we completely miss some kind of solutions that we found abroad.
For February, with our partners, we have selected two challenges that are seemingly unrelated
– Sales and Leasing and Energy crisis.
Why Energy crisis?
It is a very hot challenge at the moment. The energy crisis caused a 30 to 50% increase in service charges at the moment and almost all real estate companies are talking about ESG strategies and measures to fight it.
Why Sales and Leasing?
Because it is missing in these ESG strategies and measures, and we believe it should be a strong integral part. We believe that it is able to boost and speed up solutions for all the three ESG letters.
What we have noticed is that especially in commercial real estate, leasing is still based mainly on old, often ineffective and time-consuming ways that require a lot of repeated visits by more team members of potential tenants as well as leasing team, a lot of traveling with a carbon footprint that is not insignificant.
Therefore, today we will speak about a new sales and leasing approach that could be boldly integrated into a better and more effective ESG strategy, either for one building or for a whole portfolio.
I have met them thanks to one international event last year that we had with colleagues from Spain, Germany and Bulgaria.
Their company is called Bright Spaces. They are originally from Romania, where you can see their digital twins on the web pages of some of the greenest office buildings in Bucharest. But they are quickly expanding to other countries like UK, Hungary, Sweden and even if they are not present here yet, maybe also to Slovakia.
I am very happy that we have male and also female representative because mostly I meet with men in discussions about technologies and before we will jump on where is your most added value, I would be very pleased if you could please tell us more about your background, what is it, what you do and what is the weather in Bucharest.
02:49 Daria’s background
Daria: Thank you Milan, my name is Daria Mircea. I am an architect, I am very happy to be here as let’s say representing women in tech in the PropTech Slovakia webinar.
My experience has been also in real estate for the past six years working as a workplace architect and advising on workplace strategies and for the past year I have brought my experience to the team of Bright Spaces, because we are on a mission to drive next level marketing and leasing strategies for office buildings, but also other types of real estate like residential, commercial and logistics and trying to recreate the world that we are used to in the physical space, the world of offices, interiors and exteriors in a virtual manner.
Milan: I noticed that you worked for CBRE if I am correct?
Daria: Yes I did, I actually started my career with CBRE going from local occupancy planner to regional occupancy planner for EMEA then to workplace architect and advisory and transaction team in Romania.
Milan: Very good! Because companies like CBRE are very well versed in this leasing and selling process and you must be well aware of how does it work in practice.
Daria: Yes! Practically this is why I am trying to help support and grow the whole ecosystem of developers, brokers, the tenants themselves to try and streamline everything and save as much resources as we can within the whole process because this is also the point of aligning to ESG policies and practices.
Milan: Thank you.
04:49 Catalin’s background
Catalin: Hello, I am Catalin, Head of Sales at Brice Bases. My total general experience is in sales for the past 17 years I have been doing sales for various sectors such as finance, advertising, fast moving consumer goods and now real estate and tech, which is probably the most dynamic industry that I have been to. Because it is a merge between two major verticals of the economical context when you look at technology you have technology providers and then you have the real estate. So here in this PropTech, as it is still called today, the ecosystem that we are is a merge of basically a bridge between technology and real estate helping real estate become more streamlined as Daria said.
During my experience, during my past recent experience I have been handling sales of over 10 million euros per year. So, I am quite accustomed to international sales and big accounts management.
Milan: Thank you and how is the weather in Bucharest?
Milan: Sunny here as well. Bratislava is sunny as well at the moment.
Catalin: We are waiting for the spring.
Milan: I believe we can jump to the point. I was very interested in this topic, because, you know, I am a smart building certification assessor and we certified quite interesting buildings all around Europe. And, what we have noticed, is that there are quite lack of solutions that would support these smart solutions and things even like ESG strategies and that’s why when I have seen you if I remember correctly I met you first time in November during our webinar or after our webinar that we have with colleagues from Spain, Germany and Bulgaria and I was really pleased that there is solution that focuses on digital twin and on sales what we were missing in thess smart buildings. But you explained to me that it’s a bit different digital twin than the usual understanding of what this digital twin means and it’s not like the BIM digital twin used for design phase or during the construction or the operation with many details. This is focused on showcasing and that is the reason why I was interested in the first place.
Second place is the fact that real estate is in quite complicated situation. Here in Slovakia the vacancy rates are still very high compared to the year 2018 when vacancy rate in commercial real estate was about 5%. At the moment, we are at level of 11 and we are still expecting that it will increase because there are some major developments that will be delivered this year and the competition will be even stronger. So, solutions that will ensure competitiveness towards others will be very welcome and I think that have big future. So, the second reason is that it can help in this difficult situation.
09:36 the toughest macroeconomic situation ever
Catalin: So, to jump on this second topic which is the toughest one as we know as we live a unique macro economical context. We are in a post-pandemic economic crisis. We are in an inflationary crisis caused by the surge in electricity cost, in gas cost, in the continuing here, we also have the debt, higher interest rates meaning that this has a direct impact in the rents that the developers are asking per square meters. And, also we have the carbon neutrality alignment that needs new types of materials, better ways of construction with again a higher impact in the cost. So, this is why it is hard. This is why we have vacancy rates. Because even tenants are more cautious today when renting a space. Hybrid work being a norm everywhere in the world, so, instead of looking at big chunks of buildings rented out they look at the minimum surface that we that they would need for the team that is usually coming in office. So, that’s why we still have vacancy. Also, the cost is an issue because everything that we live in creates a bigger rent cost. So, tenants being more cautious means that they will live in a smaller space.
11:49 How to face all these challenges?
So, how do we do our business today if we are a developer? We are facing all these challenges. What the answer is? Technology. The traditional way of leasing an office needs to be boosted with technology because technology is actually a result of two major needs in the market. One is the need for optimization. Basically, reducing your internal costs, therefore having the opportunity of asking a smaller rent as a base and, also answering some emerging needs in the market. For example, if we want to change an office, we are the tenant. And we have 60% of the people working remote but we want to increase the people that come to the office to 80%. So, basically convincing more than half of the people that work remote, we need to have them engaged in the leasing process. And many people don’t have real estate experience. They don’t understand the 2D floor plan. So, when you use a digital twin for commercial purposes, yeah, you can show them: This is the building. This is how it’s going to look: the office, this is the working area, this is the leisure area, this is the recreational area. So, everything that makes you boost your productivity or makes you feel at home rather than at office in a 2D standard presentation, can be comprehended by the non-real estate person. That’s why the digital twin for commercial purposes is actually helping tenants, across the board to make a decision and even more Bing or a web-based digital twin means that it is accessible from any type of device. You can see it on your phone, on your laptop or on your tablet. So, imagine that you are a tenant that has the headquarters in Germany and wants to relocate their regional offices in a new office building instead of sending only a big pdf with 20 pages for the headquarters or the management to approve they send also the digital twin and this is how the office will look like. This is how it’s going to be furnished, these are the financials, these are … everything would be comprised in one single space we call the single point.
Milan: And how do you do it? Via link to the digital twin or you’re sending a big file via File Transfer? How can they access the digital twin?
14:49 we are past big transfer files
Daria: That’s the good part, Milan. Actually, because we are past big transfer files, past downloading all of that stuff, where you don’t know where you’ve put it. You don’t know if you’ve attached it. If you remember, there are so many emails you send and you forget the attachment. Everything is web-based. The presentation that we do, which contains both the digital twin and the brochure. And again, this is easily accessible on a web link from a tablet, from a phone, from a computer, wherever you are in the world as long as you have internet. And the good thing about it, for those who are using this, to present it so, let’s say the developers or even the brokers, is that this has analytics. So, you can have the useful information from sending this and seeing how it’s been reacted to and using this to actually adapt and improve your plan whether it is to involve more resources in a certain point or to see where it’s gone really, really well.
Milan: Thank you! So, your unique proposition, unique selling proposition as we call it during the startup pitches, but it’s nothing else than where is the most value that you add, is in this digital twin solution, yeah?
16:13 Unique Selling Proposition
Catalin: Yes! Yes, it’s the digital twin connected to data. It’s not only the digital twin because renderings have been here for quite a while. What makes us unique is that we connect it to data. You can see the real vacancy in the building. You can filter by surface by number of people in basically finding your ideal space. The unique selling proposition is, actually, the optimization. Because think as, let’s say, in the in the process. Usually, tenants discuss with the consultant that makes a short list. And, then you go and visit the premises. Well, having the digital twins implemented means that within 30 minutes you can sort and see each office space across Bratislava that in a rainy day might be a whole day of, you know, traveling. But you do this in 30 minutes and you are able to create those special offices, the list of offices that really suit your need. And you feel like they are the ones that you should engage with. You also see the tech specs, you also see the sustainability specs, you also see the location. You understand everything about the building. So, when you engage with the actual landlord or developer, the tenant assisted by the consultant, where independently, comes more prepared to the meeting. So, yes, the presentation of the building, the presentation of the space will still take place during that in-person meeting, but it will be a smaller in time than usual and getting to the financial details, getting to the offering, understanding what would be the fitout contribution, creating the premises of negotiation a lot faster. In traditional way of leasing offices today you go, you see the office, you see the building. Then you go, you see another, you see another, you see another, and then, three weeks pass and then you want to go again to an office building that you like and discuss again. And again, you increase the time. While being digital means that after you also have the in-person meeting with the potential tenant you can send them the link to the space to review at any time that they desire in order to remind them what they have seen.
Milan: Can you show us maybe? Even if, you don’t want to present the whole time. Just a short presentation.
Daria: Sure, sure.
19:16 There are so many factors to consider…
Daria: Milan, before Catalin shows us a little bit, I actually had a flashback to one of our previous discussions, but also to something you said at the beginning here with the context in Slovakia. So, there are deliveries of new buildings. But there is still vacancy, and we know and this is a trend I think across more countries. At least from what we’ve seen. That, of course, the demand is for high quality buildings, for high quality spaces. Particularly for recent developments with sustainability as a focus. But also, of course, considering the design the way the building and the space makes you feel. And precisely because there are so many factors to consider: the tech specs, as Catalin said, and the location, the way from home to the office, the customer journey. Because the customer is looking online now for office spaces as well as for everything. Even for homes we look for our next apartment online. We see what’s there for clothes, and so on. The customer journey needs to be curated just like for any other thing that we are interested in purchasing and every type of information needs to be thoughtfully and easily accessible in that curated place which for example can be the digital twin. And, this is not only a way of showcasing new buildings or future developments, because they’re not built yet and you cannot tour them anyway physically. But let’s think about the next wave of buildings which are class B or which are a little bit older. And, necessarily, if you showcase these with photos or even the physical tour right now, people won’t be able to see what they will look like after a refurbishment. So, with a virtual tour and the digital twin you can showcase and focus on their energy efficiency after the refurbishment. And they can become as tempting an office space as the new deliveries.
Milan: Yeah! So, refurbishment projects are another thing that can be targeted by your solution?
Catalin: Yes, of course. Of course. Obviously in a refurbishment project if it’s ongoing. If it’s actually a construction site, you cannot visit it. It’s dangerous for you. So, that’s why virtual tours are the safest way. I’m going to share my screen just to show you a bit how the digital twin looks like and what more arguments can be when you are presenting the building virtually.
22:01 The tour through planned building highlighting all relevant benefits
Let me know you see the screen. This building itself doesn’t yet exist. It is of plan. It is going to be delivered in 2024. So, in order to create this, we only requested the floor plans, facade plans and want to renderings of the project in order to understand the textures. What we have done more we have placed here some key differentiators. And this can be rich content renderings, can be videos, sounds, images, or texts. But what’s important is that this text can be also, for example, breath of fresh air. The environmental protection agency has issued a study where the cleaner indoor air increases productivity of the team with 11 %. So, this can be used as a pitch when you are presenting your property and why your property is better than the other ones or why a tenant should pay two euros more per square meter in your office building rather than two euros less in a class B office building. Because they will be 11 % more productive. That’s why! You’re not only advertising your building, you are basically addressing the need of the tenant and the need to become more profitable also for the tenant. So, your office, your office building or office space can do that. This is a presentation web page that starts with the digital twin that can be filtered by floor, by surface, or you can see also here the number of people based on the tenant split. But continuing you also have complete building specs, sustainability features, quality of the materials used inside, place making with points of interest, an aerial shot showcasing how you enter, and exit the parking lot. As you can see this is the site. Right now, nothing is there. So, for this digital twin we only needed, as I said, the plans.
When you are basically seeing the split, you also see the position on the floor plate, but if both spaces, or all four spaces, or six spaces, it doesn’t matter how the tenants fit looks like ,you can merge them together if you want accommodating a bigger team and entering a virtual tour.
Here in the virtual tour you have the full floor with again key differentiators carefully mapped in place. For example, the Harvard business review reports says that natural light increases productivity with 2 %. So, that’s another 2 % added to the productivity of the potential tenant by moving in here and paying a bigger rent. You can start virtually walking through the space base build. So, basically this is a walk into the future because this floor is not yet there.
25:13 Showcasing standard fitout or custom
But furthermore, you can even place a fitout. This fitout is immediately generated as you can see. it is the best scenario of how to use this space. So, it is a standard fitout. We can also do a custom one if the tenant requires this, in order to sign the pre-release agreement. So, you can have also the exact demand.
Everything that you see here, walking around, interacting with the space, turning on and off the fit out, is available on any type of device as we previously mentioned. Right now, what you have, basically, done in the mind of the tenant? You have qualified him. So, he saw the building. He saw the location. He saw the impressive technical specification. He saw the space. He sees how it might be furnished. So, assisted by a broker or by himself, he can request an offer. And this request for offer can be connected to an existing CRM account or we can provide the CRM solution for the developer in order to manage the leads.
Milan: Catalin, this far up to the last point it is not only the leasing and sales journey. It’s also a journey for the customer, yeah? Who is in the deciding mode and so he can access it via the same web page?
Milan: And so, he can go back to it after a certain period of time and decide later, yeah?
Catalin: Yes, exactly. Exactly! What we have done, right now, showcasing the twin and the tour. It can be done by a broker assisting a tenant. Showcasing a space that accommodates a team of 135 people, for example, or can be done directly by the tenant. Because this digital twin will be implemented in the website of the developer or the landlord itself. It can be a complete presentation page as we have showcased or we can integrate only the digital twin with the filtering and the virtual tour. So, we don’t want to duplicate already existing information.
Milan: Yeah! And, in the last point you came to the to the dashboard that is especially devoted, I think, to the leasing staff?
Milan: What is not visible for the for the customer, but you are starting to speak about another point that we realize is very often missing in commercial real estate and this is CRM. There is very little landlords that own some kind of CRM solution. Is this something that is part of your solution or you can connect to the existing CRM if there is any.
28:33 Dashboard with CRM functions or CRM integration
Catalin: If the existing CRM is a cloud-based CRM such as Salesforce, HubSpot, the PipeDrive, MS Dynamics, we can link via API the digital twin to their CRM. So, there is no problem of connecting the two. If a certain solution, a CRM solution, such as the ones that I’ve mentioned earlier, is not available, we have the internal dashboard – the management dashboard as I said. We have our digital twin is for commercial purposes. It’s a digital twin connected to data. That data needs to be located somewhere, stored somewhere, and managed from somewhere. Obviously, this is what I’m going to share also this information is internal part. This is under the eyes and hands of the leasing team, of the internal leasing team of the developer. So, no public viewing. It is a restricted access with username and password. So, you cannot go and you cannot access it immediately. I’m just going to share it immediately. Let me just find where it is, okey? Here it is, okay!
So, this is the dashboard. Let me just have a bit of refresh here. This is a demo version. So, as you can see, you cannot enter without having some credentials. When you enter you, see exactly on each property that you have digitally mapped all the information regarding office, parking, … But this is dummy data, how many deals do you have right now opened in their stages. You can manage the availability. So basically, when I was filtering in the digital twin searching for an office space the result of the that query comes from here, from this stacking plan – availability. This availability can be sent directly to brokers, for the brokers that you work with or to specific email addresses. Same goes for parking and also storage.
Deals area, which is the sales funnel, here you receive after completing the form in the front-end in the digital twin you’ll receive here the new deal. And you will have exactly the information, which zone, what surface, what project, what floor, everything. Who is the one that has requested the offer. And from here just click – create offer – and you create an offer for that office space and it will move here or you can drag and drop it and start creating the offer. After you negotiate and you agree to the financial terms, you can even go to head of terms where we will digitally map the standard template of head of terms that each developer has, and they will be able obviously to select their specific head of terms.
Reporting area – this is something that is really customizable. In order to generate the fast bird’s eye view or even detailed reporting here, you administer the brokers you add broker companies and then adding individual agents for brokers. If you already have a database when implementing we will only request an excel with the brokers and the broker agents and everything will be a turnkey solution. You don’t have to manually do anything. Same goes for a tenant. Let’s say we start a project today and you have 25 % of the building for the lease. There are some tenants again. We will ask for the tenants for the tenant excel and we will pre-upload and assign for each space that will also be here clearly mentioned. Again, you have also some statistics regarding how much available space you still have, how much available space you still have, or do you still have, when contracts will expire, so on and so forth. So, this is this is basically where the leasing team works day to day. It’s again one single place today they keep in availability. Some of them keep it in a legacy software such as SAP. Others keep it in excel, the deals similar. If they don’t have a CRM like SalesForce they keep it again something similar in excel and all the information about reports on how many offers have you sent or what are the stages are hard to pile up together when discussing with the board about the evaluation of the progress in leasing.
Milan: Catalin, if we want to identify your ideal customer is it the landlord or it can be also leasing company with much broader portfolio?
34:25 Ideal customer
Catalin: The ideal customer profile, obviously, it’s the developer and slash landlord. The one that holds the building for long term. Because obviously they are the ones that need to lease as much as possible, as fast as possible. But this is not a closed environment. So, consulting agencies that have exclusivity on properties can subscribe to the service of using the digital twin and promote the building in this manner. Also, for the consulting agencies we have a specific product that is a custom 3D space planning service, which is basically the last step before signing the pre-lease agreement. The custom space planning is the actual proof of concept that the team will fit there and what you see in the virtual tour, is 80 % the concept design that will be implemented.
Milan: So, if I am a landlord or a developer – your ideal customer, yeah, what options do I have? If I love digital twin but I have my CRM solution I can buy just this one and for only selected buildings?
Catalin: Yes, yes! We can do one pilot project so you can convince yourself that you are decreasing your lease cycle, you are generating more leads, because also the trend in the market is that more and more millennials are becoming decision makers, which are hyper connected to the internet where they want to experience everything with Internet. In connecting this digital twin to your CRM, the CRM – the management part that you see we created because we identified the fact that some of the developers don’t have anything and they want something like this. Or in in if the case if you don’t have anything but you do love only the digital twin, the digital twin will make zero sense without having the availability at least behind it. Because the result of the query is directly linked to the to the availability. So, when you are searching for an office if you don’t have a database to search in, then digital twin will return nothing. And, we can discuss about also having portfolio implementation, several buildings at once, and you can even have another cool value proposition for your tenants.
So, let’s say they are searching for a 100 to 1200 square meters office and you have that exact surface in three buildings across Bratislava, okay? The rent is the same. The, let’s say the specific of the buildings are the same. The same quality, everything is the same, yeah? So, which one is better for the tenant? How do you help him decide, which is better for him? Well, you can ask for the list of employees without names only the addresses and you can upload it into the software. The list of addresses and the query itself will return which office building is better placed for their employees to travel, to have a combined less time while traveling to work, thus having also a lower carbon footprint while commuting to work. So, you don’t only take care about the fact that you, as a landlord, you have to take care of the environment. The “E” from ESG. You also help the tenant make the same sustainable decision towards the environment.
Milan: Yeah! Okay, let’s say that you convinced me. What costs and how much time should I take into account, when implementing your solution and further use?
38:40 Price and time needed for implementation
Catalin: Well, the cost itself, it’s s SAS fee – Software-As-a Service subscription that is directly linked to the surface and the vacant area. So, it’s going to be a price scale, if we take into account the office building of 30 000 square meters that is completely vacant, the cost per year will be roughly 28 000 euros per year.
Milan: And the time of implementation?
Catalin: 1,5 months to 2 months.
Milan: I understand that it depends on how many fitouts do I want to show to potential customer.
Catalin: This is the standard implementation when we deliver the complete digital twin with the splits. Three, four, five, with one fitout in each combination and in each split as well as in the full floor.
And then if you wanted more fitouts. If you want three fitouts, obviously, time will increase because we have to generate the fitouts itself. We have to render them and we have to make them web ready. But for the first stage we deliver the digital twin with one fitout in maximum of 2 months based also on the feedback discussions. We create the digital twin for you, but it is your image, yeah? So, we need to have your approval before actually going live delivering the project to you and placing it on your website in order to start commercializing the proper.
Milan: Okay. And maybe one unpleasant: I will use your solution. I will lease the building. I will have vacancy close to zero, yes? So, the building will be full. Why is it good to have your solution further and pay each year? For more flexibility or what is the benefit?
41:12 Why continual usage makes sense?
Catalin: Okey, as i mentioned, we’re a SAS. We are constantly developing new features that obviously being a SAS you will find one day a new feature coming into your platform, into your implemented platform. One could be the divestment model. So, your business model itself as you build, you lease, and then you want to sell the building. In order to sell the building, you create a divestment memorandum. You create a VDR in order to upload the, let’s say, the documents that are subjected to the to the selling of the building. So, instead of having a divestment memorandum that is 65 – 70 pages of a pdf you have again the digital twin that is now used for divestment purposes. So, you can instead of sending that huge pdf via WeTransfer to somebody, you send the digital twin to an investor in USA.
Catalin: So that’s why you should keep subscribing to the service itself. Obviously, if you have, if we reach the end of the SAS contract and your building is completely leased, we have a legacy model that keeps your building as a portfolio building with limited functionalities. You will not have any more the virtual tours. You’ll have some relevant information that says this building was and it has brought me these results and it can be up for sale right now.
Milan: Yeah! Thank you! Thank you! Looking at Daria and the choice of fitouts that is available what’s your experience? Do the customers require special fitouts or is the communication with customers complicated regarding this?
43:10 More continual benefits.
Daria: This is actually, yeah, one of the reasons why I moved into this PropTech business. Because if we look at, how Catalin was presenting, imagining a building work or touring a building in reality as a shared course, it’s harder to see what it could look like furnished. So, having that one standard fitout that we agree with our client that is the best showcasing of how their interior space could be looking at as an office, is really helping people, which are different stakeholders in a tenant decision, which are maybe from HR, from finance and, so on, which are not architects themselves. So, it’s easy a little bit more difficult for them to understand and to imagine what it would look like. As you’ve seen it’s so easy to just walk through the space and see a desk here and the office there and the meeting room. And that’s the standard option. But, as Catalin said, we have the option of doing real test fits for and space planning in 3D for the later part of the process when they want to see how their exact requirements would look. And there it’s easy for us if our client has an architect that is working with. We get the 2D from them or we can even help with that. And, we create that digital tour, which can have a certain look, if we want to align to something that the tenant would like to see: like industrial, or different styles, like modern, and so on. And, if you’ve seen the fitout from the project, that Catalin was sharing, that was actually called a green hybrid fitout, because it was focusing on sustainability. And, it had also information about the types of materials that the landlord would use to deliver that space like a carbon neutral carpet, like chairs, and different other items of furniture made from recycled materials, like very energy efficient, led or HVAC systems. So, all this information that is linked to the sustainability can also be mapped and seen in the fitout as well as on the building, which is very useful.
Milan: Yeah! Thank you! This is maybe another reason why to have your solution on a continual basis and to use it for either relocation, for modernization, for solving day-to-day business, yeah? That I have more employees in this room this month and next month I will start a new project, so, I will need to change either fitout or move the walls.
Daria: That’s right though. The workplace is a dynamic place we’re not gonna see because of the pandemic. And, seeing workplace as a destination and that’s something that needs to adapt together with us. It’s become a live place, so you can do different alterations to it to make it more adaptable to your needs and seeing these alterations as a proposal before you actually invest the money to execute them in reality can be again very helpful.
Milan: Yeah! Thank you! During our previous discussions I asked what are your plans for 2023 and I would like to see where are you at the moment. Because when I told you that that we are contemplating cooperation you said that your calendar is at the moment very tight because you have new projects and it needs to be taken into account that it may take some time. What do you plan for 2023? Is there any new team ideas or what are the projects that you would like to cater for the next year?
47:35 What are the plans for 2023
Catalin: Well, our strategy in 2023 is to further develop the presence of our office software because we also have it in residential, retail and logistics but the most mature one is the office. We ended 2022 with three countries being present: Romania, Hungary and the United Kingdom. We will end the first quarter of 2023 with an addition of three more countries. I cannot disclose them until it’s going to be out in the open. Our focus is primarily European, but in the same time we look at the emerging real estate markets that can benefit our solution. That’s why one of the recent news is that we have added a very knowledgeable real estate person to be our regional manager and handling our regional manager and handling the operation in the middle east and north Africa. That’s why even next week, Daria Bogdan – our CEO and myself, we will be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi meeting developers in in the UAE and having probably in the nearby future also some projects or portfolio implementation based on the appetite on digitalization.
Milan: It’s quite fresh news, am I right? I noticed a post on the LinkedIn last week.
Catalin: Yes. Mike is former country head Poland and Romania for MindSpace which is one of the biggest co-working spaces provider in Europe and he has a lot of real estate experience that we are hoping to learn even more from him and while also providing the tech – the technology that we have gathered until now.
Milan: Okay! Thank you very much! I think that that was exhausting. Not that I would be exhausted but I think that the theme is good covered. I don’t see any questions that we did not answer that we discussed. So, let me thank you for your availability and will to be part of this event. And, I hope that we will meet your solutions also in Slovakia. I forgot to mention that that was the thing that we are missing solutions not only in the smart building space but also in a country, that we live in. I cannot find a similar solution here at the moment so it would be very nice to have some adopters.
Catalin: We look forward for the engagement.
Daria: Thank you, Milan. And uh even if we did not have any questions, we are always reachable and happy to talk to anyone who has questions. Daria and Catalin at Bright Spaces, you can find us on LinkedIn and just happy to connect and chat to anyone.
Milan: Okay! Thank you very much!
Daria: Thank you, Milan, for having us!
Catalin: Thank you! Bye!