Categories Creative Office Spaces, Narrative, Open Offices, Tech Industry

World’s Smartest Building

Sustainability is a huge priority for many in commercial real estate these days. The movement towards green, sustainable buildings has opened the doors for new innovations. The below article highlights a building in Amsterdam that received the highest score for sustainability in the world from BREEAM, the world’s leading assessment for sustainable buildings. Even more exciting for me are all the OTHER upgrades that also make it the smartest building in the world.
This building features sustainability measures like:
-Thousands of meters of solar panelling
-Aquifer thermal energy storage to supply heating and cooling
-A 15-story atrium with natural ventilation

In addition, this building is interconnected and runs almost entirely through a smartphone app. You read that right. The app helps employees:

– Find a desk. Desks aren’t assigned so employees move around every day. 
– Direct you to a parking spot.
– Adjust the heating/cooling in your area. 
If you’re interested in learning more about sustainability/smart buildings and what it means for the future development of commercial real estate, email me.


P.S.- From a smart building to a couple of not-that-smart brokers. Unleash your inner DJ with the Sharks in this week’s video. Click here to learn all about the 1’s and 2’s of Lobby DJ’s.

Lobby DJ
If you are unable to view the video, please click here.

The Smartest Building in the World
Inside the connected future of architecture 

By Tom Randall
Sept. 23, 2015

It knows where you live. It knows what car you drive. It knows who you’re meeting with today and how much sugar you take in your coffee. (At least it will, after the next software update.) This is the Edge, and it’s quite possibly the smartest office space ever constructed.

A day at the Edge in Amsterdam starts with a smartphone app developed with the building’s main tenant, consulting firm Deloitte. From the minute you wake up, you’re connected. The app checks your schedule, and the building recognizes your car when you arrive and directs you to a parking spot.

Then the app finds you a desk. Because at the Edge, you don’t have one. No one does. Workspaces are based on your schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or “concentration room.” Wherever you go, the app knows your preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly.

Photographer: Ronald Tilleman

The Edge is also the ­greenest building in the world, according to British rating agency BREEAM, which gave it the highest sustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 percent. The Dutch have a phrase for all of this: het nieuwe werken, or roughly, the new way of working. It’s about using information technology to shape both the way we work and the spaces in which we do it. It’s about resource efficiency in the traditional sense—the solar panels create more electricity than the building uses—but it’s also about the best use of the humans.

The building of the future necessitated invention. Several stand out. The super-efficient LED panels, made by Philips specifically for the Edge, require such a trickle of electricity they can be powered using the same cables that carry data for the Internet. The panels are also packed with sensors—motion, light, temperature, humidity, infrared—creating a “digital ceiling” that wires the building like synapses in a brain.

All told, the Edge is packed with some 28,000 sensors.

“We think we can be the Uber of buildings,” says Coen van Oostrom, chief executive officer of OVG Real Estate, the building’s developer. “We connect them, we make them more efficient, and in the end we will actually need fewer buildings in the world.”

Fifteen-Story Atrium

The atrium is the gravitational center of the Edge’s solar system. Mesh panels between each floor let stale office air spill into open space, where it rises and is exhaled through the roof, creating a loop of natural ventilation. Slight heat variations and air currents make it feel like the outdoors. Even on a stormy day, the building remains opalescent with natural light and angles of glass.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

The atrium and its iconic slanted roof, which looks from the outside as if a wedge has been sliced off the building, floods the workspaces with daylight and provides a sound buffer from the adjacent highway and train tracks. Every workspace is within 7 meters (23 feet) of a window.

“A quarter of this building is not allocated desk space, it’s a place to meet,” says Ron Bakker, architect of the Edge at London-based PLP Architecture. “We’re starting to notice that office space is not so much about the workspace itself; it’s really about making a working community, and for people to have a place that they want to come to, where ideas are nurtured and the future is determined.”

New Way of Working

About 2,500 Deloitte workers share 1,000 desks. The concept is called hot desking, and it’s supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, just as important, efficient use of space. Desks are only used when they’re needed. Some tiny rooms at the Edge contain just a lounge chair and a lamp (no desk)—perfect for a phone call. There are also game rooms and coffee bars with espresso machines that remember how you like your coffee. Massive flatscreens around every corner can be synced wirelessly with any phone or laptop.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

Since workers at the Edge don’t have assigned desks, lockers serve as home base for the day. Find a locker with a green light, flash your badge, and it’s yours. Employees are discouraged from keeping a single locker for days or weeks, because part of thehet nieuwe werken philosophy is to break people away from their fixed locations and rigid ways of thinking.

A Dashboard to Rule Them All

Deloitte is collecting gigabytes of data on how the Edge and its employees interact. Central dashboards track everything from energy use to when the coffee machines need to be refilled. On days when fewer employees are expected, an entire section might even be shut down, cutting the costs of heating, cooling, lighting, and cleaning.

Source: Deloitte

Deloitte’s general philosophy with the Edge was that anything with a return on ­investment of less than 10 years is worth a try. The digital ceiling was one of the most expensive innovations; Deloitte wouldn’t disclose the cost, but Erik Ubels, chief information officer for Deloitte in the Netherlands, says it will take 8.3 years to earn it back.

There’s no doubt, says Ubels, that in the future all buildings will be connected, both internally and to other buildings. “The multi-billion-dollar question is who is going to do it. Whoever is successful is going to be one of the most successful companies in the world.”

An Evolving App

The smartphone is your passport to the Edge. Use it to find your colleagues, adjust the heating, or manage your gym routine. You can even order up a dinner recipe, and a bag of fresh ingredients will await you when the workday is over. All desks are equipped with built-in wireless chargers so your phone can keep itself charged.

Electric Car and Bike Parking

When you arrive at the Edge, garage entry is automated. A camera snaps a photo of your license plate, matches it with your employment record, and raises the gate. Even the garage uses sensor-equipped LED lights, which brighten as you approach and dim as you leave. It’s the Netherlands, so a separate garage for bicycles and free chargers for electric vehicles aren’t surprising. In Amsterdam, even the airport taxis are Teslas.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

Don’t worry, your boss can’t access personal data from the Edge’s sensors and has no idea how many meetings you’ve missed this year. To be sensitive of privacy concerns, Deloitte surveyed employees before it installed the license plate scanner. The vast majority of respondents thought it was fine, as long as it made work life easier.

Long Blue Tubes

The Edge is wired with a vast network of two different kinds of tubes: one that holds data (ethernet cables) and another that holds water. Behind each ceiling tile is a massive coil of thin blue piping that delivers water to and from the building’s subterranean water storage for radiant heating and cooling.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

During summer months, the building pumps warm water more than 400 feet deep in the aquifer beneath the building, where it sits, insulated, until winter, when it’s sucked back out for heating. The system developed for the Edge is the most efficient aquifer thermal energy storage in the world, according to Robert van Alphen, OVG’s project manager for the Edge.

Powered by the Sun

The southern wall is a checkerboard of solar panels and windows. Thick load-bearing concrete helps regulate heat, and deeply recessed windows reduce the need for shades, despite direct exposure to the sun. The roof is also covered with panels. The ​Edge uses ​7​0 percent less electricity than ​the typical office building​, but it wasn’t until OVG installed panels on the rooftops of some neighboring university buildings that the Edge was able to boast that it produces more energy than it consumes.

Watch the video

Is It Hot, or Just Me?

Sensors in the LED light panels report detailed temperature and humidity readings across a floor (above). A Deloitte survey found that while fewer than a quarter of employees actively use the app’s thermostat features, three-quarters say they love it. Maybe that’s because precision controls eliminate the problem of natural hot and cold spots, often found near windows.

Source: Deloitte

A coming app upgrade will boost efficiency further by suggesting desk locations to employees based on their temperature preferences and meeting locations throughout the day.

Trickle-Down Toilet Water

A massive concrete tub in the back of the parking garage gathers the rainwater used to flush the building’s toilets and water the gardens. It’s a loud room on a rainy day. The water rushes down from collection systems on the roof and outdoor balcony.

RoboCop and the Vacuum

This little robot (bottom left) comes out at night to patrol the grounds. If an alarm goes off, the camera-­equipped automaton can identify the culprit or let security know it was a false alarm. It cruises around automatically like a Roomba or can be commandeered by remote control. Deloitte’s Erik Ubels says he noticed similar robots in shipyards, tracked down the manufacturer, and asked if they could be modified for office security.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

For smarter cleaning, activity is tracked by sensors built into light panels, so at the end of the day, the people and robots (above right) responsible for cleaning can focus on the areas that have been used most heavily that day.

Human Power

The on-site gym encourages employees to break for a midday workout. Flash your phone at the check-in station and the gym’s app automatically tracks your progress. Some of the ­exercise stations here will actually harness the energy from your workout, sending hard-earned watts back to the grid—as if you didn’t already feel like a hamster in a wheel.

Not Just a Towel Dispenser

The Edge watches you in the bathroom, too (but not in a creepy way). A normal-looking towel dispenser provides a spool of cloth for hand-drying. Unlike a typical hand dryer, though, this one is connected to the Internet. It lets the cleaning staff know when a busy bathroom is probably ready for a cleanup.

Ecological Corridor

Birds, bats, bees, and bugs. These are the building’s neighbors on the north-facing terrace. OVG worked with Amsterdam officials to establish a continuous path of vegetation that supports beneficial insects throughout the city. Birdhouses and bat boxes are tucked discreetly into the landscaping. These pockmarked towers support various species of solitary bees, which buzz about the flowers on the public terrace.

Photographer: Raimond Wouda

Editors: Bryant Urstadt, Katie Drummond
Photo Editor: Donna Cohen
Producer: Bernadette Walker




Categories Narrative

How Leaders Prepare for New Workplace Environment

With all the new open office environments, our clients are having to work with their associates to manage the inevitable issues that arise. We have discussed these issues in previous narratives like noise, lack of privacy, no storage space, etc. Today we wanted to share a few ways to work with your team as you make the transition. These include:

  1. Change has become a constant in this world. Help associates understand that remaining stagnant lowers productivity and inhibits creativity. We say: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. I know it’s easier said than done, but this lesson remains important to all businesses.
  2. Over communicate. By opening up clear and concise communication from the very beginning of the process, everyone in the office starts fresh on the same page without feeling left behind. This means starting the conversation when you start looking for space. Not after the lease is signed.
  3. Get leaders on board early. Change implementation begins with management/team leaders; if their actions demonstrate change, they will inspire others to get on board therefore making the process more accepted.

There are more things to keep in mind below. If you want us to come in and work with your team leaders on change management, send me an email. But again, make sure it is very early in the process.


P.S.-Commercial Property Executive ranks our firm, Lee & Associates, number 2 this year.  Congrats to the more than 800 brokers across North America who helped create the company we are today. Click here to read the full announcement.


Helping leaders prepare people for their new workplace

By Diane Coles Levine 
Kimball Office
®2015 Kimball Office

People have a natural resistance to change and even though there are good business reasons for transforming the workplace, often, workers feel vulnerable with the process. Consequently, workplace change management should be executed very carefully and thoughtfully. The goal is to create a well-crafted program that provides support for employees about their new workplace and assists them in getting back to work as quickly as possible to avoid any productivity loss. This paper will discuss the importance of workplace change management along with basic steps to success.

What is workplace change management? 
Change management helps leaders prepare people for their new workplace, engage their employees throughout the change, and drive positive outcomes. People often have a fight-or-flight response to change as shown in the Change Curve, Figure 1.

Kimball 1

This curve is a popular model that demonstrates the different stages of how people react to change; from denial to resistance to acceptance to commitment. The change management process helps employees move through this model and shift their thinking and behavior from resisting change to committing to their new work environment. It is a structured approach that coincides with the workplace strategy, design and construction schedule. The idea is to achieve a unified cultural transition for employees from their current work environment to their future workspace.

The five steps in a workplace change management program are outlined further in this paper. They are:
1. Create the business case for change
2. Develop a common vision
3. Communicate for buy-in
4. Manage the change
5. Adopt and adjust to the change

Why do we need change management? 
Change management helps employees get back to work quickly and effectively and in return reduce costs and minimize productivity loss. People and space represent the two largest portions of a company’s budget and a smooth change management program helps optimize these assets by decreasing costs and retaining high performers. People by nature are adaptable and can adjust to new workplaces whether they like them or not. However, without a well thought out change program, workers may not be as efficient and productive in the new space as in the old. Change management ensures that employees are productive and performing to their best capabilities.

A well-planned change management program reduces stress, improves employee engagement and well-being along with their overall satisfaction with the company. Workers want to feel valued, respected and appreciated and change management helps them become more satisfied with their new workspace and, in general, the employee experience. That’s why change management efforts led by trained professionals can deliver a work environment where employees can be productive and embrace the new space from day one.

Start Change Management early in the project process

Kimball 2 2

When to start change management?
Preferably, the change management process starts at the beginning of the workplace strategy development and design process, Figure 2, Change Management & Design Process. 

The purpose of change management is to gain leverage and maximize the performance of the employees throughout the entire timeframe of the workplace project. Starting at the beginning of the process helps save money and avoid costly change orders along with unhappy, disengaged and unproductive staff. Change management practices are designed to uncover any leadership and staff concerns with the new workplace environment. Early discovery of controversial issues and employee concerns means they can be resolved sooner rather than later to prevent unnecessary future changes in architectural and construction plans. Deferring change management later in the design process runs the risk of budget increases, costly construction modifications, delays and dissatisfied or underperforming employees.

Who is involved?
Typically, the change management program is led by an independent third party or an employee of the company experienced in change management. That person works with both internal departments along with external partners including the real estate broker, architect, contractor, furniture supplier and others as applicable depending on the change. Input from various internal functions of the organization like human resources, facilities and real estate, information technology, marketing and communications helps focus on the many facets of corporate life and culture including how change will be employed, accepted and adopted. 

When planning a workplace change, many companies take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade technology, introduce new programs and advance their culture. This is an appropriate time to re-examine programs and processes, deploy new technology, review company values, shift culture, and improve the employee experience and amenities being provided. Coordination of these multiple change efforts involves careful planning and deserves focus to ensure that all the projects are interconnected in a unified approach for best results.

Kimball 3

Five steps to managing workplace change

1. Create the business case for change
The change program begins with understanding the organization’s motivation for the change and its ability to successfully adapt to that change. It’s very important that company leaders are “transparent” and “honest” about the reasons and capacity for change. A thorough analysis of the risks and opportunities associated with the proposed change and an understanding of the gains, costs and threats of making or not making the change is essential. This step includes a readiness assessment of the organizations capacity to execute change. Readiness means being prepared and the assessment is an examination of the organizations attitudes and resources required to make the change happen successfully. The assessment is conducted using a survey which allows employees to give feedback about their outlook and aptitude for the workplace change. This, in turn makes the employees feel engaged and part of the change process from the start.

There are many drivers for workplace change like economic conditions, regulatory changes, mergers and acquisitions, reorganization, expansion, growth, technology advances, employee attraction and retention, lease expiration, or countless other causes. Whatever the reasons are, they should be carefully examined to develop the business case using data rather than instinct to create the return on investment and success measures for the workplace transformation.

The business case sets the stage to create the common vision (Step 2) and obtain buy-in throughout the communication strategy (Step 3). The success measures help make the change stick (Step 5) by assessing the results to ensure adoption to new ways of working and making adjustments as needed. Some examples of success measures include return on investment, density of occupation, space utilization, pre and post-occupancy survey, productivity, employee satisfaction, employee engagement, turnover, building costs, meeting room usage, and more.

2. Develop a common “vision”
As Peter M. Senge once said “people don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” The reality is that most companies jump head first into workplace design projects without engaging workers, ignoring their needs, creating doubt and uncertainty. It’s best to take a team approach to create a common vision and spell out how the future will be different from the past and make that vision a reality.

Evidence-based design research in the workplace is essential in creating the vision and aligning the business culture to the design. As organizations move toward a “work anywhere” approach, and the creation of more exciting creative spaces that foster teamwork and well-being, it is important to understand what the research says to avoid costly design mistakes. Research can also facilitate better communication with employees about the basis and reasons for workplace design decisions to minimize their concerns.

For example, if a company is moving from closed to open offices for all employees including executives, people will be concerned about noise levels and distraction. Research found in Dr. Sally Augustin’s publication titled “Applying What Scientists Know About Where and How People Work Best” 1 references literature about the science of designing acoustically sound open plan space to minimize distraction. This bibliography of workplace design topics is a great tool for explaining the reasoning behind workspace choices and help leaders make better informed decisions. It is vital to educate and involve employees in design selection to achieve acceptance and agreement of their future space. Having an executive sponsor and including department leaders up front in the planning and design process will result in a smoother transition from the old to the new workplace.

3.  Communicate for buy-in
Change communications ensures that the people affected by the change understand the change and are prepared for the transformation. The “Business Case” developed in Step 1 and the “Vision” created in Step 2 form the basis of the communication messages and explains the “value” of what employees will gain in their new workspace.

Effective communications is multi-pronged, targeted to specific audiences and maintained throughout the life of the project. For employees, it’s all about “What’s in it for Me,” Figure 3.

They expect clear, concise, honest and consistent messages. The earlier the communications the better as it takes time for people to adjust mentally to a workplace change as shown in the Change Curve, Figure 1. Workers want to know about the new building, local amenities, furniture, technology, space design, construction and move schedule and, in general, how the transformation affects them.

Communication methods vary and are targeted for special audiences to head off rumors and resistance to change. They can include face-to-face meetings, virtual newsletter, frequently asked questions, web cams of construction, virtual tours, videos, town hall meetings, focus groups, round table discussions and more depending on the organizations requirements.

Workplace Change Management 2

4. Manage the change
The best way to manage the change is to appoint and empower a committee of changes agents who advocate for their departments and for the improvements coming in the new space. These change agents are an integral part of the change process and act as a link, selling the change, helping to dispel rumors and bringing insights and observations back to the change management and project team. Appointing resistors and detractors as change advocates will aid in testing the merits of the change approach. This can be difficult in the beginning but will pay off in the long run as resistors become highly influential and loyal advocates.

Managing and planning activities and events like pilots, mock-ups, hard-hat tours, room-naming contests, purge campaigns, furniture, food and coffee sampling are an important part in gaining support from employees and reducing their anxiety levels, Figure 4, Change Deliverables.

5. Adopt and adjust to the change
Change is deemed successful when it becomes the “new normal.” A review of the change program helps leaders understand how the change met planned outcomes and how well individuals adjusted to their new workplace. Data and metrics established in Step 1 are used to evaluate success, make adjustments and avoid going back to the way things were. Change management is ongoing and data collected to support the workplace transformation should endure beyond the move for continuous improvements. As a company evolves so does its business strategy and subsequently its workplace strategy and data can support the organization’s leaders in brainstorming possible enhancements and innovations.

To make the change stick, leaders must model their actions to achieve the desired culture established in the “common” vision (Step 2). Employees are more apt to follow when management is leading the way and exhibiting new ways of working and the desired conduct. Workshops or guidance sessions are a great way for both managers and employees to understand the preferred new behaviors and workplace practices. They can be targeted for specific audiences and topics like “managing distributed teams,” “collaborating with colleagues,” “flex fundamentals for employees,” “sharing knowledge across teams,” and “welcome to your new workplace.” Training programs should continue long after the move and continually improve and evolve with the workplace strategy.

Kimball 6 3

How to pursue change management? 
It’s best to utilize a third party not connected to the project team that has proven experience managing workplace transformation projects along with a comprehensive understanding of workplace strategy and the design process. A strong focus on people and the ability to connect, engage and communicate with employees in various media is essential. No matter how well designed the workplace, the success of the project will ride on the acceptance from the staff. And, a third party with a history of managing change can ultimately facilitate that success. An independent source yields the greatest value because that source can deliver the hard messages, remain impartial and relay employee reactions to the change without putting staff at risk. They face similar issues with every project completed and can identify potential concerns and assist with resolution before the small matters become problematic. Using proven processes, an outside source can apply their vast change management experience to guarantee project success and employee satisfaction with the new workplace.

Seven keys to a successful change management program: 
1. Early launch
2. Data and evidence-based design research to back up business decisions, analyze success and make the change stick
3. Senior level sponsorship that is engaged in the project
4. Change agents or ambassadors actively representing departments
5. Communication plan that is well thought out with participation by employees and change agents
6. Change activities and events such as mock ups, pilot programs, tours, special events, welcome packets, etc.
7. Experienced change manager leading the project

When done right, a thoughtful workplace change program will align people and place to the desired business outcomes, culture and goals. Change management can discover controversial “hot button” issues and, in turn, ultimately save costs and increase employee performance. A successful change management program will make employees feel valued and consequently more productive and more likely to stay with the company long after their move to the new workplace. The easier you make the transformation for employees, the quicker your company will benefit and the more likely it will be successful.

Diane Coles-Levine, MCR brings over 25 years of experience in change management, corporate real estate, workplace strategy, facility management and business continuity to her role as principal at Workplace Management Solutions. Coles-Levine is a cofounder of and senior advisor to IFMA’s Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) group, a vibrant global community of practice focused on increasing workplace innovation and consciousness. In the corporate world, she spearheaded the innovative workplace strategy and award winning AWESOME project to save costs, improve work-life balance and attract and retain employees.  She was the editor and co-author of the award-winning IFMA Foundation book about the workplace entitled “Work on the Move: Driving Strategy and Change in Workplaces,” for which she was recognized as an IFMA Distinguished Author in 2012.



Categories Economy, Narrative

Stalking Millennials and CRE

It seems like I am stalking all Millennials these days. Readers know why. They are changing the way we do business. Below is an article on how they are changing Commercial Real Estate. Here are a few takeaways for me:

  • Smartphones are here and they are being used for EVERYTHING. All our websites, media, packages, flyers etc. need to be smartphone compatible. 
  • Millennials are building their network online and are WAY less trusting of the good old boy network. I think this will lead to some hard life lessons as they start to realize not everything on the Internet is true.
  • Technology is changing so rapidly and Millennials are changing with it. Stay up to date or risk becoming extinct.


These are a few areas we are looking at today for our business. Hope you are as well.


P.S.- The Sharks are back for this week’s shocking video. Watch it on our website by clicking here.

Shock Stick
If you are unable to view the video, please click here.

How Millennials Will Change CRE

David Smooke
CRE Mill- 1
Jan 7 2016

As the Baby Boomers are defined by a war, the Millennials are defined by an invention. The U.S. Council of Economic Advisors summarized this generation’s technological shift aptly, “The significance of Millennials extends beyond their numbers. This is the first generation to have had access to the Internet during their formative years.”

The de facto study on Millennial demographics is conducted by Pew Research Center. They state, “The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood.” Like most industries, the day to day professional life of the commercial real estate professional must adapt to the increase of millennials in the industry. In defining millennials Pew continues, “Now ranging in age from 18 to 33, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.”

The innovations associated with the millennial generation (smartphones, internet, social media) are undoubtedly a part of the real estate agent’s day to day. For their businesses, 93% of real estate brokers use a smartphone and 91% use social media according to the technology survey.

CRE Mill- 2

Kathryn KJ Juneau, a millennial CRE broker in Baton Rouge, encapsulates a generation’s distaste for an over-reliance on phone calls: “It’s the 21st century and you’re telling me I need to call you for information on a property? What about texting?  With our shorthand and abbreviations, we are quick and get right to the point. Why have a five minute phone call when we can text for less than 30 seconds?” (via SVNGLL).

Millennials expect the access to professional information to more closely resemble consumer facing research. Throughout the consideration and buying process, consumers have abundant access to reviews, ratings, and event direct lines to vetted sources.

“Millennials will also be pushing easier ways for seemingly small tasks,” reports the National Real Estate Investor. “For example, a text-to-confirm standard for initial property vetting—meaning Millennial agents will confirm smaller listing questions by simply shooting a text to the listing broker.”

CRE Mill- 3

Commercial Real Estate firms recognize the real business in keeping up with technology, social media and the behaviors of their buyer; the tech savvy millennial workforce is well positioned to thrive in the commercial real estate industry.

68% of first time home buyers are currently millennials, according to the National Association of Realtors.Millennials, as buyers and sellers, have traits that differ previous generations. Ironically as the first generation with social media, they have low levels of social trust. Pew estimates 19% of Millennial respondents say ‘they trust other people,’ compared to 31% of Gen-Xers and 40% of Baby Boomers.

CRE Mill- 4

What does this mean for the future profile of the commercial real estate professional?

“With millennials the advantage of the ‘rolodex effect’ is less tied to years of experience,” said Capstak President & Co-Founder Heather Goldman. “Today the Internet and new technology tools enable millennials to build online networks and more efficiently access information about listings, lending and investment opportunities and buyers. They are experiencing rapid career growth with new ways to broker deals and relationships.”

This mirrors the millennial generation’s buying behaviours. “Millennials who are first generation investors that don’t know who to trust will immediately turn to the internet as their first source,” reports The Nation Real Estate Investor. “A platform for online comparison of brokers would be their best friend. I imagine this platform would be like the Yelp for brokers—including reviews, specialties, locations served, price ranges, contact information, etc.”

This doesn’t mean the commercial real estate industry does not still demand the human touch. “Interpersonal communication is important, as are hand written cards on occasion,” says Juneau. “But my overall goal is to get my clients the information they want more quickly. We all know “time can kill a deal,” that’s real life. So, let’s all get aboard the information highway in CRE and zoom along like the rest of the world.”

It’s hard to talk about millennials without examining the role of a greater purpose in their economic activities.When asked about the primary reason for purchasing a home, the “desire to own a home of their own was highest among millennials at 39 percent… Millennials were the most likely to use a real estate agent, mobile or tablet applications, and mobile or tablet search engines during their search.”

CRE Mill- 5

To re-iterate: the top factor driving a millennial to own residential real estate is their desire to own a home. It’s very tied to their personal purpose, i.e. I will here, I own here. The Washington Post went so far as to unearth Pew Research data indicating that owning a home was more important to millennial buyers than ‘having a high paying career,’ ‘living a very religious life’ or ‘becoming famous.’ WhileTime’s infamous “Me, Me, Generation” coining may remain at the top of our newsfeed, the millennial’s desire to own a home remains high. Commercial real estate sellers will have to cater to rising demographic of millennial buyers, where we’ve seen the first wave in the residential space.

Technology’s role in the ‘who-knows-who?’ and ‘who-knows-what?’ of commercial real estate cannot be separated from the millennial’s increased role in the commercial real estate industry. Commercial real estate firms are now faced with adapting to the millennial buyer and the millennial colleague.
Capstak is the commercial real estate community. Photo Credit REALTORS® & PEW Research Center.


Categories Narrative, Tech Industry

Robotic Parking

1,000 cars valet parked in a garage. No humans. Unreal. See the story below and if you are really interested, check out the two minute video of the largest parking garage in Europe that is completely run by robots.

I have sent some previous narratives on robotics and how it is eliminating jobs. This is one area it will change – how people park. It’s worth a few minutes to see what was just finished under a library in Denmark. Drivers park their car in one of 20 booths and receive a ticket. The car is lowered and one of 24 robots transfer it to a parking space.


P.S. I discussed Atlas Robots in a previous VR ( Check out the latest robots by clicking here.

Europe’s biggest robotic car park opens below Scandinavia’s largest library

Jessica Mairs
Friday November 20th 2015

Robotic Parking

Lödige Industries’ automated car park has been installed beneath a library in Denmark, which was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen (+ movie).

The robotic system was developed by the German firm Lödige Industries and can stow 1,000 cars over three subterranean storeys. It acts like a valet, picking up cars from their drivers and transporting them to a designated parking space.

Robotic Parking 1

The system can park or retrieve a car in just one minute and handle up to 235 vehicles each hour. It has 191 fewer parking spaces than the world’s largest automated car park, which is located in the Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai.

The car park in Aarhus is located below Dokk1, a cultural complex by Schmidt Hammer Lassen containing Scandinavia’s largest library. While the building completed earlier this summer, the Dokk1 Aarhus Car Park has just completed its testing phase.

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“From the moment the driver parks his car, everything is automatic,” said Lödige Industries chief executive Philippe De Backer.

“Compact construction is the key, especially in city centres. Parking systems must fit into a limited space, which is why automated solutions are so attractive.”

Aside from its space- and time-saving benefits, the firm claims its Lödige Shifter system also helps to prevent the knocks and scrapes cars can suffer in conventional car parks.

Robotic Parking 3

Drivers park their car in one of 20 ground-level booths and receive a ticket. Once the car has been vacated, it is lowered below ground and lifted onto one of 24 robots that transfer it to a parking space.

“The real innovation is not simply the size of the car park – automated car parks rarely exceed 300 parking spaces – it’s the absence of pallets that are traditionally used as carrier units,” said a statement from Lödige Industries. “This makes the whole system much quicker and more efficient.”

Robotic Parking 4

“This is an ultra-flat robot that drives underneath the car and lifts it up at the wheels to take it from the lift to the transfer vehicle and transport it to the parking space,” explained the company.

Drivers use a touchscreen to recall their vehicle to drop-off shopping or to leave the car park. A round-the-clock helpline is available for users.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen is currently working with American artist James Turrell on an extension to its ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in the Danish city.



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