Today’s Newer Buildings Know As Much About Employees As Their Bosses Do!

With the integration of 'smart building technology' lights now go on and off when people enter and leave their office or conference room. Security systems can detect when each employee enters and leaves the space or building.


These days there are devices and sensors located throughout the modern office, thanks to a series of applications known as the 'Internet of Things' (IoT). This is not only changing the traditional office but revolutionizing commercial real estate and providing information that is shaping the modern office.


We live in an era where people want the latest and greatest technology at their fingertips 24/7. It can be anything from a 'Ring Doorbell Camera' to a 'Nest', the high-tech home thermostat panel that can turn your lights on by 5 p.m.


And almost everyone uses a mobile phone these days, one that packs more power than the desktop they were using five years ago. According to the Pew Research Center 95% of all Americans own a mobile phone of some kind. They also report that 77% of all Americans own a Smartphone, up from only 35 % in 2011.


In our business it is about knowledge, especially at Cresa Nashville where we exclusively represent the tenant - we are not developers or landlords. Our information and knowledge has to be real time; and technology makes that possible with our CRM app and sites such as CoStar and LoopNet.


"My office, probably like most people today, is with me 24/7 – all in a handheld device where I can instantly find a client or prospect or the perfect 12,000-square-foot vacancy in the market."

Tatum Flynn, Principal


 Advances in technology has also made a great impact on how people work and where they work, and this is also impacting the commercial real estate business. The telecommuting revolution continues to change the modern definition of “at work”. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 3.2%, or 4.3 million employees, now work from home at least 50% of the time. And 40% more U.S. employers are offering flexible workplace options than they did five years ago.


As more companies provide flexible workplace options it’s creating changes in the traditional office space. Some companies are downsizing their space, eliminating those offices that are often unoccupied. Walls are coming down to provide more shared space for collaboration and “hoteling,” a name used to describe unassigned work stations, offices or space that employees can “reserve” for a day or more. In some cases, a regular telecommuter might use the space for two or three hours while in the office for a catch-up meeting or they are a perfect space for a customer or client to catch up on email and phone calls while visiting. 


The changes in work-space, certainly brought about by technology and the ability to work in a cloud space or telecommute, began with tech companies. Today, these changes are filtering through to other industries such as professional services firms – accountants and lawyers – who are struggling to resolve the question: How much hard-wall space do we really need?


Now they, and their employees, are seeing these advanced – and cool – work-spaces and saying "why not us?" Not only are they thinking about office space differently, but by thinking about adaptive office space management is forced to look at their business differently as well.  


Helping those companies and organizations understand that their office space is part of their overall business strategy is really what we do at Cresa Nashville.


Yes, we engage daily in real estate transactions, but we don’t start by asking how much space do you need and what market segment do you want to be located? We get back to the basics: Who and what is your company, how do you work, and who works for you? By asking these questions it often reveals surprising answers to the client themselves and can help clients make informed decisions.


At Cresa Nashville our use of technology provides a foundation that allows us to be more creative in our leasing solutions for clients.


For example, a client came to us and said they are considering a move because they have outgrown their space. They said "we have 293 employees and they are all here almost every day."


Our first step is to take a step back. Using smart technology, we tracked their 'fob swipes' in and out of the office for three months and found on average there were 180 people in their office on any given day. We showed these results to the client and let them know their space was adequate for the number of employees using that space on a daily basis. Even if they are planning to add another 50 employees, they still have the space to accommodate that growth.  


That’s technology working for us and for the client.


What’s best about how technology is changing our business is that there’s no more crystal ball forecasting. It's using our experience and knowledge gained from technological advances to help clients make the best decisions about their business and real estate needs. 


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Jeffrey Garza Walker
September 3, 2021

Cresa employee spotlight: Jeffrey Garza Walker

Jeffrey Garza Walker is Senior Vice President in Cresa’s Phoenix office who focuses on expanding Cresa’s capabilities in global portfolio services through key industrial clients with requirements in Latin America.