Your first step towards success in the real estate as a service model? A major change in mindset.
While the traditional real estate approach sees real estate as a product (wholesale blocks of space for rent), the real estate as a service (REaaS) model utilizes a customer-focused approach, providing a space that offers amenities, flexibility, scalability and a sense of community that keeps users coming back.
NAIOP defines real estate as a service as “a business model that provides clients with scalable access to commercial space and amenities that can be used on demand and in different configurations according to client needs. Real estate as a service can serve multiple business objectives such as filling underutilized properties, providing traditional tenants with the option to flexibly expand their access to space, and providing landlords with additional revenue.”
In an on-demand course to be released early next year by NAIOP’s The Center for Education, attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of real estate as a service and its unique considerations, opportunities and challenges.
“Our customers continue to demand increasing flexibility and REaaS has been a key component in delivering those needs,” said Ace Roman, senior director of finance for Granite Properties and one of the NAIOP Real Estate as a Service course subject matter experts.
The course incorporates several case studies of successful REaaS projects, including Vault 405, a shared space operated by Citizens Bank of Edmond in Edmond, Oklahoma. Citizens Bank of Edmond opened Vault 405 in 2018 to learn more about the needs of small businesses, offer them more customized banking services and transform an underutilized branch location into a new source of revenue. The project caters specifically to the needs of the area’s local startups and small businesses, providing an environment in which a diverse set of newer companies can learn from each other, establish connections with other downtown organizations, and grow.
“The most important aspect of the service mindset is to think of the building as more than just space and to consider your members and what they need,” said Daniel Levison, chairman of CRE Holdings and another of the NAIOP course’s subject matter experts.
Among the services offered by Vault 405 are mentorship and networking opportunities, regular workshops and events, a local festival featuring live music, access to a podcast studio and more – along with more traditional amenities including high-speed internet, conference rooms, dedicated desks, mail service and storage.
Vault 405 has demonstrated that financial or professional services firms can derive significant value from shared spaces that target entrepreneurs and small businesses. While launching a serviced space can provide a new source of revenue, it can also serve as a great way for firms to better understand current and potential clients and increase awareness of their services.
“Real estate professionals want customers to feel at home in their workplace, freely network and have a sense of belonging,” said Michael Kloppenburg, director of leasing for Carr Companies and another subject matter expert for the new course. “When employees are actively engaged, they are more likely to be excited and productive and ultimately enhance their workplace community.”
NAIOP’s Real Estate as a Service on-demand course, available early 2020, will cover:
- Shifting from the traditional real estate mindset to a service mindset
- Strategies for identifying target audiences and developing a high-level branding plan
- Establishing a meaningful community
- Designing space that supports the business model
- Specific financial considerations
- Assembling an effective team
Brielle Scott is Senior Communications Manager at NAIOP.