Investors & Occupiers Test Agile Space Strategies

From coworking initiatives to shorter lease terms and the provision of space through service agreements, investors and occupiers are intent on finding the best ways to respond to changing economic and business conditions in an agile manner.

Following are the key findings of CBRE’s upcoming Global Investor Intentions and Global Occupier surveys for 2018:

  • 45% of surveyed investors think that an “agile” space strategy—space that can be procured quickly with little capital investment and very flexible terms—is an occupier trend that will have the most impact on real estate value this year.
  • Only 4% of investors intend to develop their own agile space offering, while 9% intend to partner with a third-party operator. This finding indicates that most investors likely are still evaluating agile space strategies.
  • 25% of investors believe that an agile-space offering is a value-add for long-term tenants.
  • Investor survey results suggest there is a threshold to the amount of space that can be dedicated to an agile-space offering before value is negatively impacted.
  • When third-party agile space operators have up to 20% of a building’s leasable area, 42% of investors think this will increase building value and 52% think it will not impact value at all.
  • When third-party agile space operators have more than 80% of a building’s leasable area, 64% of investors think this will decrease building value versus 36% who think it will have no impact.
  • 41% of occupier survey respondents in the U.S. anticipate having 50 or more employees working out of at least one coworking location in the next three years.
  • Nearly half of occupier respondents still anticipate using a traditional serviced-office model three years from now. This signals the desire of some occupiers to take advantage of flexibility and a tech-enabled work environment without the fashionable community environment that coworking offers.
  • Almost one-quarter of occupier respondents intend to use agile-space offerings as a test drive for new approaches to workspace and occupancy. The lasting impressions these public and private spaces make on their users will play a role in creating the stickiness that is required to maintain longevity in these flexible relationships.

By Julie Whelan, Head of Occupier Research, Americas, CBRE.

Check out the full results of the CBRE’s 2018 Investor Intentions Survey and Global Occupier Survey to be released later this month.