Real estate companies reach their full potential with innovation. When combined with a creative business model, the sky's the limit!
Previously in our Innovation Series, we featured interviews with various property professionals such as Malte Wallschläger from HIH and Grigor Hadjiev from PIMCO Prime Real Estate on their digital transformation journey. Each one of them galvanizes the real estate industry to make use of technology for optimizing the customer journey.
In this article of our innovation series, we highlight the digitalization vision and roadmap of Container Living from Denmark, an award-winning, distinctive residential developer and operator that bases its business case on retrofitting shipping containers to modern living spaces, and drives it further with building technologies and a strong tenant experience focus.
“The shipping container is the world's most successful example of how standardization creates the basis for efficiency, stable quality, agility and cost savings – qualities that the real estate industry has been chasing for decades,” says Brian Gade, Container Living's CEO.
ABOUT CONTAINER LIVING
Container Living designs, develops, builds and operates attractive properties based on a standardized, branded and serviced concept. “The whole process is carried out in-house, which is an integral part of the concept and brand. This ensures an efficient and standardized operation, loyalty to the concept and supports continuous learning and further development of the concept and the platform,” remarks Gade.
With creative concepts such as Spinderihallerne, covering 600 a sqm of living space built within a historical industrial complex, or Musicon that consists of 30 rental homes and business premises that is often home to events such as concerts, dance shows, exhibitions, and festivals; Container Living demonstrates an example as a modern and vivacious housing solution.
The containers offer an affordable living solution, which can be moved or reconfigured to changing future needs. “Our product is thus not only the physical property, but to an equal extent the serviced concept.”
How do you build your innovation strategy, and what are the main pillars of it?
The current PropTech landscape is in rapid growth with companies introducing new technological innovations that streamline how people interact with properties and each other. With this trend, there’s going to be a higher demand for integration between solutions.
We also benefit from this by integrating digitized property operations and management under one roof. Therefore digital transformation must be seen as essential, not just a nice-to-have. Our tenants have a high level of digital maturity, meaning, they quickly adopt new technologies – including building solutions that focus on smart energy management.
The focus of real estate is primarily on short-term economic optimization. In many cases, there is no focus on how to create the best experience for tenants. We make sure that we adjust and adapt the smart building program to what tenants want and need, as not one size fits all.
Tenant experience is our main priority, and our digital strategy is built to fully serve that, with three main pillars: Keeping track of the building by using BIM and digital twins, implementing connected PropTech solutions that add value to the lifecycle of our properties and tenants, and finally, collecting data.
As an example, average tenant churn after the first year for small apartments in Denmark is around 40%. Container Living maintains 20% as a result of strong customer relationship, loyalty and community building. Spaceflow as our go-to tenant experience platform plays an important role in achieving this result.
Since tenant experience is a major priority for you, what are your go-to activities that you implement for tenant satisfaction?
We have a strong focus on building communities between the residents and the neighborhood; as well as helping residents meet their needs for belonging, self-esteem and actualization.
Tenants are increasingly looking for properties and services that foster connectivity through shared spaces, community events, or other initiatives. That is why we have created common living areas which invite residents to socialize with neighbors. This includes on-site communal spaces, sports areas, green houses and so on.
Our community activities are scaffolded by community managers, who create an embracing environment for the residents. The residents also take part in the development of the community. Hosting events is key to building a positive relationship between tenants.
By focusing on more user-centric space design and a more holistic approach to property management and operation, we can be better prepared for the future which is becoming more and more tech-reliant.Spaceflow's tenant experience solution works as a way for us to help tenants stay connected and involved. Tenant involvement provides a sense of ownership and creates loyalty, happiness and ultimately tenant retention.