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Future-readying your building: WiredScore is the resource you need to adapt to today’s changing tenant preferences

Pictured: John Meko, Arie Barendrecht
Pictured: John Meko, Arie Barendrecht

There’s no doubt the world has changed over the past few years, and every industry must shed outdated mindsets to thrive. That’s particularly true in commercial real estate: While it’s not typically considered a “fast-moving” industry, fundamental changes in how people live and work and the rapid evolution in corresponding expectations and technological advances means that owner-operators, developers and need to pivot—or be left behind. 

It’s a dilemma WiredScore is uniquely equipped to address, says John Meko, WiredScore’s global director of operations. Using a proprietary framework, WiredScore assesses, certifies and improves digital connectivity and smart technology throughout buildings. “We work with landlords, developers and owners-operators to ensure the buildings they are constructing and delivering are future-ready from a technology standpoint, thereby ensuring  positive tenant outcomes,” he says.

The goal, explains WiredScore Founder and CEO Arie Barendrecht, is to “help real estate adapt and evolve in a world where buildings aren’t just brick or steel boxes, but are tech-enabled computers with roofs on them,” he says. “We are helping landlords deliver the right experience in a world where tech is the core of the real estate offering.”

What are the elements of future-ready buildings?

Naturally, tenants will continue to be impressed by aesthetic features . And yet, landlords will also find that one of the most crucial elements of a building is what’s inside. In growing the capabilities of essential structures, owner-occupiers can achieve an upgraded level of infrastructure to meet modern user needs and to measure performance. “Building managers have to be deliberate in their technology offerings in a way they never had to before. They need to position themselves as a high-quality asset to be competitive,” Meko says. 

Given today’s flight to quality, tenants will shun not only outdated exteriors and floor plans, but buildings that haven’t kept up with expectations for fast, always-on tech capabilities.

Seamless connectivity has become more important than ever, as residents expect uninterrupted access to reliable, high-speed WiFi whether they are working in the office or from home, streaming their favorite show or interacting with loved ones across the world.

And as managers encourage workers to spend time back in the office, they need to ensure they have the smart technology in place to remove friction and create an adaptive environment employees will seek out.

Adapting around tenant needs also means considering their preference for energy-efficient buildings. Today’s occupier wants concrete information about their carbon footprint and actionable advice on ways to enhance their sustainability.

“Not long ago, smart technology was not only an afterthought but typically considered to be a cost center,” says Meko.

“Today it’s the cost of doing business, and there’s been a holistic shift to building owners prioritizing building analytics as a way to benchmark how they can use energy more efficiently.” For example, many of WiredScore’s customers seek data to determine how their real estate is being used on a regular basis, contributing to more-informed decisions about how to optimize office assets and improve energy usage. 

WiredScore’s ability to measure and improve building technology performance can be a critical component of environmental, social and governance (ESG) success.  More recently, ESG frameworks specifically are broadening to include “resilience” as an additional pillar, matching the accelerating importance being placed on physical resilience in light of climate and security risks. This allows for more insightful decisions driven by better measurement and the ability to drive improvements using reliable data.

Landlords have to prioritize user experience to retain today’s occupants who are fleeing buildings that aren’t technologically sophisticated. “They want buildings that provide inspirational experiences, promote better health and well-being and focus on sustainability,” says Barendrecht. “Buildings that deliver on those outcomes will survive and prosper; others will face the risk of obsolescence as tenants exercise their choice.”

Upgrading tech is often easier said than done  

While most landlords and developers understand these needs, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just adding technological solutions. In fact, Barendrecht believes there’s never been a more complicated time to be investing in or managing real estate. While COVID accelerated trends like hybrid work, today’s macroeconomic realities, such as inflation and changing expectations, are critical drivers in the rapidly evolving ecosystem.

It’s not an easy task to identify the optimal technology solutions. Barendrecht sees there are two chief challenges: the first on the procurement side. The sheer number and variety of technological offerings are overwhelming, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Many landlords will aim to solve specific ad hoc problems with single-point solutions, but one-offs are complex in that they don’t necessarily work together when layered one upon another. It’s far more successful to reap the benefits of the synergies inherent in an interconnected system, and WiredScore offers a holistic view that integrates these components. Its certifications are an enabler for technology-driven experiences that give tenants what they really want, rather than implementing tech for tech’s sake.

Second, building owners often struggle with determining the return on investment. When making vast investments, especially as viewed through the prism of current economic uncertainty, building operators need data that can point to concrete benefits. “Through our certification, we are able to help them see how they can realize value from their investment, in terms of reducing costs and boosting demand since they can market their building more effectively,” he says. 

Creating an inspirational user experience

 WiredScore plugs into the ecosystem to provide value to architects, brokers, tenants, landlords, developers and anyone else tasked with making key structure-related decisions, with expert consultants who can advise on components that comprise a best-in-class experience.

“We have a high level of experience and deep knowledge base that allows us to guide our clients to identify the right fundamental infrastructure to adapt to changing technology,” Meko says. “Our foundation-oriented approach validates that landlords are putting in the right building blocks to meet users’ needs. We want our clients to realize legacy buildings can be adapted and retrofitted with innovative technology.”

Barendrecht believes building investors and operators need a “North Star” to focus on as they determine how to make their building relevant for the next five to 10 years. WiredScore can be considered that “crystal ball.”

“They need to recognize where the market is headed and identify the tech investments they should make today to ensure they can compete tomorrow,” says Barendrecht. “We can help them be futurists as we expose them to where the world is moving so they can maximize their investment by delivering the right end product.”

Are you ready to future proof your building? With WiredScore’s gap analysis, their team of experts can help you identify top priorities and then apply their framework to cut through the noise of all the decisions.  Click here to find out today why WiredScore is recognized and trusted as the leading voice for technology in the built world.