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[Covid-19] Are investors satisfied with their relationship with their Property Manager?

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This study aims to carefully analyse the responses of the 131 participants who partook in an online BNP Paribas Real Estate questionnaire. BNP Paribas Real Estate investors and/or owners of office real estate, clients or prospects. We wanted to be aware of and understand what their perception of the health crisis was and how their relationship with their Property Manager had fared in light of this

What support measures are available?

The downturn on economic activity during the lockdown has impacted every sector. 74% of those surveyed complained about a slowdown in their economic activities. According to the governor of la Banque de France François Villeroy de Galhau, lockdown has led to a decline of nearly 6% in the country’s annual growth and he estimates that the health crisis will trigger a GDP loss of 32% for the year 2020. 

This major shortfall which will require financial assistance and modifications on a case-by-case basis. According to our study, measures such as lease deferment and monthly payment schedules have been set up in order to help tenants. Additionally, as part of the extension of the emergency legislation voted by  Parliament, many decrees were released in the official publication on the 26th  March 2020 in order to exceptionally allow for the creation of a mechanism of deferment or rent-free periods in business lease regulations, making it possible to withstand predicted financial losses.

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The role of Property Managers has been consolidated during this crisis

Our survey has revealed that the participants were satisfied in general with the services provided by their Property Managers during the crisis. Their availability and their ability to ensure the continuation of their role came out on top as the most appreciated behaviours during this complex and uncertain period. The quality of their communication, their proactivity, their management of the building’s service providers and their advice were also high on the list of the behaviours that the participants appreciated. A very positive outcome and one which, once again reinforces the adaptability and the resilience of the profession.

New challenges in a post-Covid-19 world

In answer to the question: “According to you what are the main challenges which your Property Managers are going to have to deal with when this crisis is over?” The operational experience comes in at first place (89%), building digitalisation in second (87%), followed closely by the optimisation and management of space (85%).

Over the past several years, the transformation of the roles of property management coupled with technological advances have meant that the profession has become, at its core, a tailored service experience. PropTech has proved itself to be an invaluable partner in this evolution. Data collection has therefore become an activity in and of itself. The more that the technology develops as part of the smart building, the more property management must learn to adapt and provide new services. By collecting client satisfaction data, it is becoming simpler to offer personalised and efficient modes of operation. From technical management to building management, the Property Manager has become the perfect mediator between the building and its users and the perfect go-between for investors and occupiers.

BNP Paribas Real Estate is also working on an operational solution for real estate data: Property Data Insight (PDI), designed to showcase and use the collected data from the buildings in order to better understand this idea of “space as a service”.²

When it comes to the optimisation of spaces, it’s inevitable that the health crisis is going to call into question the configuration of offices in light of the social distancing restrictions. The surge in remote working and co-working spaces is also going to allow us to think differently about the office building
 

BNP-Paribas-Real-Estate-Direction-Committee-csongor-csukas

Flexibility is also going to be crucial; the fact that so many people were able to successfully work from home over such a long period of time shows that we are seeing an incorporation and an acceptance of remote working. This will have an impact on how we organise our office but also on the creation of leases, in an attempt to become more agile. Covid-19 has made us adapt rapidly to a completely unexpected situation for us and will, no doubt, encourage the emergence of a demand for flexible space.”

Csongor Csukás
Deputy Head of International Property Management at BNP Paribas Real Estate
Europe

[METHODOLOGY].

This recent study was conducted by the BNP Paribas Real Estate teams with a sample of 131 investors and/or office building owners, clients or prospects, from the 12th to the 26th May 2020. The interviews were carried out using a questionnaire. The most represented investor category is private investors (22%), followed by family office (18%), asset and fund managers (18%), investments funds OPCI and closed funds (12%), insurance companies and banks (11%), promoters (11%) the SCPI, OPCI public and open-end funds (8%) and the sovereign fund (1%). These investors roll out their investment strategies throughout the world.