• Property marketing in a changing environment

    The commercial property market is facing big changes – BP last week announcing the sale of its head office in St James’s to scale down is a consequence of new working behaviours and, one suspects, the tip of the iceberg. There may well be an avalanche to follow. This is not to say that commercial offices are a thing of the past, it will no doubt just see a pattern of downscaling with partial home working and hot desking being very much the norm. This may mean there will be a lot of activity in the rental market once businesses have acknowledged and accepted a new way of working for their staff. While that may mean there are a lot of potential tenants out there, there may also be a lot of lettable property available. Therefore, the competition will once again be fierce to attract client attention.

  • Navigating the challenges of marketing an international business

    It’s not easy being responsible for the marketing and communications of an international business. The more offices you have and the more countries you service, the more complex the nature of marketing and communications becomes.

    This is partly to do with the issues of communicating across borders, but also simply the practical challenge of creating consistent and coherent communications from different offices.

  • Taking pride of place

    I recently attended the ‘Creative Placemaking’ seminar, organised by New London Architecture, along with about 150 others. But why? And who were all these people? Among the speakers were City visionaries and number crunchers. There was ‘big picture’ perspective, as well as the ‘minutiae’. It quickly became apparent at the event that there are a lot of interested parties, many people with a stake in placemaking who also share a wish to transform a place for the better. This in itself struck a chord with me. It shows that an important ingredient in placemaking is collaboration. Given the many organisations involved in the process, it’s invaluable to allow for early stakeholder cooperation to help form early strategic approaches.

  • This Black Friday, why not Close the Doors?

    Would you leave your front door open on a street from 9.30am to 6pm while you were inside all day? Many UK retailers seem to think this is a good idea to encourage customers to enter their stores, especially during today’s Black Friday sales.

    After an excellent talk at Temple Group by Jeannie Dawkins, founder of the Close the Door campaign, I am one of the many supporters of this excellent and common sense initiative.

  • Cross-laminated timber

    by Charlotte Christie

    Cross-laminated timber (CLT) was a mystery to me until I attended a talk by David Lomax of Waugh Thistleton Architects at last month’s Vision London event for architects, clients and suppliers in Olympia.

    David explained that CLT is an engineered-wood alternative to traditional timber where boards of wood are stacked at angles and glued together. It is strong, lightweight, versatile to use, cost-effective and offers thermal and fire resistant qualities.

  • You’re more than just a business… you’re a brand

    Brand identity was a phrase much bandied about during the boom, as businesses and products competed to stand out in crowded markets. But the benefits of a defined persona, with clearly stated principles and aspirations, have weathered the change in economic fortunes, and infiltrated the architectural profession. The payoffs might be greater than you think.

  • Can placemaking define the identity of a place?

    Recently I was fortunate enough to see first hand what Grosvenor has been doing to improve Mayfair. As well as major refurbishments to some of their Georgian properties and new premium retail in Duke Street, they have introduced a number of community-based initiatives, such as a film festival, ‘Fitness in the Gardens’, bee-keeping, ‘Summer in the Square’ and pop-up green spaces. There is also an Anthony Gormley sculpture as a part of the new Beaumont Hotel.

  • Communicating the value of wellbeing

    In the property sector, the concept of wellbeing is on the agenda. It’s not a new idea, but it is coming to the forefront for developers when considering how to position and sell their property.

    So why is this? I spoke to Jin Cui (Tishman Speyer), Robert Delius (Stride Treglown), Mike Hussey (Almacantar) and Luke Schuberth (Aukett Swanke) to find out.