The office sector has had a turbulent time over the last few years, particularly for landlords and owner operators,with many occupiers scrambling to renegotiate or cancel leases due to poor office attendance. Many organisations are also struggling to justify the cost of real estate when staff are less than willing to congregate there.
With demands shifting and changing, it’s imperative that landlords are looking to meet the needs of potential tenants.The question is however “what are they looking for?”.
AirRated’s latest research, which interviewed over 1,400 office workers across the UK and US suggests that location and the health of the working environment are typically the most sought out features of an office space for both employees and decision makers of organisations; with cost and value for money obviously more of a factor for those managing workplace budgets.
Our data also suggests that healthy building certifications and other health initiatives around environmental issues such as indoor air quality could hold the key to marketing your office space more effectively, retaining current tenants and justifying higher rental returns.
That being said, why should your marketing strategy utilise a healthy building certification like AirRated’s AirScore?
About AirRated & the AirScore
AirRated provides certifications for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Using the leading sensor technology, we collect detailed information about your IAQ, then grade it based on leading medical research and industry best practice. This process determines your building’s AirScore.
Simple and easy to understand, our certifications are measured against our five core parameters, TVOCs, PM2.5, CO2, humidity and temperature. All of which determine the health of an indoor environment.
Our performance-based certifications are scored Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum using AirRated’s benchmarking criteria to ensure your stakeholders can easily understand the level of performance within your building without having to make sense of complicated data.
We also support you further with marketing & communications collateral and point of sale assets such as plaque’s and vinyls, as well as leasing agent training to help you maximise the exposure and effectiveness of your certification.
With over 120 projects and 10 million sq ft. of certified real estate, many organisations already use the AirScore to differentiate their real estate and increase asset value, and with certifications requiring very little input from your team whilst being achievable within 10 weeks you can start to benefit from certification within 3 months.
How can the AirScore help you market your property?
1. IAQ’s importance within the workplace is increasing
The influence on IAQ and the health of working environments is increasing for employees, users of buildings and subsequently decision makers.
AirRated’s latest research suggests that 72% of those in the workplace have seen an increase in their awareness of IAQ over the past year and this figure is typically higher than what decision makers assume the growing awareness is, with 80% of those in the workplace also suggesting that they have an understanding of how IAQ impacts their health.
This data is also backed up by action, 88% claimed that they would change their habits if they knew that it would reduce their exposure to air pollution and 78% of respondents had either purchased or were considering purchasing air quality technology to improve their local indoor environment, including the office itself!
When it comes to the workplace specifically, 81% of employees believe that IAQ monitoring should be mandatory yet only 26% of decision makers are currently committed to monitoring IAQ or in a space that is actively monitoring IAQ.
Other research such as the COGfx Global Buildings study suggest that the benefits go beyond meeting demands and preferences by proving that cognitive function scores doubled within environments that had good air quality.
The study showed that improved ventilation at the cost of $14-40 per employee per year would provide an ROI to an organisation of between $6,500 and $7,500 per person per year in productivity gains, which for your prospective tenants is quite a compelling offering.
It’s clear that IAQ is becoming an increasing challenge for decision makers within organisations and they are looking for commercial space that can deal with these issues.
2. Improve leasing and occupancy rates
Both landlords and occupiers are struggling with leasing and occupancy rates across commercial real estate. Landlords ideally want occupiers to be taking up new space and extending leasing agreements, all the while occupiers are struggling to bring employees back to the office 3 days a week.
This theme of transparency is becoming a key factor in office workers’ willingness to work in a commercial space. 69% of office workers suggest that a lack of transparency around indoor air quality would influence their decision to work there, while 78% of employees said they’d be more likely to come into the office if it had a healthy building certification associated with it.
By sharing IAQ data and seeking certification you aren’t just helping to solve problems for your occupiers but increasing stickiness in your property by offsetting the costs associated with undertaking monitoring and certification at their own expense.
We found that cost is the number one factor prohibiting occupiers from pursuing a healthy building solution, which in turn gives landlords the opportunity to bundle services around IAQ to increase lifetime customer value.
If you’re able to provide additional services and certifications at a competitive price you’re more likely to retain existing tenants and attract new ones, especially if you can provide what is usually a capital expenditure as an operational expenditure.
When AirRated surveyed 400 CRE decision makers at UK and US organisations, they suggested they would spend an additional 18% on real estate that had an existing healthy building certification associated with it, which puts you in an advantageous position if you price your space in a competitive manner.
3. Differentiate your offering and tell a better story in your marketing
Only 1% of commercial buildings have a healthy building certification associated with it and according to research into US real estate from Franz Feurst (Cambridge University), these buildings average a 5% increase in rental returns each year when contributed to marketing and communications campaigns.
Not only do they have a unique differentiation over the majority of the market, but occupiers are willing to pay more to reduce the cost risk of creating and maintaining healthy buildings themselves.
AirScore certifications can also help tell your sustainability story with AirScore and AirScore D&O certifications being recognised as green building certifications by GRESB, scoring points towards indoor air quality initiatives within their reporting framework.
With the demand for healthy buildings coming from the bottom up, certifications are also a useful way to gain influence over decision influencers within the organisation who would typically put pressure on decision makers or may be spokespeople for employees within the organisation.
4. Future proof your offering
With legislation and regulations changing rapidly, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve where possible. As we’ve seen with sustainability and energy regulation over the past few years, the same could be true of indoor air quality in the coming years.
Air pollution targets are increasing around the world with greater demand on reducing thresholds for various air quality parameters. The EU is now due to align with WHO limits (the most stringent in the world) for PM2.5 (dust and particulates) by 2035. The US and UK are also considering legislation that could see WHO standards come into effect within 7 years.
In the UK in particular, Ella’s Law, a new clean air human rights bill currently in debate within the house of commons, could see legislation passed for buildings and indoor air quality, as well resulting in stricter regulations placed on both public and private buildings, much like the EPC regulations that have put strain on landlords in recent years. Having an air quality strategy and offering across your real estate will not only future proof your buildings and make the transition in legislation less daunting but it could also prove to be incredibly beneficial to prospective occupiers who could be at risk from a regulatory point of view down the road.
In recent UK government publications such as the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report and POSTbriefs shared with governmental decision makers, air pollution has been named as ‘the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK’.
5. Secure a return on investment of over 1248%
With research suggesting that buildings with a healthy building certification attract 5% more in rental income vs buildings without, the AirScore would provide a 1248% return on a 10,000 sq. ft. building.
Our own research at AirRated suggests that decision makers were willing to pay more than 5%, with the average decision maker willing to pay an 18% premium which would equate to a 4,800% return on the same property.
If you’re a marketer looking to find initiatives that will get approved by decision makers, certification is one that has a tangible impact on your building’s revenue. What’s more is that AirScore certifications can be attained within just 10 weeks, meaning that if your building isn’t providing the returns you need right now, it could be within a matter of weeks.
Interested to know more?
If we’ve piqued your interest and you’re curious to know more about how the AirScore could support your marketing efforts, you can book a free consultation with our team of experts.
We’ve certified over 10 million sq. ft of real estate projects across the world, working with some of the best property marketing teams to make their buildings both healthier and more attractive to prospective tenants.
We’ll help you work out whether certification is right for you and if so, how you can position the AirScore both to your internal and external stakeholders.
Leave your details below and book a no-obligation call today.