Making corporate real estate size decisions has always been a game of guess and growth. You estimated your headcount needs in the coming years, you estimated how people would use the space, you worked with an architect to test out architectural layouts and hoped that come move in day everyone was happy! Obviously that is a vast over-simplification but corporate real estate decisions have traditionally been made by intuition and rationale, not data. In the absence of data, we are left with strongly held beliefs and paradigms of how space is used. The model is changing though and we are here to ride in the new wave.
When COVID washed ashore, we were left answering huge questions: How are tenants using the spaces in our buildings and how many of them are following protocols? How will we keep people safely distanced? How will we address the additional cleaning requirements? The real estate industry was flying blind and needed solutions, quickly. In swooped Density like a soaring falcon.
You Can’t Improve What you can’t Measure” – Peter Drucker
Prior to the pandemic, Density had experienced great success and growth from gigantic companies looking to understand and track how their real estate was getting used. Actually getting used. How many people were using the conference rooms? How often were people at their seats? What was the occupancy of the space at any given point in the day? Density was answering these questions and helping inform key real estate decision makers on their true real estate needs. Companies like Verizon, Pepsi, Delta and Marriott were getting smart on their real estate and using data to inform their design changes and real estate transactions. Density was changing real estate for the early birds but now everyone is catching on.
When we met Density, we were in dire need of a solution. Not only as tenant advisors but also managers, developers and owners of corporate real estate, we had to have an answer for tracking and counting people in our space. While social distancing and occupancy maximum enforcement is quite an obvious use case, there are endless logic jumps you can apply. For example, after every 50 people walk into a conference room, Density can inform the janitorial staff to come by to the wipe the table and handle bar. When the conference room is vacated completely, Density’s API can turn on the full spectrum lighting for air treatment. This isn’t a nice to have anymore, this is a can’t live without if you want to be in the game of high quality real estate. While the immediate use case was enticing, after meeting the Density executive team, and hearing their grand vision, we were enthralled. A world where we are collecting living, breathing anonymous data on how our spaces are used, count us in! Provide us a critical data set on how to design the spaces of the future? Yes, that’s a partner in pursuit of building a better world.
“We met hundreds and now thousands of others trying to answer the same question — how many people used my office, bank, lounge, desk, space, floor, building, campus… city. If only we knew, we could reduce waste and energy use, improve access and productivity, clean the spaces that need it and skip the ones that don’t. If only we knew, we could A/B test physical space or even use less concrete! If only we knew how the world was used, we could measure how it works, identify its inefficiencies, and remake it.” -Andrew Farah, CEO, Density