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Sharing services contribute to increased utilisation in properties

Vacancy is something the real estate industry has been monitoring for a long time as a commercial key metric. Despite sports halls, offices, and other premises being fully leased, they can still be empty for a large part of the day. It's time for us to start reviewing utilisation rates to achieve efficient and sustainable use of the properties.

13 OCTOBER 2023

 ▪ 3 Min read



For example in Stockholm, there are 35 municipal primary schools with sports halls that are not available for sports activities after school hours. Newsec's calculation shows that, this potentially could mean access to an additional approximately 4500 hours for the city's 2700 sports clubs, which they could easily book directly through already established apps. It does not require any new or larger investments in new premises to increase the availability for more training time. What is needed is to invest in the right technology, create new business models, and ecosystems involving more stakeholders.

When Newsec looks at the properties for which we have data, it turns out that the utilisation rate is sometimes as low as 30 per cent. One could increase the utilisation rate by better sharing and using sports halls in municipal primary schools for training for children and young people after school hours. In addition to creating training opportunities, one can more precisely and intelligently control heating and ventilation, which could mean certain times or days when properties are put in sleep mode.'

Through simple digital interfaces, property owners can share available spaces with the public, such as sports halls, through various digital booking tools. With the digital layer on their physical spaces, a shared booking engine, and digital access, the opportunity is created for vacant premises and even workplaces to become part of the sharing economy more easily. Then, as a company or individual, you can book an available space just as easily as booking a hotel night or a rental car.

"Real estate is one of the world's largest asset classes, covering significant parts of our cities with residential housing, offices, shops, sports halls etc. In Sweden, we spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors: at home, in school, or at work. Yet, our cities have sports halls, offices, and other spaces fully leased but empty for a big part of the day. We are convinced that digital technology can also create more sharing opportunities in the real estate industry," says Christoffer Börjesson, Head of Digital Accelerator, Newsec.

With data-driven insights, property owners can identify patterns and, ultimately, plan more collaboratively with different tenants. This digital technology gives property companies the ability to help their tenants find another place or increase utilisation rates with new tenants.

A good example is the client “Akademiska hus”, which has won awards for its innovative approach to measuring and involving operations and tenants in utilisation rates. Their data shows that educational institutions on average have a utilisation rate of about 35 per cent on weekdays between 08:00-17:00. Akademiska Hus collaborates with their tenants (universities and colleges) to increase utilisation rates in existing properties through smarter booking routines, multifunctional spaces, and sharing premises with other stakeholders such as regions, associations, and companies with different utilisation patterns.

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