In July 2022, we announced our partnership with Avison Young Romania, for our latest product, the Custom 3D Space Planning solution. Through this tool, traditional 2D plans are elevated into 3D virtual tours that give future tenants a better understanding of the looks and feel of their next office. 

Daria Mircea, our Senior Workplace Architect, interviewed Andrei Voica, Head of Workplace Advisory and Project Management at Avison Young Romania, about their decision to implement this solution, the future of the office, the transformation of leasing processes and the impact of technology on real estate.

You can listen to the video interview on YouTube or read the summary below. 

When talking about the future of office, it is impossible to ignore the reality of the past 2 years. The pandemic brought a profound change in what we think of the office and workplace in general. 

This is maybe the biggest transformation that the office market has faced regarding the way people are coming to the office and the way they are interacting with management, the way they are interacting with their colleagues and also their clients. 

Now it’s also a matter of seeing what works best for each company. What we tried to do also before the pandemic in our exercises with previous clients, was to convince them and to show them the benefits of going to an activity based work environment, or just to think about the benefits of having a shared desking approach for their office.

I believe the companies that were looking and made the decision to implement some of these ideas were better positioned when the pandemic came, and dealt better with the effects, not only in terms of making it easier for the employees to work from home or to work in a hybrid environment. 

Now, we call that “future proofing” your business in the long term. This also implies using technology more in real estate processes and redefining how things used to be done.

Digitizing processes and helping employees perform better, make faster decisions and consolidate data in a much better way takes the client on the right path. It’s essential, and especially for real estate, where we saw a lot of processes not changed for 10, 20 years even. It will definitely help the market. And we are proud to be part of this journey with Bright Spaces from the beginning.

A company that is driven by innovation at a global level, like Avison Young, saw the benefits in choosing Custom 3D Space Planning for their clients. This product was built because we know that renting an office space requires a very clear vision of what it is going to look like and how it is going to fit one’s business. As we all live in a 3D world, a 3D virtual tour gives one a better understanding of the space, regardless of their tech or real estate knowledge.

In the past 11, 12 years, since I started to work in the office sector, I’ve seen a lot of things in the way that space planning was done. I remember one of the first interactions I had, I think it was in 2011, the client came with a design in Paint. It happened quite a lot back then and or at least having drawn sketches.

Now in this moment, we are in a different situation and this further leap in showcasing space planning in 3D. Also, the office walkthrough that you can see in 3D and you can easily interact with, to gamify the process for the client, to make it as user friendly as possible, is just the next step that helps in taking an informed decision.

I would say that this instrument will definitely help us speed up the process. After the leasing process is completed, the space is selected, you have this 3D model, you can do the site walk through. It already creates a better start point to develop the concept design to estimate the cost for the Fitout.

What happens now is that a common communication path has been found. The virtual space plan looks the same to everyone involved in the decision making process. The advantages are visible and Andrei is interested in seeing how this product might help other Avison Young branches. 

I actually already discussed this with my colleagues from the UK and we will try to use the tool for clients that they have in their corporate agreements. If we manage to use the instrument and do the 3D space planning for the same company in different countries across the region, that will also help identify some cultural differences and some specifics. 

At the same time, it will help those companies have a much better insight and analysis on how their colleagues are adapting to the hybrid work across the world. 

It is great to have the 3D space planning instrument and the office walkthrough. We are already working with you on the first couple of projects. It’s definitely motivating to see we are part of this journey.

This product aims to positively transform the leasing process and the way decisions are being made. Through Custom 3D Space Planning, we want to cut down wasted time, help people understand how a space can look for them (not how it will look in the end, as there are many details to be added in the architectural process). The underlying mission is to make a space plan accessible to everyone so that they can make better decisions. 

Being in the market for many years and seeing how decisions were taken, not having this visualization from the beginning or understanding how your needs fit within that space didn’t allow tenants to take this aspect too much into consideration. So the decisions were either based more on financials. It’s a bit late after the lease is signed to start considering how you can use the office premises you have leased for your needs. 

Of course 3D models were also done before, but it was very rare. So I would say that maybe 5% or even less companies that I’ve interacted with were willing to go so far in doing an agreement with a concept design architect to do the 3D model renders for the reception for the meeting rooms, for the overall environment before the lease was signed. 

I think it is a big opportunity for us because we can offer better products for our clients. 

But I don’t want to forget to mention that the 3D space planning tool does not affect in any way the role of the concept and the design architect, because that’s only actually helping the next step of doing the concept design, the look and feel of the office in a faster and more informed manner. 

Is there a future for real estate without technology? Andrei says:

The future is already here. A lot of products that came in the market were filling the gaps that the market needed and were absorbed immediately. So I trust this type of product, which helps in the communication between all parties of real estate transactions from landlords, tenants and also consultants. It’s something that will be immediately received by the market and will be used for the long term.

Discover Custom 3D Space Planning and how it can help you lease more spaces faster, here

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