Colliers International has been recognised with a total of 16 accolades in five distinct categories in a global survey of real estate developers, advisors, financial institutions, investors and corporate end-users, including being recognised as the best overall investment manager globally and in the Asia Pacific region.
The company attributes its triumph in the Euromoney Real Estate Survey 2019, where it won recognition for its service in mainland China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, in addition to its global and regional prizes, to its commitment to addressing the challenges facing real estate investors, developers and end users including researching emerging industry trends and fostering innovation within the industry.
“We are thrilled to be recognised in the Overall Real Estate Investment Managers and Overall Advisors and Consultants categories across multiple geographies,” David Hand, Colliers’ chief executive officer for Asia Pacific said of the company’s award victories.
With Colliers’ wins at the global and regional level focusing on its excellence in serving investors, Hand directed attention to the contribution of the firm’s teams most directly involved in investment transactions, as well as the importance of Colliers’ expert thought-leadership, which helps to guide clients in their future real estate decisions. “These wins underscore the strong capabilities of our Capital Markets business as well as our service excellence overall across our Occupier Services, Valuation & Advisory and Research segments. The Euromoney Awards are a true testament to the depth and breadth of our offerings as a firm and our commitment to providing the best-in-class real estate platform to help our clients accelerate their business success.”
To help industry players continue to maximise the potential of real estate amid ever-changing market conditions, during this year Colliers business line teams and researchers have worked together to produce insights on key issues facing developers, investors and occupiers, including reporting on how the intersection of technology with flexible workspace is creating cost-saving opportunities for occupiers in the finance industry and the ways that key trends in the real estate world are making themselves felt in Asia Pacific in 2019.
Flexible Workspace Creates Solutions for Finance Industry Challenges
In a report published by Colliers research team earlier this month, Flex & Tech: Key Methods to Reduce Real Estate Costs for Financial and Large Scale Occupiers, the company used its understanding of the pressures facing finance companies and its grasp of emerging opportunities created by the rise of flexible office design, to document new best practices for boosting efficiency and cutting costs.
“Finance, still the largest tenant sector in Asian CBDs, faces pressures including persistent low interest rates, technological change, and a high regulatory burden,” Andrew Haskins, Colliers’ Executive Director of Research for Asia points out. “Real estate costs are significant for most financial and large-scale occupier businesses. Incorporating flexible workspace, considering a decentralised location strategy and adopting clouded, tech-enabled work processes will reduce real estate cost and improve profitability.”
The company’s research, which is backed by the experience of its teams dedicated to helping corporations to rationalise their use of office space and identify optimal workplace strategies for their firms, shows how financial institutions and other large corporations can leverage technology to enhance collaboration, while shifting back office functions to more cost-effective locations.
“Given the volatility of future headcount needs, not least in the financial sector, the use of flexible workspace makes good sense in enterprise real estate strategy,” commented Sam Harvey-Jones, Colliers’ Managing Director of Occupier Services for Asia and the firm’s top expert in the region on office solutions. “Flexible workspace now accounts for between 2-5 percent of total Grade A office space in Asia’s four key financial centres of Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai, with secure and scalable corporate-level specifications.”
Applying Global Trends to Asian Opportunities
In a special report prepared for the Asia Pacific Property Leaders Summit 2019 during the first week of September, Colliers’ research team explored how a trio of global trends are being felt in the Asia Pacific region, with the company’s top expert on capital markets transactions, Terence Tang leading a panel discussion based on themes explored in the report, titled “A Pivotal Moment: Trends Shaping Asian Real Estate,” at the prestigious event.
Setting the groundwork for the talk, Tang, who serves as Managing Director for Asia with Collier’s Capital Markets division, noted in the report’s preface that, “Even as the world’s economy deals with disruptions from technological innovations and geopolitical challenges, such as the US-China trade war and Brexit, and an overall slowing of growth, Asian real estate remains active.”
Among the reasons for this ongoing activity, the company found, is the ways in which investors active in Asia Pacific are rapidly adapting to a shift in real estate returns toward alternative asset classes.
“A Pivotal Moment,” also touches on ideas explored in the “Flex & Tech” report, exploring how companies in Asia are leveraging globally-sourced, cloud-powered enhancements such as video conferencing, virtual document sharing and hot desking. Companies that establish Internet of the Workplace-powered offices using tools such as these are able to reduce floor space requirements, the study finds and enhance productivity while lowering costs.
Recognising growing investor concerns about the impact of global headwinds on markets, driven in particular by the potential for an ongoing US-China trade war and disruption from Brexit in the UK, “A Pivotal Moment” also explores changes in capital flows with regard to Asian real estate. In particular, the study finds that in recent years, cross-border capital movements within Asia have played a growing role, with property investment between Asian nations amounting to $102 billion in 2018, compared to just $47 billion flowing into Asia from other global markets.
Proptech Accelerator Fosters Innovation in Real Estate
The opportunities to leverage technology in Asian real estate explored in Colliers research this year are also a driving force behind the Colliers Proptech Accelerators Powered by Techstars, an incubation program which just inducted its second annual class of startups earlier this month.
“We set out on a mission to look for early-stage technologies across the real-estate value chain that deliver smarter, more personalized services to our clients and people,” said Jay Hennick, Colliers Global Chairman and CEO. “Building on the successes of last year’s inaugural class, in 2019 we are beginning to explore longer-term opportunities and more advanced solutions that could disrupt the industry which is helping us advise our clients on what is noise and what is real.”
After last year’s inaugural class of early-stage companies resulted in four of the entries signing long term cooperation agreements with Colliers, including Hong Kong-based flexible workplace app Booqed, the company is welcoming a pair of Singapore-based startups to this year’s class.
PropertyQuants, a cloud-based customisable research platform which harnesses global databases to provide user-friendly real estate insight, is among the two Singapore entrants in the class of 10 startups competing for recognition in the three month program. The other Asian entrant, also from Singapore is Talox, a leasing and asset management start-up which aims to help landlords manage their properties more efficiently.
The two Asian companies, which were chosen from among hundreds of applications from over 50 countries, will be participating in the program alongside early-stage entries from North America, Europe and Australia as they hone their businesses and present to a panel of judges in the program’s ultimate conclusion at a Demo Day competition in Toronto on 4 December.
“What we have with Techstars is a special partnership. Startups get exposure to Techstars’ global expertise in tech innovation and building accelerators combined with Colliers’ enterprising culture, real estate expertise and global network,” noted Zach Michaud, Colliers’ Global Vice President for Strategic Investments. “It is the only global program in the industry which combines a wide lens with a proprietary process that sharpens our focus as we identify targeted innovation.”
This sponsored feature was contributed by Colliers International. All images are courtesy of Colliers International.