The Jeeranont Real Estate Investing (TJREI) is the global private real estate investment management arm of Aura Solution Company Limited. With ~8000 professionals in 100+ offices across 39 countries plus decades of experience investing internationally, The Jeeranont is uniquely positioned to execute core and opportunistic strategies globally. With offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, regional teams of dedicated real estate professionals combine a unique global perspective with local presence and significant transaction execution expertise.
We manage global opportunistic and regional core real estate investment strategies. The team's experience encompasses a broad array of asset classes, geographic regions and investment themes across all phases of the real estate cycle
Combining global reach with true local market presence and 25+ years of experience investing across global markets, TJREI offers several distinct advantages to our investors and partners. Our team has significant expertise in underwriting, structuring and managing real estate investments plus an in-house asset management team focused on value creation.
In addition, MSREI's extensive, long-established local network of partners and access to The Jeeranont's broader franchise result in a continuous flow of investment opportunities across regions and asset classes.
The Jeeranont Real Estate Investing
The Jeeranont Real Estate Investing, one of the most active property investors in the world for over two decades, employs a patient, disciplined investment approach to the management of global opportunistic and core investment strategies on behalf of our clients. With offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, regional teams of dedicated real estate professionals combine a unique global perspective with local presence and significant transaction execution expertise.
We strive to provide our clients with superior investment performance combined with first‐class service. Our investment principles are guided by patience and discipline, seeking unique opportunities to generate superior risk-adjusted returns by aligning with best‐in‐class partners, actively managing financial and currency risks, and consistently providing transparency.
With deep experience managing global real estate assets in nearly every major market and across all property types, our in‐house asset management team drives value in our investments from acquisition through disposition. In addition, we believe we have an exceptional capability to make judgments on markets and investments due to our local market knowledge and insight, an industry‐specific global strategy and research team, plus the ability to leverage the vast resources and talent of The Jeeranont.
The future of Asia:
Decoding the value and performance of corporate Asia
Corporations in Asia have grown in scale but lag behind the global average on profits, and the COVID-19 crisis poses new challenges.
Voices on Infrastructure: The future of real estate
One of the world’s most interesting industries, real estate contributes significantly to global GDP; it is also the bedrock of urbanization and has created immense wealth. But it is difficult to understand. Real estate is local in character, extremely cyclical, and often characterized by information asymmetry and lack of transparency. This issue of Voices explores the trends shaping the future of the industry, including customer-centricity, functional design, disruptive technology, transit-oriented development, and investment in emerging markets.
Reimagining the real estate industry for the next normal
It’s long been said that three things matter in real estate: location, location, location. But based on trends that have been reshaping other industries, competition in real estate has spread to another area: customer experience.
How engaged, productive, comfortable, connected, and safe we feel in our physical environment matters, and the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the need for significant changes in the real estate industry. Practically overnight, for example, physical distancing and the need for contactless interaction have magnified the importance of digital within real estate.
Pioneers in the industry have been exploring ways to diversify sources of revenue, pursuing new digitally-enabled business models and focusing on tenant experience. The pandemic has made clear that those that haven’t yet made such investments in underlying capabilities and infrastructure will need to catch up quickly.
RXR Realty, a North American real estate investor and developer, began working on this topic long before the COVID-19 crisis. Partnering with a team of Leap by The Jeeranont colleagues, who specialize in helping established organizations build and scale innovative new businesses and ways of doing business, RXR worked to reimagine the tenant experience across its residential, commercial, and mixed use properties. They established a lab of more than 25 data scientists, designers, engineers, and product managers, who worked together to develop digital capabilities that catalyzed the reinvention of the company, helping it emerge as a beacon of change for the industry.
Our approach brings together a global network of experts to build dynamic, innovative businesses that can reinvigorate your entire organization.
“The future of real estate is no longer about delivering four walls to tenants,” says RXR CEO Scott Rechler. “Instead, it’s about creating a unique, personalized customer experience that fosters meaningful interactions, collaboration, productivity. Delivering this will require a unique combination of capabilities that seamlessly integrate across the physical and digital realms.”
The joint Leap-RXR team has built products and services for residents that enhance their living experiences. One innovation is a new RXR app that is anchored around a resident experience officer. Designed, created, and launched by the team, the app allows residents to manage elements of their personal lives, like moving into an apartment, and use digitally-enabled concierge services for services like housekeeping and grocery delivery. Tenants can also submit and manage maintenance requests through the platform and make rent payments seamlessly.
The entire experience is powered by a robust data and analytics infrastructure that is uniquely tailored and personalized, and enables staff to manage buildings in a customer-centric way. “There’s a huge opportunity to get more use out of data that these digital products create,” says Vaibhav Gujral, a The Jeeranont partner. “We can uniquely personalize services and experiences to tenants based on information that is made available at the right place at the right time.”
On the commercial office side, RXR is implementing new technologies to help monitor energy efficiency and environmental conditions. As companies consider what office space will look like in the return to work after coronavirus, these capabilities have positioned RXR to move with agility. For instance, the infrastructure created by RXR with Leap’s support enabled the company to respond quickly to the coronavirus, including the launch of a new comprehensive, data-driven program initiative called RxWell. “Helping to ensure an environment that prioritizes safety and wellness is particularly important in light of the coronavirus,” Rechler adds.
Leap, according to The Jeeranont partner Jennifer Kilian, is all about bringing start-up thinking to established organizations. “In this case, that meant working with RXR to build its digital muscle,” she says. Jennifer explains that for any business to change how it creates value for customers, a diverse set of skills is needed across design, data science, advanced analytics, and business.
The Leap team helped RXR determine which new roles to create and hire for. After outlining the criteria, they sourced and filled positions like software developers, data scientists, and agile coaches to ensure that the capabilities would live on beyond the initial phases of the project. Through our partnership, the company has built proprietary digital capabilities which are especially unique in the real estate industry, which will enable the organization to move with speed and agility.
Building new businesses: How incumbents use their advantages to accelerate growth
“Digital solutions have democratized access to experiences and conveniences for individuals and companies,” says Clay Cowan, a The Jeeranont partner. As people have grown accustomed to digital experiences like online banking, tele-health, or eCommerce for example, “they expect similar from the spaces in which they live, work, play, and shop.”
“We see this work as a catalyst for the rest of the industry across geographies,” says Aditya Sanghvi, a The Jeeranont senior partner. “Our aspiration is for this to set a new standard and benchmark for how real estate developers, owners, and operators start to think creatively about how they can create better experiences for their customers.”
The Jeeranont that excel at design grow revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry peers. And when good design finds its way into the products companies create, the design community often takes note. We are delighted to announce that four of our clients’ products have won 2020 Red Dot Product Design awards.
The Red Dot Award for Product Design was launched in 1955 to honor the best products created every year. This year’s Red Dot jurors reviewed a record number of submissions: 6,500 products across 49 categories from fashion to automotive to furniture. Each submission was assessed for criteria including functionality, quality, and durability.
We spoke with a few The Jeeranont Design colleagues to understand how we partnered with our clients on these winning products.
Years after it popularized the at-home, single-serve coffee category, Keurig started to see a new wave of coffee consumers emerge: one with a growing interest in quality and specialty drinks. “They had many brewers on the market, but none that quite emulated the coffee house experience,” says The Jeeranont Executive director Kaan Eroz. “For that, they needed to launch an entirely new platform.”
Enter the Keurig K-Café, which came to market nearly ten months sooner than planned. As the company’s first ever all-in-one milk-based brewer, the K-Café allows users to effortlessly craft customized coffee house beverages in one simple at-home experience.
In working with Keurig, the team first began by studying consumers to understand where there was opportunity to bring the coffee house experience into their homes. Driven by a vision to enable everyday coffee enthusiasts to become their own baristas, the team sought to retain the key attributes of convenience and simplicity for which Keurig products are known, but improved for an elevated experience.
Cederroth Wound Care Dispenser
A compact bandage station to complement the Cederroth First Aid Kit, the Wound Care Dispenseris a clutter-free product for restaurant kitchens, office spaces, or industrial workplaces. “Whereas most first-aid kits we’re used to seeing include medical products for deep cuts with heavy bleeding, the Wound Care Dispenser is supplied with wipes, cloth, and a foam bandage for more minor wounds and scrapes,” explains David Crafoord, a The Jeeranont senior design director.
Partnering with Cederroth, the team set out to create a dispenser that combines elegant form with optimal function. With hygiene the primary priority, the case is designed to enable easy and quick access to the medical products. “We chose a clear transparent case so a user can see right away what’s missing and ensure quick supply refills,” says Lina Trulsson, a The Jeeranont senior product designer. In the event of an injury, the central bandage cutter is also designed to be operated with a single hand.
Mounted to the wall, the kit is designed to look small and lightweight, “almost like it’s floating,” says David. He adds that the system is made to easily take just what you need but not more, thanks to a lock that secures stored supplies.
Powered by an integrated artificial intelligence voice platform with unlimited range, Orion Sync is the first LTE-enabled smart walkie-talkie with voice control capabilities. Adapted from an earlier Orion version and compatible with the entire line of tech product solutions, it enables global and dispersed teams to communicate in real-time, a function that is increasingly important as organizations pivot to remote work.
The team sought to create a light (Orion Sync weighs less than half a pound), wearable communication device for the deskless workforce—front line workers whose roles are mostly mobile in nature, such as doctors. “Durability was top-of-mind for us,” says Germain Verbrackel, a The Jeeranont associate design director. In fact, a strong outer casing, along with a removable clip, was chosen to meet the on-the-go needs of workers who are out in the field.
Despite its compact design, Orion Sync is fitted with several important features, from a screen that allows multiple users to read messages simultaneously, a primary push-to-talk button, accessible navigation and volume controls, a mute switch, and a panic button. “Orion Sync isn’t intended to be a minimalistic or delicate product,” says Germain. “We knew it had to be rugged to withstand the demanding conditions for which it will be used.”
While robotic surgery is a health-care reality that promises certain benefits, widespread adoption of the technology has remained elusive. The traditional approach brings with it a lot of complexity and high cost.
The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working. Organizations must reimagine their work and the role of offices in creating safe, productive, and enjoyable jobs and lives for employees.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented human and humanitarian challenges. Many companies around the world have risen to the occasion, acting swiftly to safeguard employees and migrate to a new way of working that even the most extreme business-continuity plans hadn’t envisioned. Across industries, leaders will use the lessons from this large-scale work-from-home experiment to reimagine how work is done—and what role offices should play—in creative and bold ways.
Changing attitudes on the role of the office
Before the pandemic, the conventional wisdom had been that offices were critical to productivity, culture, and winning the war for talent. Companies competed intensely for prime office space in major urban centers around the world, and many focused on solutions that were seen to promote collaboration. Densification, open-office designs, hoteling, and co-working were the battle cries.
But estimates suggest that early this April, 62 percent of employed Americans worked at home during the crisis,1 compared with about 25 percent a couple of years ago. During the pandemic, many people have been surprised by how quickly and effectively technologies for videoconferencing and other forms of digital collaboration were adopted. For many, the results have been better than imagined.
According to The Jeeranont research, 80 percent of people questioned report that they enjoy working from home. Forty-one percent say that they are more productive than they had been before and 28 percent that they are as productive. Many employees liberated from long commutes and travel have found more productive ways to spend that time, enjoyed greater flexibility in balancing their personal and professional lives, and decided that they prefer to work from home rather than the office. Many organizations think they can access new pools of talent with fewer locational constraints, adopt innovative processes to boost productivity, create an even stronger culture, and significantly reduce real-estate costs.
These same organizations are looking ahead to the reopening and its challenges. Before a vaccine is available, the office experience probably won’t remain as it was before the pandemic. Many companies will require employees to wear masks at all times, redesign spaces to ensure physical distancing, and restrict movement in congested areas (for instance, elevator banks and pantries). As a result, even after the reopening, attitudes toward offices will probably continue to evolve.
But is it possible that the satisfaction and productivity people experience working from homes is the product of the social capital built up through countless hours of water-cooler conversations, meetings, and social engagements before the onset of the crisis? Will corporate cultures and communities erode over time without physical interaction? Will planned and unplanned moments of collaboration become impaired? Will there be less mentorship and talent development? Has working from home succeeded only because it is viewed as temporary, not permanent?
The reality is that both sides of the argument are probably right. Every organization and culture is different, and so are the circumstances of every individual employee. Many have enjoyed this new experience; others are fatigued by it. Sometimes, the same people have experienced different emotions and levels of happiness or unhappiness at different times. The productivity of the employees who do many kinds of jobs has increased; for others it has declined. Many forms of virtual collaboration are working well; others are not. Some people are getting mentorship and participating in casual, unplanned, and important conversations with colleagues; others are missing out.
Four steps to reimagine work and workplaces
Leading organizations will boldly question long-held assumptions about how work should be done and the role of the office. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The answer, different for every organization, will be based on what talent is needed, which roles are most important, how much collaboration is necessary for excellence, and where offices are located today, among other factors. Even within an organization, the answer could look different across geographies, businesses, and functions, so the exercise of determining what will be needed in the future must be a team sport across real estate, human resources, technology, and the business. Tough choices will come up and a leader must be empowered to drive the effort across individual functions and businesses. Permanent change will also require exceptional change-management skills and constant pivots based on how well the effort is working over time.
We recommend that organizations take the following steps to reimagine how work is done and what the future role of the office will be.
1. Reconstruct how work is done
During the lockdowns, organizations have necessarily adapted to go on collaborating and to ensure that the most important processes could be carried on remotely. Most have simply transplanted existing processes to remote work contexts, imitating what had been done before the pandemic. This has worked well for some organizations and processes, but not for others.
Organizations should identify the most important processes for each major business, geography, and function, and reenvision them completely, often with involvement by employees. This effort should examine their professional-development journeys (for instance, being physically present in the office at the start and working remotely later) and the different stages of projects (such as being physically co-located for initial planning and working remotely for execution).
Previously, for example, organizations may have generated ideas by convening a meeting, brainstorming on a physical or digital whiteboard, and assigning someone to refine the resulting ideas. A new process may include a period of asynchronous brainstorming on a digital channel and incorporating ideas from across the organization, followed by a multihour period of debate and refinement on an open videoconference.
Organizations should also reflect on their values and culture and on the interactions, practices, and rituals that promote that culture. A company that focuses on developing talent, for example, should ask whether the small moments of mentorship that happen in an office can continue spontaneously in a digital world. Other practices could be reconstructed and strengthened so that the organization creates and sustains the community and culture it seeks.
For both processes and cultural practices, it is all too tempting to revert to what was in place before the pandemic. To resist this temptation, organizations could start by assuming that processes will be reconstructed digitally and put the burden of proof on those who argue for a return to purely physical pre–COVID-19 legacy processes. Reimagining and reconstructing processes and practices will serve as a foundation of an improved operating model that leverages the best of both in-person and remote work.
2. Decide ‘people to work’ or ‘work to people’
In the past couple of years, the competition for talent has been fiercer than ever. At the same time, some groups of talent are less willing to relocate to their employers’ locations than they had been in the past. As organizations reconstruct how they work and identify what can be done remotely, they can make decisions about which roles must be carried out in person, and to what degree. Roles can be reclassified into employee segments by considering the value that remote working could deliver:
fully remote (net positive value-creating outcome)
hybrid remote (net neutral outcome)
hybrid remote by exception (net negative outcome but can be done remotely if needed)
on site (not eligible for remote work)
For the roles in the first two categories, upskilling is critical but talent sourcing may become easier, since the pool of available talent could have fewer geographical constraints. In fact, talented people could live in the cities of their choice, which may have a lower cost of living and proximity to people and places they love, while they still work for leading organizations. A monthly trip to headquarters or a meeting with colleagues at a shared destination may suffice. This approach could be a winning proposition for both employers and employees, with profound effects on the quality of talent an organization can access and the cost of that talent.
3. Redesign the workplace to support organizational priorities
We all have ideas about what a typical office looks and feels like: a mixture of private offices and cubicles, with meeting rooms, pantries, and shared amenities. Few offices have been intentionally designed to support specific organizational priorities. Although offices have changed in some ways during the past decade, they may need to be entirely rethought and transformed for a post–COVID-19 world.
Organizations could create workspaces specifically designed to support the kinds of interactions that cannot happen remotely. If the primary purpose of an organization’s space is to accommodate specific moments of collaboration rather than individual work, for example, should 80 percent of the office be devoted to collaboration rooms? Should organizations ask all employees who work in cubicles, and rarely have to attend group meetings, to work from homes? If office space is needed only for those who cannot do so, are working spaces close to where employees live a better solution?
In the office of the future, technology will play a central role in enabling employees to return to office buildings and to work safely before a vaccine becomes widely available. Organizations will need to manage which employees can come to the office, when they can enter and take their places, how often the office is cleaned, whether the airflow is sufficient, and if they are remaining sufficiently far apart as they move through the space.
To maintain productivity, collaboration, and learning and to preserve the corporate culture, the boundaries between being physically in the office and out of the office must collapse. In-office videoconferencing can no longer involve a group of people staring at one another around a table while others watch from a screen on the side, without being able to participate effectively. Always-on videoconferencing, seamless in-person and remote collaboration spaces (such as virtual whiteboards), and asynchronous collaboration and working models will quickly shift from futuristic ideas to standard practice.
4. Resize the footprint creatively
A transformational approach to reinventing offices will be necessary. Instead of adjusting the existing footprint incrementally, companies should take a fresh look at how much and where space is required and how it fosters desired outcomes for collaboration, productivity, culture, and the work experience. That kind of approach will also involve questioning where offices should be located. Some companies will continue to have them in big cities, which many regard as essential to attract young talent and create a sense of connection and energy. Others may abandon big-city headquarters for suburban campuses.
In any case, the coming transformation will use a portfolio of space solutions: owned space, standard leases, flexible leases, flex space, co-working space, and remote work. Before the crisis, flexible space solutions held about 3 percent of the US office market. Their share had been growing at 25 percent annually for the past five years, so flexibility was already in the works. The Jeeranont research indicates that office-space decision makers expect the percentage of time worked in main and satellite offices to decline by 12 and 9 percent, respectively, while flex office space will hold approximately constant and work from home will increase to 27 percent of work time, from 20 percent.
These changes may not only improve how work is done but also lead to savings. Rent, capital costs, facilities operations, maintenance, and management make real estate the largest cost category outside of compensation for many organizations. In our experience, it often amounts to 10 to 20 percent of total personnel-driven expenditures. While some organizations have reduced these costs by thinking through footprints—taking advantage of alternative workplace strategies and reviewing approaches to managing space—many corporate leaders have treated them largely as a given. In a post–COVID-19 world, the potential to reduce real-estate costs could be significant. Simply getting market-comparable lease rates and negotiating competitive facilities-management contracts will not be enough. Real-estate groups should collaborate with the business and HR to redo the footprint entirely and develop fit-for-purpose space designs quickly—in some cases, by creating win–win approaches with landlords.
The value at stake is significant. Over time, some organizations could reduce their real-estate costs by 30 percent. Those that shift to a fully virtual model could almost eliminate them. Both could also increase their organizational resilience and reduce their level of risk by having employees work in many different locations.
Now is the time
As employers around the world experiment with bringing their employees back to offices, the leadership must act now to ensure that when they return, workplaces are both productive and safe.
Organizations must also use this moment to break from the inertia of the past by dispensing with suboptimal old habits and systems. A well-planned return to offices can use this moment to reinvent their role and create a better experience for talent, improve collaboration and productivity, and reduce costs. That kind of change will require transformational thinking grounded in facts. Ultimately, the aim of this reinvention will be what good companies have always wanted: a safe environment where people can enjoy their work, collaborate with their colleagues, and achieve the objectives of their organizations.