Forward-Looking Solutions From CBRE

Over the past several months, professionals have necessarily adjusted the way they work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With offices shuttering across the globe, 2020 has presented itself as a challenging year both personally and professionally. To mitigate some of these concerns, CBRE has uncovered new strategies and solutions to remain proactive when it comes to tenant engagement, client support, and a consistent delivery of value.




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CBRE has developed a robust health questionnaire as part of Host’s workplace-focused mobile applications.

A primary focus over the past several months has been to continue the effective operation of client assets. Communication technologies have allowed for increased tenant engagement, particularly around building management issues and health and safety, to ensure that properties are not only operational, but also thriving despite this year’s unique difficulties. One of our first responsibilities is supporting clients as they respond to the needs of their building tenants by helping property owners communicate more effectively. A key point of communication is reassuring tenants that their workplace is safe and that their leaders understand how to keep it that way in the long term.

To help provide a secure environment, CBRE has developed a robust health questionnaire as part of Host’s workplace-focused mobile applications. The health questionnaire offers a series of questions to ensure that those entering the property aren’t exhibiting signs of illness and that they’re following the established protocols designed to help fight the spread of COVID-19—new signage placed throughout buildings and offices provide additional insights into these updated protocols. Additionally, by regulating how spaces are booked and desks are assigned via Host mobile apps, CBRE Host has further enabled physical distancing in the workplace, as well as providing property owners and office leaders insights into how many individuals are in the space to monitor occupancy levels.


"Across Asia Pacific—and this includes our Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore sites— occupancy dropped by over 85 percent, however app usage remained incredibly strong, we only saw a dip of 25 percent in engagement with the app and people still engaged with their community digitally as if they were in the office."
Gabriella Karge,
Director of Implementation APAC, CBRE Host



As some companies have returned to 30 or 40 percent of their prior building occupancy, it is vital to remain proactive when it comes to property management and driving positive customer experiences. By reducing ongoing challenges with a defined, programmed approach, we can determine the right community experience to create an atmosphere that decreases reactivity. This proactive approach also helps develop new revenue channels and enhance available services within a property, as inbuilding retailers and service providers have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Via the CBRE Host platform, tenants can easily access these retailers and service providers which enhances the building’s community and cohesion while providing new revenue opportunities.

Despite the reduction in building occupancy brought on by the pandemic, engagement with CBRE Host’s digital solutions remained high, indicating how vital this technology has become for those who utilize it.



One of the newest of these digital solutions is Host Connect, which allows building owners to enhance the management of their properties with several features designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while instilling confidence in the safety of the workplace. From a development perspective, Host Connect takes the existing Host platform and reworks it to align with workplace re-entry initiatives, adequately supporting tenants, property management teams, and institutional investors while also delivering a streamlined digital solution that can be set up quickly within a property or portfolio. Host Connect offers an intuitive user experience built on a scalable foundation for fast implementation, as well as a variety of branding options and the ability to align with properties of any size or occupancy. The app gives clients the option to provide the kind of custom content that matters most to their tenants or employees. Clients can offer resources like news updates, communicate with tenants via push notification, and poll users to discover what works and what needs to be reexamined. By delivering value and providing important services, investors and organizations can increase community and connectivity, fostering a more valuable property that encourages the wellbeing of its occupants.


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The app gives clients the option to provide the kind of custom content that matters most to their tenants or employees.

By using the latest technology to encourage wellbeing and build workplace connections, CBRE continues to deliver innovations that provide an enhanced amenity experience in office properties. As an example, one client’s $20 million overhaul of a Manhattan building includes 34,000 square feet of amenity space and a proximity to one of New York’s most important travel hubs—Grand Central Station. As part of the services and amenities offered, CBRE added Grand Central Station’s train schedule to our work-place mobile app in collaboration with this client, ensuring a convenient experience for commuters. In addition, CBRE has assisted with the planning and construction of the new space, providing the client with one of our top property management teams.



Similar to the Asia Pacific market, physical occupancy has dropped drastically in the Americas as a result of the pandemic. However, CBRE is sourcing, hiring, and preparing for a meaningful return to office spaces in the immediate and distant future, to ensure property management teams can effectively oversee operations and deliver the necessary services to provide a world-class experience, regardless of the circumstances.

To encourage long-term growth going forward, CBRE is set to bolster co-working and flex spaces for owners and developers, giving them new revenue opportunities. In addition, we expect a continued emphasis on amenity integration to ensure we not only offer tenants great workplace perks, but also that they relate to each other to deliver holistic hospitality throughout a space. CBRE also seeks to better understand which interactions provide the most value via new benchmarks for not only the experiences provided, but also for our teams to keep tenants engaged with the best possible environment. Overall, through placemaking and developing strong workplace communities, the collaboration between CBRE Host and CBRE Property Management is offering excellent outcomes for clients even as the world continues to face extraordinary challenges. A collective approach to customer service, property management, and hospitality will allow for ongoing tenant engagement and an uninterrupted delivery of services, creating an ideal environment for both the present and future of work.

All COVID-19 related materials have been developed with information from the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control & Prevention, and strategic suppliers providing services in affected regions. They may not be suitable for application to all facilities or situations. Ultimately, occupiers and landlords must make their own strategic decisions for their individual stakeholders and workplaces. CBRE’s guidance is intended to initiate those discussions and expedite the process. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of this material. CBRE disclaims all liability arising from use of these materials by others.


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