BNP Paribas Real Estate launches Next X, a brand new location analysis tool, with connectivity data from WiredScore


5 / 6 / 2020


The world is changing. Is it time to look at places differently?

Environmental challenges, population growth, economic and political shifts are all impacting the world as we know it.

As a society, we are now paying more attention to our health & wellbeing, quality of life and digital wellness than ever before, and these factors will become even more prominent once the world recovers from the impact of the recent pandemic. And as society changes, so does real estate, and the way in which occupiers and investors search for new areas to relocate to and invest in must also evolve.

Next X was designed with the future in mind. When talking to occupiers, BNP Paribas Real Estate has discovered that business needs are changing and more often than not, the traditional location analysis criteria simply doesn’t offer a whole view. Their new tool, called Next X digs deeper using new and unique metrics to help real estate decision makers see places through a new lens.

The usual metrics; real estate costs, employment growth and GVA aren’t being discounted but expanded upon as Next X takes it a step further. It takes into consideration an extended range of metrics including air quality, workforce quality, 5G connectivity, niche retail offering, childcare quality, green vehicle infrastructure, community fitness and much, much more.

The unique model is fully customisable to businesses individual mandates, making the tool unique and flexible. Next X gives users the ability to focus on a set of criteria most important to their company ethos and mission. An eco-conscious co-working space looking to expand might want to prioritise resilient digital infrastructure and the relevant green metrics to match with their company values, whereas a young tech start-up would want to ensure they attract good talent and offer their employees a good quality of life, therefore base their metrics on different criteria.

So what is Next X?

By analysing an extensive range of metrics, Next X is a digital tool that gives real estate decision-makers a new lens through which they can analyse and understand the best locations to invest, relocate and expand to across the UK. Next X uses the client’s bespoke needs and matches them against a set of 4 pillars. This data is run through the tool by the team, who can then recommend cities and towns to best match the client’s needs based on what they said was most important to them.

30 new metrics and 5,700 data points are analysed to reach a conclusion. To identify the locations, BNP Paribas Real Estate analysed two separate data sets, one focusing on the UK excluding London, the other looking at London separately. This exercise identified 95 locations across the country; 62 UK towns and cities and 33 London boroughs. Encompassing this all, they developed four new pillars of location assessment.

Next X infographic 4 new location analysis pillars

1. New Skills & Transition

This pillar asks the question: ‘Where is the workforce of the future?’ It uses data from the number of universities and student qualifications to identify how attractive the future workforce is. This pillar also explores how nimble and prepared an area is for the economic and technological changes through key figures on business start-ups and their survival rate as well as levels of business funding.

2. Health & Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of an area is identified through tracking CO2 emissions, Park Runs data and the ‘green’ ways in which people commute to work, bringing to focus the importance residents place on their health and wellbeing.

3. Real Estate & Infrastructure 2.0

Looks at future challenges of how geared up a place is for 5G, how many buildings are Wired Certified, as well as the number of electric car charging points. It’s a future-looking view on how prepared and agile the area’s infrastructure landscape is for long term tech challenges.

4. Community

Recognises the social aspects of an area and aims to quantify the benefits of belonging. This pillar uses social media data, growth of independent shops, a GinDex, and niche retail offers to gauge a vibe of an area.

Why has WiredScore been included?

The importance of connectivity for our future digital and physical landscapes has become more prominent than ever. Businesses have for a long time relied upon the internet to operate productively, but now as our offices are becoming smarter, and workers are constantly required to be online, the world around us is becoming connected. Occupiers and investors are starting to place more importance on the connectivity of a building, with 84% of businesses claiming connectivity has an impact on productivity.

WiredScore was asked to provide data to help make up the Real Estate & Infrastructure 2.0 pillar. The pillar identifies which places are designing our future digital and physical landscapes, and WiredScore building data can help show the areas that have the highest percentage of future-proofed buildings. This included sharing the number, location and level of Wired Certified buildings across the country.

Wired Certification helps landlords understand, improve and benchmark their buildings’ digital infrastructure, and ensure their premises are fit for tomorrow’s workers, as it measures a building’s current standard of connectivity as well as its ability to adapt to future requirements. This ability to future-proof a building’s infrastructure means that businesses working within these buildings can rely on a resilient and versatile digital connection for their teams. Landlords who have Wired Certified buildings can also charge 5% more from their tenants, as the value added by having a good connection is significant.

How will Next X help businesses, towns, areas? And do you think this will change the way businesses search for areas to expand into?

ESG is a big buzzword at the moment, meaning Environmental, Social and Corporate governance. Environmental factors have become more important than ever due to the recent pandemic, and in the long-term will impact occupier and investor decisions. There has also been a shift in businesses taking this more seriously, evaluating how this can be incorporated into business culture and policies.

A product such as Next X is a step in the right direction as it falls in line with the government’s plan of levelling up. For so long London has been the focus on investment, whereas investors don’t often consider cities such as Bristol, Brighton or Birmingham. Next X offers a different insight into these places, meaning they become much more attractive areas to invest in.

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