There will be exceptions, but most successful companies are successful because they focus. They understand why they are in business, how they do it and what they do. This understanding ensures they can focus, minimise distractions and deliver the right products and services to their customers.
This is what we do at Bridge Fibre. Our business focus is on being the communications provider of choice to multi-tenanted commercial properties. Historically we have principally worked with Science Parks but now we also deal with commercial landlords. Sometimes this will be rural sites such as MIRA in Warwickshire or more traditional city centre office blocks like the ones we have opened recently in Birmingham and London.
MIRA Technology Park – Europe’s leading mobility R&D location for developing the latest automotive technologies
Although a research and development oriented site, MIRA is somewhat different from our “normal” Science Park customers. Like many Science Parks it has transitioned from being a government research location to being a full-on commercial operation. However, what makes it different is that it is a very large, spread out site with lots of buildings, only some of which are always populated. The customers are also different, with a higher proportion of national and international companies, focused on testing new technologies in the automotive sector. The communications needs of tenants (and the landlord) remain the same – they want high speed, high capacity internet access and telephony, backed up by excellent service.
The rise of the multi-tenant property
Overall, the commercial office market is changing. In the past many landlords focused on the “full repairing lease” approach to letting buildings. As business has transformed, more companies want shorter, more flexible rental arrangements. This has fostered an expansion of the “multi-let” market where a building or site is broken down into smaller units. The upside to this for the landlord is that these kind of tenants value additional services (such as telecoms) and so the whole business model has changed.
This, in turn, has changed the investment model, and we have developed a co-investment model to enable us to invest in these buildings and site networks alongside our landlord partners. This benefits everyone involved, while reducing risk. You can read more about the model in our whitepaper.
Building trust and keeping focus
When you expand as a business it’s very tempting to say yes to every opportunity especially when the opportunities are slightly outside your comfort zone. Knowing when to say no is an important skill. It’s very easy to promise the world, harder to deliver. That’s why, just as with our 40+ traditional Science Park customers, we prefer to work closely with the landlord, set expectations then deliver them efficiently and on time.
An active relationship with the landlord helps create the levels of trust essential to any partnership. This can include designing the passive infrastructure within a building, helping negotiate the legal hurdles to getting fibre into the building as well as the more mundane (but no less critical) stuff like installing enough wi-fi access points.
Our experienced Business Development team are on hand to help landlords provide the working environment demanded by their tenants. As we return to a post COVID work world this can mean things the landlord had not previously considered as important are now essential. More meeting rooms (with screens for those collaborative video calls), better hot-desking, as well as hybrid and home working patterns all put pressure on the demand for connectivity. Multiply that by the number of tenants and it’s easy to see that simply providing internet to a router isn’t going to cut it.
In the increasingly important world of multi-tenanted commercial property, it is vital that landlords work with businesses that they trust and that understand their needs. That’s why we’re keeping our focus as we expand, delivering for landlords on Science Parks and beyond.
Tim Ireland, CEO