Market players respond and adapt differently in the current crisis situation, but all seek a competitive edge by reevaluating their strategies and core purpose, finding different means to incentivize and explore their creativity and innovative skills. Below are some perspectives on market changes from one of the largest real estate developers in Timisoara, Western Romania, Vox Property Group, led by Virgil Tornoreanu.
We have adapted measures included in a comprehensive campaign for the return of our tenants in Vox Technology Park office building. We have purchased two thermal body scanners, installed in each of the lobby entrances, measuring employees and visitor’s temperature through an automated method, both entering and exiting the building. This safety measure will also lead to savings for the tenants, both financially and in time, which will no longer need to individually measure the temperature of employees and visitors. Among the measures, we will disinfect the HVAC system and will install cleaning and air filtration devices (nebulizers) in conference rooms. We are constantly disinfecting all surfaces, have installed antiseptic rugs and nano-septic foils for the protections of bars and handles and have placed disinfectant dispensers in all common areas. All the traffic circuits within the building have been redesigned. The employees and visitors will thus enter and exit the office spaces and the building through different access ways. Distancing measures have been implemented also regarding the elevator access, restricting it to two persons, instead of full capacity. All visitors will be handed face masks and gloves. Our goal is not only to ensure the safety of our tenants, but also to provide useful precautionary measures during this period. Even if they may seem complicated at this point, we must all get used to these measures in the following period, without becoming hyper-protective. These are the best measures we can take for the safety of our tenants and employees, including our own – all our offices are in the same building. We’ve been innovating since the design of the building and we will continue to do so, constantly improving the office of the future.
The status of current projects and investments
Our current project is the residential building, Vox Vertical Village. This project is ongoing, as planned, even if the pandemic situation has forced us to adapt the construction rhythm according to the pace of the emergency situation. Moreover, we are not downgrading the project quality in order to save costs. Up to this point, the prices are unchanged and as Vox Vertical Village has its unique characteristics, we are confident that even in case of a fluctuation of the residential market, the products’ high quality will represent a durable and safe investment, with considerable yields even in unstable conditions. As for future investments, we have mixed developments in mind, which are currently in the design phase and will be announced shortly after approvals. We will continue to dream, design and build our projects, adapting to current market conditions and fulfilling what we have set out to do from the very beginning.
Advantages going forward
Our business as a developer is delivering high quality landmarks, both in the office and in the residential segment. Our main competitive benchmark is the quality of our buildings and customer care services provided, especially for our tenants. Going forward, we expect no less of the stakeholders than to continue supporting our work and help us redefine the urban work and lifestyle in Timisoara. One of our main advantages is that we have designed our buildings with digital features and large spaces, which now prove to be an easier adjustable environment for distancing measures, traffic flows and authentication methods upon entering the building. The same concept of large spaces and privacy goes for our residential building as well. Vox Vertical Village is practically a vertical city, where residents have generous spaces, large atriums and each residence completely different from traditional residential buildings. Now, even more so, we understand the importance of comfortable living spaces. As for expectations regarding the public sector, Vox Property Group, as any other business affected by the pandemic, we would benefit from their support. This means tax rates adjusted and other benefits regarding green buildings, which in the case of an office building, directly affects the service charge.
Transformations and their effects
There is a lot we don’t know, but certainly it’s an “all hands on deck” type of situation. The chain reaction of pausing businesses will have a toll in the long run as well. Many businesses have learned to adapt in such a short time, shifting towards digital solutions, rethinking workflow and diving into crisis management. In our sector, digital interaction with B2B customers has gained more importance than traditional channels. Companies shift their resources towards digital solutions, innovations and adapting measures, finding new ways to boost their businesses. Technologically, we will enter a period of telemedicine, paperless bureaucracy, video conferences, webinars, online courses and many more. The HR market will also shift from an extremely low unemployment rate towards a ready-to-hire talent pool. This means an ease of pressure for a lot of industries, especially automotive. In the IT & C sector, businesses will find new ways to work remotely and expand their human resources. Perhaps the most frustrating and also necessary part will be the privacy and safety measures, for which we have no playbook to go by. Each company will adapt safety and distancing measures, but how these will work in case of a new virus spike or in the long term, nobody can assume for sure. It is simply an uncharted territory for most of us, where the survival of businesses will truly depend on their capacity of creating new environments, adapting to shifting customer demands, maintaining interaction, launching new business models and creating new and coherent structures with the stakeholders.
The message to clients and partners
We have not seen the end of this crisis. We will have to adapt, innovate and stand together if we want to succeed. We encourage business managers to lead with empathy, inspire and build trust with others by finding common ground, to define their organizations’ purpose by embracing a new reality and creating an alignment between people and the organization. We encourage our business partners to embrace a larger image, to deliver and perform not only because we all need to in order to ensure the survival of our businesses, but to look at things from a different perspective, where we all depend on each other. To our customers from the residential segment, we advise to avoid unfounded assumptions and balance their investments for the future. For those who seek a more comfortable lifestyle, they will surely recognize the importance of high-quality living space. For those seeking to invest, we encourage them to take into account residential investments which will keep their value even in an uncertain market environment.
Vox Technology Park has a leasable surface of 26,600 square meters and was opened after an investment of 30 million Euros. The project offers unique facilities, such as the possibility of biometric authentication, electric cars and charging stations for electric vehicles, 700 square meters of suspended terrace and competitive advantages for employees, such as dedicated spaces and showers for cyclists, food court, 2,000 square meter gym, commercial and service spaces. The project also received the final BREEAM green certification with Excellent rating and an overall score of 86.7%, one the highest ever obtained by a real estate project in Romania.
Vox Property Group is also developing Vox Vertical Village residential project, located in the near vicinity of the office project. Vox Vertical Village represents a premiere concept on the Romanian market, being the first ‘vertical village’ developed in Romania. The project is due to be delivered at the beginning of 2021 after an investment of 14 million Euros. Over 1,000 trees and plants are to be planted on the terraces and interior spaces within the project.
“Vox Property Group set out its purpose to create for the future, designing iconic buildings that will eventually become legacies. Yet it is not just about the building. It is about the experience it gives to its inhabitants. The comfort and confidence. This is why we embraced BREEAM sustainability standards as our very own. Developing residential, commercial and business projects according to BREEAM standards is a guarantee of achieving environmental, social and economic sustainability performance. It also transforms the building into a green environment that enhances the well-being of the people who live or work in it”, Virgil Tornoreanu, managing partner of Vox Property Group.
Originally published in Transilvania Business.