Bisnow’s Toby Carling On The Venn Diagram Between Real Estate, Business Development And Marketing
The UK commercial real estate market was hit hard by the pandemic across all sectors, which was especially difficult for an industry that was already recovering from the uncertainty caused by Brexit. Despite these challenges, momentum is building once again and, according to a market forecast report, the UK commercial real estate industry is predicted to see a compound annual growth rate of 5% from 2022 to 2027.
At Bisnow, we stay on top of all the latest developments in the UK and keep the industry connected and informed with the help of our UK market manager, Toby Carling. We spoke with him about how commercial real estate has influenced his life and how he spends his time at Bisnow helping UK’s top commercial real estate players do more business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bisnow: Why commercial real estate?
Carling: It’s such a fundamental part of everyday life. Often, without realising, I'm interacting with this industry on a daily basis. From the student accommodation that I rented for a year at university, to the office I went to five days a week pre-pandemic, to paying into my pension every month knowing it'll likely be invested into commercial real estate, all of this ties back to the sector that I love to work in.
It's also a sector that is constantly changing and innovating. That variety is something that keeps me on my toes. We've seen the subsectors/asset classes of commercial real estate vary in performance over the past two years, which means I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing brands that I otherwise wouldn't have interacted with due to the changing landscape. Prior to the pandemic, the UK life sciences sector was in its infancy but now I find myself working with businesses such as Harrison Street, Longfellow Real Estate and Stanhope, along with many other fantastic businesses looking to broaden their opportunities.
The business priorities within commercial real estate are constantly adapting. An example of this is the huge shift that has rapidly occurred in making environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, a priority and I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with brands to promote that ESG agenda that has now become such a fundamental topic throughout commercial real estate. ESG touches every aspect of the industry, from raising capital, to leasing your vacant space, to developing new schemes and, most importantly, retrofitting existing assets. Working with the likes of Frasers Property, which will be hosting us at the Rowe in central London for our sustainability event this year, is just a perfect example of an owner/developer doing it right.
Bisnow: Why did you take this job at Bisnow?
Carling: My role at Bisnow is the centre of a Venn diagram between real estate, business development and marketing. Real estate is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world so, from that perspective, there's no place I'd rather be, but also, it's an industry built on the foundation of relationship-building as a way to do business. Bisnow allows me to tap into the sociable side of my character while also giving me the challenge of innovating such a traditional sector through digital advertising and events as a way to build those relationships. Once that happens and I succeed in helping businesses create new opportunities through using our platform, it becomes an extremely rewarding role.
Bisnow: Why are you different?
Carling: I was born in Hong Kong, and have been lucky enough to have experienced either living or working in Singapore, Thailand, the UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan and the U.S. I’m constantly driving to move forward, and the fast-paced and global-in-nature environment that is both Bisnow and commercial real estate aligns very well with that.
Bisnow: When thinking about the future of commercial real estate, what do you look forward to most?
Carling: Can I say everything? I’m an eternal optimist and there are so many positives to be excited about. I’m a bit of a techy at heart so I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the demand rapidly increase for building accreditations such as WiredScore and WELL as developers push themselves to deliver quality assets. In London, we hosted an event recently in partnership with Ashby Capital at its newly retrofitted Kensington Building which is one of the most beautiful developments I’ve seen come to market in London yet. It was accredited with WELL Standard Gold and a WiredScore Platinum rating, and it very much felt like it had been built with the future tenant in mind and you can really feel that as you tour these new developments coming to market, and I’m excited to see how that continues to evolve in the future.
From a Bisnow perspective, we’ve come out of the pandemic in a better position than when we went in. We are benefitting from having an absolutely amazing team across all of our markets, and what I look forward to most is collaborating and working with them to see what we can achieve over the next few years as we continue to strive to be the best at connecting this industry to more business.
Toby Carling can be reached at email@example.com.