Collaboration Focus: collaborating to deliver best in-class solutions

From a MAPP perspective, effective collaboration is one of our core strategic strengths, and we see this as a genuine competitive advantage in our market. Collaboration ensures that we are able to provide clients and occupiers with best in-class solutions from businesses who focus on their core strengths in exactly the same way that MAPP focuses on delivering property management as a core component.

In the technology space, Software as a Service (SaaS) has levelled the playing field to a large extent, so that smaller, more nimble or agile property management businesses are able to compete with the behemoths that navigate the real estate oceans. We now have access to solutions developed by specialists in their chosen field and can both bring those to market and scale those faster than larger businesses. In return, our partners often find that it is far easier to collaborate with a business that is closer to the decision-making process and is both willing, and able, to work with them to help develop the product in a mutually beneficial process.

There won’t be anyone reading this who hasn’t seen technological infrastructure projects fail completely or fail to deliver on time and on budget when delivered with an in house resource that is overstretched and under resourced. The same can be true of third-party collaborative projects, so choosing your partner wisely is critical, and often the most challenging part of the process.

In-business, collaboration is rendered easier by a focus on a relatively narrow set of specialisms. Focus on property management means that the same goals, ambitions and ethos are shared across departments, making internal collaboration a matter of ensuring that the goals are aligned and that everyone understands their part in the process. It is important that the responsibility for outcomes is shared equally.

Larger multidisciplinary teams often find this area challenging, as there can be competing tensions in requirements which discourage collaboration, or at the very least make it more difficult to realise, even with the best of intentions.

Collaboration with other in-sector services is also absolutely key. A genuine belief that clients and occupiers deserve the best means that working closely with those who are the best becomes a necessity. Better to be master of one than jack of all trades and clients often bring their own, existing, supply chain to the management of property. Working hand in hand with internal parties requires both a flexible ecosystem that can adapt quickly to changing circumstances and a collaborative approach to success.

For those with fewer internal resources, collaboration with other parties also provides access to experience that would otherwise not be available. There is an ongoing tension between build, buy or borrow, and while there is no single right answer, and sometimes competing options, a good understanding of your competitive landscape, alongside your strategic objectives, will provide a good sense of the best direction in any given scenario.

MAPP operates an open architecture approach to technology and services and has successful working relationships with a wide variety of partners.

MAPP partners with Coyote, a software business that provides a client portal which allows real-time high level reporting to clients and provides them with valuable insight into their data and complete transparency, while also allowing MAPP to publish reports via the document management area. This speeds up communication and reporting and the subsequent decision making process, allowing all parties to move more quickly, a key requirement of the current business environment.

MAPP also partners with Locale, which provides a tenant portal allowing data and communications to be sent to and from tenants, providing them with an immediate view into the operation of their building and allowing health & safety, compliance, financial, service charge and other data to be available 24/7. It also provides occupiers with the ability to manage their environment, including security, deliveries, room bookings, visitors and local services. This engages the occupier community, increasing tenant retention and by implication, income to clients.

Robotic Process Automation via our partners OpenBox allows MAPP to move large volumes of data, quickly, securely and accurately between the various points of contact and systems, particularly data warehousing. This creates a platform whereby staff are able to spend time on solutions and operational and strategic questions, rather than being trapped in repetitive processes. Clients get better, more timely advice and we are able to respond quickly to any queries.

The rapidly evolving environment in real estate, and thus property management, means we believe collaboration and partnership with clients is ever more critical. As space as a service (SPaaS) evolves for offices, alongside the flexible and co-working offers, brand becomes an important factor. In order to maximise brand profile they will need to work incredibly closely with agents to deliver the seamless look and feel of their product. That sense of brand will determine value in very much the same way as it currently does in the hotel sector.

One of the key aspects of good collaboration is the ability to cross-pollinate ideas from other businesses in your own, an approach that is arguably more difficult to achieve internally when your focus is relatively narrow. Inevitably, they will both be closer to the solution and more strategically aligned to the purpose, so will provide you with real insight into the product or service being provided. Leveraging that expertise to deliver clients bespoke requirements is one of the keys to successful delivery.



Robert Stark

Robert Stark

Robert Stark is Senior Executive Director, Strategy & Operations, at MAPP. With a strategic role overseeing all of MAPP's core Property Management function, Rob ensures that teams, technology and processes are effectively structured and connected. He explores and implements new technology to aid growth and works with clients to identify their requirements and interprets that into action, ensuring excellence in service delivery. Robert has over 20 years' experience in managing significant client portfolio mandates and working with sector-leading organisations to delivery change, engagement and performance.