The Future of Real Estate: Insights from Expo Real Munich 2023

Expo Real
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Earlier this month, an international team from HqO joined more than 40,000 participants from 70 countries at Europe’s premier real estate and investment trade fair – Expo Real.

Over the course of this three-day event, I had countless conversations with leasing executives from all across Europe, mostly centered around one consistent challenge — office vacancy competition. That said, all were keen to learn what else they could be doing to increase the attractiveness of their spaces, and were seeking information on how to differentiate themselves — specifically through tenant experiences.

This gave my team and me a great opportunity to give a “sneak peek” of HqO’s Real Estate Experience (REX) Platform — an asset-agnostic, cross-property suite of powerful applications and services that foster best-in-class, dynamic end-user experiences. The platform, which officially launched last week, acts as the single source of truth for a property, assessing the health and performance of a customer’s experience within it, while providing the necessary tools for operators to manage and optimise it, all from one central location.

Learn more about HqO’s REX Platform.

In addition to great discussions around tenant experience, we touched on several other critical topics including ESG, digital transformation, and urban development, through which I began to paint a picture in my mind of the future of real estate and why Space, People, and Planet will play such a significant role in its evolution. Let me explain why.



  • Wholesale change of use class is not the answer, as I debated in a panel discussion on ‘Buildings in Transformation: From Vacancy to Vibrancy’. Instead, a multi-threaded approach to delivering amenity and using technology to connect communities, and drive further insights is the way forward.
  • The future of real estate is multi-use space centred around communities and connectivity. There will only be an increasing demand for office space that integrates seamlessly with R&D, laboratory, recreational, and hospitality space.
    Real estate owners must prioritise understanding how people want to use space before jumping to a change of use agenda.
  • HqO can help. Intelligence, a product of the HqO REX Platform, gives unparalleled analytics on workplace sentiment, trends, expectations gaps, and competitive insights. This data arms the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking organisations. Explore the Intelligence product suite →



  • To leave the comfort of their homes, commute, and get back into the office – employees need the promise of experience.
  • People want to feel a sense of community in the spaces they spend time, so amenities, after-work events, and activities are critical for helping drive tenant satisfaction and retention.
  • Siloed desks and cubicles are a thing of the past — collaborative, open work areas are necessary for teamwork and success.
  • CRE is now an ‘occupier’ market and to attract and retain the best tenants means you must invest in the experience people want.



  • We are living in the ‘demand’ generation where employees expect their employers to provide a multi-use space that has zero impact on the environment.
  • Companies that can’t meet this expectation won’t be able to attract the best talent or retain their best people.
  • Younger generations are increasingly demanding information about the sustainable credentials of their prospective employers at interviews.
  • Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and other policies to eradicate greenwashing and improve market transparency for sustainable investment products, will see real estate moving into a similar territory for disclosure.
  • The carbon efficiency of buildings will add to market value, lead to increased levels of capital investment, and prevent brown discounting or the stranding of assets, while making the space more attractive for landlords to lease.


The future of the real estate economy is dependent on having more open discussions between CRE operator and occupier groups to understand how best to connect people with space in a more meaningful way. Our sector has progressed from a commodity to a service and now to an experience, and that will only continue to evolve by mobilising real estate technology and customer data. HqO is at the heart of this movement, putting the customer and their experiences of space at the centre of this remarkable market transformation.

Until next year, Expo Real!


Speak to one of our REX experts today to learn more about how HqO can help you build an industry-leading real estate experience.

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