How the largest owners and managers of real estate are responding to COVID-19

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The COVID-19 pandemic has single-handedly brought the world to a standstill forcing a number of industries into a complete shut down in a matter of weeks. One such industry which has been hit particularly hard is the Commercial Real Estate industry. With the increase in government restrictions and a rapid transition of the workforce to home offices, building owners witnessed their buildings transform from thriving business hubs to deserted ghost towns almost overnight.

While this shutdown has had a significant impact on the bottom line, one of the major challenges building owners are currently facing is rebuilding confidence in their occupants as the world begins to return to offices. What steps can leaders in this industry take to respond the COVID-19 pandemic and inspire confidence in staff and occupants?

Recently, Willow CEO and Co-Founder, Joshua Ridley sat down with Michael Turner, President of Oxford Properties to discuss how he is leading the organisation through this challenging season. Below are some of the key lessons learned from one of the largest and most established leaders in Commercial Real Estate:

Acknowledge the sense of fear and take action

Although we are experiencing a gradual ease in restrictions around the world, the pandemic has greatly influenced our psychology and opinions regarding whether it is safe to return to office buildings. A similar scenario was experienced in the period following the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Society was hesitant to return to high-rise buildings, however, over time the perceived risk became more residual as the government and private sector put in place new protocols to manage the risk of terrorism.

Learning from this scenario, it is up to the leaders of Commercial Real Estate organisations to acknowledge the inherent sense of fear and take proactive actions to ensure their buildings are safe and the fears of occupants are alleviated. In practice, this would involve putting in place appropriate cleaning protocols, providing sanitisation stations, improving air flow, enforcing social distancing, adopting new technologies for health and safety, and educating occupants so they can better manage their premises.

Lead from the front

One of the simplest steps leaders in the Real Estate industry can take in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is to ‘walk the talk” and lead from the front. As Michael highlights, if leaders are expecting their staff and occupants to return to the office, they must themselves be willing to do the same. Leaders demonstrating their own belief in the safety protocols implemented to mitigate risk is key to instilling the same confidence in occupants.

Invest in technology now

As Michael points out, adopting technology across buildings has the potential to greatly improve the experience delivered to occupants. Whilst the Real Estate industry has been slow to adopt technology, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a renewed focus on technology. With a range of technologies in market, from occupancy tracking solutions to access and air quality solutions, there has never been a more appropriate time to invest in smart building technology. Although there are many solutions available, it is critical to ensure organisations take a unified and integrated approach with technology. Integrated data that is analysed in context gives building owners access to quality information that can be used to better understand occupant needs and make good decisions to improve occupant experience.

It’s time to rethink

One of the key steps leaders in the Real Estate industry can take to respond to the pandemic is to use this season as an opportunity to rethink and spark organisational change.

Willow, Oxford, Microsoft and Brookfield have come together to this end, forming an alliance who work together with the interest of propelling the industry forward. The alliance, known as the “Digital Twin Initiative” allows these leaders in the Real Estate industry to come together to share their insights and experience in smart building innovation with a focus on project delivery, technology trends, Digital Twin best practices and lessons learned. Together, the initiative believe that technology has the power to transform the Real Estate industry and ensure buildings are best prepared to respond to future challenges.

About Willow
Willow is the digital twin for the built world. Our mission is to empower every person and organisation to connect with the built world in a whole new way. For more, visit www.willowinc.com

For media inquiries, email us at PR@willowinc.com

Close Menu

Download our brochure

Fill out the form below to receive a copy of the WillowTwin™ Command Platform brochure.

Sydney Metro Martin Place

Download our brochure

We respect your time and privacy. This document is packed with valuable content. Could you share just a little information before downloading?

Download our eBook

We respect your time and privacy. This document is packed with valuable content. Could you share just a little information before downloading?

Queens Plaza Park

Top Golf (various locations)

Waterloo Road Campus

477 Collins Street

100 Queens Street

32 Smith Street

567 Collins Street

Barrack Place, 151 Clarence Street

Tempo Drummoyne

Dale Brett

Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder

Dale is the Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Willow, Australia’s fastest growing provider of smart technology for the built world. With a personal drive to solve complex and real-world problems with technological solutions, Dale leads the technology, product, and innovation at Willow.

In the last two years alone, Dale has led the ideation and implementation of groundbreaking technologies such as the WillowTwin™ Technology Platform, the Marketplace, and the WillowRail Operations to name a few. The technology is now being utilised by the world’s largest real estate owners, including Microsoft, AXA, and Investa Property Group. The common goal being, to make the world more sustainable, connected, intuitive, and innovative.

Sydney Light Rail

Corporate Connect Stages 2 & 3

Summer Hill

Global Switch Ultimo

Pittsburgh International Airport

60 Martin Place

480 Hay Street /
The Westin Hotel Perth

The Sandstones Precinct

The Star Sovereign Resort

The Ribbon

Joshua Ridley

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Joshua oversees the strategic direction, growth, and management of Willow. He is passionate about culture, people, and growing a global company that has a positive impact on our world.

Joshua has built a reputation for his strong leadership and innovation with some of the largest and most admired owners of infrastructure and real estate, including the Durst Organisation and Macquarie. He believes in building a global network of strong partners and has spearheaded partnerships with leading organisations such as Microsoft, thyssenkrupp, and Strukton Rail.

He has overseen the development of over $10B of projects through Design and Construction in a senior leadership capacity, and has partnered with preeminent architects, including KPF, Foster & Partners, Perkins Will, and Grimshaw. In Australia, he has worked on major projects with companies including Investa, GPT, Mirvac, Grocon, Brookfield, Multiplex, John Holland, CPB, Pontiac, Star, and NSW Government.

Joshua is our lead corporate spokesperson, covering the history of Willow, our vision for the built world, client engagements, and breaking stories.

Gerard Francis

CEO WillowRail, Global Head of Infrastructure

Gerard oversees the strategic direction, growth, and management of WillowRail and Willow’s Infrastructure operations.

With a wealth of experience in the Infrastructure space, Gerard has utilised his depth of knowledge and leadership to provide strong governance, strategic direction and operational stability as Willow enters a new phase of growth and maturity.

Scott Smith

Global Head of Microsoft Partnership

Scott is responsible for building out the Willow partnership with Microsoft, identifying and executing on the significant opportunity for both organisations resulting from the unprecedented computing power available via the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

Adrian Fisk

Chief Financial Officer & Global Head of Partnerships

Adrian’s responsibilities include strategic direction, financial performance, partnership management, and processes across Willow’s global network of offices.

Tess Hattingh

Chief Operating Officer

Tess has an overarching role across many facets of the Willow business, from company strategy to HR, Marketing, and Operations.

With over 20 years’ experience, Tess ensures the wheels are oiled and the Willow way is upheld.

Toni Trumbull

Client Director

Toni works closely with our Real Estate customers to explore new digital strategies designed to create value for their business. As part of this role, her responsibility is to communicate the customer voice back to the Willow team to ensure complete alignment and success.
 
Toni has over 15 years experience in the management and operations of commercial assets for large institutions as well as having a strong passion for science and technology and how it applies to the built world. This passion and the critical role data plays in the digitisation of Real Estate has led Toni to undertake a Masters in Data Science, complimenting her degree in Property Economics.

Catherine Harding

Legal Counsel

Catherine provides legal guidance and support across company activities and oversees compliance with regulatory and industry requirements. She is the in-house Counsel for both Willow and EG.

Catherine has extensive experience in international and domestic public policy development, and communications.

Mary Carroll-Coelho

Customer Success Manager

Mary actively works with and listens to our customers. Together, they define the future partnership between Willow and their company. She defines the key problems to solve; often describing her work as, “helping our partners figure out if they want socks or warm feet.” What the real issue is and how data can help us solve it.

Mary has spent the last ten years working in architecture, construction technology, and education. She has overseen the construction of designs ranging from 5,000 sf to 1,400 ac. She has worked with leaders in the design industry including KieranTimberlake Architects and Atelier Jean Nouvel. As a manager in the Construction Innovation Studio at the We Company, Mary has worked across the globe and understands the benefit and need for data in the real estate industry.

Experience

Experience provides a seamless, intuitive and enjoyable mobile experience that incorporates the latest in emerging building technologies including smart access control for doors, lifts and lockers all controlled via your smart phone. The app is a powerful tool to attract and retain tenant engagement whilst providing powerful analytics and insights.

Time Machine

Time Machine is a native Willow application that enables users to compare & analyse live data, troubleshoot faults, and discover insightful trends across an entire portfolio.

Command Platform

Command Platform is a single interface for all operational aspects of your digital twin, including operational performance, live information from edge devices and inputs from third-party applications.

Live Data

Live Data is a SaaS feature of Willow. It aggregates data in real time from all devices at a portfolio or infrastructure network-wide level and enables a connection-friendly data set for third parties to read and leverage data via the Willow App Store.

Cube

Cube is a fully secure, supported plug and play device that enables all the benefits and value of Willow’s solution for your building or infrastructure network/vehicle. Installing a Cube creates an environment where apps from any language and framework can run securely on the edge, whilst streaming live data to the cloud.

Twin Creator

Twin Creator provides insights into digital twin creation. By
tracking spatial data, asset data and live data inputs, it allows
users to validate the progress of the twin visually and intuitively.
Through the Twin Creator, head contractors and owners can
better manage their stakeholders and supply chain deliverables,
reducing defects and data loss.

Contact us

Help us improve the Willow App Store. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Daniel Kalnins

Global Head of Digital

Daniel is responsible for the technical and strategic direction of the Digital Engineering Services Team. He is also a member of the Senior Executive Team in helping shape the path of the current and future business focus.

Contact us

Help us improve the Willow App Store. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rachel Ebalan-Ramirez

General Manager, Manila

Rachel leads the overall operations and general management of the Manila office to ensure all activities are aligned with the company business objectives.

She serves as a key part of the Operations Executive Group with input into the strategies formulated for operational growth, practice improvements, efficient resourcing and project delivery, culture development, and structure across the whole business.

Rachel oversees all Manila-based Shared-Services Teams and manages the execution of an effective and collaborative approach in providing support to the global company operations.

Andrew Phelan

Vice President Operations, North America

Andrew oversees the delivery and implementation of Willow’s solutions to all customers across the region.

Justin Gurney

Global Program Manager

Justin is responsible for the management and delivery of all contracted projects across all regions. He is inspired by Willow’s vision and drive to transform the property industry and brings to Willow over 25 years of experience in architecture and construction.

Dr. Michael Easson, AM FRICS FAICD

Director and Co-Founder

Michael guides Willow’s vision and strategic direction, provides corporate governance oversight and assists the company in fostering strategic long-term relationships. Michael’s experience in infrastructure and property is extensive across the private and public sectors, with over 35 years experience in real estate development and investment.

Adam Geha

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Adam is responsible for guiding Willow’s capital raising activities and regularly reviewing financial strategy and performance.

In addition to his role with Willow, Adam is the CEO and Co-founder of EG Funds Management, where he has led and supervised over USD 1.8 billion in commercial property investment and development for over 20 years.

Lee Fogarty

Principal & Head of Pre-Contracts

Lee leads the proposals and commercial engagement frameworks company wide. He specializes in contractual negotiations and strategic leadership of the digital delivery of building information modeling driving architectural procurement, facility handover and building operations.

Lee has been involved in a large number of projects from design phase into construction and operation. He knows how to harness the latest technologies to build buildings in the virtual world creating streamlined documentation that facilitates more cost and time efficient projects.

Shaun Klann

President, Global Head of Real Estate

Shaun leads the United States and European operations of Willow as well as managing the company’s Real Estate operations. With a background combining engineering, strategic consulting, and property development, Shaun has come to be recognised as one of North America’s most sought after smart building experts.

Shaun is our lead spokesperson for growth in the US and Europe.

Rani Adam

Chief Innovation Engineer

Rani oversees the technical development and engineering on a global scale. His experience to date, having produced technology for a spectrum of sectors, is both visionary and practical. In creation of technology for e-commerce, rail, fintech, infrastructure and commercial real estate applications, Rani enables effortless user experiences. His experience in complex backend design has allowed for B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-customer), and P2P (peer-to-peer) interactivity and economy.

In addition to realising universal applications for technology (spanning web and mobile), Rani is responsible for leading Willow’s Software Engineering Teams through complex and specialised project conditions.

Nicholas Moore

Chairman

Nicholas is the former Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group Limited. He retired after 33 years at Macquarie, and 10 years as CEO from 2008 – 2018.

Nicholas has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from UNSW. He was admitted as a solicitor and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He is Chairman of Screen Australia, the Sydney Opera House Trust, The Centre for Independent Studies, The Smith Family, Willow Technology Corporation, National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC), a Member (and former Chair) of the University of NSW Business School Advisory Council, and the former Chair of the PCYC.

Sallyann Aitken

Business Development Director

Sallyann leads Willow’s new business development strategy and customer engagement.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website by personalising content and advertising, and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our website with our affiliates and partners. By clicking ACCEPT, you consent to our use of cookies. You can change your mind at any time by taking the steps set out in our Privacy Policy, where you can also learn more about how we use your cookies.