High five for Myhive

Interior design
Immofinanz has recently officially opened five buildings in Poland under its new Myhive office brand. Magdalena Kowalewska, the company’s country manager of operations in Poland, tells us that there is much more to this brand than just redecorating the lobbies.

Eurobuild CEE: What has been the reaction of tenants to the changes made to your buildings during Myhives implementation?

Magdalena Kowalewska, country manager operations Poland, Immofinanz: The end of last year and the beginning of this one was indeed a very busy time for us in Poland in terms of Myhive’s implementation. In just three weeks we managed to officially open five buildings under the new office brand, starting just before Christmas with Myhive Crown Point and Myhive Equator, and continuing at the beginning of January with Myhive Brama Zachodnia, Myhive Nimbus and Myhive Park Postępu.

Our opening celebrations, which were directed very much towards our tenants’ employees, enjoyed very high attendances from their side. Hundreds of them came to each opening to find out what Myhive is, what these changes are all about, and why are we doing it. The feedback that we are still receiving today has been very positive. They have been highly appreciative of the changes and the fact that we have done something special for them. Out of these five Myhive buildings, the biggest changes have taken place at Brama Zachodnia, where it is not only the lobby that has been given a complete makeover – and some employees could not believe the scale of the changes at first – but also a new Brunch & Coffee restaurant has opened. This not only offers a wide range of delicious food, but also welcomes guests with a very interesting design and look – way above the usual office canteen standards, but with a range that is still at affordable prices.

What will come after the first phase the rebranding of twenty office buildings? Have you already started planning the next stage?

Our plan is to add others to the Myhive network, and so when it comes to future developments and acquisitions we will be focusing on properties that can be fitted into our brand concept. But it is still too early to reveal any further details. Currently we are concentrating on implementing the first stage, bearing in mind that in Poland, for example, the changes to one more building – Myhive IO-1 – have still to be completed. This should be in the middle of the year.

Is the common space in a Myhive building now being fully utilised? Are the tenants and their employees aware that they can use this and do they want to?

The common areas are being used extensively by the tenants. We are seeing this on a daily basis. After a few weeks, we have got used to the sight of all the chairs and seats in the lobbies being occupied. People are using the common areas for small meetings when all their conference rooms are busy, or simply to work. Especially since in all of the lobbies we provide free high speed internet access. Furthermore, Myhive has been designed so that the seating in the lobby is arranged in such a way to allow the creation of separate areas, where at the same time people can enjoy a short meeting at a table with high chairs or a causal chat on a comfortable sofa without interfering with or disturbing each other. It is also worth mentioning that the design of the new office brand also includes suggestions and ideas provided in a tenant survey; so in other words, we have given them precisely what they asked for and we are really glad that they like it.

Agents have been asking if there is more to the brand than just changes to the lobby areas.

There is far more to the brand than just the lobby, even though the lobby itself is the very much the first visible change that you encounter and then associate with Myhive. Currently we are finalising agreements for them to feature specially designed aromas and subtle background music, to help create a feeling of well-being in our buildings. We have also started training the reception staff and hiring new staff where necessary, since the quality of the service and a ”hotel-feel” experience are among the key promises we made when launching the brand.

In addition, we are also gearing up to provide a networking platform for our tenants, which will be done in a twofold manner, through events and the use of technology. Our intention is for our tenants to get to know each other better and to potentially cooperate in a number of areas. Therefore we are launching the Myhive Business Lounge initiative, which in a way will be similar to the business lounges in airports, with the twist that during these events our tenants will actually be presenting themselves, providing samples of their products and tasters of their services. The technological approach I mentioned will be based on a special Myhive application designed specifically for our tenants, which will allow them to exchange ideas and search for the support, subcontractor or service provider they need within the Myhive family.

Was the introduction of the new brand really worth all the expense?

Yes, undoubtedly. The establishment of such a brand gives us – a real estate company that holds several hundred properties in Europe – a clear competitive advantage. Take, for instance, our existing Stop Shop and Vivo! retail brands. Their integrated and coordinated appearance is now widely recognised and gives a guarantee of the efficiency of the roll-out. Our tenants know what the brands stand for and are well aware that these brands can help them to rapidly achieve broad market coverage in a number of countries.

For our customers, our brands come with quality and service commitments that fulfil all the expectations of a modern working, shopping and leisure environment. This begins with the contact partner responsible for maintaining communications and ranges from the standard rental contracts and services to the quality and attractiveness of the building and the facility and asset management. Our tenants can rest assured that all our properties will be up to Immofinanz standards, wherever they are located.