CBRE’s Martin Samworth: Transcending space

Beyond physical space, real estate advisers have to help create environments that draw people in – whether it is for a shopping centre, office, hotel or restaurant. “You can walk into a restaurant or bar and think, ‘I’m not sure I want to be here because it has no vibe’, or you can walk into one that’s buzzing and then struggle to get out,” says Martin Samworth, group president and CEO of advisory services for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia Pacific at CBRE. “We’re trying to create ones where people want to be in; that creates value in a holistic sense.”
Samworth: Clients don’t see borders and boundaries; they only see investment opportunities (Credit: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Having been in the real estate business for 36 years, Samworth continues to find it stimulating. “What I really enjoy about it is the fact that it draws on so many aspects of life and economics,” he says. Samworth, who is based in London, was in Singapore last month for the official launch of CBRE’s new 32,000 sq ft headquarters at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ).
Designed to showcase its vision of next-generation workplaces, CBRE’s premises at PLQ feature the property consultancy’s proprietary technology, such as “Floored”, to visualise and edit floor plans in 3D; Workplace 360, an approach to creating a variety of space settings that caters to different working needs; and a new mobile app, Host, which offers access to office amenities and services. “Host is the glue around the business to help make things more efficient and help people save time so that they are more productive,” he says.

‘Reference point’

Deploying technology and design, the workplace at PLQ is a “reference point” for CBRE’s corporate clients, whether it is for creating wellness components, design, fit-out or project management. “Our corporate clients are increasingly looking to reorganise their different teams or departments when their leases are up for renewal,” explains Samworth. “They want to know how they can create greater collaborative spaces; or new social spaces for hospitality, food and beverage offerings. All these things are becoming increasingly important in attracting and retaining key talent in the workplace.”
CBRE also intends to progressively...