British Land enlists R/GA as it battles property market disruptors

Interpublic agency is tasked with creating innovative digital services.

British Land: London properties include Facebook's office on Brock Street
British Land: London properties include Facebook's office on Brock Street

British Land, the major UK property company, has appointed R/GA as its innovation and design agency as it battles digital disruptors in the flexible office lettings market.

The Interpublic shop has been tasked with creating innovative digital services, including a new "world-class occupier portal" for Storey, British Land’s flexible workplace business brand.

Storey was launched last year and aimed to fill a gap in the London office market by providing space for companies employing between 20 and 70 people and which have outgrown co-working space, as well as larger companies seeking flexible additional space.

One of British Land’s core business challenges is to try to innovate in the face of disruption in the market as it tries to develop a more diversified offering. 

Start-up challengers, loosely known as "proptech" companies, are disrupting the sector with lower-cost online offerings that are particularly attractive to London start-ups that are nomadic in nature.

Examples include Rentify, a property management company that promises guaranteed rent to landords, and Goodlord, a letting transactions platform that allows tenancy agreements on the go. 

R/GA said British Land wanted an agency partner that could best help with the challenge of integrating digital products and services that would "amplify the employee experience" and "business productivity of their clients".

Julian Barker, head of smart places at British Land, said: "We see a great opportunity to use technology to unlock more value for our customers and are pleased to be working with R/GA in delivering a new level of service across our London campuses."

R/GA won the account after a competitive pitch. It is the first time British Land has appointed an agency for this brief.

British Land owns a number of London property sites that are let to major media companies such as Facebook on Brock Street and Dentsu Aegis Network on Triton Street.