Newly listed REIT Stenprop has revealed plans to transform itself into the UK’s first “serviced industrial” provider.
The group, which officially listed on the London Stock Exchange today, said it wanted to offer tenants of its multi-let industrial estates the same sort of flexibility that serviced office tenants have and that it planned to roll the service out across the 520-plus tenants that occupy its 33-estate portfolio.
Under the new strategy, it will move away from the traditional leasing model and allow its tenants, the majority of which are SMEs, to sign up for six weeks to six years on its Smart Lease online platform.
Stenprop said the simplicity of the lease, which is just three pages long, would “cut the void period and cost of getting tenants in”.
Stenprop would offer its customers a range of products when they moved in from utilities and IT to forklift, racking and security solutions, said group property director Julian Carey.
“We want to increase the product in our shop,” he said. “At the moment there is one product we offer: square foot. We want to increase that range and by doing that we can generate greater additional revenue from our portfolio.”
He added that the move had been enabled by proptech and that it was currently using firms including Realla, VTS, Coyote and Happy Inspector.
“The next stage is to integrate them all together to offer an off-the-shelf product,” he said. “The real focus for us is customer service. Around half of tenants leave on expiry of their lease – if we can provide a better service we can cut this right down.”
As part of the strategy, Stenprop has formed a ‘knowledge transfer partnership’ with Birmingham City University that will give it access to its knowledge, expertise and resources and help it develop a data-driven approach to the “serviced industrial” model.
Since Stenprop bought C2 Capital in June last year, it has set about rebalancing its portfolio to focus on the multi-let industrial sector. It plans to sell £350m of its largely office portfolio across Europe in the next two years and plough some of the funds into growing its industrial holdings.
As part of the portfolio restructure, the group has appointed Gerald Eve to sell the 110,000 sq ft Euston House office building in central London. It is seeking around £90m for the multi-let office, which offers a prime redevelopment opportunity given its location directly opposite the planned HS2 station at Euston.