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What is Prefe?

Occupiers and users is one of the most important interest group in the real estate business. Property sector’s whole value network: eg. developers, investors and service providers are depended on the users and their needs and preferences. However, the existing knowledge on the users’ real estate and space needs and requirements has been quite limited.

Increased understanding of the physical, virtual and social elements of the space as well as of the users’ and occupiers’ values, needs and preferences form a platform for new kinds of services, products and business opportunities for the various players in the property sector. The knowledge of occupiers’ and users’ preferences also adds organizations’ knowledge on the ability of the space to support the well-being and productivity of the individual space users.

Our Office occupiers’ preferences and needs in a changing business environment –project (PREFE, 2008-2011) aims to understand the physical, social and virtual space attributes the office occupiers prefer in terms of location, buildings, workplaces and services. The study focuses both on the individual level and organization level needs and preferences.

During the two years project we have studied office occupiers’ need and preferences from various viewpoints and by using different kinds of research methods. Our main data collection method was Preferences –surveys, which we used for identifying the office users’ need and preferences concerning the office location, building and workplace. Preferences –surveys included:

  • Occupier survey in Finland: Survey for occupying organizations (decision makers)
  • User survey in Finland: Survey for office space users (individual employees)
  • International occupier survey: Global survey for corporate real estate mangers

Based on the survey results we were able to analyze organizations´ and employees´ preferences from multiple aspects such as location, core business, company size (company level) and age, gender, working style (employees). Survey results were also used for creating the preference profiles.
In addition to surveys and field data gathering, we concentrated on the preferences tool –development. During the project we developed tools for identifying and evaluating the users’ preferences and a tool for rating the buildings and offices based on the preferences.

These web pages present our main research findings in a simple, easy to read and understand format. We hope that these web pages are useful for business people, academics and students. If you have further questions or you are interested in our project and research findings, please feel free to contact us.

The scope of the research project:

Company Partners

The project is part of the Tekes Spaces and places (TILA) –programme. The funding companies are SRV Group, Senate Properties, The Local Government Pensions Institute, Turku University of Applied Science, HYY Group, VTT Technical Research Centre Finland, YNNO, Skanska, DTZ Finland, ISS, City of Helsinki, Aberdeen Property Investors Finland Oy, Jyväskylä Regional Development Company Jykes Ltd, Sponda Plc and Realia Group.

Prefe People

Anna-Liisa Lindholm, Dr., teaching research scientist, REB, project leader
Peggie Rothe, MSc , Aalto BES, main researcher
Tuuli Luoma, MSc, Aalto REB, researcher
Jessica Niemi, MSc, KTI Property Information Ltd, researcher
Ari Hyvönen, Aalto REB, statistical guru
Suvi Nenonen, PhD, Aalto BES, event manager
Eeva Määttänen, MSc, REB, questionnaire expert
Satu Haaparanta, MSc, KTI Property Information Ltd, KTI project leader
Petri Junttila, KTI Property Information Ltd, researcher
Riitta Lahtinen, KTI Property Information Ltd, researcher
Timo Myllynen, Aalto REB, Master’s thesis worker
Galith Nadbornik, Aalto BES, Master’s thesis worker
Yan Wang, Aalto REB, Master’s thesis worker
Bee Gan MSc, Aalto REB, PhD student
Nora Hildén, Aalto BES, Master’s thesis worker

Research Partners

The research project is carried out by three research parties from Finland: The Real Estate Business research group (REB )and The Built Environment Services research group (BES) from Aalto University, and KTI –Property Information Ltd. The project also had international research partners which are Georgia State University (US), Center for People and Building (NL), Sheffield-Hallam University (UK) and the CoreNet Global network.