This summer, Plaace has been fortunate to work with three outstanding interns from BearingPoint. We have managed to free up some time in their busy schedule to answer some questions such as what they are working on, what they hope to get out of their project time at Plaace and what they think is the biggest challenge for commercial property owners and tenants today.
Summer project at Plaace
Pernille Klevstuen, Christian Vennerød and Simen Allum are employed as summer interns at the consulting house BearingPoint, and had the opportunity to carry out an exciting machine learning project at Plaace. All three work with analysis and data science where consultant Christian Aalby Svalesen is the project manager from BearingPoint’s side.
Development of expansion analysis
The BearingPoint interns are presenting a general recommendation algorithm for Plaace. “The goal of the algorithm is to recommend commercial expansion areas for a given concept, which in turn builds on Plaace’s vision – namely to match property owners and tenants to ensure long-term and good tenancies”, says Christian.
Professional and personal goals
A commonality for Pernille, Christian and Simen are that they are very conscientious and want to deliver an end result that Plaace and their customers are happy with – even though the undertaken tasks are both ambitious and time-consuming. In addition, Pernille wants to improve as a consultant and in dialogue with customers, but also on the technical front, for example through increased understanding of machine learning. Simen agrees and also aims to “gain deeper knowledge about the tools and methods we use throughout the summer”.
A beneficial product for all parties
When we asked the interns what they think is the most exciting thing about Plaace as a company Christian points out the very idea: “Setting up a platform that helps a market that will persist in the foreseeable future is a fantastic idea, and I think it is something that makes Plaace a very exciting company. Beyond access to data, there is in theory nothing that can limit the growth opportunities for Plaace”. Simen thinks it’s fun to be part of a company that has clear goals for the future, and especially likes the fact that Plaace “contributes to something that makes it better for all parties”. Pernille says that the whole dynamic around Plaace is what makes the company exciting: “There is a lot of drive, great passion, good people and an extremely exciting vision”.
Using academic theory to solve a real problem
When asked what they hope to get out of their time at Plaace, everyone agreed on successfully applying what they have learned through their studies to solve a real problem. “It’s one thing to learn about the theory behind something, but it’s very fun to be allowed to use their knowledge to create something that has value for others,” says Simen. Furthermore, being able to challenge oneself on the technological, business and human aspects is a common denominator, in addition to gaining more insight into the everyday life of a startup. Christian adds that he “has already learned a lot about data processing, the importance of clarifying their goals, wishes and scope”.
Minimizing risk by finding locations that match a company´s segment
We wanted to know what they think is the biggest challenge tenants and property owners face today. A clear common thread in everyone’s answers concerns the choice of location. “The biggest challenge tenants face today, beyond the purely operational, is in my opinion location. One thing is purely physical factors such as the right size, rental prices etc, which in themselves are important, but I think the main essence is that tenants must find locations that match the segments the concept is aimed at “, says Christian. Naturally, the challenges for tenants will correspond with landlords: “As a landlord, the main challenge will probably be experienced as finding a stable tenant who wants to stay in the long run“, states Pernille. She elaborates with a good point, namely that “a tenant can help make an area more attractive. By increasing the attractiveness of an area, it can lead to more growth in the market, more customers, which in turn can make the property more valued, something the landlord benefits from ”. Simen agrees and summarizes briefly and precisely: “I think as of today people make choices very based on gut feeling; this probably applies to both the landlord and the tenant. This leads to increased risk for both parties ”. With that said, everyone believes that Plaace’s value proposition with external data and analysis can help reduce this risk. “By using the data and knowledge plaace can offer, one will be able to make choices based on factors other than just gut feeling. I think the increased insight into areas will also contribute to the city becoming a better place for everyone ”, Simen concludes.