NCC Urban Sense: a seamless digital user experience of the future real estate



Workplace strategy


In autumn 2019, Agile Work facilitated NCC Property Development Oy’s digital customer experience co-creation project, with the aim to create a seamless digital service concept for NCC’s new We Land property  and to combine traditional services and new technology into the smart properties of the future. The developed service concept aims to attract tenants, real estate investors and improving the overall return on investment As the result of the intensive three-month project the NCC Urban Sense service concept was born.

What is NCC Urban Sense?

“The wider the user groups of properties are, the more complexity in needs and customer journeys arise. We wanted to develop a service concept that clarifies the network of the property’s numerous service providers and service users into one manageable entity, ” says Eelis Rytkönen, the urban developer of the NCC Property Development unit.

“Urban Sense is a digital platform where NCC’s real estate clients encounter the most important service providers they need during the workday. The property’s various digital services are designed to be intuitive and easily accessible. Urban Sense supports the daily use of the property so that the customer’s time is freed from routines to more productive work, ”concludes Antti Pitkänen, Agile Work’s Insights & Strategy Director and the responsible for the NCC PD collaboration. 


Seamless workday experience for the users of We Land

The pilot for streamlined digital user experience is intended to be launched at the new NCC PD’s We Land office property in Ruoholahti, Helsinki. The property is planned to be completed in 2023. The building will have 18,000 square meters of office space, 1,700 square meters of dining space and 2,500 people are planned to work there. Prior to this, smaller entities will also be tested at other NCC PD sites to ensure the usefulness of functionalities and the user-friendliness of the solutions.

The main challenge was how to make the building automation and the different systems encountered by the user during the workday so simple and seamless that it is almost invisible to the customer.


Service concept based on extensive co-creation with stakeholders

The role of Agile Work in the Urban Sense project was to bring together the stakeholders to develop the service, and to facilitate the work of a large number of people in an effective, inclusive, and inspiring way. As a result, NCC PD  received a clear requirement specification for the building automation, various systems, and a description for the digital customer experience from the project. The aim of the project was to create a digital service concept for NCC PD, which can also be applied to other future real estate development projects.

From the beginning, it was clear that for the success of the concept it was crucial

to gain a deep understanding of the needs of different user profiles and personas. Agile Work collected tens of hours of interview material from 14 individuals from various user and stakeholder groups and facilitated a series of workshops in which 16 experts from NCC and We Land development companies were brought together to create a concept of property services based on user insights.

Of course we didn’t do this alone, the project was co-created with partners such as JKMM, Kone, Rejlers, Sitowise, Concierge Finland, Aalto University, key customers as well as a team across the different business functions of NCC.

During the project, Agile Work conducted a comprehensive benchmark comparison of different solution providers and platform features, pricing, integrations, and service capabilities. More information was sought by site visits to high-end smart properties like The Edge in London and We Work in Stockholm.


The end result was a complete service concept for NCC's property customers

The project, facilitated by Agile Work, resulted in the We Land – Urban Sense Digital Experience Concept Book, which defines the needs, wishes and expectations of the various users of the property on the basis of interviews, benchmark visits and the co-creative workshops. The key social, digital, and physical points of contact in the user’s workday experience path were documented. The end result was a service concept offered to different user groups, the targeted value propositions and illustrated the different  pricing principles and strategies.ta.

Urban sense presentation

The future of the real estate industry is controlled by the user experience

“The future of real estate will be owned by those who own the experience of the users.”, says Pitkänen, quoting the ideas of real estate guru Anthony Slumbers.

NCC PD’s way of opening up its development projects and offering its ecosystem to a wide network of partners is unique in Finland. The role of Agile Work was to get stakeholder representatives to share the value they get from the digital service and to create something new together.


NCC PD: Agile Work’s emotionally intelligent approach shakes real estate business models

NCC PD Eelis Rytkönen according to the Agile Work has helped to recognize the larger context in which the NCC can create value for the various parties involved by creating participatory and more attractive neighborhoods.

“ Agile Work’s empathetic team approaches work environments humanely, involving different stakeholders. Their emotionally intelligent approach tends to shake up the real estate per square meter thinking. Facilitation expertise combined with a broad understanding of work cultures, virtual tools, extensive partner network, physical space, and interior design solutions sets Agile Work apart from other players in the field. ”