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Sustainability and innovation at Nhood

Interview with María Pascual

Interview with María Pascual, Asset Manager at Nhood, a company specializing in real estate services. Written by María Mañoso, Marketing Specialist at ISEO.

In this interview, María Pascual offers her vision of the company, which specializes in real estate services, with a strong focus on shopping center management. It also emphasizes the importance of value creation through the implementation of sustainable practices and the use of technology to improve efficiency and profitability.

What is Nhood and what is your main job within the company?

Nhood is a company specialized in real estate services and solutions, with great expertise in the management and development of shopping centers. Our main focus is retail. We manage a broad portfolio of shopping centers, ensuring that we maximize the value of each of our assets. This includes everything from day-to-day operations to the creation of commercial strategies with an attractive mix, marketing activations, asset refurbishments, among others, that generate long-term value.

In addition to managing existing properties, we also develop new mixed-use projects focused on urban regeneration, working with a variety of private and public landlord clients. We currently manage land, offices and a hotel, although our main business continues to be retail.

At Nhood, we work on renovation and improvement strategies for our assets. This includes new repositioning projects and identity and image changes, significant renovations, expansion and urban regeneration projects – with the possibility of changes of use – that have a positive impact on citizens, adapting to their needs.

In my case, as Asset Manager, I manage a portfolio of assets, mainly shopping centers, at different stages of development and maturity. My work encompasses being involved from the construction or acquisition phase of an asset, through the day-to-day operations and, if deemed appropriate, to the divestment proposal.

How do you create value?

Value creation is fundamental to us and is part of our DNA. We achieve this through co-creation with citizens from the beginning of each project. We engage directly with the community to understand their needs and tastes and collaborate closely with administrations and all stakeholders. A clear example of this is our project in Vigo, Vialia Estación de Vigo, where we work hand in hand with the community, local authorities and private companies to develop tailor-made solutions. Also, studying the needs of the city and its citizens, we detected the lack of a leisure space, so it was developed in a flat public area of over 30,000 m2 that encompasses different areas for sports activities, children’s area, animal park, etc. and has become the epicenter of the city, a meeting point and a place of life.

In addition, we are committed to environmental impact, implementing sustainable practices such as the installation of photovoltaic panels and efficient waste management. We use sustainable materials and promote the use of clean energy, following clear guidelines from our headquarters in France.
These efforts not only create value at the local level, but also attract investors interested in projects with a strong ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) focus. Although these investments are significant, we believe that they guarantee an important future return.

We have marketing teams dedicated to active listening through Focus Groups, interviews and other methodologies to understand the diverse perspectives of citizens. This approach allows us to identify the keys to success in each project.

We also encourage collaboration with administrations through social initiatives and events that benefit both the community and our projects. We organize innovation contests, support young entrepreneurs and collaborate with various associations in the area, which reinforces our role as an important partner for local development.

In short, our comprehensive and collaborative approach, coupled with our commitment to sustainability, enables us to create significant and lasting value in every project.

Respecting ESG criteria is fundamental for you, which you also refer to as the 3 Ps, what does each one consist of and how do they translate into practice?

This is the triple positive impact. The 3 P’s are People, Planet and Profit.

  • People: You have already seen how we create with citizens, involving them in our projects and developing tailor-made solutions to meet their needs. We consider it crucial to be sustainable for our future generations, ensuring that our actions benefit both the current and future communities.
  • Planet: We focus on reducing our environmental impact. We implement sustainable practices such as the installation of photovoltaic panels and efficient waste management. We follow a “net zero” approach to minimize our carbon footprint and protect the environment in the long term.
  • Profit: We use innovation tools, digitalization and advanced technologies to improve efficiency and competitiveness, making us more profitable in the long term. Economic sustainability is key to maintaining and expanding our initiatives.

How does Nhood use technology to achieve that P for profit?

At our company, we consider it crucial to invest in innovation and digitalization to create value and increase efficiency in all areas of our business. We focus on developing advanced technological tools that allow us to monitor and analyze the main key performance indicators (KPIs) at the business level. These investments not only improve accuracy and efficiency, but also reduce human error and allow us to conduct our operations in a more professional manner.

In addition to working for our customers, we also focus on serving the needs of the market in general. To this end, we have intelligent building management systems that help us to optimize energy consumption and reduce operating costs. This technology allows us to measure the environmental impact of our operations and take measures to minimize our ecological footprint.

Another important aspect is the use of CRM tools to offer a more personalized and sustainable experience to our end customers in the shopping centers we manage. These tools allow us to enhance your experience and foster long-term loyalty.

One of your very long-term goals is the creation of this 15-minute city. What challenges are you facing now to achieve it?

The 15-minute city is a concept developed by Carlos Moreno, who, in the past, was one of our advisors in the company. At Nhood, we are inspired by this concept as a key objective in our projects. However, achieving this goal presents several challenges. The main challenge lies in ensuring that all basic services – such as schools, medical centers, supermarkets, parks and job opportunities – are accessible on foot within a 15-minute radius. In smaller cities such as Logroño, Cuenca or Vigo, this is more feasible and we are working to integrate these services within this radius.

However, in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, the situation becomes more complicated. For example, the average travel time by public transport to and from work in Madrid is about 62 minutes, and in Barcelona it is 50 minutes, far short of the 15-minute target. Although teleworking has reduced these times, it still represents a considerable challenge.

To address these challenges, we are transforming our shopping centers into multifunctional hubs. In addition to traditional fashion stores and restaurants, we are incorporating services such as medical and dental clinics, hypermarkets, perfume stores, and ophthalmology clinics. We have even added veterinary stores. The idea is to offer a wide range of services in one place, thus approaching the goal of the 15-minute city.

The great challenge remains to integrate job opportunities within this radius. Although we are making progress, it is an ongoing challenge that requires innovative solutions and collaboration with local governments to improve urban planning and infrastructure.

If you are interested in obtaining more information on the evolution of the Spanish real estate market or on the role of digitalization in this context, please contact us at: es-info@sofialocks.com. Our experts will be happy to provide you with more information.