News & views

Views  •  22/12/2022  •  6-min read

CEO: 2022 – It’s a wrap

“Cinderella needs to be Solid, Sexy and Sustainable.”

That raised a few eyebrows last year, and whilst I am rarely a fan of looking back given that the future is infinitely more exciting, I did have a glance at the 10 things I had noticed and predicted this time last year.

So for the ‘It’s a wrap' for 2022, here are some thoughts on how things look 12 months on.


Christmas office parties are best avoided during a pandemic. 

That was a reference to the rumours of parties at No 10, which was the beginning of the end for Boris. 

Christmas parties are back with a bang at MAPP, and I have been to six so far. A team lunch, a panto in Glasgow, a pie in Manchester, darts in Birmingham, axe throwing in Bristol and 10-pin bowling in London. 

I avoided bringing wine in a suitcase.


Apart from some politicians, most people remain fairly sensible.



The market is broadly in agreement that retail still has some way to fall and that the repositioning of office buildings into workplaces of the future and life sciences are the next big thing. There is no such agreement on sheds – many believe it’s overcooked, but an equal number see further growth. We worry about the ability to keep some shopping centres running – one or two we manage are loss making.

Tick. Make that three or four.


Property management was invited to the Ball. For too long it had been cast as Cinderella, with a role in the real estate sector largely consigned to washing the dishes and scrubbing the floors. It has now become clear to pretty much everyone that having a property managed well drives retention, loyalty, demand and rental income.

I was in Singapore last month and saw around 25 investors. Yes they still wanted to know all about value and opportunities, but they were also genuinely interested in how to manage assets that are alive, increasingly reliant on short term income and need a sustainable future.

Frasers, Far East and others have already invited us to the ball and asked for a dance.



Becoming a B Corp was the hardest thing we have done, but the one I am most proud of. It is however only part of and the start of our journey. And that journey continues.

We are now part of a community of 1,000 B Corps in the UK and are still the only Real Estate consultancy business to be a certified B Corp.

It remains a source of real pride, but the badge means nothing unless we remain committed and authentic to changing the way that properties are managed. It is not easy, but step by step, piece by piece we are getting there and our journey is set out in The MAPP Report.

We have spent a lot of time this year looking at how we deliver Social Value. We established the MAPP Charity and Social Value crew and the MAPP crew have spent over 500 days supporting and working with a range of charities.



Inflation felt like it was running at more than 5% and salary expectations were not far behind. Service charges are going up and in some cases significantly, driven by inflation, salary growth across the supply chain and energy.

The Bank of England finally caught up.

The challenges of dealing with the disruption in the energy market was our biggest challenge this year, with some buildings facing increases of 800%. Things have stabilised, but we are still up by about 300% on a year ago.

I was at a building in Manchester recently. The service charge is about to increase from £10.50 to £17.00 psf. That is not uncommon. We will see service charges eclipse rent in some buildings in 2023. Being in the middle remains an uncomfortable but important place to be.



Cinderella still needs to wash the dishes and scrub the floors. Great property management still starts with doing the basics really well. If you cannot collect the rent, manage risk and compliance and keep a building clean then Prince Charming will look elsewhere.              Property management needs solid foundations.                      We call that V1.0. Investment in technology is vital.

This will never change – although I did see a robot cleaning Singapore airport.

We have also launched V4.0, which is using Data and Digitalisation to change the way we manage buildings, inform better decision making, and help us deliver real-time reporting.


Buildings need a great welcome and have to be flexible, agile and to look and feel good. Cinderella has to be seriously sexy and so do the buildings she manages.       We call that V2.0.

This is going to be a primary area of focus in 2023.

If a client has an office building that is struggling to be let at £50 sq ft on conventional terms, and when eventually it is let (after a further 6 months of wrangling between lawyers) on a 5 year lease with a years rent free, then surely it has to be compelling to provide CAT A+ managed space with flexible terms, delivering a shorter void period with limited incentives at £75 sq ft?

We are in the foothills of delivering this managed space option for clients alongside flex and amenity space, but my hunch is that it will account for more than 25% of space we manage in five years.

MAPP and RE-DEFINED are in a unique position to deliver that given that we know the occupiers and manage the buildings.


Cinderella also needs to be seriously sustainable. B Corp was a statement of intent. MAPP will be net zero by 2025, but our footprint is huge and provides so much opportunity. We call that V3.0 and we have a huge sense of purpose driving us forwards, but there is a shortage of people in the sector with the experience and qualifications to deliver it all.

With our in-house dedicated sustainability team leading the charge, 2023 will be a big year for clients looking for solutions which start delivering on these net zero carbon pathways.

There are still not enough people. Our sustainability team has grown from 2 people in 2020 to 18 today. We are likely to hit 30 next year.

Brown to Green has made it into the dictionary and Energy by MAPP will work with clients to help deliver that.



Retaining and recruiting great people and remaining a great place to work is absolutely fundamental to our success. If we love our people, they will love what they do, love our clients and the occupiers entrusted to us.

Newsweek voted MAPP the 30th ‘Most Loved Place to Work in the UK’ in 2022.

We topped the Real Estate Sector.

There is so much more to do though as we seek to support our team through the post pandemic, cost of living crisis, a notable increase in mental health challenges, strikes and travel chaos and to increase diversity within our senior team, but we will take that.


            So Cinderella is definitely at the ball and is even more solid,                      is even more solid, sexy and sustainable.

Talking of balls, MAPP is 25 next year. Time for a party.

Happy Christmas

– Nigel Mapp –