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Case Study: Knight Frank / ISPT

It was the growing awareness of the threat of potential security incidents within Australia’s borders that led to Knight Frank tasking First 5 Minutes with a brief to provide enhanced emergency response arrangements for one of Australia’s largest property fund managers.


  • Challenge: High-profile Government tenants required above industry best practice solutions for emergency response, with a rapid turnaround.
  • Solution: First 5 Minutes worked closely with Knight Frank to provide a tailored scope of products and services to meet their tenants’ unique needs, including: Evacuation Diagrams, Emergency Management Manuals (EMM), procedures and emergency response training.
  • Result: First 5 Minutes delivered compliance, skills and knowledge in a cost-effective and efficient way that works for the distinctive ISPT property portfolio in Canberra and exceeds compliance requirements.

Business Challenge

ISPT is one of Australia’s largest unlisted property fund managers. It consistently delivers on its aim to be the landlord of choice for Government, Corporations, leading Australian retailers and local businesses. As such, its Canberra property portfolio includes a number of ultra modern 6-star rated architectural showpieces tenanted by senior ministerial government members.

Knight Frank Canberra manages the ISPT portfolio of properties in Canberra and is charged with establishing compliant security and emergency response processes and procedures for this portfolio. Knight Frank is part of the largest independent, global real estate consultancy known for ‘uncompromising professionalism’ in everything it does. Because of the high profile tenants in residence, there is an expectation of above industry best practice standards, as well as special arrangements to meet ISPT’s tenant-specific requirements.

In 2013, Knight Frank Canberra was receiving numerous urgent requests for security changes from its client to meet the needs of demanding Federal Government tenancies that have a high security and risk profile. Accordingly, it was in an environment of heightening security tensions that Knight Frank decided to ask its incumbent partner, First 5 Minutes, to be part of the competitive pitch in a full review of emergency response services. The challenge was to satisfy its client and high profile tenants’ requirements for a world-class solution for emergency response arrangements – and to do it fast.


Open Communications
From the outset, First 5 Minutes understood that listening carefully to the tenants and having a fundamental understanding of their needs would be key to success. First 5 Minutes made immediate contact with the ISPT Portfolio Manager and established regular open communications with all parties, which continued throughout the engagement. Structured scheduled contractor meetings became the norm, along with more routine conversations. There was a general understanding and appreciation that this was a learning exercise for both parties and that working in close consultation would deliver the right outcomes.

Hitting the ground running
With Knight Frank challenged by lots of urgent requests, time was of the essence. In a matter of weeks, First 5 Minutes made amendments to the Emergency Management Manuals (EMM) and updated Emergency Evacuation Diagrams were delivered less than 10 days after the building walkthrough.

Tailored Response
Only a completely tailored approach would successfully establish the required higher-level emergency response arrangements – and that’s exactly where First 5 Minutes excels. First 5 Minutes commits to working in tandem with its clients to agree on customised arrangements and procedures to suit the circumstances – there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.


By working in close partnership with Knight Frank, First 5 Minutes was able to develop tailored procedures and emergency response arrangements befitting the high profile tenants while being 100% compliant. New procedures, manuals and signage were customised to work with the unique fabric and construction of the distinctive ISPT property portfolio. First 5 Minutes also designed training to deliver compliance, skills and knowledge in a cost-effective way that worked for each unique building.

“It’s about the details – First 5 Minutes worked through each building on a case by case basis to get the exact right scenarios for the training,” says Chris Parks, Knight Frank’s General Manager – Asset Management Services, responsible for the ISPT Portfolio Canberra.

Security is always front of mind for buildings purpose-built for the Australian Government. And in 2015, as the national terrorism threat level has been raised to “high”, both ISPT and Knight Frank know that in First 5 Minutes they have a partner that understands the changing needs of their tenants and the urgent timeframes involved.

“Partnership is the key word here; they listen to what we have to say, understand our tenants’ requirements, and are customising their services and products around what we need. They don’t just sell an off-the-shelf model,” says ChrisParks.

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