This morning, our team officially announced what we’ve been working on for several months: we are now officially HqO, a tenant engagement platform designed to help commercial landlords optimize their property and create a workspace that tenants will love.
HqO was quietly born in the second half of 2017 after our team made the following realizations about the opportunity for tenant engagement software in the commercial real estate market:
1. The way people work has undergone a massive transformation.
The internet transforms every single industry, and subsequently changes how professionals work within each industry.
As the millennial population continues to grow and dominate the overall workforce (making up roughly half of the workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2025), there are certain baseline expectations from the modern worker: flexibility, shared services and coworking spaces, premium amenities, digital community, and access from their mobile device. We refer to this modern worker as the “connected tenant.”
2. WeWork has lead the way in serving the connected tenant experience.
To date, WeWork has masterfully owned the concept of “coworking”, which emerged out of the recession as many young workers took on multiple jobs and need flexible and temporary space. WeWork has also made their brand of coworking a movement, claiming more than 175,000 tenants in their “global community.” Now, WeWork is aggressively expanding its “Space-as-a-Service” offering to attract larger tenants that represent less risky, longer-term leases, such as Amazon, IBM, Salesforce, and Microsoft.
WeWork has shown with their Space-as-a-Service model that tenants of all sizes expect more from their landlords in terms of services, experience and amenities, and these “connected tenants” expect a tech-enabled experience in the workplace.
3. Traditional office landlords are not providing the technology needed to attract the modern, connected tenant.
Businesses need an advantage in attracting and retaining talent, and it all begins with the office environment and culture. According to the Department of Labor, people are working longer days, logging more weeks per year, and are less likely to use all of their vacation time. As a result, connected tenants expect more benefits from their workplace environment, and businesses want an easy way to give it to them. Landlords need to help businesses accomplish this and they need to do it through technology that connects with premium services akin to the hospitality industry that attracts tenants and keeps them happy.
4. We are the best team to help landlords build a community that tenants never want to leave.
We are mobile-first technologists. Our background is specifically in building community. This is what we know. And, everything that we built at VentureApp is an important part of the HqO offering.
So, with all of this market knowledge in hand, and very validating conversations with landlords, brokers, property managers, and investors, we turned our focus last November to launching software for landlords to build community, maximize amenities, and help their tenants succeed.
The timing couldn’t be better to introduce our platform, which includes:
- Utility: We integrate with existing building systems and hardware so tenants can use HqO on their phone to easily access building and garage entry, transportation and shuttle options, visitor registration, conference room booking, etc.
- Amenities: We help landlords procure the best amenities, integrate with existing offerings, and make them available to tenants – they can pay for food & drink, claim promotions, and RSVP for events – all on their phone.
- Community: We help landlords light up their tenant community with a directory, messaging functionality, custom content that highlights the tenant business, shared experiences, interest-based event postings, tenant polls, and more.
- Analytics: We want landlords to come away from our partnership with a better understanding of their tenants: what makes them happy, are they happy, is the community engaged, and what opportunities to engage the community will increase the overall value of the property.
As any startup founder will tell you, the road to success is never a straight line. We are the same team but our mission and goals have evolved in a really promising way. The truth is, while we still believe that the experience for professionals on existing social networks is broken, the world does not need another purely digital community.