Property management falls under capex for commercial landlords, but with the right tenant-facing proptech, it can contribute to overall growth and tenant retention. That's right – technology that is focused on improving tenant experience within a commercial office building can also, in fact, contribute to maximized operational efficiencies and simplified processes for creating a quality tenant environment.
We're entering a period where property management is more and more intwined in tenant experience, and vice versa. For property management teams that want to provide the best service to both landlords and tenants, they are quickly realizing that the future is tech-enabled, conversational, and experience-focused - and "experience" doesn't just mean amenities, it means satisfaction with the facility, building processes, and customer support, as well.
As the customer-facing entity at commercial offices, it's integral that the processes and methods in which property management teams communicate and handle tenant relations evolves alongside the expectations of the tenant. People are often remote and want near immediate chat-driven access to customer support – and they turn to their smartphone to do almost everything in their daily life. This way of life extends to tenants and their interaction with their office building.
For landlords, one of the biggest realizations over the past few years is that their reputation needs to evolve, too, if they want to remain competitive in a market where coworking spaces and experiential workplaces are not just a nice-to-have, but a must-have for businesses that want to recruit and retain talent. The experience within a landlord's office property has to match the digital expectations of today's connected tenant - and often, that starts on the front line with property management.
Now, the value prop does not change – property management teams will always keep the facility from falling apart, and they save the owner time and money – it's a critical and often thankless role. But, property management, with the right support in the form of technology and community management, can add even more value in the form of top line growth from tenant retention and eventual increased property value. Here's how:
Streamlined operations & improved communications
Property management teams are already known for making processes and administration more efficient, but tenant experience technology can take it to a whole other level. By giving tenants a direct line to property management teams, it makes the transfer of requests more efficient, and helps teams understand tenant happiness –– and tenant unhappiness –– at a broader trend level.
By giving tenants that direct line, it kind of sounds like a nightmare at first. Sure, tenants can contact you at any time, with any issue that comes to mind. But, it also gives property management teams an immediate understanding of the most pressing needs by tenants by trend-spotting the most glaring issues that affect the tenant-base at large. When it's more difficult to place a service request or make a facility suggestion, the property management team might receive less of them, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't exist in the mind of the tenant. It just brings them to the forefront sooner for the most efficient triage.
Building upon the last point, giving tenants direct access to more information and better access to their office is positive in an age where people place supreme value on always-on communication and transparency. It can improve tenant happiness and overall client retention for longer and stronger leases.
Spread the good stuff
As I said before, property management is often a thankless job but it's one of the most crucial in the ecosystem of commercial real estate. More often than not, property management is driving so much value in the form of tenant happiness and making sure that the office environment is perfect for every single business in the building. All the good work that property management teams accomplish should be better communicated and filtered to the right audience that cares – the tenants. A lot of work goes in to making the building a smooth operating machine and the perks and benefits that accompany it would benefit from technology that makes it accessible to the masses.