In some ways, tenant experience and tenant engagement are new categories in that, for years, landlords could simply hand the keys over to new tenants and rarely had to consider what those tenants think of their property. That is until the day comes that tenants up their lease or move out.
Up until a few years ago, that exchange was always very reactive. If tenants are happy: do little, change nothing, and keep depositing those checks. If tenants are unhappy: try to make them happy, cut them a deal on rent, or watch them pack up and move out.
This reactive exchange doesn't cut it anymore as firms like WeWork have completely revamped experience expectations and put a premium on beautiful space, tech-enabled services, unique amenities, and personalized experiences. Luckily for commercial real estate leaders and forward-thinking owners & operators, a new category of technology has emerged to make this exchange streamlined and much more proactive.
With tenant experience platforms, *cough cough* like HqO, an amenity-rich office experience and how it translates into a mobile app is what we focus on day in and day out. Landlords can rest easy that this new job responsibility and proactive tenant relationship management can, in many ways, be handled with proptech and amenity programming services.
But there are other aspects to owning and operating an office building that must be considered in order to keep NOI and property value high. And there are two services that truly keep a building running in the background: property management and facility management.
If you're a total CRE newbie, here's a 2 second primer from an office spaces blog I read and found helpful:
- Property Managers care for a building for the sake of the building and its owner – think collecting rent, making sure the property itself retains its value with tenants. While property managers are often called to fix problems, they are expected to be as lean of an expense as possible.
- Facility Managers care for a building for the sake of the people in the building – think HVAC snafus, elevator or escalator troubles, other aspects of the physical property that impact the daily life of a tenant.
Last month at MIT's World Real Estate Forum, Erica Chapman, Vice President of Global Real Estate + Workplace Productivity at Akamai said that a positive tenant experience in the office involves three key factors:
- Office maintenance and just the overall well-being of the facility – if your property is falling apart, tenants will take notice. Elevator doesn't work and they have to take the stairs? Bathrooms are always in disarray? Lobby is not up to date from a style or design perspective? These are all taken into account by the tenant and impact their opinion of the experience working in the building.
- Office convenience and generally just the great/cool/fun things happening around the office perimeter. Can tenants walk to a great lunch spot? Are they near green space or an urban park? Can they quickly access the stuff they do after work – hit the gym, pick up their children from daycare, get drycleaning, go grocery shopping, etc. All these things make their day easier and can impact happiness before, during, and after work.
- Office amenities are continually a huge driver of tenant happiness at work. Anything a landlord can offer within the four walls of their property immediately increases perceived value and cool factor for tenants. Amenities can be pretty unique, too – anything from onsite fitness classes, to meditation, to chair massages, to visiting food trucks and coffee carts, to beauty services like blow drys, mani/pedis, and so much more. For better or worse, gone are the days when "onsite amenities" included a news stand in the lobby or vending machines in the common areas.
- Tenant experience software helps property/facility management teams streamline operations and communication with the tenant by making the transfer of requests more efficient
- Tenant experience software helps property/facility management teams prioritize issues that need immediate attention in a simple to use chat-based mobile interface
- Tenant experience software helps property/facility management teams improve overall transparency and therefore tenant understanding for all that goes on in the background
- Tenant experience software helps property/facility management teams disseminate all the good things happening at their building in a format tenants are used to – their mobile phone! (sadly, people are too focused on their phone to read flyers in the lobby or elevator, and they probably don't read emails from their HR/office manager too closely)
If you're curious how proptech can improve your tenant experience, while also streamlining and helping property and facility management, reach out and let's set up a quick chat. If you're not ready for that quite yet – subscribe to our newsletter. Once a week, our CEO sends a few helpful links and resources you can read in 5 minutes to get up to speed on the latest in proptech and tenant experience.