One of the surefire ways to spark a heated debate at the HqO office (or, more accurately these days, on a Google hangout) is to mention the word “community.”
The word causes quite a stir amongst HqO employees because our clients, for as long as we’ve been in business, have been telling us that they want to “create community” at their office buildings. The tricky thing is that “creating community” means different things to different people, and when you’re as focused on client outcomes as we are here at HqO, nailing down this definition has become something of a “north star” goal for our customer team.
Though the word may be hard to define, it is quite easy to understand the value a community can create for a brand: according to Harvard Business Review’s “Getting Brand Communities Right,” community members become loyal customers, spend more, and reduce marketing costs by becoming evangelists for the brands they love.
In HqO’s world of commercial office buildings, two of the most common problems our customers face are tenant attraction and asset differentiation. We believe that a tight-knit building community that supports and engages with one another is a compelling selling point for prospective tenant decision-makers who are looking to attract and retain talented employees.
However, HBR notes that many executives make a key mistake when trying to build community:
“They believe companies should tightly control such communities. In truth, brand communities generate more value when members control them — and when companies create conditions in which communities can thrive. For instance, Vans — a skateboarding manufacturer — had long invited lead users to co-design products, fostering a strong brand community as a result.”
Further, the ongoing global pandemic has forced commercial office owners to rethink their traditional community engagement strategies, which typically center around events and in-person interactions.
During our recent webinar with Openpath and CrowdComfort, our audience survey revealed that collaboration and community were viewed as the top two reasons for having an office, and 92% of the audience said the thing they miss most about the office is their colleagues. Clearly, human connection is a part of what makes an office valuable, and with so many people working from home today, it was obvious that our clients were in need of new strategies and new capabilities when it came to creating community and connection with the people who work in their buildings.
As a technology company that believes in the power of landlord and tenant connection, we quickly went to work to address this challenge. The result is our latest product: Community Forum.
Introducing Community Forum
HqO’s Community Forum gives tenants the ability to connect and communicate with one another in order to foster a strong sense of community within their building or campus. Users can create and share building-wide content and receive replies from fellow occupants. Whether they are communicating updates about the building itself, sharing details on local events, or requesting business services from other tenants, the Community Forum is designed to serve as a digital bulletin board that promotes positive tenant interactions.
Establish a communal network amongst tenant companies
- Discover opportunities for tenants to add value or support to one another
- Capture building feedback and tenant sentiment in real time
Filter content into building-specific categories
- Ensure tenants can quickly find relevant resources and content
- Reduce support burden for property management team
Moderate tenant-generated content from HqOS
- Ensure community guidelines are met and conversation is appropriate
- Remove or delete posts
At HqO, we believe in the power of connection and the value these connections create for our customers — commercial office owners. With the “return to work” underway in many states, we believe the Community Forum product will play a huge role in safely recreating the collaborative and communal environment that so many tenant companies and employees have been missing while working from home.