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CRE’s Guide to Tenant Experience App Features 

Due to constantly developing tenant and office building needs, the adoption of proptech and technology partnerships has become a necessity in a world adjusting to rapidly evolving work models. Modern tenant experience strategies aim to help landlords and property management teams bring new life to the overall building experience, while also reinforcing a competitive advantage in a shifting industry. In the same vein, many tenant experience app features are available to strengthen landlord-tenant communication and help establish a more customer-centric model for the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. 

Additionally, growing flexibility in working preferences means that the workplace and its community have now officially transcended the four walls of the office building — not only do landlords have to find ways to create great experiences for those who choose to come into the office, but also a digital tenant experience for those who follow a more hybrid work model approach. Tenant experience technology is also being leveraged to make time spent in the physical office valuable, thus helping to attract and retain tenants and identifying office buildings as the preferred work location. The CRE industry has reached a point where bridging the gap between the physical office and the digital workplaces — also known as offering omnichannel office experiences — can connect employees to each other and the landlord brand in a way that is both engaging and thoughtful.

What is Tenant Experience Software?

Tenant experience software can have both tenant-facing and management-facing capabilities to create efficiencies, streamline processes and systems, and improve the tenant experience within a building. Though many variations already exist for the residential sector, their use for the commercial office sector has only just boomed within the past year. 

“These products are all about bringing the various services together for a building’s community to access,” says Alex Edds, Director of Innovation, JLL. “Fundamentally, it’s about providing a more efficient way for people to interact with the building and enhancing their experience in the workplace.”

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Commercial Real Estate Outlook, 56% of respondents believe the pandemic has uncovered shortcomings in their company’s digital capabilities and affect their plans to transform. Because of this, many of those companies plan to accelerate their digital transformation in the next few years: “North American respondents report their companies are farther ahead than their European and APAC counterparts: Fifty-three percent of respondents that have a defined digital transformation roadmap consider digital tenant experience a core competency. Further, 47% of European respondents and 44% of APAC respondents, compared to 32% of North American respondents, have started redefining business processes, job roles, and skill requirements to embed the use of technology and tools.”

This digital transformation, of course, relies on tenant experience-focused technologies. This includes everything from a property management app that can help buildings become more tech-enabled for their operations, to a tenant engagement app that connects the physical workplace and building occupants — even if they’re not physically in the building.

This sentiment is further supported by the respondent’s desired functionalities through digital transformation:

“About one-half (48%) of respondents who said their company is using digital technologies, such as interactive mobile apps, to increase communication with tenants or end-users, plan to increase investment on digital channels over the next year. Cloud technology could be the backbone for many new capabilities as it offers scalability, data storage, and ubiquitous access. For instance, companies can leverage cloud-based tools for digital marketing and to connect virtually with tenants to build a digital tenant experience.

To expedite implementation of a digital transformation road map, CRE companies should look for strategic partnerships with technology providers or proptechs. REIT respondents seem to acknowledge this and are being more open to collaborating with proptechs. On average, 58% of REIT respondents have increased their intent to partner, compared to 45% of respondents who are developers.”

Categories of Tenant Experience Startups

At HqO, we know that the best approach to a modern tenant experience strategy is leveraging an end-to-end tenant engagement platform that aggregates multiple technologies into one, easy-to-use command center. This platform approach should also provide solutions for the main pillars of the tenant experience.

In our HqOS Marketplace of best-in-class technology partners, you can activate best-in-class tenant experience startups and technologies to meet any building’s needs. For the office, this means you can find tenant experience apps in the following categories: 

  1. Access Control: Through access control capabilities, owners can enable tenants to gain access to their office buildings with just the tap of a phone.
  2. Emergency Communications: Another critical tenant experience component is the ability to communicate critical safety information to building occupants in a quick and efficient manner.
  3. Order Ahead: A smart-enabled technology platform can increase safety and convenience for your tenants, such as integrating with local retailers to allow them to place orders ahead and reduce friction.
  4. Resource Booking: Even resource booking can be more seamless. Smart building sensors coordinate with your existing software to assist in more efficient room booking management, from conference rooms to event spaces and everything in between, making organizing your day completely frictionless.
  5. Service Booking: Technologies can also be utilized to activate your building amenities. Tenants can take advantage of easy-to-book services, fitness classes, and more.
  6. Service Requests: Building and maintenance staff play an essential role in tenant experience. Enter service request solutions, where tenants can communicate with building managers for work orders, cleaning services, and more.
  7. Shuttle Tracking: Shuttle tracking technologies can help you understand your tenants’ commuting behaviors and determine the best-fit transit solutions for any property.
  8. Ticketing: Smart ticketing can help grant tenants access to key property experiences and partner services with scannable visuals. The process is quick, convenient, and contactless.
  9. Visitor Registration: Contactless visitor registration can also be easily integrated into a building through a tenant experience platform. Speed up the visitor registration process while also ensuring modern safety and security protocols are met.

Get the Best Tenant Experience Features with HqO

As we work with best-in-class technologies and grow our partner ecosystem, we want all features — from smart lighting to space management strategies to access solutions — to be available at the click of a button, just like a remote control for your building. Our vision opens up a whole world of functionalities and capabilities to landlords and property teams, who can now start differentiating assets by providing unique and memorable experiences to tenants by leveraging HqOS™ — the only end-to-end tenant experience operating system for CRE — to provide holistic office solutions.

We created an entire tenant experience platform because we know that the key to the successful implementation of tenant experience apps and technologies is managing the processes and complexities that come with new integrations. Whether it powers a mobile device, a laptop, or a server, the prime directive of any operating system is to abstract away the enormous complexities of the underlying system and to provide standard and streamlined methods of user security, user interface, data storage, communications, resource sharing, and most importantly, application execution.

The OS concept also means that the best property management apps aren’t apps at all, but rather a fully integrated platform. End-to-end solutions not only ensure easy processes for building occupants and tenants but also give property teams access to more meaningful, actionable data that can help inform strategic decisions across entire assets or portfolios. However, adopting a data-driven decision-making mindset requires careful thought.

As part of our HqOS operating system, our growing Marketplace of best-in-class technology partners are aggregated within whitelabeled building apps. Landlords and property teams can then choose to activate partners and features that meet any building’s specific needs or leverage one of our many native apps. The HqO platform can also use these new office activations to collect meaningful data on your building and its end-users through the Digital Grid™, our robust analytics offering. These meaningful insights can lend way to real-time feedback, benchmarking opportunities, enhancements to building performance, and increased revenue.

An Inside Look at an HqO Tenant Experience

Our clients have already begun to implement creative tenant experience solutions through their respective tenant apps. An app for tenants, alongside our end-to-end tenant engagement platform to support it, can achieve many different results. Below are just a few examples of how property teams can take advantage of the HqO platform to generate customer satisfaction and property value. After all, an HqO building is a successful building:

  • In early 2018, Bulfinch launched HqO across three of their suburban assets in Needham, MA — 75 Second Avenue, 117 Kendrick Street, and 250 First Avenue — totaling nearly 400,000 sq ft. As a forward-thinking company that seeks to utilize technology for the next wave of great tenant experience, Bulfinch sought to attract and retain its tenants by providing the best workspace possible and ensuring an amenity-rich work environment. Through the HqO app, they connected tenants with retail building amenities like food vendors, fitness and recreational classes, and more. They also took advantage of its data collection capabilities, helping them curate what works and what doesn’t work for their tenant base and eliminating much of the guesswork normally associated with property management tasks.
  • In February of 2018, National Development launched HqO at their 1.3 million sq ft business environment complete with office, retail, and restaurant space, nestled outside of the city in Burlington, MA. At the time, The District had already boasted a lively environment and several tenant-focused events, but the large nature of its campus meant that they needed a more streamlined way to reach and connect every tenant and employee. The HqO app provided The District technologies that were able to successfully disseminate information to everyone, spreading their workplace culture to people they were previously unable to reach. 
  • In July of 2020, JP Morgan launched HqO at Foundation Park, a 260,000 sq ft business park, just to the west of London, UK. Foundation Park’s management team needed to communicate important return-to-workplace information — such as updated health and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic — in a quick and effective manner. They also sought to digitally translate the connected nature of the park through a mobile platform. To achieve this, HqO delivered notable custom solutions around transportation, including a real-time tracker of the shuttle bus that supports commuting to and from the property. Foundation Park also provides service and resource booking for on-site amenities, a neighborhood guide that aggregates key facilities and services available in the local towns, their own bike share scheme, and virtual workplace events for its active users.

To learn more about HqO and our end-to-end operating system, schedule a free demo today. If you’re interested in HqO careers, you can check out the HqO Glassdoor page, HqO LinkedIn page, or our official Careers page.

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  • Find and manage apps in one place with the Marketplace
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