In the same ways Apple redefined the tech industry, the current landscape of commercial real estate (CRE) is changing due to the new technology innovations introduced during the new normal.
Over 44 years ago, two college drop-outs decided to found a company out of a small garage in Cupertino, California. The students wanted to revolutionize the world through a new type of computer — one that could be placed in the hands of the everyday consumer, and one that incorporated both function and form into its design. The computer was named Apple I, and the company — which eventually became known by the simple Apple moniker — was the beginning of the massive success story of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
The Apple I only had 4KB of RAM and sold for $666.66. However, it still paved the way to completely transform the tech industry. After releasing the Apple II — the first personal computer for the mass market — the company steadily gained traction. In May of 1983, Apple joined the Fortune 500. After the release of the MacIntosh in 1984, the Apple brand that we all know began to take shape.
Over time, their once bulky computers became smaller and lighter, bringing portability to a market flooded with larger, heavier tech. They continued to remain agile, learning from their mistakes and adjusting appropriately. They eventually signed Microsoft as a technology partner and integrated their Office software, upgraded the Apple OS with new features and tools, and introduced mass-appealing products such as laptops, iTunes, the iPod, iPhones, the iPad, and more. In today’s world, Apple is a global powerhouse that has infiltrated our everyday lives: their vast variety of products — alongside each product’s ability to sync with one another to transfer, save, and collect important data (but more importantly, to provide a seamless user experience as they move from one device to another) — has created an entire tech ecosystem that most modern-day consumers can’t help but interact with on a daily basis.
A Changed World
There is no doubt that Apple has had a lasting influence on the modern world, mainly because they appeal to every kind of customer: both the tech-savvy and those who are less inclined. Even customers who don’t understand the ins-and-outs of computer specifications can get on board with Apple’s easy-to-use interface, trendy product designs and colors, and App Store that fuels all of their daily activities.
Whether you use their products for work or for fun, there is guaranteed to be an app or feature that makes your life easier. For example, most people look at their iPhone the moment they wake up in the morning, and then again right before they fall asleep at night. We use this technology sprinkled throughout the day as well; we set reminders to wake us up, check the news, scroll through social media feeds, answer our emails, and take photos with our friends. We listen to music on our commutes, we count our steps, we order our coffees and lunch through an app, and we even pay our bills at the touch of a button. On average, we end up checking our phones about 150 times per day — which equates to every 10 minutes.
By this point, you can no longer imagine a world without digital assistance. It can be hard to grasp that what seems like a simple, standard piece of technology was actually once groundbreaking and unheard of. Steve Jobs himself has acknowledged this feat, admitting: “Apple has made products for years that people didn’t know they wanted and now they can’t live without. We don’t believe in limits.”
Apple’s success is more than a story about innovation — it’s a story about keeping up with the accelerated pace of an evolving market. As Apple grew and expanded its offerings, it created a new standard for consumer technologies moving forward. This not only prompted customers to adopt the Apple brand in order to keep up with current trends, but it also forced Apple’s competitors to upgrade and improve their own standards — or, to at least offer integrations with Apple’s popular platform. Now that Apple exists and has both dominated and redefined value for the market, there’s no turning back for consumers and fellow technology companies. People must either get on board, or risk falling behind.
Reinventing a Market: CRE’s Evolution
Just as Apple redefined the tech industry decades ago, the current landscape of commercial real estate (CRE) is also changing. Due to constantly developing tenant and office building needs, the adoption of proptech and technology partnerships has become a necessity in a world divided by hybrid work models. It not only helps landlords bring new life to the tenant experience, but also reinforces a competitive advantage in a shifting market.
With over 8,000 proptech companies and 92% of CRE executives planning to maintain or increase their spending on tenant experience this year, it’s clear that proptech and tenant experience software are already revolutionizing CRE as we know it. Previously seen as a convenience, digital functionalities that address concerns in the key focus areas of communication, safety, logistics, and health not only support modern tenants, but also generate future value and differentiate your assets.
What Landlords Can’t Live Without
HqOS, our end-to-end operating system for commercial office buildings, allows companies to digitize the overall office experience and the way they interact directly with the people who work in their buildings. From the more administrative tasks such as sending push notifications to occupants about important building updates, to accessing our growing Marketplace, which was built specifically to facilitate connections between landlords and best-in-class technology developers and vendors, we help property teams navigate the crowded proptech landscape from one single tool, while also collecting and analyzing data that can be aggregated across your building, people, programs, amenities, and technologies.
The life of an HqO customer looks both customizable and seamless to meet every possible need. You can easily connect your office’s access control systems, building sensors, and more for efficient management, while simultaneously increasing your building’s data points. You will also be able to strengthen your building community by offering virtual health and wellness classes, hosting fun events such as trivia, and even promoting local causes through digital donation drives. Your tenants can further take advantage of the app’s spectrum of capabilities by using mobile and order-ahead services — making sure that no matter where they are working, they can still support local retailers while avoiding the lines and the congestion associated with in-person dining.
With the help of our partner technologies, these unique features have created the new building standards and value drivers of today. Activating your building amenities and investing in a more responsive workplace — where there is full transparency from initiation to resolution for any office-related request — establishes countless learning and communication opportunities for owners. By leveraging this technology to better understand your building occupants through data and real-time feedback, you can remain one step ahead of the curve and continue to improve the tenant experience, no matter the circumstance.
Now that the CRE market has become digitized, we will never go back to “normal.” In the same ways that Apple ensured that the tech industry — and life as we knew it — would never be the same, we are entering a period of unmitigated technological innovation for the workplace. Adopting digital strategies, and adopting them early on, will guarantee your portfolio’s immediate and future success by giving you insight to the innovations that are changing the future of CRE forever.
To learn more about how tenant experience technology can strengthen your office portfolio, schedule a demo today.