What Makes a Good Tenant Experience?
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What Makes a Good Tenant Experience?
When thinking about a typical commercial real estate tenant, many overlook the small details of their day. From their morning commute coffee to post-work activities such as doctor’s appointments or fitness classes, tenant activities are more ingrained in your building community than you may think. Even actions outside of your building are all part of what makes a good tenant experience, also known as “TeX.”
Cultivating this ecosystem is critical. Each tenant activity presents a new opportunity to improve the property experience with technology tailored to the individuals who are in the building every day. These opportunities harness the power of tenant experience: helping landlords put relevant technology into the hands of a building’s population that they don’t regularly connect with, and using that technology to improve tenant retention and attraction and to add value to their assets.
How to Be a Good Landlord
When it comes to figuring out how to be a good landlord for the office, one first must look at the most recent changes to the commercial real estate market (CRE). Due to long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRE value equation has shifted away from the buildings themselves to the people who occupy them. With the assistance of tenant experience technologies, property leaders and teams can seize an opportunity to adopt a consumer-first model and embrace the most recent digital disruptions. By blending the physical and digital workplaces, they can also create engaging and memorable experiences that differentiate their portfolios and tune into their most important assets: their tenants.
Hybrid work models have seen massive growth in order to follow mandatory health and safety protocols. This necessary flexibility in working preferences also 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 for those who choose to stay at home or work from some other remote location.
Thus, the industry has reached a point where improvements to the physical office environment can no longer enhance the tenant experience on their own — rather, technology is needed to bridge the gap between the physical office and the digital workplace, while also connecting dispersed employees in a way that is both engaging and thoughtful. This means that good landlord qualities include providing omnichannel office experiences.
Omnichannel office experiences are exactly that: integrated experiences that provide your building occupants with seamless transitions between digital and physical offerings. Signs of a good tenant experience include everything from plugging into your building’s various technology systems to ensure that the building occupant journey is tech-enabled, to increasing your digital programming through virtual amenities that all can partake in, no matter where they are.
Why You Need a Tenant Engagement Platform
In order to keep up with the rise of tenant experience and to achieve omnichannel office experiences, you will need to start looking into — at the very minimum — an office app for tenant engagement. A tenant engagement app will not only ease modern-day concerns revolving around safety, communication, and engagement for your existing tenants, but it will also help you strengthen your workplace culture to help attract new tenants.
On a similar note, a large focus area of what makes a good tenant experience is the concept of flight to quality, or digitizing one’s building amenities. A 2019 Cushman & Wakefield study revealed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, highly amenitized buildings had an 18.3% rent premium compared to the surrounding submarket. This premium proved even more substantial at 21.6% in the central business districts (CBDs) of gateway markets. Amenities still play a role in overall office culture, and the concept of flight to quality — or digitally enhancing your building’s offerings — can prove to be a major differentiator for your portfolio. This also lends credence to the positive impact that technology can have on cap rates when focused on engaging people and strengthening connections.
Offering digital programming to complement your assets can re-shape antiquated engagement models by bringing your building’s amenities directly to the end-user, as opposed to having tenants seek them out on their own. This not only strengthens workplace culture but also establishes a brand value that extends beyond the office — both of which are especially valuable now since many tenants and employees are not physically in the building.
For many HqO clients, “going digital” has already led to unique and desirable workplace experiences for both current and prospective tenants. Each client has the power to customize in-app features to fit their specific needs, creating solutions that highlight their building’s individual communities and personalities. These solutions have spanned from offering virtual fitness classes and hosting building-wide events, to gift raffles that show tenant appreciation, to mobile ordering services that cut down on traffic and congestion in public common areas associated with popular on-site food and retail vendors.
Not only can such digital programming initiatives provide ways to show tenant appreciation, but they can also establish a sense of workplace normalcy during the rise of hybrid work models. Remember: what you do with your tenants now will create memorable, lasting impressions moving forward.
Tenant Experience Platform Examples
With tenant experience being such a hot topic for CRE leaders, it can be overwhelming to determine which technology partners are the right fit for your portfolio. From Spaceflow, to Equiem, to even HqO, the possibilities seem endless.
However, the best landlord solutions go beyond a simple app. Today’s landlords and property owners face three major business challenges: attracting and retaining tenants, managing fragmentation of technology systems and partners, and differentiating their assets. To address all of these issues simultaneously — and to provide tenants with the digital, modern experiences they seek in the workplace — you will need full end-to-end solutions for your building.
There is a ubiquitous concept in computing that speaks directly to this goal: the operating system (OS). Whether it’s powering a mobile device, a laptop, or a server, the prime directive of any OS is to abstract away the enormous complexities of the underlying system and provide standard and streamlined methods of the user experience. The HqO platform — called HqOS™ — is created around this very concept, and has always guided our approach to tenant experience; thus, we’ve created the only CRE operating system that can enhance workplace environments and make them more desirable for building occupants, while also resolving the aforementioned business challenges for landlords in an ever-complex market.
As is the case with any OS, a CRE operating system requires layers to successfully address the industry’s varying needs. The combination of a universal remote for your assets, a marketplace where you can find and manage pre-vetted systems and amenity providers, and tools that can capture and structure all data on how people use your buildings helps property teams in several ways. The OS manages all customer-facing technology tools within a building, while empowering teams to activate real connections between people and their properties through digital-to-physical experiences, data-driven decision making, and the fast implementation of innovative asset strategies.
Additionally, CRE’s operating system needs a single source of truth — a place where these layers can connect seamlessly for easy use. Having a command center allows property teams to do everything from daily content creation to strategic technology planning, as well as to rapidly deploy and configure data-driven tenant engagement strategies across their portfolio with absolutely no coding required. These features work together to provide CRE leaders with the flexibility, efficiency, and intelligence required to operate a modern portfolio.
Landlord Best Practices
CRE landlord best practices also involve adopting a data-driven approach. With the industry’s transition to a more consumer-first model, there is no standard “How to Be a Good Landlord” book. Instead, we know the greatest source of information comes from what property owners can’t see about their buildings. What do tenants really want, and how do they really use a given space?
If you’re actively collecting data from multiple sources about the needs of your tenants and their employees, you’ll be able to keep pace with the market and adapt to significant disruptors in your industry — even if that disruptor happens to be a global pandemic — while simultaneously making your workplace more attractive to its communities.
So, how exactly can you collect these insights?
Property owners now need access to multiple granular data points across their buildings to bring themselves closer to their end-users than ever before. Fortunately, the HqO platform includes a robust tool that can analyze multiple human behaviors throughout any asset, then help determine what the data can tell owners and tenants about employee needs. Owners can then compare these insights to other similar and nearby buildings, helping inform decisions that previously had to be made with little or no data. While these capabilities may only sound like something from the future, through the HqOS Digital Grid™ they are now entirely possible.
This type of engagement establishes what we refer to as a virtuous feedback loop. Having such significant intelligence on the end-user of your product helps create a better user experience, which in turn increases customer engagement and continues to provide you with more useful data. What makes a good landlord is real-time feedback, which ensures the longevity of office buildings by giving market leaders the informed, competitive edge they need to make turnkey decisions and guarantee tenant satisfaction.
Learn how HqOS can enhance your tenant experience
The best tenant experiences are built with HqO
Create smart spaces
where people want to work
The pandemic has dramatically changed where, when, and how people work. Your properties need to be more than just a space, but a community that offers real value to the workforce. HqO helps landlords enhance physical spaces with digital experiences and provides the data they need to make informed decisions about their buildings.
Activate real connections between people and their properties
Like a universal remote for your property, the Tenant Experience Platform – comprised of the mobile app and web interface – powers every aspect of your tenant experience, while building engagement and loyalty.
- Offer 24/7, on-demand access to programming, amenities, and retail
- Centralize tenant experience initiatives
- Facilitate safe and frictionless property experiences
- Communicate directly with tenants to create strong connections
Enable data-driven decision making
Collect tenant behavior, amenities, and system data in the Digital Grid, an interoperable analytics offering that provides a full picture of how your assets are performing.
- Collect data on buildings, amenities, and tenant behavior
- Enable data-driven decision making
- Unlock tenant experience benchmarking
Accelerate the implementation of innovative asset strategies
The HqO Marketplace facilitates connections between CRE business leaders and best-in-class technology developers and vendors.
- Navigate the crowded proptech landscape from one tool
- Identify and connect with pre-vetted partners
- Deploy innovative asset strategies
- Reduce technical complexity