Blurring the line between tenant and workplace technology

Going to work today should look a bit like this. The night before, you open an app to see which co-workers will also be in the office that day and to reserve the desk where you want to sit. In the morning, after touching her badge in the lobby, she goes to pick up her coffee order that she also made last night. It is ready and waiting for you. Once you’re at your desk, remember to sign in the client you’ll be meeting as a visitor so they can enter the building. You’re in luck: the conference room with the best view is available for your meeting, so book it.

Each of these actions gives owners and labor leaders a clue as to how people structure their workdays now. From which desks and meeting spaces they prefer if they signed up for on-site fitness classes, all of these interactions can be captured and used to keep people coming back to the office on a regular basis. Ultimately, that’s what will ensure revenues and valuations don’t suffer due to underutilized buildings and disgruntled tenants. Instead of investors, owners and property managers working separately to increase time in the office, they could collaborate and share data with each other to discover which experiences make the trip worth taking.

“There are more than 8,000 proptech companies today. Our job is to create a technology stack that helps you understand everything that happens in the building in one place, not only for property managers, but also for real estate investors and owners,” said Andrew Mezheritskiy, director Senior Technological Advisor at JLL.

One of the first changes Mezheritskiy recommends is choosing a single app for people to use in the building instead of two. Typically, people are forced to have one building app to check in visitors and complain that their office is too hot or too cold, and another company-specific app to navigate around their workplace (connect to printers, book conference rooms, etc.).

Those two types of apps are becoming one thanks to HqO, which is removing the wall between the tenant and employee experience. Mezheritskiy explains: “HqO connects people to the building itself, as well as their corporate workplace in one place. People can book conference rooms, order food, communicate with their team outside of email, and focus on benefits that are top of mind for a company’s culture, all without having to switch apps or remember who does what.”

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Ultimately, this data can help real estate owners and investors make better decisions about which capital improvements will have the greatest impact on keeping existing tenants, attracting new ones, and achieving overall revenue goals. Why change overall office layouts or invest in new amenities if they’re not what the people in the building really want? Instead of simply copying what other nearby buildings are doing or guessing what people’s new expectations of the office are, analytics from apps like HqO give investors and asset managers data to inform their capital investments. These analytics can be as simple as tracking which days or times are the most popular for scheduling and using services through RSVPs and reservations on a tenant experience platform.

This data can also identify any correlation between services and schedules with spikes in daily occupancy for the entire building and for an individual tenant. The reverse is also true. Property managers can identify at-risk tenants who have mostly unused office space because their employees aren’t being drawn back into the building, and more importantly, create a play to protect that revenue.

Additionally, understanding space utilization from deployed bookings and sensors enables property managers and workplace leaders to adjust new space layouts and offerings based on actual usage. Instead of relying solely on shared preferences in survey feedback, beacons throughout the building tell decision makers exactly which seating configurations they prefer and which conference rooms are the most popular.

“People say one thing in the survey and then do the exact opposite,” said Kevin Anderson, senior vice president of sales for Flex by JLL. “Relying on this information alone to justify real estate decisions (typically a company’s biggest line item behind its people) means that your strategy will inevitably be based on speculation, rather than the facts of how people is using the space today.”

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This closer collaboration relies on a new level of sharing not only between property manager and tenant, but also between buildings in a portfolio. Assuming asset management teams have enough time to do this on their own is unrealistic. Instead, the portfolio’s shared technology stack must know which buildings are similar in a given portfolio. The stack can then aggregate performance data and automatically share learning about which programming, space layouts, and other offerings have a positive impact on occupancy, tenant satisfaction, and net operating income.

HqO, for example, gives asset owners and property managers visibility into their portfolios to see what types of tenants (size, industry, even employee demographics) access the building the most, use amenities, and attend scheduling. . That information helps leasing teams target their business and marketing activities to please tenants, reducing the time and cost to win over a prospect and increasing the likelihood of long-term happy tenants.

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Perhaps the most significant impact of technology on existing tenants is removing friction points during their workdays. Even the lobby experience is being updated with comfort in mind. Apps like HqO and the Swiftconnect access control system allow people to enter the building with their phones, without the need for a security card. Mezheritskiy explains: “People don’t have to go through a security desk if it’s their first time working in that office. They can go from one building to another and, if they have access, use their phone to get through the turnstile. It’s about convenience and speed.”

To some, this may seem like tech hype, but that lobbying experience is the first impression for people coming back to the office, many of whom didn’t work at your company before the start of the pandemic. Eliminating that anxiety about accessing the building is one less barrier for people to return to the office. By making it easier for everyone to do things like book a conference room, check in visitors and make service requests, occupants can have more power over their workplace and construction teams have better insights into how to create experiences. worth traveling.

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