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Office matters: The importance of tenant experience

The real estate market is increasingly competitive. Tenants are expecting more and more from their office spaces. What does this mean for landlords?

Office matters: The importance of tenant experience

The commercial real estate market is massive – and opportunity is growing.

Still, the market is increasingly competitive, with tenants expecting more and more from their office spaces. These spaces, companies say, greatly affect the quality of talent they are able to attract.

But tenant acquisition is expensive and time-consuming. Consider the costs property marketing, agent commission, administration, repairs – the numbers can add up, fast. Which means it is a priority for landlords to:

  • find tenants quickly and easily 
  • retain tenants for as long as possible

A key way to simultaneously surmount these challenges is by creating an office space that is as attractive as it is accessible.

In short, for both landlords and tenants, the office matters. The question is, how can landlords assess tenant experience – and once they do, how can they use that data to improve it?

The rise of the smart building

Deloitte’s 2020 commercial real estate outlook shows that 21% of respondents believe that the leading factor in influencing leasing decisions is shifting from location to smart buildings and smart offices. We’re watching evolution as it occurs, in real-time – and it’s an invaluable sight for CRE executives.

Enter another challenge: Sensors, software, and other smart building tools are often invisible at the ground level – to employees themselves. But employees want to see them. As evidenced by Deloitte’s study, employees believe them to be of both interest and use.

21% of respondents believe that the leading factor in influencing leasing decisions is shifting from location to smart buildings

Here’s where a tenant experience app comes in. These apps – Office App among them – bring smart building data, such as real-time temperature control and occupancy levels, to the forefront of employee’s daily lives. By turning the invisible into the visible, the inaccessible into the accessible, landlords are able to more effectively market the technological investments they have made in their buildings to tenants. How’s that for smart?

Tenant retention – it’s all about control

Tenants leave for a reason, but landlords often have no idea why – much less if the departure could have been prevented. Strong tenant-landlord relationships are built from strong, clear communication, as they empower tenants with control.

And control, from a tenant’s perspective, is important. In Office App’s 2020 Industry Report, for example, office employees said that the number-one pain point was not having enough control over their working environment.

Say a maintenance issue arises – maybe a critical one, such as heating or lighting. What’s the process? How do you ensure that your tenants are able to report the problem, and that you are able to fix it in a timely manner? An issue that goes unresolved for too long can cause tenants to feel neglected, ignored, and powerless. That’s not good.

A tenant experience app offers an instantaneous communication channel between tenants and landlords. It speeds up maintenance processes or other requests by creating ways for tenants to report issues or ask questions, when and where they arise.

But control isn’t a one-way street; a tenant also needs information from their property owner – updated safety policies, building updates, and other news. Which means a reliable platform on which a tenant can quickly, easily, reliably find the information they need simultaneously empowers tenants and property owners. 

Know your data

Data is a key aspect of how landlords can work to attract and retain tenants – and a tenant experience app delivers it to the palm of your hand. This data, provided from a variety of sources, offers critical insights into how buildings are actually being used, opening the door for property owners to take steps toward improving

Office App, for example, has found that a decrease of daily meeting room bookings correlates with tenant attrition. The ability to track these early signs of lease termination risk enable landlords to react earlier, attempting to resolve problems or issues as soon as (or even before) they arise, saving time and money. 

Landlords can also use such data to develop insights into how office space is being used, then take steps to make that space more valuable for the tenant. Maybe some meeting rooms are booked more often than others, and can therefore be flagged for more-frequent maintenance checks and cleanings. Less-used rooms, on the other hand, can be attended to less often.

Layering these data sources, meanwhile, compounds the benefits and possibilities of the insights data provides. Pairing less frequently booked rooms with temperature and occupancy data can reveal why these rooms are less frequently booked. Too hot? Too cold? Easily fixed – all it takes is a glance at the data.

Want more information on how to improve your tenant’s office experience? Download OfficeApp’s free industry report for a deep-dive on the subject.

The Office App
Industry Report

A deep-dive into employee and workplace experience – and what you can do to improve it in 2021

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