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7 Reasons To Launch A Tenant Engagement App For Your Building

Key benefits of a technology that is revolutionising the way property owners interact with their customers

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A New Era Of Workplace Expectations

According to a report by Statista, there were just three coworking spaces worldwide in 2005. Fast forward to 2019, and there are over 20,000. Coworking is one of this generation’s meteoric trends, and it shows no sign of stopping.

As spaces sprouted up, competition also exponentially increased. To the benefit of consumers, this brought about the rapid proliferation of flexible, community-based workspaces – a trend that has spilled over and now influences the corporate world.

Gone are drab boxes divided into cubicles. In their place are stand-up desks, flexible spaces and open environments – not to mention table tennis tables, beer taps, and nap pods.

Companies today use these new, more social environments to attract prospective employees. CBRE’s North American occupier survey found that “81% of occupiers perceive amenities as integral to the employee experience, and engage landlords and other service providers to enhance these offerings.”

Yearly lists such as The Sunday Times’ Top Companies to Work For illustrate the intense competition between today’s top firms. The competition is warranted: a 2016 study by Fidelity found that millennials (aged 25 to 35) would take an average pay cut of $6,200 to transfer to another company with a better ‘culture’, that being defined as the sum of new-age workplace perks.

Work environment now trumps salary for staff retention.

The Rising Importance Of Customer Experience

Forward-thinking property owners and managers in Australia leverage the benefits of community, culture and an ‘enhanced work environment’ in their office buildings. This idea of ‘customer experience’, though new, has evolved to become the latest tool to increase lease renewal and desirability.

Convenience, community, sustainability, communication, and health and wellness are the key features ranked most important to employees. By investing in these features, property owners can provide attractive incentives to employers currently seeking a new space or thinking about renewing their lease.  

Today, customer experience is a key differentiator for landlords globally, especially in Australia, the United States and United Kingdom, where major players have launched their own tenant experience or engagement platforms for their customers.

Why have the building owners and managers adopted the technology so rapidly? We’ll explore the key benefits next.

7 Key Benefits Of A Tenant Engagement App

1

Engage directly with your entire building population.

2

Create an attractive coworking environment between companies and occupants.

3

Improve your building without a redevelopment or renovation.

4

Understand tenants using data and insights no one has ever uncovered before.

5

Unlock new revenue and gain greater ROI.

6

Lease space faster and build new tenant relationships from the move-in date.

7

Unite occupants around community and environmental projects.

REASON 1

Engage directly with your entire building population

Up to 90% of a building’s entire population register to their Equiem App. This gives building owners and managers access to their entire occupant base – access they never had before.

Traditionally, property management teams communicate and engage with occupants through a tenant representative or liaison. By limiting themselves to just a few key points of contact, they lose direct interaction and risk personal preference and opinion playing into how communications are conveyed to the general building population.

By carefully managing their app database, property managers can now send a direct message to the vast majority of building occupants by publishing a newsfeed article, sending out a building notification or regular newsletter updates.

In a recent building survey completed by over 930 of  occupants of an Equiem-powered building:

  • 65% of respondents said that they now received information about their building via the email newsletters
  • With 47% stating that they now also consumed information directly from their building app.

By accessing occupant inboxes and homepages directly, the Equiem App has fundamentally changed how a management team communicates with its tenants.

REASON 2

Create an attractive coworking environment between companies and occupants

Besides brief, polite conversations in the elevator, companies coexisting within a large building rarely interact.

The rise of coworking and the the growing demand for a sense of community has many building managers searching for a platform that facilitates collaboration and communication between tenants.  

‘You can push out a post saying, “I need a solicitor to help me with XYZ task” and have someone, somewhere in the building comment with a response in seconds,’ Equiem CEO Gabrielle McMillan says. ‘With our platform, everyone in the building has access to the perks, events and sense of community you get from a coworking space.’

Software developers can seek out the design startup down the hall to signal boost their new dating app. A small company wanting to throw a product launch can post an event on the Portal and promote it to others in the building.

By building links and networks between the co-inhabitants of a building, occupants become more loyal to their community and the business opportunities it provides them.  

REASON 3

Improve your building without a renovation

Competition between commercial buildings or estates (particularly those approaching renovation and redevelopment) is undeniably fierce. Many building owners are using quick fixes and taking band-aid approaches to retaining tenants.

Capital investment into building facilities and base building amenities (lobby, facade, elevators, change rooms and car parks) is crucial to preserving the life of your assets, but needs appropriate planning and future-design thinking. This takes time.

An Equiem App can be launched within six weeks – from sign date to having people on the ground. This is in direct contrast to a building regeneration, which can take anywhere from 18–24 months.   

Implementing a technology and engagement strategy into the building allows property managers to provide a valuable 21st century upgrade for their tenants, without rushing physical improvements.

Equiem’s platform boosts engagement across a number of ageing premium sites. It brings tenants back into common areas and rebuilds a sense of community within the building – all while delivering invaluable data critical to make the right decisions prior to redevelopment.      

REASON 4

Understand tenants with data and insights previously uncovered.

A Tenant Engagement App has the potential to incentivise large-scale surveys, collect daily polling data, track usage and ask for individual opinions, giving property managers the ability to predict trends and react to changes within their asset.

Property managers are more empowered than ever before, with access to a more complete, long-term database of client testimony. Combined with built-in reporting and analytics infrastructure, property owners can run reports in real-time that analyse the activity of their occupants from mobile and smart devices.

‘The key is that the platform must offer genuine value to occupants,’ Equiem’s Head of Marketing, David Chiapoco says. ‘It needs to offer relevant, convenient, useful content and services.

‘Because the Equiem App provides genuine value, occupants register in droves and engage with the platform daily. That’s when you can start to leverage the app’s analytics to better understand occupant behaviours and needs. It becomes Google Analytics for your building.’

Actionable data has been collected and distributed, across the Equiem portfolio, resulting in real changes to the way their buildings are managed and which projects are prioritised.

The end result? Building occupants are more satisfied with their workplace, prompting lease renewals and higher occupancy rates.

REASON 5

Unlock new revenue and gain greater ROI

Tenant Engagement Apps also help connect occupants to all the local amenities around a building, such as restaurants, retail, gyms, yoga studios, dry cleaners and newsstands.

‘Our platform lets you create a workplace experience packed with valuable services that make people love the space they’re in’, McMillan says. ‘A space they are proud to be part of.’

For the building’s ongoing success and to maximise ROI, investing in and improving auxiliary amenities is crucial. Examples include change rooms, bike storage facilities, break-out spaces and outdoor recreational areas.

By leveraging the app to promote and demonstrate these facilities, property managers are seeing increased usage for these facilities, with many reaching close to capacity.

One of Equiem’s clients facilitates its locker subscriptions via the platform, achieving 84% utilisation.

Additionally, the use of the bike storage facilities climbed by over 12% in just one month following a major campaign on the building’s app. The promotion also sparked a 13% gain in use of the male change facilities and an impressive 20% increase to use of the female change facilities.

‘Every building has a fixed square footage. By unlocking additional value within the existing space, property managers can generate more pounds per square foot – this is exactly what the app was designed to do,’ McMillan says.

REASON 6

Lease space faster and build new tenant relationships from the move-in date

Tenant Engagement Apps can streamline the tenant onboarding experience by providing access to unlimited information, services and even the assistance of existing tenants.

By booking tours of the building’s facilities and chatting online with the onsite concierge team, companies become part of the community before they even arrive.   

One major financial advisory firm recently moved their head office into a building with a flourishing Equiem App. Within just one week of being onsite, over 90% of employees had signed up to the app, making the move-in experience much easier and more enjoyable. Their team are now regular users and have accessed hundreds of different services via the app.

REASON 7

Unite occupants around community and environmental projects

A common project or cause helps to build a  sense of community. This brings tenants and building occupants together, while encouraging an open dialogue with property managers.  

At Melbourne’s Rialto, the community was inspired to help raise the funds to support one of its wheelchair-bound members. Equiem’s Community Manager at Rialto facilitated a fundraiser using the building’s Equiem App, and managed to raise $17,000 needed for a new wheelchair in just two weeks.

These incredible achievements were made possible by the passionate and active occupants of Rialto. With over 90% of Rialto’s occupants connected to its app, content on the platform directly communicated with almost an entire building.

Compared with traditional communication methods, such as snail mail, elevator screens and lobby posters, this provided a neater, more efficient and undeniably more effective means of communication.

With community focused placemaking and co-working office design still bringing the largest waves to commercial real estate in a generation, it’s critical that building owners and managers embrace technology to maximise the potential of their buildings. As tenant engagement apps continue to unlock value and deliver outstanding value to their customers, property owners around the world are being presented with an enormous opportunity to adopt this proven strategy and replicate the success in their markets.

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