Equiem Case Study: Unico Properties

August 15, 2020

In this case study, key members of the Unico Properties team share firsthand how Equiem’s industry-leading platform dramatically improved the tenant experience across the company’s portfolio in three primary ways: with enhanced, direct communication with all tenants; increased, direct access to amenities; and access to actionable data received via Equiem’s tenant experience platform, allowing them to make changes to their building services, amenities and events.

Unico Properties is a commercial real estate investor, developer, and full-service operator with more than $4.5 billion in assets under management comprising 17 million square feet of primarily office and multifamily properties throughout the United States.

Full transcript below:

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Darrin Williams (00:01):
Traditionally, property management is robotic and sterile. It's very administrative. What we're trying to do is take a more hospitality approach to how we deliver our services to our tenants. As we make a shift towards a more hospitality oriented business model, we decided we needed a platform or an app to really zero in on what the occupants want, where before we were guessing. I don't know where we would be if we hadn't found Equiem.

Darrin Williams (00:32):
Three things that really helped us with having the app. The first was communication. Being able to communicate to a wider range of occupants in our buildings. Where before we had several tenant contacts, a handful in a building, now we're able to reach hundreds of people.

Darrin Williams (00:51):
The second thing is the ability to activate our tenant amenity spaces. Being able to activate those spaces and have a tool that organized events in those spaces is key for us.

Darrin Williams (01:01):
The third thing is the ability to understand what our tenants' needs are, collect information from them about what they really want. What do they want to see? What kind of events do they want to have? Where we're talking with tenants for renewal time, if we know what the tenant likes throughout the year, we're able to cater to those type of events because the occupants are happy. They like what we're providing.

Keren Eichen (01:27):
I was really focused on U.S. Bancorp Tower and upping the technology experience at U.S. Bancorp Tower. And we kind of asked ourselves, "What is the point of investing in this technology beyond just the ease of people getting around?" And the answer is data.

Keren Eichen (01:41):
What are we seeing out of the investment? If the hypothesis is, the more tech-friendly the building is, and the better amenitized it is, the more sticky you become, and the harder it is to leave your building, then we want a data set that supports that hypothesis. We only get there if we have tools to collect that data and then analyze it.

Keren Eichen (02:03):
Equiem has helped us understand who is using our amenities. Who goes? Who cares? When we go to renew with a tenant, we want to understand what they're doing, what they like, what they don't like. By having not only a place where we can advertise events, but where we can see participation in them, that's huge. And I think we're only just now scratching the surface of what that data will do for us.

Tony Agenbroad (02:30):
There can be barriers with communication, but with Equiem, I see a lot of those walls being broken down. We can put questions out there and gain feedback from tenants firsthand as to what they want. Take a look back at that data, find a medium that everyone would like, and put together an awesome event that will be engaged by all. Anyone who wants to be on the platform can join the platform and communicate directly with the building, and we can communicate back to them. So no one's left out of the loop in any sort of way, which has the ability for us to really scale up our communication and really communicate to everyone within the building what's going on.

Tye Taylor (03:06):
The Equiem platform has helped me tremendously in my role as a tenant administrator. It has freed up time, given that tenants are able to book the conference space on their own, empowering them to take some of those measures into their own hands.

Tye Taylor (03:20):
We see tons of feedback regarding the app and it is all positive. Tenants think it's fun. It's fresh. It's innovative. They like the ability to build relationships with their neighbors that they probably wouldn't otherwise communicate with as much. And building that sense of community has been wonderful within the building.

Tye Taylor (03:37):
There are so many features that I love about the platform, but I especially love the contests. The think pieces that are offered bring a lot of excitement to the building.

Tye Taylor (03:55):
I find the Iris Templates to be extremely helpful, a small amount of editing, and that content has now been tailored for our specific building.

Darrin Williams (04:04):
Our decision to roll this out into other buildings is primarily based on our pilot buildings that we did. We were able to get something out there that shows that this is a real initiative for our company. The Equiem team was great at guiding us through the process, figuring out how do we make sure that the Unico brand is shown in the best light. They made it easy for our employees to be able to do something like this because it is a tremendous task.

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