At Equiem, we look at commercial office buildings and home offices and we don’t see mere workspaces – we see the potential for thriving communities supported by useful, seamless technologies.

The future is uncertain, but there’s a promising way forward: According to Deloitte in its 2021 Commercial Real Estate Outlook, “digital transformation and tenant experience are a business imperative.” This is a revolutionary change from the commercial real estate industry of 2011, in which the terms ‘tenant experience’ and even ‘Proptech’ were only starting to appear.

In the post-COVID world, certain companies are rethinking their needs for commercial office space. We’re seeing the emergence of many possibilities: Some say remote working is here to stay; others say the hybrid model will take over (that is, a split between remote and in-office working); others still believe that the office lease is dead, and from its grave flexible space arrangements will rise.

The necessity for transformation and tenant experience was catalysed by COVID-19, but many CRE firms are yet to fully adopt the tools and structures necessary to service tenants in the new world.

“Less than 50% of respondents consider digital tenant experience a core competency of their organization,” the report found. Further, “most respondents (56%) believe the pandemic has uncovered shortcomings in their company’s digital capabilities and affected their plans to transform”.

We know tenant experience technology can serve your tenants now, just as we did 10 years ago when we created the category. Tenant experience technology can help you streamline your building operations, save money, and uncover new revenue streams. And if customer demand changes, it can help you adapt and reposition your offering using actionable data about what your tenants want, now and in future.

First, let’s start with the basics.

Tenant experience is supported fundamentally by a central technological platform – in our case, an app, for web and mobile. This platform represents your building(s) and your brand, and is a central hub for the occupier, designed to be used on a daily basis. You could think of Equiem’s combined web-mobile app solution as a synthesis of Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, UberEats, Eventbrite, and many of the other popular platforms and systems we rely on every day – but within the specific and immediate context of a single office building.

Using this platform, tenants can:
  • Catch up on the news happening in and around their building

  • Join events put on by building management

  • Chat with peers and colleagues

  • Reach out to building management

  • Buy and book things from onsite retailers

  • Book meeting rooms and conference spaces

  • Access their building using only their smartphone (instead of using plastic access cards)

  • Report hazards and request maintenance works

  • And much more

The technological solution, however, goes beyond a single platform and single use case of communicative community-building. Tenant experience technology is a suite of solutions – including building management operations systems and integrations, for example – which are all designed to make life easier for landlords and property managers.

Using a tenant experience technology suite, landlords can:
  • Streamline building management operations, such as visitor management, flexible space bookings, access control, work requests, and more

  • Empower retailers and delight tenants with an e-commerce store

  • Track analytics from all customer touchpoints to improve services and processes

  • Track indoor air quality (IAQ) and building traffic, from offices to common areas

  • Build comprehensive leasing strategies, backed by tenant-specific data

  • Integrate virtually any existing systems to merge logistics with everyday tenant engagement

  • And much more

So the first key pillar of tenant experience is technology – the second and third are tenant engagement and digital content, respectively. The three pillars are complementary. Tenant experience starts with technology, the community platform and interlinking operations systems, but to truly enliven a workspace – make it live and breathe – the platform needs a mix of engaging content, events, activations, amenities, services, outreach initiatives, and more.

A successful tenant engagement strategy requires:
  • Data collection and analysis – utilising polls and surveys to build a keen understanding of what your tenants want 

  • Engaging news pieces, entertaining or educational articles, and more

  • In-building and virtual events, seasonal activations, pop-ups, and more

  • Exclusive amenities and services (concierge support, bike servicing, shoe shine stations, and more)

  • A network of partners to enhance the service offering (such as providers of fitness classes, food and beverages, health and wellbeing services, and more)

Different providers of tenant experience technology have emerged in the last 10 years in aims to specialise in one of the two key pillars (or their associated functions). Some deal exclusively in building operations and integrations, while others focus on engagement and communications. Choosing the right platform and provider, therefore, can be tricky. We’ll discuss provider selection in greater depth later on.

Did you know?

In a recent analysis of tenant experience technology RFPs, we found that landlords want, on average, a platform solution made up of 54 different technological features and/or functions. The most popular feature requests include having both a desktop and mobile app, being able to integrate with third-party platforms, and having a booking system for services and amenities.

Find out more

Tenant experience is a sprawling category, but here’s a way to make it simple: If you can think of a way to make life better for your tenants, you can make it happen with a practical or technological solution.

Before the great migration to remote work in March and April 2020, landlords had reliable (if comparatively inefficient) ways of communicating with their tenants. The traditional channels all functioned as they had for decades: Property managers would talk to tenant representatives, leasing teams with key tenant decision makers, and so on. Memos would be circulated via email, or posted on digital screens in lobbies and elevators. Tenants were not engaged, per se – their working lives were not punctuated as they are today by enjoyable activations and hotel-like services amenities – but the office building, as a functional concept, was as effective as it ever had been.

In that old world, it was easier to deem tenant experience technology a nice to have.

But when the pandemic hit, and tenants suddenly shifted to remote working, landlords found themselves without their traditional communication channels. That was an immediate and urgent problem to solve. Consequently, tenant experience platforms became a must have, virtually overnight, thanks to their proven effectiveness in helping tenants and landlords communicate. “Companies can significantly increase tenant engagement by optimising real-time updates about facilities and developing a sense of community using mobile apps,” Deloitte’s report suggests. 

Did you know?

As part of our 2020 Global Office Tenant Report, we surveyed more than 4,500 tenants across our operational regions, to gauge their sentiments and concerns about COVID-19 and the future of CRE post-pandemic. When asked how their landlord could support their return to the workplace, 77% of respondents said they wanted regular updates and notifications about building policies from their Equiem platform. 63% said they wanted a quick and easy online onboarding guide to facilitate building re-entry; and 38% wanted to be able to order food and beverages from onsite retailers via the Equiem app.

Find out more

The rapid shift to remote working also exposed a wider problem, looming on a slightly farther horizon: How do landlords engage their tenants, over the long term, and get them to come back? What if things have changed for good?

Tenant experience platforms have illuminated the path forward. “About one-half (48%) of respondents who said their company is using digital technologies, such as interactive mobile apps, to increase communication with tenants or end users, plan to increase investment on digital channels over the next year.”

Lorenz Grollo, prominent Australian landlord and developer, understood the need for Equiem when he devised the concept back in 2011. He wanted a way to regenerate Rialto, an iconic class-A tower in Melbourne, on its 25th birthday. He sought three major solutions: to engage with tenants, increase tenant interactions with building services and amenities, and help his building management team communicate with tenants on the ground, each day. From this concept the first tenant experience platform was born.

Now, ten years later, more than 130,000 Australian users across 83 buildings use Equiem technology. We’ve since expanded into the US, UK and Ireland, where we service more than 150 buildings in total. 

Now, ten years later, we’ve expanded into the US, UK and Ireland. Now we service more than 500 buildings, across 100 million square feet of real estate.

There are eight key benefits to having a tenant experience app, the first of which is new and unprecedented in CRE:
  • Support remote workforces, and welcome them back safely

  • Engage directly with your entire building population

  • Create an attractive coworking environment between companies and occupants

  • Improve your building without a redevelopment or renovation

  • Understand tenants with data and insights

  • Unlock new revenue, and gain greater ROI

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

  • Unite tenants around community and environmental projects

Let’s look at each of these benefits in detail.

Support remote workforces, and welcome them back safely

Tenants may be working from home, but that does not mean their building community suffers, or lies dormant in wait for their return. A tenant experience platform is a communication tool, fundamentally, but it’s also a multimedia platform – a place to care for, delight, and seek feedback from tenants while not physically in the office.

Just as in-building tenant engagement activations (such as seasonal events and pop-ups) delight occupants on the ground, a robust remote programming schedule can delight occupants wherever they are. From virtual book clubs to trivia nights to webinars to live-streamed fitness classes, you can keep isolated workers connected and foster their wellbeing. In this regard, the essence of placemaking is as strong and relevant as ever.

Landlords also have a unique opportunity to draw valuable insights from remote workforces. With polls, surveys, and daily digital outreach, you can analyse the sentiments of your customers and make demonstrable improvements. Here are some common problems, and their associated solutions:

  • I am frustrated that I can’t go to my regular gym (solution: offer a schedule of live-streamed fitness classes)

  • I miss my coworkers and peers (solution: organise a community drinks event via Zoom)

  • I am worried about COVID-19 transmission in the building lobby (solution: implement a stringent cleaning program and invest in more hand-sanitising stations)

Of course, one of the best ways to build long-term tenant relationships is to gather feedback and act on it visibly. That way, when tenants come back to their buildings, they do so with a keen sense of goodwill.

Equiem is crucial to landlords who want to engage remote workers

'Having the people walking into our buildings feel safe is key for us,” says Chris Rising, co-founder and CEO of Rising Real Estate.

“The Equiem platform helps tremendously as it provides a channel for communication and transparency. We’re able to circulate key information to all tenants - such as re-entry guidelines and security updates; send notifications; display air quality and density information directly on their phones. All of this contributes to creating a feeling of safety and security."

You can supplement that goodwill with a ‘return to work’ campaign, leveraging your tenant experience platform. The same communication tool that provided delightful multimedia content during the remote working phase then transforms into a real-time news and information service, providing safety and security to tenants as they navigate the post-COVID world. You could:

  • Track tenant traffic and activity within your buildings

  • Offer ‘re-entry’ guides, informing tenants about new regulations and cleaning procedures

  • Provide new flexible space working solutions to accommodate social distancing and office overflow

  • Keep tenants informed instantly using in-app notifications, SMS messages, and EDM newsletters

  • Maintain a regular poll and survey program

Engage directly with your entire building population

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 news feed article, sending out a building notification or regular newsletter updates.

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

Did you know?

According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield, citing analysis from the McKinsey Global Institute, 61% of the American workforce (2018 numbers) can only sustain less than one day per week of potential remote work without productivity loss. 17% of the workforce can work remotely for one to two days per week without productivity loss, while 22% can work remotely for three to five days per week.

Find out more
Create an attractive coworking environment between companies and occupants

The rise of coworking and 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 X task”, and have someone, somewhere in the building comment with a response in seconds. With our platform, everyone in the building has access to the perks, events and sense of community you get from a coworking space.

Improve your building without a redevelopment or renovation

Competition between commercial buildings (particularly those approaching renovation and redevelopment) is undeniably fierce. Many building owners are using quick fixes and taking band-aid approaches to retaining tenants, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

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. 

Your Equiem tenant experience solution can be launched within six weeks – from sign-date to on-the-ground implementation. This is in direct contrast to a building regeneration, which can take anywhere from 18–24 months. Implementing a technology and engagement strategy allows property managers to provide a valuable 21st-century upgrade for tenants, without rushing physical improvements. Even better, this pathway enables you to collect invaluable data should you choose to redevelop or renovate in future.

Understand tenants with data and insights

A tenant experience platform 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. 

With Equiem, you have 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. 

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

The answer is data

Keren Eichen, Director of Real Estate Services at Unico Properties, understands how Equiem tech produces better, longer tenant relationships. “When we go to renew with a tenant,” she says, “we want to understand what they’re doing, what they like, and 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.”

Unlock new revenue, and gain greater ROI

To maximise ROI and ensure the going success of your assets, 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. For instance, one of our clients facilitates its locker subscriptions via the platform, achieving 84% utilisation.

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

A tenant experience app 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.

Unite tenants around community and environmental projects

A common project or cause helps to build a sense of community. This brings tenants and end users together, encourages open dialogue with property managers, and helps to achieve your ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) goals. 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.

A quick-glance tenant experience platform checklist

If you’re not sure you need a tenant experience platform, consider the following:

  • Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Are you happy with the level of customer service you provide your tenants and end users? Could you think of ways to boost it, even that little bit more?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Do you use a lot of disparate building management tools and systems that are difficult to unite and regulate?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Does your team find it cumbersome to manage day-to-day administration tasks, like tenant appointments and contractor work permits?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Do you have underutilised spaces in your building?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Do you need new ways to support and promote onsite retailers?

  • Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Do you struggle to formulate foolproof leasing renewal strategies, and retain tenants over the long term?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    When you walk into the lobby or foyer of your building, do you feel a sense of community?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    Do you have an accurate and evolving picture of what your tenants think, want, feel, and even do – on a day to day basis?

    Benefits of a Tenant App | Equiem Tenant Experience Platform

    In the wake of COVID, are you grasping for a clear playbook showing you how to bring tenants back to your building(s), safely and efficiently?

If you ticked any of the above boxes, you have identified at least one way a tenant experience platform solution can help you solve your problems.

After a decade working in tenant experience, we have seen landlords adopt piecemeal solutions and come away disappointed with the capabilities or results they received. Here are 10 qualification questions to help you dig deeper into a provider’s solution, and separate marketing spin from true functionality.

1. How many active users has your platform had in the last month, and what are your repeat user stats?
Active users refers to the aggregate sum of users that have interacted with your platform over a given month, and is vital for determining the stickiness of platform users. This metric is important because it galvanises the relationship between a tenant experience provider and landlord: Engagement with the platform cannot be managed with a ‘set and forget’ approach. Both parties should be equally invested in engagement because it proves the ongoing quality and value of the platform to your customers. If your provider leaves you in the lurch, and without the tools or resources you need to run your own engagement strategy, your platform will suffer. 

Equiem has more active users and higher repeat usage numbers than any other tenant engagement platform (60%, on average, in 2020). Our numbers reflect the security of our tech, our extensive knowledge and understanding when managing retailers, as well as the overall success of our tenant engagement strategy. We work with you to ensure customer service and satisfaction is always measured.

2. What is your integration approach, how experienced is your tech team when it comes to integrating the platform into other systems?
With digital transformation changing the face of commercial real estate, it’s imperative that your choice of tenant experience software is fit for purpose. Each building and community is different and you need a platform that is easily customised, branded and adapted to your needs – without requiring any coding time. 

At Equiem, our tech is highly flexible, and the experienced team behind it has the ability to tailor the platform to your building’s individual requirements.

3. Are you compliant with privacy laws?
Your choice of provider needs to demonstrate adequate data protection and security measures. Certain measures are expensive and time-consuming to attain, and it is common for smaller start-ups to put off getting the correct certifications.

Data security itself often requires the dedication of a team, as well as robust systems. Data breaches can dismantle an entire business, and tenant experience technology by its nature deals in customer data, which presents additional risk. Repair costs after even a minor breach can reach millions of dollars.

Equiem is compliant with PCI-DSS and privacy laws, including GDPR. We also have processes in place to monitor and maintain the reliability of our platform.

4. What kind of data will be collected and will I have ownership over it?
At Equiem we use advanced metrics – they’re insightful and actionable so landlords can use them to help with their strategy to retain and attract tenants. 

You’ll have access to comprehensive dashboards and reporting tools, as well as the help of dedicated account managers to analyse and contextualise your findings. And while certain providers hold onto your data and license it back to you, with Equiem, you’ll own all the data collected. This will help ease the transition to another provider should you ever decide to switch.

5. Is your platform set up to process payments?
Do you wish for your tenants to purchase their morning coffee via your platform? Or subscribe to a locker in your change room facilities? An e-commerce solution is one piece of the puzzle, but your chosen provider must also satisfy security requirements for taking payments from customers (think credit card encryption and secure payment gateways).

Equiem’s platform is able to take and process payments securely, allowing you to facilitate maximum convenience for your tenants and offer a full range of services.

6. Is the platform available in both a desktop and app version?
While most partners offer their tenant engagement platform through a smartphone app, there are benefits to having both app and desktop versions. For instance, tenants have the flexibility to use the platform that best suits their working habits (e.g. highly-mobile executives versus desk-bound customer service representatives).

During the peak remote-working periods of 2020, Equiem platform usage skewed to 90% in favour of desktop. Other tenant experience providers, who tackled COVID-19 without a desktop platform, risked losing connection to entire tenant populations. Equiem offers both capabilities in the same package to help ensure more customers are reachable throughout the day, no matter which platform they choose to use.

7. Do you have what I need in a feature set, and how deep are those features?
t’s important to compare feature sets and work out exactly what you need. Other tenant engagement platforms may tick boxes, but the actual features behind those boxes may not have any depth, or customisability. To understand exactly what you need out of a tenant experience platform, we recommend you do the following:

  • Make a list of your ideal features (e.g. “Communication”)

  • Elaborate on those features with user stories (e.g. “I want to be able to send my tenants emergency communications with one tool”)

  • And, if you can, reference similar tools or services you have used with similar functionality (e.g. “I have used Mailchimp before, and I like the user experience”)

This approach helps you to scrutinise the features and claims of providers. A platform may have a ‘newsletters’ function, for example, but it may not allow user segmentation, which is a crucial feature in proper long-term tenant engagement. Without comprehensive user stories, you might never discover a technological gap until it’s too late.
Equiem’s CMS is the perfect example of a deep deliverable, with advanced functionality beyond the capability of the market norms, including features such as content segmentation, scheduling, comments, newsletter editing tools, and more. Our features are designed to do more than manage content; they allow us to drive the most usage.

8. How is the overall user experience?
Ensure the platform interface is easy and intuitive to use. The best way to measure this is through those active user and repeat user stats we mentioned earlier – these stats are what help us continually polish our product. But make sure you can actually use the product yourself, as early in the demonstration process as possible – you will see, within seconds of navigating tabs and clicking buttons, whether the platform is consistent with best UX and UI practices.

‘Modern design’ and high attention to aesthetic quality may not seem like valuable attributes, but a platform that is ugly or has an outdated design will likely damage your brand. Consider also the importance of white-labelling and customisation – to properly build brand equity, you need a beautiful app and an app that bears your visual profile.

Both Equiem’s web and mobile apps adhere to best practice for UX and UI design. We have iterated on our platforms over the past decade using a combination of SaaS expertise and crucial feedback from our landlord partners, ensuring our design philosophy continually aligns with their evolving needs.

9. What is the spend and size of your product team? Experience level?
With the fast evolution rate of technology, it’s important to find a partner whose tenant experience platform (and associated product suite) evolves at a similar pace. A company that started two years ago simply cannot achieve the same level of complexity and sophistication in design as a company that has been iterating for the last ten years.

Our product team is an ongoing investment, and all our developers, engineers, and product owners are based locally. In 2021, we plan to make significant investments into expanding our flexible space management capabilities; our building management operations solutions; our data analytics systems, and more.

10. What are the support services you will provide to make this transition as efficient and successful as possible?
Tenant experience can be hard and resource-intensive. Launching a platform can take anywhere from four weeks to two months, and the process of ongoing tenant engagement requires a significant investment of time and sizable budgets. Good customer service and experience is a task that is never finished, after all, only bettered.

Equiem provides you with a dedicated customer success manager and ongoing technical support. Our technology is only the start of what we do for our partners. Our customer success manager will work closely with you to help you unlock value from the platform, making recommendations for tenant engagement campaigns based on your site-based budgets and the needs and wants of your tenants. These recommendations may leverage products from our Engage Marketplace, such as our Editorial content feed, our Contests feed (through which we run site-based contests, start to finish), or our Events feed (which curates events hyperlocalized to your assets).

Uniting a landlord and property manager – or a landlord and a separate managing agent – with a single piece of tech can be a daunting exercise, because the two do not often share a single operational playbook or rhythm.

It can be tempting, then, for well-capitalised landlords or owners or property management firms to say: “I know my business better than anyone. I know the industry and its challenges. Why shouldn’t I create my own tenant experience platform, and get rid of the middleman?”

This is an understandable question – but we know, from extensive experience, that piecemeal ventures into the production of proprietary tenant experience technology seldom pan out. We have worked with landlords in the past who have tried – one, in fact, invested big money into a prototype which was then abandoned for Equiem two years later. It’s not impossible, but you do need to consider and plan to overcome these five key challenges.

The cost
Developing your own tenant experience app (just a single mobile app, mind you, not a mobile and web app) from scratch can be a tremendously costly exercise. If you commission an app development firm to produce your product, this cost can easily compound through multiple rounds of prototyping and iteration. If there is one thing a decade in this market has taught us, it is that SaaS is especially susceptible to Hofstadter’s Law (things always take longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law).
Once the app is built, you will also need to afford costs for maintenance and future updates. Let’s say, after two years of operation, you want to augment your platform with an e-commerce plug-in, or a host of integrations: the price of evolution is high, especially given the speed at which proptech moves. By the time you release your app, existing providers will be two years ahead of you in terms of functionality. 

Here’s an example of a common scenario. You:

  • Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create an app prototype

  • Then discover you need to integrate your platform with a work or maintenance request system – it’s a must-have, so you pay the cost to develop the integration

  • Realise you also need to integrate your existing flexi room booking solution with your platform back-end

  • Discover that your tech stack is not compatible with the infrastructure of the flexi room booking system

  • Uncover a host of apps you cannot integrate with in future, due to the way your tech stack is designed

From there, do you scope and implement a costly redesign, or forge ahead with a fundamental flaw in your infrastructure? These are the kinds of conundrums inextricable from the SaaS business model.

But they needn’t be your conundrums. Tenant experience technology firms have teams of engineers and developers dedicated to looking ahead, to anticipating future needs for technology and integrations. Equiem has more than 250 staff across its global teams, and each team member is tasked with helping Equiem achieve the goals of its core business: tenant experience. That is a considerable headcount increase for landlords, whose business structures and goals are already complex and varied.

The time
Our developers estimate that a tenant experience app, with a core set of features, requires one to two years of development. By the time you have a prototype, the other market players are minting their latest market-leading innovation; by the time your app is market-ready, with all bugs ironed out, the baseline scope of tenant experience technology features has changed forever. In 2020 alone we developed and released three separate solutions to the market – that’s a pace you can only match if you have  a full-time development team.

The expertise
Commercial landlord companies and technology companies could not be more different. Tenant experience technology may bring the challenges of CRE into focus, and solve them for landlords in succinct ways, but that does not mean the solutions themselves are easily developed or deployed.

Operating a SaaS business model alongside a traditional CRE landlord model can only work when the two businesses operate independently. So, if you want to create your own tenant experience app, you are effectively signing up to create an all-new entity – with its own goals, structures, executive, team, branding, and so on. You’ll need the right talent, too – and it’s not common that CRE experts and SaaS experts travel in interlinking circles.

As mentioned above, tenant experience and engagement form Equiem’s core business. From our executive leadership to our board of directors, we are equipped with the right knowledge and experience – both about CRE, and about SaaS – to evolve our product based on the changing needs of landlords and the market.

The risk
End-user technology solutions impose a high baseline of risk. Security and privacy certifications, for example, are notoriously difficult to attain. Satisfying GDPR alone requires a significant and ongoing investment of time and resources – but then there is PCI-DSS compliance to chase, and regional regulations to satisfy.

You will also need a team dedicated to data security. Data breaches can be catastrophic for a business, and when they involve personal customer information, especially so. Landlords deal with enough risk on a day-to-day basis to make the addition of large and complicated software an unattractive prospect.

Equiem has been in the market for almost 10 years, and it has taken us that long to perfect, iterate, and innovate. We have gone farther, achieved more, and made more mistakes than even our competitors. You can benefit right now from our experience and our product, save yourself all the associated expenses, and focus on offering superior customer service.

Currently, the tenant experience technology market is mostly characterised by specialist firms who solve one particular landlord or building management problem. There are building operations platforms, analytics platforms, CRMs, work or maintenance request tools, flexible space booking platforms, instant message-style apps, and more. If, for example, you need a help desk platform and a tool for communicating with tenants, that often means selecting two different operators and software solutions. Often, those solutions do not work seamlessly in tandem.
Equiem is the only true end-to-end platform in the market. We deliver the technology, strategy, execution, and support you need to achieve all your tenant experience goals. 

Unrivalled sophistication and depth
Equiem’s app provides the necessary range of features and functionality for landlords to deliver everything their tenants need in one platform. Our base tenant experience platform comes with a Content Management System, an event manager, an analytics product, and a back-end platform management interface. From there, you can layer on additional modules like e-commerce (more on this below), SMART (our building occupancy and air quality management system), and more. All of our products are interlinked and communicate with one another, ensuring you have a frictionless experience.

Most trusted, proven, and experienced
Our market-leading platform has been built and refined over ten years. We service more than 500 buildings and 7,000 companies. We operate in five countries: US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia. 

Leaders in tenant experience
We are renowned as the market’s tenant engagement experts, and we deliver outstanding results for clients from day one. Our customer success manager will work closely with you to help you unlock value from the platform by recommending  content templates and feeds from our Engage Marketplace. These will combine to form tenant engagement strategies that have been tried and tested over our 10 years of global experience.

Did you know?

Crain’s New York Business has named Equiem CEO Gab McMillan in its 2021 Notable in Real Estate list, in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of CRE tech. Gab’s vision has led to Equiem becoming the first coast-to-coast commercial tenant experience technology provider in the US.

Find out more

Most advanced content management
Equiem’s professional-grade content management system, Iris, is the most advanced in the market. Designed by content experts to meet the unique needs of real estate landlords, this comprehensive and easy-to-use toolkit provides complete control over content creation, user-experience and data capture.
Iris comes with its own newsletter and notification creation tools, and gives you the ability to send instant SMS and email notifications to users. It also features a segmentation feature, enabling you to create specific user groups and tailor content exclusively to those groups.

Industry-leading e-commerce
Equiem’s frictionless, full-feature e-commerce platform enables landlords to deliver a wide range of services and amenities, from food and beverage and dry cleaning to fitness classes and space bookings, while unlocking greater revenue for landlords.

Comprehensive data and analytics
Equiem’s Analytics Dashboards feature 11 unique dashboards, each with their own visualisations and data sets. The depth and breadth of our data – covering key categories like ‘Tenant Activity’, ‘Content’, ‘Polls’, and more – is unrivalled in the market. By analysing Equiem data, you can better understand your tenants, streamline operations, build better leasing strategies, improve onsite programming, inform capital improvements, and more.

To make the most of your tenant experience platform and create a long-lasting tenant community, you need all three. Equiem can help with this.

Pillar 1:

Technology, or a customisable, branded tenant experience appThe platform is your social communication hub. It’s the blank canvas upon which you paint your engagement strategy. Onsite engagement is not enough – you need a way to keep your tenants engaged with your building in between the delightful events you schedule. So, before you do anything, you need a platform that represents your building and wider brand.

Pillar 2:
You have your branded platform – now fill it with engaging, interesting, conversation-provoking content. With Iris, our CMS, you can say whatever you want on your platform. You could:

  • Publish building news, or important memos

  • Circulate thought pieces from major news media outlets or blogs

  • Highlight tenants who contribute actively to their building community

  • Hold competitions

  • Advertise offers from exclusive brand partnerships

  • Promote your ESG initiatives (such as sustainability, or charity work)

Tenant engagement: The crucial differentiator during COVID-19

“With Equiem’s Remote platform, we have been fortunate to have the ability to communicate with all of our tenants, on or off-property,” says Jimmy Parker, Director of Culture Initiative at Stockdale Capital Partners, LLC. “And this is just the start, as we are planning to utilise its impressive capabilities in communicating our return to work plans, smoothing the transition, welcoming our tenants back to their buildings. It’s clear that Remote has allowed us to serve and support our tenants at the highest level.”

Let’s say, however, that you don’t have the time or the know-how to create and execute a content strategy with the types of content listed above. No problem – use our Engage Marketplace. The Marketplace offers you a sprawling content library comprising templates designed to be customised quickly to your assets. Template categories include ‘Event’, ‘Amenity’, ‘Charity’, ‘Onboard’, and more.

The Marketplace also includes five Equiem feeds, which are published and handled end-to-end by Equiem’s in-house team:

Our Engage content library supports landlords and building management teams at all stages of the tenant engagement process. We have templates for launching a site, customer onboarding, everyday customer engagement, promoting services and amenities, and more. Within minutes, templates can be copied, tailored to a site, and published to tenants. Our systems, and templates, are purpose-built to be used quickly, without the need for extensive team training and refresher workshops.

Pillar 3:
Onsite community events and services

Now you have your branded platform, and it’s filled with excellent and engaging content. The final and most crucial step is your onsite tenant engagement activities. 

Your dedicated customer success manager will work with you to determine your goals – for instance, you may want to increase the amount of Social projects (as part of ESG) you run at your assets – and recommend an engagement plan to suit your budget. This plan might include:

When it comes to onsite engagement, you’re limited only by your imagination. Equiem buildings (and their occupants) are regularly treated to:

  • Fitness classes (think yoga, Pilates, meditation, and more)

  • Stress relief seminars

  • Meal and snack pop-ups (free lunches from local retailers, for instance)

  • Suit fittings and tailoring pop-ups

  • Wine, beer and spirit tastings

  • Manicure and pedicure pop-ups

  • Travel seminars

  • Networking events

  • And much more

Once each pillar is constructed at your site, and has been working to engage tenants, you can start to examine and analyse the resulting data to understand more about what your tenants want and need from their workplace and building management team. Your experienced Equiem customer success manager will work with you to capture the insights you want, help you slice and dice the numbers, benchmark your findings against global results, and make recommendations to improve your tenant engagement strategy.

Our data capture methods include custom polls, custom surveys, behaviour analysis, and bespoke data capture campaigns (for example, platform competitions that garner insights in exchange for prizes).

Landlords have a heavy logistical workload, usually comprising the following actions:

And so on. Launches are complex, and come with a reasonable degree of risk; a poorly-managed or forgettable campaign can produce unintended consequences to ongoing tenant engagement. As the saying goes, you have one shot to make a good first impression.

Our clients are often surprised to find, then, that launching an Equiem tenant experience platform is quicker and easier than they expected. This is because we have spent the past decade refining and improving our onboarding processes. If you’re as ready as we are, together we can launch in as little as four weeks.

The good news, therefore, is this: Once you have provided us the details crucial to the configuration of your tenant experience platform solution, we can do the rest – and our developers, account managers, and customer success managers will keep you informed and properly trained at each step. You will learn how to use your Equiem products throughout the launch and onboarding process, incrementally, instead of being overwhelmed during the handover phase and sent on your merry way.

Here are the main steps of the tenant experience platform launch process. If you are considering launching your own platform, consider these steps and their associated actions. They’ll hold you in good stead to hit the ground running post-launch with daily tenant engagement.

1. Discovery
You have chosen a tenant experience platform and have identified your launch assets. At this point you have likely already met with a salesperson, so they will have a picture of your product needs and objectives. During discovery, you will further refine and tailor your desired solution. For example, if you have opted to include secondary products, like an access control integration, it is in the discovery phase that you will identify the associated tasks, such as completing an audit of your existing building reader infrastructure.

You will meet your dedicated account manager, who will set the scope of the launch, including the schedule, key dates, meeting cadence, deadlines, project milestones, and more. You will also decide which asset (or assets) will be part of your pilot, and plot them into a schedule.

2. Pre-configuration positioning
Before you can start building and configuring your platforms, you need to figure out, with the help of your tenant experience platform provider, how your brand will be applied to your platforms. During the positioning phase, you will:

During this phase, you will provide any assets you have (for example, logos and images) for adding to your platforms. If you don’t have any, that’s fine too – at Equiem, we can even help you establish a visual brand and style guide.

3. Configuration
In accordance with the project milestones and deadlines set out by you and your account manager during the discovery phase, your provider will begin to build out your pilot platforms. During this stage of the process, you should receive daily or (at minimum) bi-weekly updates to show you the progression of your platform builds. You will have the opportunity to provide feedback and make changes before giving final approval.

At Equiem, it is during this stage that we will also begin to train you and your building management teams in the usage of Equiem products. 

4. Pre-launch engagement
Much of your engagement strategy will be plotted during the discovery phase, but just before we are ready to launch your pilot platforms, your provider will work with you to create a launch plan comprising content templates and feeds from our Engage Marketplace. This launch plan will align with your wider goals.

Typical launch engagement strategies centre on in-building activations (for instance, a lobby-based welcome morning tea to build awareness and drive registrations), but at Equiem, our templates can be used to construct an online-only launch campaign tailored to remote workers. Either way, on launch day, your tenants will log onto your platform and find it full of the content and community touchpoints you organised for them.

5. Post-launch engagement
Once your sites have launched, your engagement strategy truly begins – your account manager will work with you to build out a year-long engagement plan filled with events, activations, content, and more. This schedule forms a bridge between launch and every day workplace engagement, ensuring that tenant interest is maintained long after day one.

It is during this phase, at Equiem, that ongoing account management and customer success duties begin. On a schedule set by you and Equiem, we will meet to discuss all the results, successes, challenges, and opportunities associated with the daily operation of your tenant experience platform. We will help you analyse your data and share with you new ways to improve your engagement strategies. In the ultimate goal of delighting tenants, we are in this together.

Did you know?

When launching our tenant experience platform across 10 Unico assets in March and April 2020, we developed a two-step soft launch campaign. The first step was a breakfast social, in which key tenant contacts were given a sneak peek of the incoming platform. In the second phase, we held a massive morning tea mixer in the building lobby, in which all tenants were invited to register to the platform while sharing in delightful pastries. The two-step campaign was a massive success, and saw as many as 68% building occupants sign up to their new community platform in a single week.

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I want to launch my own platform – what's next?

Glad to hear it! Depending on where you’re at in your discovery journey, we have different pathways to help you progress efficiently to launching your first asset.