Experienced corporate real estate (CRE) leaders understand retaining the same tenants each year is considerably less expensive than replacing those who have left. This is why, along with upgraded digital strategies and enhanced data analytics capabilities, a strong tenant experience strategy is one of the biggest CRE trends this year.
As a result of increasing competition and highly saturated markets, CRE leaders who fail to prioritize the tenant experience will eventually see falling profits.
Here are five things you can do as a CRE executive to keep your current tenants happy—and make your properties more attractive to prospective ones.
5 Tenant Experience Strategy Fundamentals
1. Communicate Regularly
The basis of any good relationship is communication. And when it comes to the tenant experience, proactive communication is a must. Unfortunately, ensuring that hundreds of people all get the same message at the same time can be difficult—unless you use a solution like iOFFICE Hummingbird.
The Hummingbird app enables CRE professionals to easily share announcements about upcoming events, send emergency alerts and even let them know what’s on the menu for the day without sending multiple, individual emails to hundreds of employees.
2. Use Digital Signage
Digital signage is another great communication tool. With digital signage, you keep tenants informed about building news and events and provide helpful information including weather forecasts, news stories and sports updates. You can also create interactive maps that help first-time visitors and new tenants navigate the space.
In addition, you can work with local businesses to create special, tenant-exclusive discounts and promote those on digital signage as well.
3. Be Proactive About Building Maintenance
We never realize how dependent we are on a solid HVAC system until the heat goes out in the middle of a snowstorm or the AC stops working on the hottest day of the year.
When these issues arise, your tenants can start to panic. Minimize unexpected equipment breakdowns by taking advantage of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and smart technology.
IoT sensors can predict when assets are in need of maintenance or on the verge of malfunctioning and communicate this to smart building technology that will alert you immediately. So rather than dealing with hundreds of upset tenants, you can schedule service before anything even goes wrong and keep the temperature where it’s supposed to be. Another way to be more proactive about maintenance is to make it easy for tenants to submit service requests themselves using a mobile app.
4. Offer an Augmented Reality (AR) Experience
One of the recommendations for improving the tenant experience in Deloitte’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Outlook is to take advantage of augmented reality (AR) technology. AR technology allows tenants to superimpose computer-generated images on a physical environment and visualize what a space might look like prior to signing a lease. It offers you the opportunity to make the experience more personalized and immersive.
Essentially, it gives prospective tenants the ability to “try before they buy,” which can help them feel more comfortable about moving into a new space.
Go the Extra Mile
One of the things that has made Amazon so successful is the fact that shoppers can get just about anything in a single place. If you can imitate that kind of convenience in your properties, both current and potential tenants will appreciate it. Concierge services like dry cleaning and on-site car detailing allow tenants to get errands done without actually having to go anywhere else. Outdoor areas with space heaters, comfortable seating and a good WiFi signal are also a huge draw since they can be used by tenants for personal or professional use.
CRE leaders who embrace the space-as-a-service business model and have an effective tenant experience strategy put themselves light years ahead of their competition. By taking advantage of the right technology, you can prove to current and prospective tenants you’re committed to their satisfaction.