Top four tech considerations for asset managers

What investors should know about the technology needs and wants of their tenants

Experience is essential. And while we’ve seen the concept transform sectors such as hospitality and retail, the office can’t be ignored.

Pre-pandemic, the idea of the experiential office was already taking flight thanks to successful flex office models like WeWork. COVID accelerated the need to create an environment worth the commute as employees acclimated to working from home.

And we’re not just talking about office suites. Building owners also must create an experience that translates to occupiers.

For asset managers, that means ensuring common areas focus on the tenant experience and offer superior client services.

The challenge is that it’s not one solution, and it’s not one-size-fits-all.

But specific experiences can and should be augmented by technology, and as the flight to quality continues, tenants are increasingly drawn to an office building that seamlessly incorporates innovative tech solutions. Thus, building owners need to invest in technology to remain relevant to their clients.

We’ve identified four key tech considerations asset managers will want to consider  attracting quality-minded tenants.

1) Building Access

No one wants to fumble through their belongings to find a key card to enter a building. Or worse, go through the hassle of getting a temporary pass when they’ve lost their key card or left it at home. Also, office workers do not want to carry multiple key cards or fobs to access different buildings, amenity areas, or parking garages.

Having it all on your phone is a hot trend.

Smartphone-based access control offers a modern and more frictionless tenant experience. It also helps property staff easily track who enters and exits a building and consolidates existing buildings within a portfolio and suite-level access control systems into a single cloud-enabled network.

2) Tenant Engagement Apps

Strong work connections are vital for making the return-to-work commute worthy.

Adding tenant lounges, coffee shops, fitness centers, and conference rooms isn’t enough to draw in tenants. Building owners need an activation strategy to make sure they’re fully leveraging such amenities.

Building apps are a valuable way to connect with tenants, provide offers, and showcase amenities.

For example, workplace experience platform Hq0 streamlines building experiences offered to tenants through its easy-to-use app. Tenants get what they need at their fingertips, but owners get a bonus, too. There’s also an analytics suite, hybrid work tools and a flex space management system that can provide valuable data and feedback to help drive even greater tenant engagement and stickiness.

That said, finding the right solution (and what tenants will and will not use in an engagement app) remains a challenge. For example, does adding a feature to order food or a car service make sense when users already use Uber Eats and Lyft?

The right partner can work with you to design a custom app that highlights building offerings and keeps tenants informed and connected with the building and surrounding community. In addition, keeping the app current will drive adoption. The result? Additional data that allows for greater personalization and program improvements.

3) Building Operations

The overall trend to what’s being called Disney-like hospitality is imperative in shared space. Occupiers want to be treated like high-value customers. A building that operates effectively will go a long way in keeping tenants happy.

For example, say the elevator in a building is out and a tenant submits a maintenance request. Without the proper tool in place, a tenant is basically in the dark until the issue is resolved.

The building operations software landscape has become highly fragmented, which leads to a disconnected experience for investors, operators, tenants, and occupants. A platform, such as the cloud-based operating system Prism, can relieve that pain point by creating a comprehensive ecosystem.

The platform’s infrastructure houses more than 30 integrations with other building operations tools, unifying an increasingly fragmented set of building operations applications into a single user experience for property managers. This, in turn, allows for streamlined work orders, improved maintenance efficiency, and simplified interaction between tenants, building management and staff.

4) Sustainability

There is no question about it. Buildings need to be green.

Some issues top of mind for most organizations include building operation systems that can provide remote-sensor lighting and environmental controls and ensure the lights and HVAC systems are only being used when necessary – even in common areas.

And while COVID has emphasized the need for fresh air to be circulating throughout a building constantly, understanding how your facility operates is vital so that such efforts do not impact sustainability goals.

The obstacle to fresh air is that it usually needs to be heated or cooled, driving up your energy use. A tool such as Hank, an AI-powered virtual engineering platform for buildings, can analyze data points from the HVAC system to balance the need for fresh air with energy usage and comfort.

Tenants care about the environment, and they will be attracted to an owner who shares their passion.

In addition to automating many of the pain points for both the tenant and the property owner, technology works behind the scenes to proactively keep buildings operating and prevent downtime.

Whether that is addressing tenants’ climate expectations with smart systems that monitor usage or using digital programming to help improve the tenant experience, technology is the backbone of the future office.

These tech solutions create an environment that rivals the home office and puts the tenants' experience at the forefront.

Meeting the tech-driven workforce with solutions that make the return to work a better experience will be critical to a building’s success. As more of these technologies are adopted, they will become part of the new building standards that draw in quality tenants. Asset managers who customize those offerings will have a significant competitive advantage.

To learn more about how to invest in intelligent technology that provides secure, frictionless access and streamlines operations, click here.