Director of Platform and Partnerships at HqO
Reid leads HqO’s Marketplace team as the Director of Platform and Partnerships. He works primarily with external parties, helping to identify best-in-class vendors and service providers to integrate within the larger HqOS platform. Internally, he collaborates with Customer Success, Sales, and more to share important insights on our product roadmap and enhance the customer experience.
People may not know that you’ve been working with HqO since 2018, right when the company got started! In that time, you’ve worn many different hats. What is your role today and what does that entail?
I have! Currently, I work with both external parties and internal cross-functional teams. My job is to determine the right partners and negotiate the terms, incentives, programs, and integrations with third parties across the HqO platform. There are so many different elements that go into a core platform for commercial real estate owners and their tenants, and as a result we need to be able to work in tandem with our partners to achieve the best solutions.
I spend most of my time assessing the landscape and the full ecosystem of prospects and partners that we may need to interface with. I track market trends, and figure out who is truly best-in-breed for different functionalities. In turn, I take the lead on establishing relationships with those third parties.
Internally, I make sure that my team is aligned in our go-to-market strategy with these partners, but also with our own product strategy. This process involves determining whether we need to integrate with a given partner, or bring their functionality to market separately. I’ve also served as a subject matter expert for third-party technology as it pertains to the HqO platform, and what that means for the business of our customers.
You’re critical to the success of our business. When you say you work cross-functionally, what does that mean?
It means I get to interact with a lot of external and internal stakeholders! First and foremost, I work with our Customer Success and Sales teams to understand what our customers’ priorities are, and what we need to do to deliver the holistic end-to-end solution that they’re looking for. We collaborate to determine how third parties can help us get there, and how we can evaluate certain growth strategies to help accelerate the value that we’re creating for those customers.
Then there’s EPD, our Engineering, Product, and Design teams. I work very closely with the Product team for initial third-party vetting and integration strategies. We align with potential partners to see whether they can integrate with other groups, if we have common customers, and if they fit a need we’ve identified within our overall product suite.
My role also overlaps with the Legal team in determining how we should actually establish the Marketplace, and what terms and service-level agreements we need in order to have partners on board. Finally, I help our internal executive team with strategic initiatives, trend recognition, and comparative analysis.
Externally, the primary stakeholders that I work with are corporate development, partnership, and business development leads to try to outline how we can effectively go to market together as two organizations. We’re building true partnerships.
That’s a lot of collaboration! After all, a tool as robust as the Marketplace could not be possible without teamwork. What particular project or venture have you worked on that has excited you the most?
The project that I’ve been passionate about and I’m proud of is just that: the Marketplace. It now has over a hundred partners that include technology developers and vendors who can provide end solutions that are really important to our customers and tenant users.
These technologies really help us create great tenant experiences. However, we also want to be able to help our customers run their business. It’s difficult for our customers to procure and deploy technology providers across the full spectrum of different solutions on their own. So, the Marketplace allows us to be their trusted advisors, because we understand the different technologies at a deep level.
It’s definitely a two-way street — it benefits both our customers and providers!
Totally. We have a lot of different stakeholders. I think collectively, everyone wants to focus on the tenants and their experience. Our stakeholders in the Marketplace, though, also want to help the demand side which are our landlord and property team customers. Because of this, we really try to help our partners on the supply side to distribute their services, better understand the customer set, and go to market.
What is an important lesson that you’ve taken away from an HqO client or partner?
One thing that I’ve learned from both clients and partners is the importance of solving business cases and creating an effective end solution for the user, versus merely checking a box. For example, it’s simple to put together a long list of features and integrations, but they have to be aligned with business goals and user experience or you risk wasted cycles. It’s more crucial to think about the deliverables that we’re looking for, and what’s going to create the most value for businesses and their customers.
So, being more intentional about our long-term path rather than just trying to please everyone?
Definitely, and also having transparency throughout the entire process when there are two different companies involved. When two parties are trying to bring something to bear for the end customer, there can be a lot of different incentives and we want to make sure those are aligned.
I’ve learned that to achieve this transparency it’s really valuable to get everybody in the room: have the customer and all partners involved there, so we can really figure out not only what the best solution is, but what is feasible on pertinent timelines and priorities.
Is there a particular way that a customer is using HqO today that is particularly innovative?
Yes! We have certain customers who are really using the HqOS Marketplace as intended, meaning that they’re identifying gaps in their overall offering for the tenants in their building, and using the Marketplace and coming to HqO to make requests for certain providers.
For instance, they may say that they’ve noticed a gap in mobility access at a certain property, and want to be able to evaluate what providers the Marketplace has available that make most sense for their assets and portfolio. It’s incredible to see how decisions are being made through smarter, more informed approaches.
I think that’s awesome, because you’re really identifying the root of a problem and actually using our platform to help customers solve their unique issues.
It’s really really powerful to see the full lifecycle of the Marketplace unfold. We’ll identify a problem with our customer, and they will use the HqOS platform to search for a solution. We’re then able to help them vet and quickly understand the partners available, and then actually deploy them on a specific time line because of the relationship they have with HqO. Seeing this all happen seamlessly is pretty amazing!
Speaking of modern solutions, what kind of technologies are you using in your daily life that you think have a place in the real estate world?
I would say the technologies I use the most — and this is particularly exciting given our partnership with Ritual — have to do with convenience and choice. The Ritual integration is something that’s really useful for me: I appreciate being able to quickly access really diverse food options, order great food from my favorite places, and have it either delivered or go pick it up myself. Having that be a really clean process is something that can apply to everybody’s daily life. I also enjoy being able to support local retail and discover new retailers. Being able to do that through Ritual is really compelling. We’re going to see a lot more of this especially as the return office continues, and it’s going to be a valuable opportunity to consistently delight and engage tenants.
I also think about data a lot because it’s really compelling to layer a lot of the action on the user level of a property on top of the system level of the property, and get a true understanding of it. Especially within the concept of smart buildings and IoT, this data layering will play a key role in determining how efficient properties are.
I can definitely see that data piece applying to sustainability measures in offices. How else do you think tenant experience technology shaping the workplace?
In the short-term, it helps provide both utility and confidence in terms of return to office. As a tenant, it’s really valuable to have more information and functionality at your fingertips, whether it be building access or air quality control.
It’s also imperative for commercial real estate firms, owners, and operators to provide long-term value for their occupants. Primarily, that’s going to be delivered through mobile technologies but also the flexibility of a full platform that you can grow with as the market evolves. You need to be nimble across a number of channels to deliver true value on a day-to-day basis, and you need to provide consistent value and utility for the users. As we’ve often talked about, buildings in the physical world are becoming the new computers, and they need an operating system to be able to do that.
Couldn’t agree more! What excites you the most about working at HqO?
The challenge and opportunity that comes with being a hyper-growth technology company in a nascent market. It’s part of the fun! We’re figuring out solutions for the first time: there are so many chicken-or-egg scenarios that we face on a day-to-day basis as we are scaling. The tenant experience market is relatively new, as is the type of broad technology application to the commercial real estate segment that is taking place.
If you look at massive segments like commercial real estate, it’s taken time to cross that chasm to deliver true, cloud-based SaaS to the customer. Being able to accelerate that process is a huge opportunity for us and it’s a really hard thing to do. Building software and building technology is hard to begin with, and doing so as you’re trying to really accelerate a transition in a massive industry is no easy task. I think that’s what’s fun about it!
Inside HqO pulls back the curtain and introduces you to the people who make HqO the undisputed leader in tenant experience technology. For more information on the HqOS Marketplace, click here. If you’re interested in joining Reid and the HqO team, check out all of our current openings here.