Inside HqO: Spurti Kanekar

Inside HqO: Spurti Kanekar, Head of Legal Counsel | HqO
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Spurti Kanekar

Head of Legal at HqO

As the Head of Legal at HqO, Spurti supports all functions across the company for legal and general advice. She applies her previous expertise in technology, data privacy, and global expansions to the commercial real estate (CRE) industry, which she finds to be an enriching and invigorating experience.

You have such a crucial, all-encompassing role at HqO. Tell me a little about what drew you to the industry.

My job has very different components on a day-to-day basis, which makes it all the more enticing to me. I am not someone who can do the same thing every day! It’s also exciting because of the people I get to work with — everybody here is so smart, hardworking, and purposed towards a common goal.

Let’s expand a little. What are HqO’s goals, and what do they mean to you?

For me, what we are trying to do in the industry is the reason why my role doesn’t feel so difficult despite its challenges. HqO is the leading and best tenant experience solution in the market. This goal has always been a great motivator to me. The incredible team I work alongside every day only adds to that motivation.

You really seem to appreciate your coworkers. Who do you work most closely with at HqO?

It really depends on the time of month. I work closely with the Sales team towards the end of the quarter to help them influence deals and get them over the line. I also work with the Engineering and EPD teams to help vet our product in terms of privacy needs and make sure that what we build is legal globally. Then, of course, I work with company leadership on more strategic initiatives.  

Out of your many projects, which one has excited you the most? 

What we are doing with our product in terms of privacy and the return to office is very exciting to me. Everyone talks about smart buildings and smart technology, but I think HqO differentiates itself in not only being smart, but also providing means to stay healthy and safe. For example, take the return to office. The pandemic has drawn attention to so many aspects of having a fulfilling and enriched life: your mental health, your safety, and your family all come first. You weave work through these priorities, and our technology allows you to do that.

Whether it’s contactless entry or order ahead capabilities, it makes your workplace safer and easier to navigate. The fact that we have learned quickly from what we have seen in the last year, and have adapted just as fast, is incredible. We can now pivot to what makes the most sense and provide the most value to our customers in a given moment. Not many companies can do that.

How are we making sure we’re providing the most value to our customers?

We are not blindly providing technology to our clients. We consult with them. We can tell them what does or doesn’t work for them and their tenants based on their geographies and other details. That type of service is what drives the most value, and it’s something that comes from a place of true passion.

What is one of the most important things you’ve learned from talking to our customers?

I’ve learned a lot more than just one thing! Our clients are the masters of the CRE world, which is a world I’ve only worked in for about a year. Every time I’ve had a conversation with one of them, it has been an exponential learning curve. At its core, my job is to learn and understand our customers — not only about the business, but about the problems they are facing. They are the feet on the ground. They interact with their tenants. They face the challenges. If I’m not constantly learning from them, then I’m doing a disservice to my job.

Is there a particular HqO customer who is using our product or doing things in a way that is interesting to you?

I’ve recently come across one of our customers who wants to integrate with our app to help create efficiencies in energy usage across their buildings. They’re way ahead of their time in the United States, because we will very soon have rules and regulations where you will have to disclose how much effort you’re putting into bringing down your carbon footprint and supporting the environment. At the same time, they’re also showing us the right way to meet these goals. It’s been a very enlightening experience.

What types of technologies do you use in your everyday life that would be most helpful to the CRE industry?

Commuting is usually the bane of my existence — traffic and parking have a real impact on me. I’d say those types of technologies definitely have a place in CRE. For example, Waze and ease-of-parking technologies are life-savers. They can bring down my aggravation levels in the morning by a lot, which serves as a precursor to my entire work day.

The other part of technology that interests me for CRE is using digital programming to take care of your health. You can access tools and sign up for fitness classes, all through a building app. If you have a hectic lifestyle, having everything at your fingertips — and in one place — helps you plan ahead and makes everything so much easier. For me, anything that creates convenience is an awesome use-case.

Those two use-cases are definitely relatable! Similarly, how do you think tenant experience technology is shaping the future of the office?

I think using technology to bring a human connection back into the office or in the places that you visit makes experiences that much more engaging. More property teams are starting to see this, and they’re following suit.

At the end of the day, we are building a community. I genuinely think HqO’s platform and services are at the forefront of creating a better, more efficient, and safer community experience. The combination of our technology and services — how we guide our customers based on the data we collect and the analytics that we run — gives us a holistic view to help landlords create communities that truly do something good for everyone.

You mention that we are a data-driven company. How can our clients and their tenants know we’re being careful with that data?

I know I keep saying it, but it all comes back to human connection. HqO’s goal, and my personal goal, is to respect the data. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t need data to make informed decisions. We need it, and CRE teams need it. It’s the way the industry is going. However, we are going to respect your data. Not just in terms of what is legally required, but we will also treat your data in the way that we would want our own data to be treated.

There are certain amounts of information we all have to share as people, like with our doctors and lawyers. Every day, we make those decisions. When a customer gives their data to HqO, we will respect why you’re giving that data to us. You give that data for a specific purpose, and we will only use that data for that specific purpose. We have top-class security measures. It’s not a one-and-done ordeal. It’s an ongoing process that we vow to maintain. 

So, when anyone walks into the HqO world, first I want to assure them that as a person we are going to respect their data. They have rights, and we want them to exercise those rights. Secondly, we can speak to the protections we have in place, the data security measures, and how we comply with every law. This allows our customers to feel comforted and confident in us as a company. 

It’s clear that you care a lot about your work. What excites you the most about working at HqO?

Of all my other roles, this is the role that bridges the gap between work and passion the most. I also think that as HqO grows, the amount of investments we are making in terms of data privacy and security is really something special. We go above and beyond what we need to do, and are constantly learning new ways to improve our product on that end. It’s the future of our company and the overall CRE industry. Everyone is so conscious about it, and it’s the key behind our excellence.

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 HqO’s security practices click here. If you’re interested in joining Spurti and the HqO team, check out all of our current openings here.

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