Inside HqO: Tyler Vermette

Inside HqO: Tyler Vermette
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Tyler Vermette

Head of Channel Partnerships at HqO

Tyler previously built out the North America Sales team at HqO, leading it for over the past year. Currently, he is shifting focus as HqO’s new Head of Channel Partnerships. Tyler applies his extensive sales and technology experience to help lead the Channel team in building out strategic relationships and driving revenue targets. He helps identify different opportunities across HqO’s extensive partner base and maps out how they can be achieved. His team enables efficient channels of communication throughout the organization to ensure that all teams are aligned with customer needs. 

Inside HqO: Tyler Vermette

You’ve been with HqO for over a year and a half! What teams have you found yourself collaborating with most in your time here?

Our Customer Success team plays a huge part in our Sales strategy and our expansion efforts. We’re always working together to ensure that we’re maximizing efforts between our teams, our Engagement Specialists, and our Implementation team to produce the best possible outcome for our clients.

I also work closely with Operations to understand what metrics are going into the pipeline, where we can button-up our sales process to move down our time to close, and how to ramp sellers faster. 

Then, of course, there’s our EPD team. I have to work closely with those folks to understand what we’re hearing in the market, what we’re seeing, what customers are asking for, any commitments that are outstanding, and what will really help us push the needle.

That’s incredible teamwork. Is there a particular project you’ve worked on that has excited you the most? 

Definitely. We didn’t really have a great HqO demo environment when I started. We had HqO Tower, which we use for Engineering and Product planning. From a Sales demo perspective, it wasn’t always functional in certain areas, which was intentional! They were doing what they were supposed to be doing, modifying and testing and planning. So I thought to myself that we really needed a front-facing sales environment because people want to see what we do, touch it, and experience it. After all, that’s what we’re about: experiences.

The project involved the Customer Success, Implementation, Engagement, and Sales teams all putting our heads together to really figure out what we needed to create to help customers understand what products we have. They needed to see what’s available, like HqO’s true integrations with Building Engines, Angus Systems, and Envoy. They also needed to see the workflow of the native functionality versus best-in-breed third-party integrations, because different landlords have different asks and needs. 

And how did you arrive at the right solution?

So, we worked hard to find ways to show customers how you can reduce fragmentation across the board, and how to use the HqOS Marketplace to do that. We prioritized showing content to give a real taste to the fact that you can order food, book events, and  actually have pay functionality in the app. 

We even talked about showcasing communication, what avenues you can communicate with, and how to own that one-to-one relationship with the tenants in their building. That, to me, was the most fun project, because of the massive collaboration internally and the awesome work that people did. I also love what the landlord gets out of it, of course. I think that it really helped accelerate a lot of our meetings in such a positive way.

That is definitely a great result! Speaking of our clients, what is one of the most important things that you’ve learned from them? 

The most important thing that I’ve learned industry-wise is that no client is the same. Even though some folks have the same foundation and maybe even some of the same building models, no one’s business is the same. Everyone has different needs, and that being said, what I’ve learned from a variety of partners is that they want indeed just that: a partnership. 

They want someone that they can build with, be educated by, and also educate in return. We’re learning a lot at HqO about what our customers’ needs are in commercial real estate, especially in this very uncertain COVID-19 environment. You have to really collaborate, and that’s the biggest contributor to every successful portfolio that we work in. It takes two to tango, to really establish a great experience on the front-end and back-end. 

Is there a way that one of our clients is using our technology that you think is particularly innovative or interesting? 

Oh, definitely. Jamestown is doing a phenomenal job of really building a modern, seamless experience. Take the Innovation and Design Building in Boston, for example. They’re not so much focused on the systems within the building, but more on the experience they can bring to tenants. They ask the important questions, like what are the food and the beverage options, the on-site programming, the different events and communication we can offer?

There are many retailers that sit in Jamestown’s portfolio at properties like Ponce City Market, Chelsea Market, and IDB. Jamestown constantly seeks out ways to merge their experiences at each property to create one awesome place for tenants. As a result, their engagement rates are through the roof. They have Northeastern co-ops saying that they don’t care what company they work with, but they want to work at buildings like the IDB. That’s an unbelievably powerful statement for an HR team to make about talent and where people want to be.

We also have two major NYC landlord portfolio partners we work with that are best-in-breed from an overall technology and experience standpoint. They both are very driven towards what integrations they can put in; they want to have all the utility in one place to help drive a really renowned and branded customer experience. They’re a great example of utilizing everything our technology has to offer, while also helping us enhance what our customers see and need. 

Inside HqO: Tyler Vermette

What technologies do you use in your everyday life that you think have a real place in the CRE world? 

I love resource booking. I’m excited that we were able to launch Ritual, one of our Marketplace partners, in our Boston office so that we can get order ahead and better delivery services in and around the office. That is huge for me because I’m on calls all day long and it saves me time. Commuting technology is also big for me, because I take the ferry and always need to check its status.

From a building level, I think just understanding and having more options for retail is really exciting. Especially since landlords have many relationships across their city. For instance, if they own restaurants, they can allow their app users to receive discounts to those restaurants after using the app a certain amount of times. That kind of stuff is exciting. Connected retail capabilities throughout a city are something that I would always use, and I think most folks who live in the city would too. 

As a fellow city resident, I agree! How are these types of tenant experience technologies transforming the future of the office?

When I come to the office, I have the same expectations we all have: ease-of-use and accessibility through my phone. You walk through the city today and ride a bus where 80% of people are looking at a phone. We are all funnelling experiences through one pane of glass that is simple, easy to use, and saves us time. That convenience factor is big for me.

There’s also data. Landlords in any industry want to know how to provide a better experience. How do you start taking data and making actionable goals? I always ask questions like, ‘What is your model for lease renewal? Do you have the data input you need?’ Their answers always vary. Replies are usually not ‘Yes, we have a streamline of data from the building and we’re able to understand what tenant companies like and don’t like and how connected they are.’ 

That’s not the answer right now. But in 5 years, it will be the answer. That’s why HqO will be the key platform that’s going to help drive that and transform their business. Say you have a key tenant that’s in eight markets. With the right data you can utilize that one amazing experience, bring that data back, and confidently say: this is why you should be in the seven other offices we have in your other markets. It’s a really powerful story. 

Where do you think HqO currently sits within that story? 

Right now, we’re really getting people to truly understand the importance of why they should build a partnership with a tenant experience company, and why they need to build a platform as a landlord. We’re currently educating our customers and the market on what needs to happen to make that successful. 

The truth is you have to work with a company that’s going to learn your business and your company brand, inside and out. You will also need help getting people to use the tech. If nobody uses your building app, it doesn’t matter what you are paying. You’re going to get no data, and nobody’s going to have a better office experience. 

So, it’s really crucial to partner with somebody that is both an experience and content company, and also has the ability to bring together native and third-party integrations. Having a team that can put together that bowl of soup for each different asset is really key. Working with a true partner who listens to your needs is vital in what we’ve seen for success on both a small and large scale.  

What excites you the most about working at HqO? 

I appreciate the ability to have true ownership in what I do. There are intelligent people at every level of the organization who are passionate and really driven about what we’re doing for the CRE industry. We all believe that we can become a platform that is a driver of major change, and we also have a lot of fun at the same time!

I love that there’s always a good vibe when I come to work. No one wants to get up and go somewhere where they’re not going to enjoy the people and the culture. I think that we’ve built something really special at HqO, and that’s what makes me excited to get up and on the ferry every day. 

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 how HqO can power your office, click here. If you’re interested in joining Tyler and the HqO team, check out all of our current openings here.

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