It’s a tale as old as time: commercial real estate (CRE) leaders have spent years searching for ways to attract and retain highly sought-after tenants, increase office value, and inform their investments to create efficiencies in building costs and operations. In today’s world, accomplishing these feats begins with focusing on the workplace experience. By making the conscious decision to put the customer first through tenant experience technology (also known as TeX or TenX), office landlords and property teams can remain competitive in the market and meet the needs of a newly hybrid workforce.
Of course, all big investments require thorough research and consultation. To make things easier, we broke down the buyer’s process for CRE teams looking to invest in a tenant experience technology provider. It can be assessed in three main stages: budgeting, selection, and implementation.
When it comes to tenant experience, there are two key investments you can make to meet your business objectives: 1) your building’s programming and events, and 2) your building’s technology stack.
On the programming side, it’s best to reflect on what has been traditionally done in CRE. Property teams used to hold large “blockbuster” events per year, which are no longer enough to maintain brand loyalty and generate tenant support. Instead, modern success takes the form of incorporating smaller events and tokens of appreciation into your budget throughout the year. Tenants will feel appreciated, and the engagement will produce consistent, meaningful data to form your strategies moving forward.
On the technology side, knowing your existing systems goes a long way. There can be hefty costs to consider, such as replacing technology, recurring costs from legacy systems, and additional costs from your building’s access control and HVAC readers. These factors, alongside knowing what is important to your building population, will help you refine your focus to make the right technology decisions.
A successful budget should remain iterative and flexible: adopting a data-driven mindset will empower you to continue learning about your tenants’ changing needs, and prepare you to be able to address those needs on an ongoing basis.
Once your budget is ready, there are many additional factors to consider when choosing a TeX provider. The right provider should grant you the tools, support, and technology to create exceptional property experiences that will leave a lasting impression on your tenants. To get the best results, we recommend that you explore three core areas of diligence when vetting your options: technology, service, and stability.
The first area focuses on making sure the technology itself is giving you the most bang for your buck. Considerations such as offering meaningful (and actionable) insights about your building and its community, data protection, handling complexity at scale, and interoperability will be paramount to your office’s success.
The second area involves proactive problem solving and consulting. Tenant experience technology is a relatively new space in the industry, and you’ll need the right team every step of the way to understand its capabilities and deploy it. Providers should offer implementation playbooks, match your internal staffing needs, and grant ongoing services to make sure your brand maintains world-class office experiences.
Finally, checking providers for their stability in the market will be crucial to ensuring your portfolio’s longevity and competitiveness. Public support from industry investors and leaders shows that the provider can grow and scale with you, as well as maintain your portfolio’s long-term success through a proven body of work.
The emergence of the proptech industry, including the more than 8,000 proptech companies in the market, has created immense quality and optionality for CRE buyers. However, with so many products to choose from, this opportunity can be understandably challenging. The risks include expensive procurement activity, fragmented implementation, inefficient switching costs, and buyers’ remorse.
Thus, a full end-to-end solution will be the key to ensuring that you can select well-suited technology integrations for current and future needs. Using a platform that allows you to select pre-vetted integrations will not only save you time and stress, but will also help every system in your building(s) flow together seamlessly.
Not only should the provider play a main role in the integration and vetting process, but they should also be prepared to deploy your solutions at scale. As your technology needs grow across your portfolio, keep in mind that your procurement strategies should ultimately save you time, money, and harmonize with the existing systems in your buildings.
Want to learn more about the TeX buyer’s process? Download our comprehensive guide for specific use-cases, questions you should be asking, and how to pull it all together here.