Most consumers prefer spending money on experiences over stuff. To this day, the “experience economy” reigns supreme in modern business and advertising strategies alike. In fact, Winterberry Group found a 6.3% increase in spending on experiences over material goods in 2019.
However, this widespread shift to experiences is not limited to just online stores or traditional retail channels; it has influenced almost all people-focused industries and commercial real estate (CRE) is no exception. Office space is no longer simply a physical area in which employees produce work. Every element of the workplace experience must be intentional and bring value to the people who use it.
Joe Pine, the co-author and creator of The Experience Economy, touched on this phenomenon on The Let’s Go Show with Chase Garbarino: “If we can have experiences that make us better employees, better people, that make us better workers for our company, but also for ourselves, then that will pay compound interest and dividends now and into the future.”
After all, humans crave real connections. By curating office buildings and properties that cultivate authentic experiences, property teams can transform the workplace into a hub of engagement, collaboration, and innovation.
Office Tenant Experience Technology Has Evolved
When we think of a trip to Disney World, we consider every element of the trip as a unique, exciting experience. From small details like Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles at the hotel breakfast, to characters that greet visitors at the gates of the park, a branded, memorable experience awaits guests at every turn.
The same is now expected of all types of commercial properties. Though tenants don’t expect building managers to greet visitors in costume in the lobby, every single experience at a property should be intentional. Though it may sound daunting, technology holds the key to enhancing the workplace experience in a meaningful way.
Tenant experience software such as a mobile app for a property can create true end-to-end, connected experiences. This software can empower employees to complete work orders, view office floor plans, order food, pick up dry cleaning, and even track their commute home. While these seemingly mundane tasks may not have been connected before, they compound in value when they’re easily accessible through technology.
By offering diverse ways to add fun and convenience into the work day, tenants will feel supported and appreciated — and are more likely to be active ambassadors of your building. Thus, tenant engagement technology has become an integral part of the way modern landlords attract and retain tenants.
Because of this, the role of the property manager has evolved as a result of these technologies. Modern tenants anticipate more experience-driven workplaces that give them what they are really looking for out of an office. Michael Beckerman, CEO of CRETech, has seen these changes reflected in landlord conversations in the market. Landlords are looking to position their company as a hospitality brand using technology, he explained, because employees are asserting that their “workplace experience must be fantastic because experience is most important.”
While employee demands and landlord brands are shifting to be more people-first, property managers will in turn have to increasingly focus on providing meaningful experiences for tenants. For instance, a tenant experience app allows property teams to showcase all of their asset’s best experiences and complement on-site facilities with digital initiatives like fitness classes or restaurant discounts. They can also communicate directly with their customers, contributing to a larger sense of community.
The Key To Making Smarter Workplace Experiences
Today’s property owners and operators know that they cannot make important investment decisions without insights on the people actually using their properties. These forward-thinkers are already saving time and money by harnessing the most accessible data: how tenants and employees are currently using their property.
Through a tenant experience platform, each employee experience and action can be recorded and presented in a comprehensible way. For instance, a property team could justify an investment in access control technology by compiling data that indicates a large percentage of their building uses their phone to enter the building on a daily basis.
Ultimately, technology-driven workplace experiences enable CRE owners to make smarter, more informed workplace investments that they know for a fact will benefit their communities and drive loyalty in the long term.
Want to learn more about how you can create meaningful experiences for your customers? Find out at EXPERIENCE 2021, the only CRE event dedicated to tenant experience.