In a world defined by constant change and elevated levels of economic uncertainty, commercial real estate (CRE) companies and property teams have increasingly recognized the need to gather more information on tenant needs and behaviors. HqO’s State of Workplace Experience report finds, for example, that a majority of landlords now think that data on tenant needs is important to their overall business strategies. The current state of the market has, in other words, clearly necessitated a pivot toward data-based decision-making.
But landlords don’t just need access to workplace data to stay competitive in an ever-competitive marketplace. Now more than ever, CRE companies and property teams need access to accurate, real-time workplace data that can yield insights into big-picture values like tenant sentiment and usage. To learn more about what this means and how these insights add value to a portfolio, follow along below. Additionally, consider downloading HqO’s Data Difference guide, which uses cutting-edge market research to explore the value of this data in even greater detail.
The Value of Measuring Sentiment and Usage
The importance of data-driven decision-making is now widely acknowledged in the industry. In order to maximize the benefits of data and analytics, however, it’s important for CRE companies and property teams to have access to data that is capable of producing high-level insights. In a market that is still plagued by lower-than-desired occupancy rates, tenant sentiment and usage are two of the most crucial macro-level insights that landlords need to track in order to remain competitive.
When landlords gather data that is able to differentiate between tenant sentiment (how tenants feel about their spaces) and actual tenant behavior, they set themselves up to make smarter business decisions that eliminate guesswork, and increase a building’s net operating income (NOI). If landlords are able to uncover, for example, a discrepancy between the spaces and amenities that tenants say they want (sentiment) and the spaces and amenities that tenants actually use (usage), they can easily harness this information to tailor their investment strategies and make the most efficient use of available capital.
But this is just one of the ways that up-to-date, real-time data on sentiment and usage can help landlords optimize their properties. In order to better understand the benefits of measuring these big-picture values, it can help to understand the specific metrics that CRE companies and property teams need to access in order to track sentiment and usage accurately.
Key Data Points for Sentiment and Usage
In order to fully grasp tenant sentiment and usage, landlords need to gather data from four key areas:
- Visitor data:
- Data collected: How many visitors do tenants have at a given time?
- Action item/insight: landlords can understand how each tenant’s visitor counts are changing day-to-day.
- Space utilization:
- Data collected: Which spaces are or are not being used and desired? When are they being used, and by which tenants?
- Action item/insight: allows landlords to focus investments on the most popular spaces and align staffing to usage. Use the data to show how the building is delivering value to tenants during periodic tenant meetings.
- Service and Amenity utilization:
- Data collected: Which amenities are or are not being used and desired? When are they being used, and by which tenants?
- Action item/insight: landlords can expand the scope of popular amenities while reducing spending on amenities that aren’t being utilized.
- Data collected: Activation rate, and the number of new and active users.
- Action item/insight: landlords can figure out which tenants are using mobile tenant apps the most, and which need additional education and promotion.
By gathering information on these data points, landlords gain a much more complete, higher-level picture of activity across their portfolios. But the picture that landlords get from this data isn’t just macro-level. When collected across an entire portfolio, CRE companies are able to drill down to the micro-level in order to gain a deep understanding of what’s happening at each of their properties, and with each of their tenants. Measuring tenant sentiment and usage in real-time allows landlords to gain a fuller, more comprehensive picture of what might be happening at their properties.
Measuring Sentiment and Usage With a Building Mobile App
The State of Workplace Experience report has shown that, until recently, landlords were forced to rely almost exclusively on the distribution of a tenant annual survey in order to gain access to insights on tenant sentiment and usage. The report also finds that landlords have begun to view the surveys themselves as fundamentally limited, and indeed, it’s easy to imagine how the annual survey might be slightly out of step with the needs of the current moment. Because the surveys are only given annually, for example, they can only capture tenant sentiment at a specific moment in time and are unable to monitor usage constantly, throughout the year. This makes it difficult for landlords to confront any issues with tenant satisfaction proactively, as they arise. Moreover, because the annual survey is generally only distributed to a list of key tenant contacts, it may not reach a large enough group to produce actionable data. In a marketplace defined by constant change, CRE companies and property teams recognize the need to gain access to better data on tenant needs and behaviors.
In response to this need, a large majority of landlords (76%) surveyed in the State of Workplace Experience report said that they already collect (or are looking to collect) building mobile app data from an app like HqO. This finding from the report shows that landlords have largely recognized the need to utilize new technology that is capable of collecting all tenant engagement data in one place, thus providing a complete, consistent picture of asset activity in real-time, and producing actionable insights on tenant sentiment. The industry-wide pivot toward data-driven decision-making has, in other words, generated a corresponding shift toward the use of newer, cutting-edge technologies.
Interested in learning more? Download HqO’s Data Difference guide now to understand how data from a building mobile app can help you optimize your properties.