Technology imperative to satisfying today’s modern tenant
CRE, Future Cities, Proptech, Smart Buildings, Tenant Experience

Technology imperative to satisfying today’s modern tenant

A recent survey on tenant satisfaction by CBRE highlights the importance that tenants place on technology. Tech services came only second to building management in retaining tenants.

Vanessa Butz CEO of District Tech said: “I believe that this will only increase in importance as the market becomes more aware of the tech possibilities, and tenants view these ‘building upgrades’ as standard.” 

The recent surge of investment in property technology (A staggering $10 billion was invested in the US last year alone!) will have a knock-on effect on the commercial real estate industry. Technology adoption by CRE owners will need to be considered to compete in a more technology-enabled market.

Technology is an essential player in facilitating the major shift from a landlord being a pure rent collector to a relationship builder. 

Vanessa said: “We must remember that technology is only an enabler. One must have the right in-house talent that fully understands the daily customer journey in order to successfully implement the right technology. In the start-up world, we say: ‘eat your own dog food’.”

2005 Harvard Business Review article ‘Quest for Customer Focus’ (an oldy but a goody) hits the nail on the head:

“Tools and technology are important. But they’re not enough. That’s because getting close to customers is not so much a problem the IT or marketing department needs to solve, as a journey that the whole organization needs to make.”

Vanessa said: “This is key to what I believe the entire real estate industry is in the middle of undergoing, a fundamental mind-shift in the way customers are treated.”

This paradigm shift is driven by the way work has changed, become more flexible and even fully remote.

Coworking players have shaken up the real estate industry and have significantly changed the market perception of the traditional arm’s length landlord-tenant relationship. This has now shifted from simply tenants occupying the building to customers fully utilising it and benefiting from added services.

Landlords are beginning to recognise the added benefit of being able to generate further revenue by offering desired services. And, realising significant cost-savings due to increased retention. 

Vanessa said: “Focusing on your customers isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. The journey towards this goal is not necessarily simple, but the rewards and payoff are significant.”

The global market value of flexible workspace is estimated at a staggering $26 billion. This highlights how commercial real estate is adapting to the needs of the modern tenant. Now most companies are splitting their fixed lease liabilities into flexible arrangements to support their long term leases and reflect the changing nature of business. 

Now, with commercial real estate becoming an on-demand service, building owners and property managers need to start asking the right questions to provide the very best experience. What is the building layout like and how easy is it for tenants to navigate around the building? Is there an on-site gym and interesting events? Are they able to order lunch straight to their desk? Is there an ongoing office debate about the air-conditioning? Is it a nightmare trying to access the building out-of-hours?

Leading players in the industry are now working with technology partners such as District Technologies. Reducing friction within buildings and offering the very best technology-enabled experience for building users in today’s competitive market. 


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