The world keeps changing, and commercial real estate (CRE) has had to adapt several times over in such a short period of time. Just when you think you’ve got one thing figured out, something changes again. One thing’s for sure: The workplace has changed forever. There’s no going back to the way things were before the pandemic. That means commercial landlords need to fill their spaces in new ways. Today, the focus has shifted to competing on the CRE tenant experience (TeX).
But what exactly do tenants want? Well, quite a bit. That’s because their employees’ needs and demands have changed – especially if it means they have to return to the office. So, companies are turning to CRE landlords as partners to meet their goals.
Let’s look at where CRE landlords can start as they navigate how to create a good tenant experience.
How to Create a Good Tenant Experience
A survey of commercial property professionals conducted by Building Engines in partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) found that respondents’ top software investment priority in 2022 was directly related to the tenant experience.
According to HqO: When thinking about a typical CRE tenant, many overlook the small details of their day. However, from their morning commute coffee to post-work activities such as doctor’s appointments or fitness classes, tenant activities are more ingrained in your building community than you may think. Even tenant actions outside of your building are all part of the tenant experience.
Developing this ecosystem is vital. Each tenant activity presents a new opportunity for CRE landlords to improve the property experience.
Now that we know that there are so many little things that make up the tenant experience, here are some actionable ways for how to create a good tenant experience.
Start with Sustainability
Tenants want sustainable spaces. That means sustainability and the tenant experience are intrinsically intertwined. Consider this: 46% of commercial building owners leased properties with healthy building certifications faster than other properties, according to the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab. And the Center for Active Design conducted a global survey of investors to ask how they measured social impact. The top three identified areas were:
- Indoor air quality
- Emergency preparedness
- Tenant satisfaction
Notably, the Building Engines and BOMA survey found that among sustainability priorities specifically:
- 71% of respondents indicated that energy efficiency was their top concern.
- Health, wellness, and indoor air quality was the second largest priority (63%).
- Water efficiency and conservation was the third (40%).
Layer in the Wellness
Tenants also want healthy spaces. As shown by the data above, CRE owners and operators have taken note. That’s why smart CRE landlords are shifting their attention to indoor air quality in their buildings.
In fact, indoor air quality has become such a focus that the Biden-Harris Administration recently launched the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as a call to action for leaders, building owners, and operators of all types to assess their indoor air quality and make ventilation and air filtration improvements to help keep occupants safe.
But indoor air quality is only one piece of the wellness puzzle. Today’s tenants are also demanding more from their office buildings – much of that in the form of enhanced amenities. CRE landlords are spending big to accommodate these new needs.
If you want to know just how much some CRE leaders are spending, head over to our recent blog that outlines it. It’s clear CRE landlords are spending on amenities – many of them wellness-related and some to the tune of $500 million – because the ROI checks out.
Make It Easy with Tech
More sustainable buildings attract higher quality tenants and allow for higher rents, up to 10% more, according to a study by JLL. In short, sustainable and healthy buildings can lead to a healthy ROI. And those who don’t invest in sustainability will find themselves one step behind the competition (and maybe out of compliance with CRE sustainability mandates.)
When it comes to sustainability, energy efficiency is the most cost-effective strategy with the highest ROI. And for healthy buildings, a focus on improving indoor air quality is key.
However, all building owners and operators need at least some technological support to achieve their goals. Certain tech solutions, such as an intelligent HVAC management system, can help not only extend the life of your HVAC units, but they can also plug into your existing building management system (BMS) with no new equipment needed.
You can build your ideal building operations platform that includes the features you need to meet your goals. In addition to an intelligent HVAC management system, consider adding tenant experience software to your building operations platform. When you integrate tenant experience software with a building operations platform, you have access to analytics that empower you to make data-driven decisions. That’s because every event registration, booked resource, and tenant survey sheds light on what your tenants love — and what they don’t. You can use this real-time data to remain proactive about your office programs and amenities.
For more actionable insights on how to create a good tenant experience (and capitalize on TeX opportunities), download the free guide, “3 Ways CRE Landlords Can Capitalize on Today’s Changing Workplace.”