Why are companies like Related Companies moving rapidly to adopt Web-Based Operations Management (WBOM) systems? Simple! Having a WBOM improves upon four key aspects of any building or facilities operations organization: tenant retention & acquisition, cost savings, revenue generation, and improved efficiency. This week we will talk about the first aspect, tenant retention & acquisition.

Tenant loss can be very expensive; including costs associated with vacancy related revenue loss, brokerage commissions, tenant build-outs, allowances, and concessions. Property management teams are expected to provide a level of service that makes current occupants want to remain in their building or facility and also attract new tenants to fill vacant space.

Yet, in this increasingly competitive landscape combined with a reduction in staffing and budgets, many in the industry are concerned they will not  have the resources to continue to provide the high levels of service that drive tenant retention and acquisition.


Business Problem #1: Reduced Staffing

When the real estate bubble burst, one of the first actions real estate organizations took were to layoff employees.  At Building Engines we began to see an increase in inquires from senior level people saying their organization has gone through a reduction in force (RIF) and now they were directly managing building and property teams – with little or no visibility. While the RIF may have immediately impacted the company’s bottom line, it also may have created significant problems for managers in the short-and long term.

With fewer staff members, critical tasks, such as responding to a too hot/too cold request might not get completed. Worse yet, because the processes were not standardized throughout the organization and the data wasn’t accessible to managers, no one was really sure what was being submitted by tenants and what was getting completed. If this scenario were occurring, short-term cuts could lead to the long-term mortality of the building or even the entire organization.

With reduced staffing levels expected to continue for at least the next two years, the organizations Building Engines’ has been working with, have made the choice to standardize their property and facility operations practices so that management at every level, can make decisions based upon what is actually going on in their portfolio. Most of the executives we have talked with are willing to do just about anything to ensure that tenants who are not downsizing and are not going out of business, don’t let their leases expire and bolt to the building next door.

It is critical that your tenants do not feel the impact of your staffing shortages because that will impact their business, and they are as concerned about their future just as much as you are with yours. Here is what you can do:

  • Security: If you have made reductions in your guard staff, ensure that you don’t have bottle necks, confusion, or breaches with a visitor access solution that works for your tenants and your guards. If a tenant’s business meeting goes poorly because they couldn’t get by the guard – that will reflect on you.
  • Improvements, Projects, & Preventive Maintenance: Now that many capital projects are on hold, it is important that you keep what you have running and looking attractice. If the third floor men’s bathroom that was scheduled to be remodeled suddenly gets shut down due to poor preventive maintenance, you’ll have to deal with unhappy tenants and the expense of fixing the problem.
  • Service Requests: Critical! If you are not responding to and completing your tenants service requests you are in hot water. Make sure that you know what is being requested, what relayed communications are taking place, and that your team is getting the job done!

On tomorrow’s Blog we will cover Business Problem #2: Effective Tenant Communications and How the “I Like You Factor” Can Influence Your Tenant’s Decision to Stay.