A building is largely defined by the people within it. But in recent years, getting people into buildings has become increasingly difficult. Tenants are re-evaluating their real estate needs as the nature of work continues to evolve. They want to work in a building that their employees can not only easily get to, but one they prefer to their home office. In this blog post, discover tips and tools for creating a hospitable tenant experience that promotes retention.
Increase physical occupancy by making your building accessible
This first one is simple: people are more likely to do a thing if it’s easy. To encourage more employees to work on-site, make that process as easy as possible. Employees (and their managers) value the workplace most for the connections and collaboration it enables.
Before you can collaborate in the workplace, you have to actually get there. But commutes don’t have to be so terrible. As a property manager, there are ways you can make them easier. That might mean arranging a shuttle service, negotiating commuter benefits, providing a locked bike room, or starting a tenant carpool program. And those traveling by car know that more often than not, finding parking can be worse than the commute itself.
While you can’t exactly paint in new parking spaces, you can make better use of the ones you already have. Find a tool that lets you understand what days are busiest and slowest so you can allocate resources accordingly. For example, on some days, you may want to require parking reservations or hire additional valet staff. Some workplace tools even let tenants reserve parking spaces ahead of time.
Streamline security throughout the building
After they get to your building, employees need an effortless, yet secure, way to actually walk through the doors. Find an access control provider that lets you grant tenants and visitors access to designated areas of the building. Maybe that’s just the building common areas and the cafe for visitors. Or perhaps their access level depends on their role or who they are visiting.
Chances are, your tenants also collaborate with a variety of external folks on a daily basis. Accessibility is just as important for these visitors as it is for tenants themselves. Of course, accessing your building should only be easy for folks that are supposed to be there. This means you should only allow approved employees and visitors past the concierge desk.
Make this easier for your tenants by establishing a central security checkpoint at your building’s front desk. Try a visitor management system (VMS) that integrates with your access control provider. With an integrated VMS, you can automatically assign badges to verified visitors displaying their name, photo, and host. This lets everyone know that the guest is welcome in the building. Some visitor management tools automatically notify tenants when their visitor checks in with security.
Provide perks and amenities for tenants and visitors
Not only do tenants want to feel welcome in your building–they want to feel fully equipped for a productive day. Think of what your building can uniquely provide that makes it more appealing than a home office. Often, the seemingly small things make all the difference. Things like hot coffee, outdoor seating, smart thermostats, and good lighting, for starters.
Beyond that, there are several ways you can transform your building into a modern environment that inspires collaboration and focus. Tenants love working in buildings that offer a variety of work spaces. While they might have their own conference rooms within their suite, they would likely love the option to reserve a larger room for training or events, too.
But classic meeting rooms are not the only answer. The modern workforce has modern expectations around their work spaces. Many property owners establish a communal co-working area within their building that tenants can reserve as needed. If space is tight, consider alternative spaces like focus booths or community lounges. As far as visitors go, you can still provide a VIP experience even with space limitations. Offer things like comfortable seating in the lobby, modern bathrooms stocked with mouthwash and floss, and smart lockers for luggage. Instead of just welcoming visitors, really wow them.
Regularly collect and act on tenant feedback
You can’t capture all tenant issues in service requests and work orders. That’s why it’s crucial to solicit unstructured feedback from your tenants about their broader experiences within the building. Consider sending out a monthly survey for tenants and their employees. Make sure to include questions that are easily quantifiable (e.g. 1-10 rating scales, Yes / No, or multiple selection) as well as questions with open text responses. That way you can measure sentiment trends over time, while also capturing timely verbatim feedback.
For example, you might learn that more teams would come onsite if the building scheduled food trucks to come on certain days. Maybe they want some benches or tables outside. Or a dog-friendly policy. These are some of the many things you can only know if your tenants tell you.
And as they say, communication is a two way street. Whenever you make any building improvements or policy changes, let all tenants know ahead of time. This assures them that you hear them and encourages ongoing feedback.
Take a tenant-first approach to improving the tenant experience
To successfully execute most of the above tactics, you’ll need the right technology in place. Rather than searching for a solution that solely benefits your property staff, keep your tenants top of mind as you evaluate options.
Start by exploring tools you know your tenants already use and love. Ideally, tools that they can integrate with their existing systems like Outlook, Teams, or Slack. The more integrated the solution, the less it disrupts what’s already working. In other words, as mentioned at the start of this post: people are more likely to do a thing if it’s easy.
Property owners use Envoy Connect to turn their buildings into thriving workplace communities that tenants, employees, and visitors love. By centralizing visitor management in the main lobby, integrating with building access control systems, and providing real-time property analytics, Envoy Connect lets you provide a secure environment and a seamless tenant experience.