Today we’re making a big next step for bringing thoughtful workplace experiences to entire buildings – announcing Envoy Connect! Connect brings buildings and property managers into the Envoy product suite by linking their day-to-day operational systems with those of their tenants. This will allow for new levels of hospitality, security and analytics – key priorities for top-tier properties. Over time, Connect will create an opportunity for cross-tenant services like car pooling, for-sale marketplaces, and even sharing of desks, rooms, parking spots and more. We hope to open a whole developer platform around this concept soon, leading to innovations we haven’t even thought of yet. Developers will get the attention and distribution they deserve while also being able to focus on building outstanding workplace products they’re passionate about.
As part of this first phase of Envoy Connect, we’ve taken our industry-proven Visitors product and extended it to serve entire multi-tenant buildings. This isn’t just a rebranding of an existing product – it’s a complete rework of the entire visitor experience. We’re addressing most of the major pain points our customers have today with highrises to make things much easier for everyone: visitors won’t need to sign in twice anymore, invitations made by employees for their office will propagate instantly to the building security lobby, changes to invitations will sync in real-time, turnstile and elevator access control will be automatically provisioned, and much more. Property managers will have access to a new dashboard that combines all tenants’ expected visitors in one view. They can also see data and compare analytics across all of their buildings, including the per-tenant usage data, and can globally configure settings like a universal block list. This is an ambitious first step and the foundation to enabling great experiences for so many more current and future interconnected products.
Proptech investments amounted to over $13B in the first half of 2022. The property management industry is looking to recover from the record-low office occupancy due to Covid and the pending recession. They’re looking to reinvent themselves. Technology is at the center of the strategy and the industry is pulling out all the stops to attract tenants and their employees back. They’re investing in technology with a focus on hospitality and better experiences. They’re modernizing communication channels between tenants and the buildings. They’re building differentiation by customizing tenant amenity apps. They’re using more exhaustive data to better predict occupancy and assess tenant churn risk. They’re also trying to build more of a community between tenants. They’re even exploring new structures like tenant amenity floors and creating coworking spaces of their own to compete with the rising threat of brand-name coworking spaces.
Almost all of the above is literally what we’ve been building for the last nine years, except we’ve been doing it for the tenants themselves, in over 16,000 offices worldwide. With Visitors, we make it easy to keep track of people going in and out of an office. With Deliveries, we help businesses track packages arriving in the office. With Desks, we make it easy to share desks between multiple employees. With Rooms, we make it easy to identify and release booked rooms when nobody shows. With Mobile, we unify all these products for employees so they have direct and flexible access to everything. We’re trying to democratize access to everything in the workplace.
Modernizing the experience cross-tenant
With Envoy Connect, we’re building a connection between tenants and the building, but also between tenants and each other. This brings a lot of opportunity for new types of innovation around workplaces in multi-tenant environments. Products could be built to allow the employees of tenants to self-organize carpooling, or a for-sale marketplace, a lost-and-found, or even events in the building. This is where we see true community creation possible, leveraging technology to break down traditional barriers between companies in the same building.
With Covid having ravaged everything about how we work, some companies are back in their offices (finance and law firms, etc.) and some are not really there yet. Given the pending recession, the ones that are back are averse to growing their real estate footprint, even if they need to. At the same time, what’s strange is that often the neighboring floors, leased by other companies, are fully furnished with desks, meeting rooms, event spaces, etc, yet nobody is using them. Those companies are locked into 5-10 year leases, paying top dollar for space, and getting zero value from it. This is the kind of inefficiency that really irks us.
We see Envoy Connect becoming a marketplace for companies to book unused desks, rooms, parking spaces, and other assets so they can be used to their true capacity by others in the building. The inventory could come from building-run tenant amenity floors, professionally operated co-working spaces, or even other companies with extra space. This literally could generate revenue for companies for assets previously considered sunk costs.
We can’t do this alone
We will never be able to accomplish this ambitious future on our own. There are so many ideas and businesses this kind of ecosystem creates. This is why we hope to open up the Envoy platform to even more third-party developers – those specifically creating products for use in multi-tenant buildings. They’ll be able to benefit from Envoy’s distribution network while they focus their efforts on building next-generation connected products. Envoy’s about challenging the status quo of the workplace and we couldn’t be more excited about our continued investment in modernizing everything about it. It’s about time.
– Larry Gadea.
Founder and CEO, Envoy
PS. And of course, if this future excites you, we’re always hiring talented engineers. Please visit our careers page and join us!