How Social Managers Add To Office Buildings' Sense Of Place
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As owners and landlords strive to foster a sense of place for their properties, a new profession is coming into its own: the social manager. We chatted with Mary Landucci, social manager at 451 D St, a 463k SF property in the Seaport District, about her role in the management of the property.
Bisnow: What does a social manager do?
Landucci: In my role at 451 D St, I'm responsible for managing all social engagement that goes on within the building community. The role was conceived as a way for building owner Meritage Properties and its partners to engage the tenants in a meaningful relationship outside of the office. My role was created when CBRE/New England, the leasing agents at 451 D, encouraged Meritage and Lincoln Property to hire a social manager after they’d seen success at other properties like 100 High St.
To start the program off on the right foot, Meritage spent over $1.2M in 2016 upgrading the building’s entrance, lobby, conference center and café, while also adding an amenity lounge as a way of creating a space for tenants to unwind and connect outside of the office. Our hope is that our tenants see 451 D St as a home away from home — the building provides high-quality fitness, social events and even haircuts on-site on a regular basis. I'm also working on several health and nutrition-focused programs, as that's been of significant interest to a number of our tenants.
Bisnow: Why is social management important?
Landucci: From a recruitment standpoint, it's become essential for companies, in Boston specifically, to provide their employees with space that caters well to Millennials. My role is a meaningful way for the building landlord to add to that lively, social environment. Also, by having our own building programming as well as a 3,300 SF building lounge, we're seeking to take some of the pressure off of our tenant companies to be forced to create that space and programming within their own workplace.
Bisnow: What's an example of some kind of activity facilitated by a social manager?
Landucci: For example, the building regularly has an express manicure service set up during lunchtime so that employees can get manicures while on break, and we are now doing a similar program with haircuts. Also, I've set up tenant social and health events during the day and several evenings that cater to the interests of the employees in the building. We’re planning to add yoga classes, nutritional workshops, personal training sessions, as well as mixers and networking events for the tenants. I communicate all of these events to our tenants regularly over three different social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), as well as through a monthly newsletter.
Bisnow: Is the concept catching on?
Landucci: I think so, because it's a position that employers have found valuable, as they understand the importance of a comprehensive workplace where their employees — and in this case, all tenant employees — have space to not only work and think creatively, but to unwind and connect as well. Companies that buy into this program, whether within their own company or building, are taking a holistic approach to recruiting and retaining talent.