EXCLUSIVE: Commercial Real Estate Amenities Curator TFLiving Continues To Scale, Acquires Pet Care Provider Baroo
Having the perfect blend of amenities and tenant engagement activities is imperative for commercial real estate owners and operators looking to attract and retain the right tenant mix.
Landlords across the country are teaming up with third-party tenant engagement and amenities providers to help achieve this goal. Tech-enabled amenities startup TFLiving works with landlords and management companies to enhance properties by providing a wealth of amenities packages for tenants and residents. Amenity services include on-site fitness classes, dog walking services and social events — such as food truck events or wine tastings.
The company recently acquired dog walking and pet care provider Baroo to expand its pet care services. Baroo operates in more than 300 properties nationally, including apartment buildings, condominiums and office properties in the eastern U.S.
“Whether they live in an apartment, condominium, active adult community or any other setting, our one-stop platform will offer peace of mind to owners knowing that their pets are getting the care they need during the day,” TFLiving founder and CEO Devin Wirt said.
Though largely used in multifamily properties, TFLiving’s services are available for office buildings as well, and Wirt said the company is working to expand to the hospitality and lodging sector moving into 2019.
Founded two years ago, TFLiving has experienced rapid growth. The company’s services were available in 6,000 commercial and residential units in its first year of business in 2016; by the end of 2017 that number had quintupled to roughly 30,000 units. So far this year, Wirt said the company has struck deals to provide amenity services across 71,000 units in the U.S.
One of its most recent deals was inked with industry giant Greystar Real Estate Partners for its entire multifamily portfolio in New York and New Jersey.
“We were given the rights to be able to help engage their residents through personal training and dog walking services,” Wirt told Bisnow.
Other deals struck in the past three months include offering 80 wellness classes a week at Century Village East in Deerfield Beach, Florida, a residential community with 8,300 units, and a deal with BH Management to oversee 17 fitness classes a week at Tava Waters in Denver, a 1,500-unit community.
An Evolving Business
Companies offering similar services in the amenities curation and tenant experience space include HqO, a landlord-tenant engagement platform for the commercial real estate industry. HqO’s platform aims to improve the tenant experience through an app that allows for mobile building access, provides transit info, improves building operations and optimizes amenities. The Boston-based startup closed on a $6.6M seed funding round in September.
Another third-party amenities curator helping landlords engage with tenants is Equiem. The Australian company curates online, offline and on-site customer experiences through its platform that includes concierge services and engagement activities that “keep the landlord’s community engaged and coming back for more,” the company said in a press release.
As the amenities curation business matures, these third-party operators will become increasingly more prevalent industrywide, Keystone Property Group Vice President Tom Sklow said.
The Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based development firm owns and invests in commercial properties across the U.S., and has a portfolio of more than 10M SF. Sklow said his vertically integrated company’s management team oversees its own amenities, though enlisting the help of an amenities curator is often on the table for consideration.
“This curation of amenities is evolving constantly and the third-party companies do offer a valuable solution to that,” Sklow said. “They understand what tenants are looking for and how to efficiently and effectively deliver that. If you’re a third-party provider, you can aggregate those solutions over a large portfolio of multiple customers, which enables you to deliver those services on a more cost-efficient basis.”
After determining what services operators are seeking to better amenitize their properties, TFLiving then customizes apps for each property based on the services offered at those individual properties.
“Our app is actually specifically geared toward that particular asset. If you work in an office building we would be able to customize an app specific for that [building] with the services we offer there,” Wirt said. “[Tenants and residents] can book directly through us for personal training or a workplace event [that] we can curate directly for that office.”
Headquartered in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, TFLiving closed its seed funding round in January, raising $600K in a round led by Courtside Venture Capital. Wirt said the company will likely launch a Series A round next year to support its continued growth.
“The difference between what we do compared to our competitors is we’re not only placing our own vetted providers on-site to help create experiences, we’re able to customize those experiences to any budget that any community would have,” Wirt said.
CORRECTION, OCT. 23, 11:02 A.M. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Tava Waters, an apartment community in Denver, and inaccurately listed HqO’s headquarters. The company is based in Boston. This story has been updated.