Here’s A Way Landlords Can Use Technology To Satisfy Changing Tenant Demand
Today’s landlords know that technology is critical to their business. But to what extent are they willing to invest in it and for what reasons? There are many solutions available, and it can be overwhelming to determine which will deliver the return on investment necessary to attract and retain tenants.
Investing in technology has become more complicated, but more important, as the way people work has changed, according to Dan Suozzi, senior vice president of the East region at software and technology provider Essensys. They are demanding more flexibility and better office experiences, which means landlords need to adapt their offerings to appeal to their occupiers. To bridge this gap requires embracing a whole new level of technology.
Digital enablement must be a top priority for landlords, Suozzi said, which is what Essensys aims to provide. The company’s aim is to help office providers elevate the workspace experience with secure digital infrastructure that spans all corners of their portfolios. Bisnow spoke to Suozzi to get his take on how landlords can make an effective buying decision in an increasingly crowded proptech world.
Bisnow: What do today’s tenants expect in terms of workplace technology?
Suozzi: What a tenant needs from technology varies depending on the type of business. Generally speaking, tenants today have higher expectations around services and processes that impact their experience in the office. This ranges from how simple the move-in process is and the ease of reconfiguring space to private network requirements and space booking options.
It’s not just about internet. It’s about the underlying digital infrastructure that makes space and service activation quick enough to reduce time to value and increase productivity for that tenant.
This digital infrastructure powers every part of the tenant experience in the building and across a portfolio. To date, the experience has been vertical; a tenant uses security access technology when entering the building, and then whatever technology they require on their floor, like meeting room bookings.
More recently, tenants realize their employees want to spend time away from a single desk or location and are opting for hybrid and distributed ways of working. But this flexible provision requires the support of a more expansive, robust digital infrastructure layer that offers access to space, services, amenities and reporting capabilities regardless of where they roam across the network.
Bisnow: How can a landlord respond to the changing nature of work?
Suozzi: Landlords are responding by introducing amenities such as cafés, gyms and even terraces to their office propositions. But unless the technology can support and integrate these areas into the broader office experience, the value they add to tenants will be difficult to measure. Tenants expect seamless experiences in the office environment. They expect a secure network wherever they go in the building — or across the workspace portfolio.
Just as landlords have always provided water and electricity as basic services to their tenants, they now need to provide an interconnected technology experience, seamless access, high-speed, secure WiFi; and easy space and service activation. Integrated digital infrastructure gives landlords the control to offer these services and the ability to adapt to tenants’ workspace and technology requirements as they change.
Tenants want as much of the real estate process as possible to be automated. They want space to be move-in-ready — and landlords want to bring them in as quickly as possible to reduce vacancy and churn. A digital infrastructure and robust private network gives them the ability to respond to needs at the click of a button. A digitally enabled office experience facilitates the changing nature of work, from single credentials for multi-site access to occupancy reporting and aligning access control to leasing and space booking.
Bisnow: What does a landlord need to look for when selecting a technology provider?
Suozzi: Aside from financial stability, customer base and partner ecosystem, one of the top benefits an office provider should think about is security. This is pivotal for tenants with strict security requirements, such as legal and financial firms that have greater risk of data breaches and cybersecurity attacks. Not having enterprise-grade security can be a deal breaker for enterprise tenants.
The second is data. Our platform enables a landlord to capture and visualize operational data that impacts the tenant experience. That means seeing occupancy trends, service usage, and network and IT infrastructure performance. A landlord can know exactly how long someone is spending in a café or a yoga room and whether those types of spaces are worth the continued investment.
A second component of data to consider is data integrity. Mitigate risk when selecting a technology partner by looking at how they approach data security and privacy. Tenants, especially enterprise-level tenants, will inquire about data storage and capture compliance. They should look for integrity indicators such as international certificate accreditations like ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 along with local compliance certifications like SOC2.
A third key element landlords should look for is a provider that can offer an integrated digital infrastructure. It’s possible to pick different technology solutions for different elements of the business, but landlords need to move away from solving one issue at a time. A holistic approach to technology simplifies IT management processes, makes it easier to deliver a seamless tenant experience and can help reduce vacancies, not to mention the convenience of having a single source of truth. Engaging a single provider will also help reduce expenses.
Bisnow: How can a landlord look ahead in terms of technology?
Suozzi: By understanding that the pathways they can take from a technology perspective are endless. There are tons of companies offering different solutions, but the smartest landlords are investing in proptech that can integrate best-in-class products and help them weave through the complexities of this newfound responsibility of better serving their tenants. Technology objectives must be framed around digital infrastructure and commercial and data visibility that can help curate the building experiences tenants are seeking.
This article was produced in collaboration between Essensys and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.
Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.