Today’s tenants have spoken and landlords are listening, partnering with technology companies to invest in or create tech to help build better experiences for their tenants while also streamlining internal operations within their companies.
EQ Office, a company that owns more than 50 million square feet of office space, partners with business leaders to find, design, and manage workspaces that both thrive and push the boundaries of traditional commercial real estate. And a big part of their shifting real estate strategy involves technology.
Rather than focusing on assets, EQ Office is shifting toward a strategy that focuses on customers, using technology to better understand a customer’s needs for space and to develop tailored services that benefit them. Additionally, they have changed the way the company provides surveys to its customers to better understand their real estate needs -- rather than asking formal questions using real estate jargon about square footage needs, they began using common language to ask about future hiring plans and expected growth, to better anticipate their tenants’ needs.
To better serve their tenants, they are also focusing on a flex office market to help make sure their clients aren’t locked in long term to space that they don’t need. Partnering with Industrious, EQ Office is bringing flex office space to the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles, with plans to expand services into other locations in the near future.
Beyond this, the company is also implementing some “outside the box” thinking with technology to improve the tenant experience. For instance - digital clutter. Think about the massive amounts of digital clutter that can be found on your computer. The company assesses who employees email and work with the most, to make sure that these workers are seated close to each other, in order to cut down on unnecessary emailing back and forth.
Additionally, landlords have been creating unique applications for their tenants, in order to add an additional and personalized level of service, such as arranging and scheduling transportation or ordering in food. With machine learning, these apps can actually learn what a person uses it for the most, and then make intuitive suggestions or reminders, such as repeating a previous coffee order or scheduling a recurring on site fitness class.
Using Technology to Recognize and Assess Market Opportunities
One of the aspects of technology that savvy landlords are focusing on is predictive analytics, using this to better understand opportunities for acquisition and to further target specific tenants and demographics. Prologis, for example, is using big data to better understand opportunities in the market —to understand where quality labor is in order to assess valuable real estate opportunities.
By using smart data that speaks to the users, these companies and more are using technology to be better informed about commercial real estate assets and the surrounding neighborhoods.