[fa icon="calendar"] 08.18.2016 / by Alex Silber
How many times have you heard that the commercial real estate (CRE) industry moves too slowly to adapt to change, particularly when it comes to technology?
Odds are – far too many to count.
As I wrote in The #1 Reasons CRE Companies Are Behind in Tech Adoption, the avoidance of risk in the industry is well-known, but the problem isn’t that the industry doesn’t want to change for the better.
The problem is primarily a lack of communication.
CRE Tech companies have to be able to do more than just talk about what they’re offering – they have to be able to know their audience, listen to their needs and communicate with them effectively…through the channels the customer wants They have to build a relationship of understanding and trust. They should always be thinking about how they can help people achieve their goals.
This should sound familiar because, well, it’s a customer service standard. And it is precisely the reason why forward-thinking CRE Pros are betting big on improving the tenant experience.
They know that the tenant service experience is absolutely everything.
A Happy Tenant is Good for Business
According to a 2014 Gallup poll of full-time U.S. workers, aged 18+, a typical American works an average of 47 hours per week.
No, that’s not a typo.
47 hours. That equates roughly to 2,444 hours per year or about 28% of the year. If you take out the average 8 hours of a sleep someone should be getting each day, you’ll discover that work makes up roughly 42% of the average American’s free time each year.
That’s quite a lot of time – so it seems only reasonable that tenants want their employees to have an exceptional work experience. And some CRE Pros; particularly property management teams; are stepping up their game with a rejuvenated focus on tenant relationship management, engagement, and the overall tenant experience to deliver it.
And wouldn’t you know it, that delivery starts with better communication.
Improving Tenant Relationships with Technology
Approximately 71% of CRE owners and managers surveyed for our Tenant Relationship Management Survey Benchmark Report believe that “all tenant employees are now their customer.” Yet a whopping 52% indicated they are only “somewhat” or “not at all” effective at capturing tenant employee sentiment beyond the primary point of contact.
“How can this possibly be,” you may be asking yourself. (Understandably so.)
As it turns out, recent workplace trends are impacting the way that CRE pros; like property managers and building engines; interact with tenants within a building. These trends are making the tried-and-true methods of deploying an end-of-year tenant satisfaction survey to a tenant, flawed. They simply don’t collect enough representative data, because they don’t address building tenants beyond the single point of contact, and at the times they are likely to have a strong opinion.
And even when they manage to collect the data, it isn’t always easy to connect it to service delivery improvements.
There are CRE Tech tools available to address this, like Building Engines Property Management Software platform, which make it easier to organically collect representative tenant satisfaction data and tie it directly into service delivery practices.
Add self-service tools that make it easier for tenants to manage, view, and track service requests like the Building Engines tenant portal, and TenHub tenant mobile app, and you’re already well on your way to improving communication with tenants because you’re making service hassle-free.
The idea behind tools like these is to capture tenants and tenant employees where they are, and when it matters most to them so that they remain engaged and are willing to actively discuss their service experience with the people who deliver it. These tools help to promote transparency, ownership of service, and incentivize property teams to build lasting relationships with the people they serve.
When you think about it, investing in the tenant experience isn’t really a bet, it’s just great customer service.