Tenant experience: Increase your NOI

By Switch Automation • March 21, 2017

Commercial Real Estate exists to serve tenants. Tenants = revenue. In the increasingly dynamic modern business landscape, companies must focus on continuously improving the customer experience to remain competitive. Simply providing space is no longer sufficient. In the age of on-demand everything, flexible workspaces, and work-from-anywhere freedom, occupants expect an exemplary tenant experience.

Our CEO, Deb Noller, recently spoke as a panelist at Citi’s Smart + Sustainable event in New York where innovative business leaders explored this theme of improving the customer experience. As Andrew Zolli, VP Global Impact Initiatives at Planet, succinctly said, “You cannot fix what you cannot see.”

Tenant Service Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards, New York, New York. Image Courtesy of Oxford Properties and The Related Companies L.P.

How can we enhance the tenant experience?

The myriad of systems in buildings — HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning), Lighting, Metering, CO2 sensors, etc. — are in place to make workers comfortable. Modern systems are typically ‘data-enabled’ — meaning that they communicate operational information. Often, these data streams are not synthesized to provide a holistic view. Instead, they remain siloed, fragmented, and therefore meaningless. How do we convert this data to actionable, valuable intelligence?

Switch Automation captures buildings’ operational data and posts it to our cloud-based Platform, turning these data streams into gold mines of knowledge. Buildings professionals have newfound insight into the health and performance of their real estate assets, from a single sensor point to entire portfolios. By overlaying logic onto this data (think “if-this-then-that” statements), we understand how each building lives and breathes in real-time.

Take a look at these fault detection examples which trigger real-time alerts:

  • Space temperature is higher/lower than set point by specified threshold
  • Space humidity is higher/lower than set point or specified range
  • Indoor CO2 concentrations exceed acceptable limits
  • Indoor lighting systems do not dim or turn off when daylight is present or space is vacant
  • Primary cooling and heating equipment does not stage per the design sequence of operations and/or internal building loads to operate in most efficient conditions

This information is frequently invisible. By harnessing the power of technology, users unveil solutions to problems with efficient building operation, and, in turn, provide an exemplary tenant experience.

The Switch technology creates new channels for landlords to engage with their tenants. Instead of taking a reactive approach to fixing issues in buildings, innovative real estate companies triage issues remotely and fix pressing problems before they affect the tenant or become catastrophic.

Have it Your Way

Our forward-thinking clients view high-quality tenant experience (comfort, consistency, service etc.) as integral to their brand. Switch serves as the tool — the intelligence — they leverage to achieve and maintain goals for providing an outstanding tenant experience.

Let’s examine the proliferation of co-working space. Driven by demand for flexibility from emerging growth companies, a strong appetite for tenant-centric spaces (not well catered to by the ‘old-school’ service offerings), and the ability to work from anywhere with pervasive connectivity, co-working spaces are fundamentally tenant-driven.

This nascent model may well prove to be brittle; there is an opportunity for existing landlords and building operators to evolve. By keeping the tenant experience at the core of their operations, entrenched companies can bolster brand reputation by providing leading customer service. In conjunction with exploring new fit-outs and modernizing workspaces, a key opportunity for landlords and developers is to look beyond the physical space and toward providing a hospitality-focused service operation.

Tenants are fickle. Tenants will always travel to the best product in the best location. As mobility becomes more common and rents across key markets dovetail, service will become the differentiator.

Tenant-Experience-BCG
WeWork? Nope. This is BCG’s new office at Hudson Yards in New York. Photo Credit: Sarah Jacobs

Risk in a Risk Adverse Industry

Increasing net operating income (NOI), evaluating macroeconomic trends, retaining tenants and securing properties in attractive markets will always be paramount priorities for Commercial Real Estate Executives. Recognizing the risk of running an analog building (and portfolio), however, poses an opportunity to emerge as a leader by providing a differentiated service offering. The reality of doing business in the modern age of ubiquitous connectivity is that passive response and technological ignorance puts the business at risk.

When physical assets equipped with data-enabled systems give an information system the ability to capture, communicate, and process data — and even, in a sense, to collaborate — they create game-changing opportunities. Operational efficiency, tenant satisfaction, and innovation all stand to benefit immensely.

Harnessing Real Estate IoT is critical to the top and bottom lines in Commercial Real Estate. By extracting actionable insights from the torrent of data that Real Estate IoT generates, Switch empowers Commercial Real estate companies to cultivate the best customer experience possible and maintain a competitive edge.


Interested in learning more about increasing your NOI through tenant experience? We can help!


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