There have never been more technologies available to help successfully manage commercial property.
It seems like just when you think you know every best practice for commercial property management, some new technology emerges that turns the whole industry on its head. When considering how to manage commercial property for the modern workforce, emerging tech is no longer an optional item—it’s a requirement.
While prop-tech is a constantly evolving space, several technologies are here to stay, and many are already considered staples for the successful management of the commercial property. Below, we highlight seven tech-forward strategies to help ease your property management woes. From automation to data analysis—these tools will bring your workplace into the 21st century.
- Use Data—the Smart Way
The words data-driven get thrown around a lot these days. But in the context of commercial property management, what does it mean to use data—and use it effectively?
Building managers are increasingly taking advantage of workplace experience platforms that have data collection built into their code. For nearly every tenant interaction, managers can view data points that give them a real insight into how tenants are using the building. Want to know whether hot desks are selling better than permanent offices? Track amenity usage to find out. Want to understand what kinds of content tenants actually read? Track clicks, views, and interactions.
Not only can data help you better manage your property from an investment perspective but, it can also act as a tool to help you better connect with your tenants. Platforms like Lane allow you to run polls and surveys to collect qualitative data from tenants and professionals. Not only does this allow you to tailor your amenities and services but, it also helps ensure that the users of your building have their voices heard.
- Automate for More Effective Commercial Property Management
The simplest way to manage commercial property effectively is through automation. Not only will automation save management staff from wasting time on cumbersome administrative tasks, it will also bring your workplace up to the standard that modern professionals expect.
With platforms like Lane, you can automate several office interactions, all on a single application. Schedule emails and notifications across channels and to specific groups, allow tenants to book and pay for meeting rooms in-app, register guests online, schedule and promote events via email or notification—the list goes on. By automating all of these processes, you eliminate the need for paper forms and flyers or individual email requests—creating more time for tenants and management to focus on work that matters.
Now more than ever, people expect technology to create efficiencies in their lives. Why not apply the same logic to workplace operations? Automation creates efficient processes that simplify the day-to-day work experience. Who wouldn’t want that?
- Adapt to Hybrid Working Models with Tech-Friendly Flex Space
Following the return to work post-pandemic, more and more offices will be forced to adapt to the hybrid work-from-home models that employees are increasingly demanding. Workers want more autonomy and flexibility with their time, and commercial property management will need to adopt technology that can help mould offices to this style of work.
As offices create more flex spaces (which provide a mix of hot desks and more permanent set-ups), they will need tools that allow individual employees to easily book desks, meeting rooms, and presentation or event spaces in advance and at scheduled times. Not only will these tools be useful for individual workers, they can also be leveraged by tenants to coordinate team-building events and exercises in multi-purpose spaces. In this sense, not only do these functions create ease and efficiency, they also help build community and collaboration in the workplace.
- Prepare for Enhanced Safety Measures with Touchless Access
One (perhaps unexpected) workspace feature that property managers should be considering is the need for safety measures that are easy to access and implement. The pandemic radically (and quickly!) changed our expectations for what a safe environment looks like—and offices need to be prepared to address similar safety concerns in the future.
One simple and effective way of addressing pandemic-related safety concerns is touchless entry. Many office environments now operate in a touchless environment, where identity, security, and access can all quickly be managed through an app that authorizes individuals to enter spaces via QR codes, bluetooth and/or electronic leashing. This creates ease for professionals while keeping them safe from germs. And, with electronic entry, you can automate visitor management systems so that guests can receive and accept invitations online, and safely enter the building electronically—no guest forms required.
- Create New Revenue Opportunities with Automated Booking
Automation technology isn’t just about creating efficiencies. It’s about creating opportunities. In the past, encouraging professionals to use retail spaces and pay for amenities required individual, often siloed efforts to promote these services, manage bookings, and accept payments.
Leveraging tech can smooth out these processes, making it easy to monetize spaces throughout your building. Content management systems allow you to easily notify professionals about new amenities or retail spaces, while automated booking takes the pain out of any scheduling or registration requirements. You can also take advantage of online payment systems that allow you to receive payments quickly—without having to deal with paper invoices.
Not only can automated systems help monetize your space, the data collection that comes with these systems will provide key insights on amenity usage. These insights can then be used to ensure that you’re monetizing the right spaces in order to maximize revenue.
- Ease Transitions with Simple, Easy-to-Use Tools
Tech and automated processes can have a massive positive impact on commercial property management. Having said that, if these tools create more pain points than they relieve, what purpose do they serve?
It’s important to consider ease of use when investing in technology for your building. Not just in terms of how individual professionals interact with services like automated booking or touchless entry, but also in terms of how those services are managed on the back-end by building management staff.
Lane is a platform that uses a no code builder, meaning you don’t have to be a tech whiz to manage building operations via the app. And beyond just ease of use, our drag-and-drop builder allows property managers to easily craft, schedule, publish, target, and reuse tenant and building communications in the app.
- Meet Growing Tenant (and Employee) Expectations
The best tech-forward tip we can give for managing commercial properties is to believe the hype. Not only will investing in tech drastically improve the functionality of your workspace, it will also ensure that you keep up with competitors who are doing their best to meet the standards of tech-driven tenants.
Tenants today are increasingly concerned about engaging with their workers and providing them with high-quality, modern amenities. It’s not just about going after the next new, shiny thing—it’s about attracting top talent and retaining them through perks that matter. CRE has already caught on to this trend—77% of CRE owners cite tenant experience as a priority, and they dedicate around 39% of their operating costs to it.
Employees are also demanding a more tech-forward workplace. As the workforce becomes increasingly millennial, workers are more familiar with tech and, what’s more, they anticipate and expect seamless, user-friendly experiences at every touchpoint of their day. To keep up with these demands, property management should seriously consider investing in tech as a way forward.