How property owners can stand out when everyone is tech-enabled
It’s a question that might be in the back of your mind when you’re planning a big tech rollout or upgrading your tenant experience systems. It gives property a bit of pause when they’re investing in a new touchless access system that they know will set them apart from the local competition. And it’s a question that is only going to get more obvious with time.
The question is: will properties that were once unique in their tech features stand out once everyone has upgraded to that level of technology? The answer is predictably complicated: maybe.
Whether we are talking about smartphones, cars, apartments, or offices, technological innovation tends to follow similar broad patterns. In one year, one of the leading phones will receive a certain innovative feature, like waterproofing or an AI-powered camera. The next year, one or two other top competitors will join in, and within a few years every manufacturer will have their own version of what was once a unique selling proposition for the first mover.
It’s just the same in buildings. Every geographical market has a property that can claim to be the first to offer a rooftop lounge, or a package locker, or a bike maintenance area. But as time passes by, the uniqueness of that selling point begins to diminish until it’s standard-issue for class A buildings in the area.
So what can owners who pride themselves on their building tech do to stand out in the face of continued market tech adoption?
1. Stay up to date
This one should go without saying. Owners shouldn’t sit back and relax once the initial construction process is over. Instead, they should pay attention to market trends and emergent technologies to be sure always to stay on the cusp of innovation, or else to have a good reason why it isn’t worth it. Check out our blog for a trusted source of insights into the cutting edge of PropTech.
2. Reduce friction as much as possible
Many of the tech implementations that the best office and apartment buildings offer benefit the space user by reducing friction. But not every property implements these systems with the right forethought and planning. Thus, properties can stand out by taking their frictionless tech up to the next level, paying attention to details and specific that their competitors may be missing.
For example, sure, your market is full of buildings that offer touchless access. But do they have a unified system for touchless access, room reservations, and visitor management? By ensuring that as many building systems as possible are stress-free and frictionless to use, you’ll stand out against competitors that use tech only here and there.
3. Offering better programming
Sometimes, the best way to stand out in a sea of high-tech competitors is to become noteworthy for totally non-technical parts of the experience. Programming is one area where this is particularly visible. Offering a calendar of events and activities using the spaces in your building is one way to strongly reinforce branding while building a substantial moat against competitors.
"From the start, we knew that if we really wanted to be the best tenant experience platform in the world, it could not be just about the app itself. We knew we needed an excellent team of experienced community managers that nurture communities and help our clients to adapt to the new digital reality." Lukas Balik, Founder and CEO, Spaceflow
These events can be on-site (parties, classes, and mixers) whether indoor, outdoor or off-site (fitness sessions, hiking trips, Zoom trivia, and beyond). These events often take a lot of planning and attention to properly plan, communicate, and execute, but the fact that they are so inherently human makes them hard to replicate when pulled off successfully.
“From the start, we knew that if we really wanted to be the best tenant experience platform in the world, it could not be just about the app itself. We knew we needed an excellent team of experienced community managers that nurture communities and help our clients to adapt to the new digital reality”, said Lukas Balik, CEO and co-founder of Spaceflow.
These are just a few of the ways properties can stand out when it seems like competitors are closing in with better systems every day. There are certainly more, but the themes discussed here are likely to carry through in general: Be frictionless, be human, and be exciting.