Occupant experience: how can we meet the new needs of occupants?
The Covid-19 health crisis has undoubtedly placed the occupant experience at the heart of real estate strategies. From never-so-occupied residences to offices which must once more appeal to employees, spaces are being reinvented under the impetus of the needs and wishes of the occupants.
Faced with the major economic challenges of optimising and reallocating spaces AND to meet the expectations of their tenants, asset managers are deploying new service and digital strategies, based on the creation of a hitherto unprecedented occupant experience.
1. The occupant experience in a nutshell
The occupant experience refers to all the feelings and emotions experienced within their living or working area. For asset managers and property managers, both tertiary and residential, the priority today is to redesign the value proposition around the occupant experience, by offering a multitude of services – and potentially, digital solutions – in accord with the needs and expectations of their occupants.
According to a study by JLL in 2020, owners are studying and rethinking their spaces according to these 6 fundamental elements, when it comes to offering a unique and premium occupant experience:
The new value proposition studied, when coming out of covid-19, reinforces 3 main pillars and makes it possible to attract and retain occupants and enhance the value of assets over time, by:
- Prioritising the well-being of occupants utilising new dedicated services: gym, relaxation, private coaching, group workshops, etc.
- Facilitating daily life with offers adapted to each place and any sector: concierge, childcare, catering, etc.
- Creating a feeling of belonging through the use of tools, in view of exchanging views between occupants and with site managers.
These pillars are expressed differently in each building, within each business or residence. The promotion of a premium and “competitive” experience with tenants then involves the implementation of digital tools to support a real brand identity (via, for example, a building application available for occupants and managers, events etc.)
2. Occupant experience: responding to the needs arising from the crisis
In particular it is teleworking, adopted en masse since the health crisis of covid-19, which has forced active people to rethink their way of living and working. For companies and housing managers this mix of uses involves offering workplaces where private and collaborative spaces go hand in hand, and above all where flexibility is essential.
That’s not all! While establishing a more flexible space meets the new needs of occupants, we must not forget any of the 3 universal principles: what is digital, what is sustainable and what is human. Space managers must also focus their efforts on the place itself in order to embrace the trend of cocooning and floral decorations, which the occupants like so much. A pleasant and personalised environment promotes the well-being of the occupants. This allows them to be stimulated, motivated and satisfied.
At work or in living spaces, working on the experience of occupants comes at a cost. However, this cost is quickly absorbed by its return on the investment and the savings it generates:
- Increased occupant loyalty;
- Optimised spaces;
- Additional services to generate additional income;
- A brand image that is developed and enhanced.
3. How can we improve the occupant experience within spaces?
In their place of life or work, occupants are now expecting:
- Comfort and safety: this is one of the first selection criteria for choosing a living or working space. It is a non-negotiable element on the part of the occupants.
- A wide variety of services, scalable and adapted to each space: connected lockers in your building, booking rooms in a co-working, or a catering offer in the company… The occupants expect more than just a place, but a real experience to make their daily lives easier.
- Common spaces and property open to reservation: the experience does not end at the door of your office or apartment. The availability of items shared by all occupants of the place is increasingly requested. Thus in co-living, it is possible to book board games, a vacuum cleaner, a fondue set, etc. And in business meeting rooms, overhead projectors, computer screens etc.
- A united community: the occupant experience must now include “social features”. The creation of events and activities as well as the possibility of communicating, at any time, with the other tenants of the premises have become essential.
To promote their “occupant offer”, asset managers and property managers must equip themselves with a tool allowing all services and communications to be grouped together in a single platform.
As a pioneer of the occupant experience in Europe, MonBuilding also offers:
- To gather up the opinions of occupants through surveys,
- To monitor incidents in real time for the quality and security of the premises,
- To create an active community through the forum and the chat…
In a period of health crisis, the habits and expectations of occupants in their places of living and working have changed. More flexibility, more services, but also a spirit of community are all expected. Space managers must now create a premium and differentiating occupant experience in order to attract and retain their tenants. This is why they now use digital solutions supported by Proptech, like MonBuilding.