By adding some creative amenities, you can instantly improve your overall marketability. These amenities don’t necessarily need to be luxury-scale offerings. Several seemingly subtle, low-cost upgrades could have an enormous impact on the way people perceive your building.
Apartment amenities reflective of the renters needs and desires are in demand! Renting trends are turning the tables on tradition. Today’s renter is thinking smaller in terms of space and cost. Smaller apartment living doesn’t mean missing out on amped-up amenities and conveniences. Many units include 9-foot ceilings, a washer/dryer, and multipurpose storage that often convert into a sleeping space.
Occupants want comfort, safety and productive spaces in buildings. As affordable new technologies in energy management, operations and asset management are adopted more buildings will utilize “smart features” to satisfy its occupants. Examples of smart features may include; mobile security access, light sensing, predictive HVAC control and, high speed internet connections throughout the building.
A truly "occupant centric" building is one that places the user at center of focus in relation to occupant friendliness, comfort and satisfaction. But to answer the question of how a building may create an enriching human experience through smart design or innovation, it's important to start with the ultimate objectives of a building in the first place. First, to provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment for occupants, and also, to promote the occupants' well-being. Some common characteristics of occupant centric buildings include:
What’s your building all about? Start with have a building concept. If the building could tell a story, what would it say to occupants? Does the building have unique personality, brand or character? Or, is it just like the building next door?
What are the building hidden gems? Many buildings have “hidden gems” or underutilized unique facilities, products or services that are not in the spotlight. For example, spectacular views or underutilized basement space that could be used for bike storage, shower stalls or tenant storage. Are vacant spaces utilized to benefit existing tenants? For example, create a common use chill out space or meeting rooms. What about opening unused space for hot desk or short-term office hoteling?
Not everyone has the space and luxury of providing another Googleplex with volleyball courts, gyms, lap pools, bowling alleys, slides and climbing walls. So what can you do if you have limited space and want to promote a collaborative and cool workspace reflective of your company culture? First define your mission and what you want your culture to be. Not just say the words, do the people believe in the words?
Is your goal is to improve marketability, tenant retention and occupancy rate? This may be the signal to bring more attention to creating a fresh new building vibe. The term “building vibe” describes the atmosphere of the building as communicated to and felt by occupants, visitors and building staff. Whereas, “building experience” is the occupant’s impressions and feedback of the overall workplace environment.
If a building could speak to its occupants, what would it say? A building voice can be analogous to the impression or feeling it gives to its occupants. What’s the building experience? Is it aligned to the needs of current and future occupant mix? Future office trends are a good place to start for thinking about what it could say to retain and attract new tenants.
Enhancing a building personality is about bringing the full building experience to occupants and visitors. It does not always have to include spending a great deal of capital on major improvements. Start with answering these questions:
How would someone best describe the building experience?
Who are the occupants and who will be occupants in the future?
What’s the impression and mood people have of the building?
How does the building engage its occupants revealing its personality?
Business owners have always tried to improve the customer experience to appeal to shoppers and drive sales. This may also apply to building owners that aim to improve the tenant experience. A pleasant work environment with a “feel good” vibe brings more value to the building. It also improves marketability for attracting new tenants. Property owners should be making decisions every day to create a particular experience and make a distinct impression. Why?