Amenitizing Your Building

November 27, 2023 | By: Jamal Davis

The commercial real estate market is vibrant and ever-changing. For building owners and managers, understanding how to stand out is crucial. Now, more than ever, it is important to begin amenitizing your building and show tenants the value your property brings.

Understanding the Needs of Tenants

The foundation of any successful tenant engagement strategy lies in understanding their needs. Commercial real estate has evolved significantly over the past decade, with businesses and their employees expecting more than just functional workspaces.

Historically, the primary concerns of tenants revolved around location, cost, and basic amenities. These considerations have expanded greatly to include well-being, technology integration, collaboration, and environmental sustainability.

Tenants are not just seeking a place to work; they are looking for an environment that supports their values, lifestyles, and business aspirations.

To accurately gauge tenant needs, property managers should be proactive in seeking feedback. Regularly conducted surveys, open forums, and direct communication channels can yield insights into tenant preferences and concerns.

For example, a tech startup might prioritize high-speed connectivity and collaborative spaces, while an established law firm could prioritize private offices and premium conference facilities.

At my property, Twelve24, we find that it is important to have an open channel of communication with our tenant. Hosting collaborative meetings with the tenant’s representative gives us the opportunity to receive tenant ideas and feedback. This enables us to tailor building programming and amenities to meet the needs of the tenant.

With the rise of remote work, flexible hours, and changing work cultures, the lines between professional and personal spaces are blurring. As a result, amenities that cater to both work and leisure have gained prominence. Spaces for relaxation, fitness centers, or childcare facilities might become crucial deciding factors for businesses considering leasing space.

Property managers should also be attuned to broader market trends and shifts. For instance, as environmental concerns gain prominence globally, many tenants may prioritize sustainability features, from energy-efficient lighting to waste reduction programs.

Understanding the needs of tenants requires a mix of open communication, market awareness, and adaptability. By basing your amenities off tenant expectations, property managers can not only attract and retain businesses, but also foster a thriving and vibrant community at their property.

The Amenities Revolution

Health and Wellness Amenities

Health and wellness have become central to the modern working environment. Offices now frequently include fitness centers complete with professional trainers, yoga and meditation studios, wellness programs, and even spa services.

Additionally, air quality, natural lighting, temperature control, and ergonomic furniture play significant roles in the health and well-being of both tenants and property staff. By investing in air purification systems, utilizing natural light, and providing adjustable, comfortable furniture, property managers can create an environment that supports both physical comfort and mental focus.

Some properties are extending their wellness amenities to include mental health support as well, recognizing the growing need for balance and mental well-being in today’s fast-paced work environment. This might include on-site counseling services, mindfulness workshops, or access to mental health apps and resources.

Features such as floor-to-ceiling windows provide an abundance of natural light in the building and offering an indoor/outdoor working environment increases productivity and innovation. Having a top-notch fitness center that offers a variety of exercise classes encourages wellness and physical activity. Our building gym staff partnered with our tenant to create fitness programs and personal training, and this has been widely used by our tenant’s employees.

While not the most obvious of amenities, cleaning and janitorial services are a critical area that you must get right at your property. Tenants may not notice when their space is cleaned perfectly, but they can always tell when it is not. A clean workspace is vital for both mental and physical wellness.

High standards of cleaning and sanitation, and using environmentally friendly products, can enhance the quality of the working environment. Regular deep cleaning, attention to common touchpoints, and the provision of hand sanitizing stations all contribute to a hygienic workspace. In the context of global health concerns, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, these measures take on even greater significance.

Technology Amenities

In our increasingly digital age, technology amenities have become indispensable in commercial real estate. They not only facilitate everyday operations but also provide convenience, enhance productivity, and contribute to a modern and sophisticated building environment.

Seamless connectivity is at the core of modern business operations. Offering high-speed internet, Wi-Fi access throughout the property, and robust networking solutions ensures that tenants can work efficiently without interruptions. Dedicated bandwidth options and secure VPN connections can also be provided to cater to specific business needs.

Integrating smart building technologies allows tenants to personalize their environment and control lighting, heating, cooling, and even security through mobile apps or digital interfaces.

State-of-the-art conference rooms equipped with advanced video conferencing, projection systems, and collaboration tools help facilitate smooth communication, both within the team and with remote clients or partners. Dedicated virtual meeting spaces or huddle rooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and other collaboration tools can foster creativity and teamwork.

Technology driven amenities greatly enhance the employee experience. At Tweleve24, we have an app that offers Bluetooth enabled access control, touchless elevator controls, conference booking, service requests and traffic alerts all from your phone.  The property management team also uses it to push out building wide notifications and collect data on occupancy patterns. The app is widely used by our tenants and our teams.

Utilizing technology for real-time monitoring of energy consumption, waste management, and environmental impact aligns with the growing focus on sustainability. Intelligent systems that adjust lighting, HVAC, and other utilities based on occupancy or time of day can significantly reduce energy usage, and enhance health, wellness, and comfort.

Community and Lifestyle Amenities

Community and lifestyle amenities play an increasingly vital role in attracting and retaining tenants in commercial properties. They contribute to a sense of belonging, foster collaboration, and help create a more enjoyable and enriching work environment.

Regularly scheduled events, workshops, and social gatherings contribute to building a vibrant community within the property. Whether it’s hosting networking events, art exhibitions, or wellness workshops, these activities provide opportunities for tenants to interact, learn, and engage in shared interests.

Twelve24 hosts several events throughout the year to engage our tenant, such as Mardi Gras, Spring Fling, and Ice Cream Socials. The two most attended building events are our annual Halloween Costume Contest and Holiday Party. These events help to differentiate our property from others by creating a sense of community.

Access to green spaces, terraces, or rooftop gardens can enhance well-being and provide refreshing alternatives for work or relaxation. Outdoor seating areas, walking paths, or even community gardening plots can add a touch of nature and contribute to a balanced lifestyle.

Offering on-site childcare services or pet-friendly policies can be a significant draw for tenants seeking work-life balance. These amenities reflect an understanding of the diverse needs and lifestyles of modern professionals and contribute to a supportive and inclusive environment.

Sustainability Amenities

Sustainability has emerged as a major driver in commercial real estate. Tenants, investors, and community stakeholders are increasingly demanding that commercial properties align with principles of sustainability.

With the increased demand for sustainability, efficient technologies and environmentally conscious initiatives can be repositioned as sustainability amenities. Energy-efficient technologies and practices are at the forefront of sustainability amenities. This includes LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems, programmable thermostats, and solar panels.

By reducing energy consumption, these features contribute to a lower carbon footprint and often result in cost savings for both tenants and property managers.

In an effort to support The RMR Group’s sustainability goals, Twelve24 placed beehives on the building’s roof as part of an urban beekeeping initiative. Tenants have benefited from educational activities that illustrate how urban beekeeping plays a vital role in the local community. Tenants even helped decorate the beehives, which was a great way to introduce this initiative at the building.

While developing your amenities, consider the property’s water use. By implementing water-saving fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and drought-resistant landscaping, you can significantly reduce water usage at your property. These measures not only conserve a vital resource but can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the property through innovative and sustainable design.

Collaborating with local suppliers and prioritizing eco-friendly products reflects a broader commitment to sustainability. Whether it’s in on-site cafes, building materials, or service contracts, emphasizing responsible sourcing supports local economies and reduces environmental impact.

And don’t forget to market the enhancements and benefits your property brings tenants. Tell them about the green certifications your property holds and how you achieved them. Invite tenants to the numerous events you host like a beehive painting or recycling drive. Showcase the enhancements you are implementing.

Benefits of Engaging Tenants Through Amenities

Engaging tenants through thoughtfully curated amenities provides several tangible benefits. By attracting new tenants and retaining existing ones, you can develop a sense of satisfaction and attachment to the property from your tenants.

Additionally, amenities that foster collaboration and creativity contribute to a more productive work environment. Spaces designed for informal meetings, brainstorming, and socialization can lead to more innovative thinking and team cohesion.

There are many benefits to these communal spaces. Investing in amenity upgrades increases property value and tenant retention. In today’s market, tenants expect building amenities that their employees can enjoy and as a means of bringing them back to the office.

A building with top-tier amenities helps reinforce a positive reputation for the property and its owners. This can lead to word-of-mouth referrals and a higher profile in the industry. A well-amenitized building can give you a competitive edge in the market, both in retaining tenants and gaining new ones.

Enhancing On-Site Amenities

Enhancing on-site amenities begins with understanding tenant needs. Regular surveys and feedback collection can provide valuable insights into tenant preferences and satisfaction. These insights can guide improvements and modifications to better align amenities with the needs and desires of the tenant community.

At Twelve24, we have cultivated a great partnership with our tenant.  We encourage open communication to understand the needs of our tenant, receive valuable input, and address concerns in a timely manner. The property management team also prides themselves on being responsive in receiving tenant feedback, whether it be face to face or via email. We have established a positive working relationship through these efforts.

And don’t forget to think outside your building. By partnering with local cafes, fitness centers, or even artists, a building can offer unique experiences that resonate with the local culture. These collaborations add character and contribute to the broader community, enhancing the appeal of the property. Collaborating with local businesses offers a unique avenue for enhancing amenities.

Amenities must remain not only functional but appealing. This includes regular upkeep, prompt repairs, and periodically revisiting the design and features to keep them current with trends and technologies. Properties must stay on top of maintenance for amenities, an amenity in disrepair can be worse than not having the amenity at all.

Promoting amenities effectively is an important part of maximizing their value. Proper marketing and communication strategies ensure that tenants are aware of and utilizing the amenities provided. This can include informational signage, newsletters, or even events to showcase what’s available at your property.

Amenitizing Your Building

Commercial real estate is rapidly changing, and amenities are one of the drivers of these changes. Far beyond being mere luxuries, amenities have become an integral part of the tenant experience. By understanding shifts in amenities, recognizing the benefits of tenant engagement, and employing strategic approaches to enhancement, CRE professionals can position their properties at the forefront of their markets.

Investing in building amenities is not just a financial consideration; it’s a commitment to fostering community, well-being, and success. It builds brand, reputation, and most importantly, it builds relationships with the people who inhabit our offices daily. In a competitive marketplace, amenitizing your building might not just be a wise choice; it could be the defining factor in your property’s success.


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