Intro to our Tenant Experience (TX) Framework

Safety is a mindset, not a checklist, right? A sixth sense.

And it’s self-evident at this point that internalizing a safety sensibility mitigates dangerous and expensive risk, increases morale and loyalty and brings exponential returns.

But it wasn’t always an accepted industry norm.

People who looked out for their people benefited from the approach. So better practices were championed. Over time, through client education, they became legislated and ultimately institutionalized.

Which got us thinking. What else do we do intuitively that needs to be codified? What other obviously beneficial practices need to be visualized and formalized?

Here’s a thought. Ever heard of “Tenant Experience?”

It’s an emerging practice that largely focuses on

  • Software that connects tenants to the property owner and to each other
  • Amenities
  • Smart technologies
  • PR/Managing emergencies (how to get a tenant back on your side after elevator entrapment)
  • Values/Policies (Eg: Sustainability)

But no one is talking about it from the perspective of a DB/GC managing relationships before, during and after a building project. Which is a glaring, gaping hole when you consider the return on happy tenants.

Happy tenants haggle less, complain less, stay longer, and grow–they’ll even advocate for you.

Like the leaders who pioneered safety, there are, of course, people practicing versions of Tenant Experience (TX) already. In many ways, it boils down to common decency. And common sense. The better informed our clients are the easier it is to work with them. They want to:

  • Trust us
  • Understand our processes and practices
  • Be apprised of the schedule (and changes to it)
  • Believe they’re getting value for their investment throughout the process
  • Ensure design decisions made during the process will bring returns over the lifecycle of ownership

Developers who get it realize that the people on the ground spend more time with tenants than they do. Constructors and trades have an outsized impact on tenants’ impressions of them.

The trouble is that so much of this is intangible. And though its impact is huge, an investment in it doesn’t always pay dividends in the short term or even through direct channels.  

Our Return on Relationships model has been a major differentiator for us, earning repeat business and long term relationships in an industry where short term costs usually rule the day.

TX needs structure just the way Safety does. Articulated goals, checklists and systems help ensure common sense is applied where the rubber meets the road. Consistently.

Our TX framework acts as scaffolding we can build a formalized practice around to:

  • Focus on quality outcomes
  • Make recommendations for refining the space
  • Bring a strong team to the table
  • Offer full transparency
  • Steward and support the spirit of smart designs

The Framework:
To codify opportunities to influence our clients’ customers, we listed the:

  • Phases of a design/build project from concept to maintenance 
  • Activities in each phase
  • Opportunities to positively impact/overdeliver/optimize interactions for each activity
  • Ways to report on these for internal growth and to create a new standard for our clients to key in on.

Our aspirations for this framework are lofty. Ultimately, the goal is to raise 21st-century building literacy. In the short term, we hope the thinking will help us be seen by more of the right people from further way. It’s already become a useful tool for training.