M&G is working with Equiem to launch a property management system at one of its business parks, The Heights in Weybridge, Surrey.
The investor’s aim is to improve and streamline communications with occupiers through Equiem’s platform after previously experiencing difficulties connecting to tenants through email. M&G found, through feedback, that the emails that they sent out about events were often not getting past facility managers’ inboxes.
Laura Acklandiene, head of expansion in the UK for Equiem, said: “This partnership demonstrates how the commercial real estate industry continues to turn its focus toward improving the engagement and overall customer experience for occupiers.”
On the subject of asking people to share data after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Acklandiene added: “If you show a good reason, people are interested in sharing information. With our services we don’t sell any data, we don’t share with any other parties – people have that comfort. To us with all the legislation, GDPR coming in, it’s very critical to make sure that all lines up. What we typically do, when we get people to sign up is to ensure that we provide a minimum amount of friction. We just capture their work email address and get them to create a password and then people can choose to fill out more information, and a lot of them do. They actually share what kind of interests they have because then they can go to the community and find some other people that are like-minded.”
The platform is available as an app for all, with 56% of occupiers already signed up, where they will be able to access a variety of services. Those taking part will be able to catch up on the latest news, view the events calendar where they can RSVP and buy tickets, get any vital information about the buildings and teams, as well as join community and wellness feeds.
The management system will also provide invaluable insight into the needs and preferences of M&G’s tenants with a polling system on the app to help engage with the community effectively, and yield information that will be used to improve future planning for works, create a comprehensive customer engagement strategy and help budget allocation.
Separately, the newly developed ‘Equiem Spaces’ service will enable tenants to unlock value in their underused or vacant space and meeting rooms by arranging short-term rentals with other organisations at The Heights.
Aaron Pope, director of asset management at M&G Real Estate, believes it will benefit all those involved. He said: “Today’s occupiers expect well-managed assets offering new and innovative working environments which promote wellbeing. If we make life easy for our customers, we are essentially ensuring our assets are an obvious choice when it comes to choosing new office space.
“The introduction of these new services is a step change in the way we engage with our tenant base. Not only can we offer our tenants high quality flexible office space to cater to all their demands, but also the necessary facilities to ensure the wellbeing and high productivity of a happy workforce.”
Equiem’s digital property management system will be trialled at the Heights for a year before making the decision to roll out the initiative across other M&G Real Estate properties.