Adoption of technology is accelerating in the UK and US, with a strong chance of rapid rollout if the solution is proved right in the first instance, according to Gabrielle McMillan, chief executive and co-founder of Equiem, the global tenant engagement platform.
The time taken to close deals is getting shorter, McMillan said, with Equiem typically taking around two months to sign new clients. She added: “What we’re also seeing is that clients who have rolled out our platform at one building for six months, 70% of them have already added another building. So, our portfolio is growing really rapidly here but it’s growing off the back of being able to demonstrate measurable value and deliver results to these landlords.”
She added: “We’ve won more business across the group than any previous half which is really exciting. A lot of that is coming out of the UK. In fact, those decision times that I talked about are shorter in the UK than anywhere else.”
Equiem was founded in Australia in 2011 and now operates globally, with a strong push underway into UK and US markets. The firm opened in London 18 months ago, followed quickly by its first foray into Ireland.
Three quarters of Equiem’s growth in the last 12 months has come from expansion in the UK and US, where the company has rolled out across more than 15m sq ft in 20 months.
In terms of the ROI, McMillan explained: “Each market is different, but relatively speaking we are talking about a 1-2% impact on operating expenses, which is such a marginal investment to protect the annual rental income by rolling-out a tenant experience platform like ours and a programme of services for tenants.
M&G Real Estate appointed Equiem at The Heights business park in Weybridge, Surrey around ayear ago. Aaron Pope, director of asset management at M&G Real Estate, said: “The Equiem platform has enabled us to foster a sense of community across the park while investment in communal amenities has supported this shift towards improved employee wellbeing. The few remaining vacant units have been quickly let since, with the void rate across the park as a whole dropping by 78%.”
This focus on retention, stickiness, in today’s experience-led, short-lease world is critical to winning new business, McMillan said: “If you’re signing shorter leases, you know you are going to be renewing those people with a higher degree of regularity. So, you need to keep them sticky to your building and your portfolio. Landlords are very interested in how they can attract and retain tenants and they are very interested in providing amenities and digital solutions to do that.”
Other UK and Ireland clients include Lendlease, Spear Street Capital, and Knight Frank. In Ireland, In the US, Equiem has partnered with Manhattan landlords Vornado Realty Trust and Adams & Company.
More than 135,000 people in 8,900 companies use the platform worldwide, including Microsoft, Deloitte, LinkedIn, CitiBank and Coca-Cola.