At this month’s BOMA San Diego’s breakfast the topic of conversation was Concierge Property Management: Managing Amenities. The panel was comprised of two representatives from Hines and one representative from The Irvine Co. Property manager’s roles are evolving from simple maintenance tasks; they are now responsible for listening to tenants in order to create a vibrant workplace community. It is crucial for PMs to understand how each building operates due to different tenant needs and macro-trends that affect various properties. Think of it this way, Apple knows what their customer wants before the customer is even aware—a technique that property managers are trying to master, so that they can ensure the amenities they are trying to sell are, in fact, amenities the tenant wants.
What are the amenities tenants need? The top 3 amenities are:
1. Outdoor space 2. Transportation services 3. Food options. All panelists agreed that restaurants/food options are the first opportunity to “WOW” the customer. Most people love to have various foods available within walking distance to the office; it provides tenants with the opportunity to stretch their legs, enjoy the San Diego scenery, and socialize while obtaining one of life’s necessities. Collaborative and outdoor space go hand in hand—landscape can be activated into sites for afternoon meetings, team building, or morale-boosting company parties by providing multiple lounge seating areas, WiFi, and activities such as bocce ball and horseshoes. See this handout provided by Hines that lists the amenities available at their property, La Jolla Commons.
These amenities sounds great, but you may be wondering how are they paid for and who is willing to pay for them? The cost of amenities are passed onto the tenant in a similar fashion as a residential “HOA” fee, which is why it’s important for property managers to know what type of tenant will appreciate the different amenities. Innovation companies are more inclined to rent space at places like La Jolla Commons to entice the mix-mashed workforce of GenXers and Millennials; especially since technology and software firms are in a recruiting war between each other. Another reason companies are willing to foot the bill is an increase in productivity. Employees will stay at longer when they are able to grab lunch and/or dinner that isn’t the same old sandwich, take a 20 minute break to play a game of basketball, or finish their presentation while enjoying the fresh air.
Silicon Valley is at the forefront of the amenity trend, but we can expect to see a surge in San Diego because many start-up companies are moving South for cheaper rent and an enjoyable standard of living & wellness. I’m on board with the amenity trend, are you? Share your thoughts below in our “Comments” section.