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What do tenants want? CBRE has some insights into making them stickier

Building owners who want tenants to stick around ought to prioritise wellness, end-of-trip facilities and customer experience, according to a new report on tenant loyalty.

In working out what factors made tenants decide to stay or go, CBRE surveyed 100 senior decision-makers in large organisations and ASX 200 companies across Australia.

“One of the key findings was the heightened focus on wellness, with 74 per cent of respondents indicating they would value a wellness offering in their workplace,” CBRE associate director, research Felice Spark said.

And while 68 per cent of companies had a policy that included staff wellness programs, only 47 per cent of the buildings currently occupied could provide facilities to support this, representing a demand/supply imbalance that could see tenants vacating for more appropriate digs.

Respondents with wellness strategies reported substantially improved metrics on absenteeism and workers’ compensation claims, employee satisfaction and staff retention, so it’s a trend likely to continue to increase in importance.

“Those enlightened companies that are investing in wellness programs are reaping the benefits in relation to productivity, talent attraction and retention,” CBRE senior director, asset services Amanda Steele said.

“Long-term, these organisations are the ones that millennials will want to work with and for. It’s a low-cost, high result strategy.”

Smart technology the biggest gap

The biggest gap between building selection criteria importance and satisfaction was in regards to smart building services. Ms Spark said addressing this would have the single biggest impact on tenant satisfaction.

CBRE director, workplace strategies Matt Strudwick said the findings showed that companies were increasingly seeing workplaces as services rather than “pure bricks and mortar”.

“The ‘workplace as a service’ thinking is seeing the rise of flexible options such as WeWork, a demand for more services and amenity such what is on offer at DEXUS Place and, importantly, a desire for the buildings to be smart.

“Occupiers are looking for buildings which can help them do everything from order a coffee from their desk ready for pick up as they head out of the door, through to data that can help them understand the demand patterns of their people.”

Landlords were also cautioned not to get comfortable with the 36 per cent of tenants planning to stay for at lease five years, as they reported the lowest satisfaction scores, particularly in regards to end-of-trip facilities, suggesting an upgrade could assist in tenant retention.

The “next frontier” in capturing tenant loyalty was around “the customer relationship”, which CBRE said now extended to building visitors as well as occupants. Occupants surveyed said future customer service delivery trends would relate to the work environment (flexible work practices, floor plate flexibility, shared workspace facilities and environmental sustainability); health and wellness; and building infrastructure, including smart buildings.

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