Property managers and building engineers are critical for a facility's ability to maintain operations. They make up a building team that has multiple responsibilities to ensure that the building tenants can run their business effectively.
But what happens when a tenant looks to the building team for assistance with something outside their lane of knowledge? While the building team may not possess the specified capability to respond to these questions, the tenant still has expectations they'll get answers.
Importance of digital amenities
Internet connectivity is critical for companies to operate in the digital age. For most building tenants, it's the new normal. Other amenities such as plentiful charging stations, digital signage, and others relying on technology are also viewed favorably by tenants. Without a quality internet connection, doing business for most companies is nearly impossible.
Suffering internet outages can be crippling to a company's bottom line. Consider a few statistics on the cost of internet downtime:
- One study found that 86% of firms said one hour of internet downtime could lead to losses of up to $300,000 while 34% of companies said it could cost up to $1 million.
- Another study found that Fortune 1000 companies lose between $1.25 to $2.5 billion per year.
- Yet another, different study found the cost an average IT outage to be $5,600 per minute.
No matter which figures you choose to look at, it's apparent that connectivity problems are major obstacles for businesses. Issues such as outages or dropped calls can be debilitating on a tenant's business prospects. Productivity, and therefore, the bottom line, will suffer.
How building technology puts added pressure on property managers and engineers
Property managers and engineers already have a lot of responsibilities on their plate. Adding the responsibility of dealing with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is yet another task to hold them accountable for. Now they're expected to focus on something well outside their area of expertise.
ISPs can be somewhat difficult to deal with even for experienced professionals. Your building may need to enter into a contract with an ISP which may need to be reviewed by your legal team. If you miss important provisions or clauses included in the agreement, your tenants might end up locked into a bad contract for a long time. Your tenants can't afford to have below-average internet service for any period of time, much less a prolonged one.
There's also the plain fact that in-building technology advances so quickly that the building team may not be as well-versed in those changes as those who handle IT as part of their daily job responsibilities. This isn't the fault of the building team - property managers and engineers have their own specialized skill sets that require training in a specific discipline. Shoehorning technology requirements into the building team's set of responsibilities is unfair to all parties involved.
Most property managers won't have much information for their team beyond the building's ISP. There's a chance they don't understand the different types of cables, distribution levels, or even ISP availability to tenants. The building team might give the tenants a customer service number to call the ISP directly. The issue here is that the tenant also doesn't possess the technical knowledge to negotiate with the ISP effectively. The tenant needs an expert who understands the ins and outs of ISP maintenance and management to ensure they're getting the best service and the best deal.
Property managers and engineers need time to focus on the duties of their actual job as opposed to tech questions they haven't been trained to handle. They also want to be sure their tenants can get their devices connected quickly when they need to, even if it isn't technically the property manager or engineer's responsibility to do so. It's good customer service to want to ensure your tenants have the best possible experience on your property.
The growing expectations of tenants
As more businesses rely on more forms of technology to succeed such as cloud computing, video teleconferencing, and internet connectivity, your tenants' technical questions may grow more sophisticated. Every tenant is now a tech tenant. For example, below are three types of tech questions a building team might receive:
- Is there fiber available from specific ISPs?
- Can I get a direct connection to a data center from the building?
- What are the best options for a redundant provider?
When moving into a new office space, many brokers and prospective tenants can incorrectly assume that property managers and building engineers are equipped to advise on this type of issue that's critical to their business. It's a reasonable thought from the tenant's perspective; after all, they see the building team as their go-to for most questions regarding the facility.
Tenants look to landlords to act as problem solvers. If there's an internet connectivity issue, they want a landlord who can give the right advice regarding a suitable internet connection. They want to know not only how to maintain a connection but also which ISP best suits their needs. They also want to know how to opt for the most effective and reliable cell phone service.
Your tenant's technological ecosystem is evolving all the time. Whether it's buying the latest device, downloading the newest software, or staying up to date on the latest patches for cybersecurity vulnerabilities, it's almost impossible for an unqualified landlord to stay on top of all these developments. The building team is not made up of not IT experts by trade but now face increasingly advanced IT expectations from tenants.
The solution for building teams to keep tenants satisfied
While the property managers and engineers may not have the technical know-how to keep pace with the needs of their tenants, that doesn't mean they can't help keep their businesses functioning. As part of pursuing Wired Certification for a building, WiredScore's team of in-house connectivity experts are available to handle any questions.
Building teams can receive the answers they need to pass along to tenants. By teaming with experts in the field, you can maintain connectivity and limit IT disruptions to the tenants' businesses. For the property managers and engineers, you'll have a trusted advisor on hand to provide quick responses on tech-related questions.