Related Companies is teaming up with HqO to power its tenant experience technology across its commercial and luxury residential real estate portfolio. Related, a prominent privately-owned real estate firm, will incorporate its tenant experience tech into the core offerings of HqO, a tenant and workplace experience platform provider. Related also made a strategic investment in HqO, as its CEO, Jeff Blau, will join the HqO board of directors.
HqO said it’ll serve as a “universal remote control” for Related tenants and residents to interact with their buildings and neighborhoods. Like other tenant experience apps, the company’s app offers tenants and residents access to programming, resource booking, service offerings, local retail and food and beverage delivery, and other amenities. HqO’s app also provides an analytics suite, hybrid work tools, and a flex space management system.
Class A amenities and a focus on tenant experience have become critical for firms like Related, especially in the office sector, where lagging occupancy rates have shifted the power balance in tenants’ favor. Features like tenant experience software for access control and digital are becoming increasingly more common. Landlords typically spent around $1-2 per square foot on amenities and marketing before the pandemic, and that number has increased to about $2-5 per square foot, according to Kevin Smith, executive managing director for asset services with Cushman & Wakefield.
In light of all this, Related’s partnership with HqO fits in with the growing tenant-focused office trends. Finding new and engaging ways to support office tenants may help landlords and property managers as tenants proceed cautiously in their leasing strategies. Landlords that have buildings that are well-equipped for hybrid work and with new tech could have an easier time in the current tenant-friendly office market.
Highly amenitizied spaces can also lead to significant rent premiums, according to another Cushman & Wakefield study from 2019. The office amenity arms race is well underway nationwide, and landlords are betting that digital amenities will lower vacancy rates and drive up property values.