Skip to main content
By Kirk Layton, President & Co-Founder, The Tenex Group
My colleague Rachael is always forwarding me interesting articles, and the latest she sent from BISNOW particularly caught my eye. The article, entitled “Know Your Visitor, Make Them Stars,” features the former head of Disney Imagineering, Bob Weis, who’s now a CRE executive as the head of Gensler Global Entertainment. He talks about how his 40-plus years at Disney have helped influence his approach to constructing buildings with impact, and some forward-thinkers in the CRE world appear to be heeding his advice: Try a little razzle-dazzle.
The quote that resonated with me the most in the article was from Weis’s keynote speech that kicked off NeoCon 2024 in Chicago in June: “At Disney, we used to always say that we were about making magic real for our guests. The corollary to this is that we have an opportunity to make the real world more magical.”
In trying to create a draw for the work-from-home crowd to come into the office more often, and to engage the folks who are already there, property managers may be well-served to use Weis’s advice as a rallying cry: Make the office building more magical. Easy to say I know, but we’ve had a lot of conversations with property managers who are converting prime office space – the kind of space that is usually leased by blue-chip tenants and commands top-dollar rents – into common spaces for tenants that feature, well, a little magic. Think jaw-dropping views, bespoke finishes, and curated events. These touches of magic may very well become the norm as the CRE industry pivots to becoming more hospitality-focused.
I personally experienced a little slice of magic many years ago at my former company, eServus, when we arranged an exclusive meet-and-greet of famous Disney characters for our clients and their children at a Disney on Ice performance we had sold tickets for. It’s hard to convey the look of sheer joy on the faces of these kids, one of whom was my daughter, Sophie, as they got to meet Tinkerbell, Snow White and Cinderella. I’ll never forget it, and I expect that the kids’ parents – your tenants – haven’t forgotten it either. It was truly magical, and the kind of experience that The Tenex Group wants to help our clients bring to life.
You don’t have to spend millions on a tenant lounge to bring some magic to your building. We’ve worked with our clients to create a lot of memorable building events that are budget-friendly, generate buzz and excitement at the building, and attract the work-from-homers back to the office. If you want to create some magic at your property, it all starts with a desire to try a little razzle-dazzle. If you think you need some help getting in the right mindset, then perhaps look into some training on how the pros do it (in keeping with the Disney theme, check out some of the professional development courses available through The Disney Institute). The key, of course, is execution, and because the playbook for PMs becoming more hospitality-focused is still being written, anything you do to try to bring some magic to life in your building is a step in the right direction.
The Tenex Group

At The Tenex Group, we love all things tenant experience and want to work with you to help you get the most out of your tenex strategy.

Leave a Reply