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By Kirk Layton, President & Co-Founder, The Tenex Group

At The Tenex Group, we have the benefit of working with different property manager clients and learning about the unique differentiators at their buildings. Not to spill any trade secrets here, but one thing that we noticed that is consistent across all of our clients’ approaches is an effort to build community. And since office buildings are a microcosm of our broader society, a diverse and inclusive mix of engagement tactics – encompassing amenities, communications and events – is a great way to engage a diverse tenant population. So how do property teams create a strong building community that is inclusive, supportive and a desirable place to be?

Amenities are a great place to start. Based on our experience, it’s important to ensure that when building amenities are offered up to your tenants, they are evaluated from a variety of angles. For example, in your shared event spaces, are there accommodations for a person in a wheelchair or for someone who is visually impaired? Do your end-of-journey facilities accommodate people with disabilities? The more inclusive your amenities are, the more engaging they’ll be for all of your tenants. 

Next on the list is communication. It may seem obvious but the best way to engage your tenants with your e-newsletters, social media content and even building signage, is with open, honest communication that is culturally respectful, apolitical, and – ideally – two-way. That means inviting your tenants to engage with you through all your communication channels by including a link where they can share their thoughts. Two-way signage? You bet – add a QR code that, when scanned, takes your tenants to a blog post, web page or survey where they can add their two cents. 

Finally, there’s building events. Inclusive building teams make sure that their property’s events are organized with an eye to diversity. This includes the types of events (does your summer BBQ include vegan options?), time of day (mornings might not be the best time to engage the millennials, the single-largest demographic in office buildings), active vs. passive events (make sure your volleyball tournament has a pool!), accessibility (financially and physically), and cultural appropriateness (that is, watch out for any hint of cultural appropriation!)

Building an inclusive community is more important than ever, but it can be tough. Some CRE companies have well-established diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies that ensure that their tenant engagement tactics are inclusive, while others are evolving their policies to be as inclusive as possible. Whether you fit in the “been there, done that” category or you’re taking your DEI strategy to the next level, the key to building an inclusive community is to use a diverse mix of tactics to engage a diverse mix of tenants.     

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.

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