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The move towards a ‘blended’ way of working

According to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey, just 5.1% of the UK workforce worked primarily from home in 2019, despite improving technology making it a viable possibility. Fast forward twelve months and working from home has become the norm. Although a recent survey found that three in five British employees are itching to get back to the office , many participants say they would like to work from home more often once the pandemic is over. Also, 82% of real-estate companies and office providers are looking to invest in home working and digital meeting tools in the near future, also according to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK? 

It’s reported that companies like Microsoft and Google will be adapting a ‘hybrid’ working model of three days in the office, and two days from home. Other companies, such as Twitter, are telling employees that they can work from home permanently, if they wish. What we’ll see once lockdowns lift, is a blended pattern of working. Employees will cycle between in office and at home working. 

The shift towards flexible working, experts say, hasn’t appeared only because of the pandemic. Companies for years have considered adapting policies to suit their modern workforce and better support the work life balance. What has held a lot of companies back in the past, was the flexibility vs productivity debate. A debate which has been largely been put to bed over the last 12 months. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF THE OFFICE?

A recent JLL survey of 2,000 office workers in 10 countries shows that while work will change, the office is to remain the bedrock of working life. 74% of respondents want the ability to come into an office, albeit not every day. Interestingly, almost half of surveyed employees expect offices to have social areas in the future. Indicating that they want to spend time with co-workers outside of traditional work. 

CHANGING ATTITUDES

This aligns with the shift towards prioritising employee health and wellbeing, driven by a shift in attitude from employees. According to further JLL research, employees now prioritise work-life balance over a comfortable salary. Three out of four expect their employer to support their health and wellbeing.

Research by employee benefits provider Unum has found 86% of UK employers surveyed are also changing their approach to wellbeing in light of the current pandemic. 95% of employers say it has impacted their need to make people employees feel more protected and supported. Many employers say they are to focus their health and wellbeing strategies on preventative measures, like mental health advice and support.

SPIKE WORKPLACE AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Spike Global has just launched its new Spike Workplace application. The software helps companies and landlords promote a connected culture while the majority of office-based employees are working from home. The software will help companies and landlords adapt to a ‘blended’ way of working moving forward. Where we see employees cycle between remote and in-office working.

Spike’s workplace portal builds and manages buzzing, supportive communities where users can form meaningful connections. Companies can nurture the office culture virtually through social clubs, forums, and events, keep occupants engaged with up-to-date news and articles. Importantly, employers can ensure staff are as settled and supported as possible by offering preventative health and well-being initiatives and support forums. Spike has also partnered with well-being provider Antidote, to offer further well-being services directly from their portal. 

Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is a key element of what the software provides.

To find out more about our Workplace portal, get in touch and a consultant will be touch shortly.

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Resident engagement series: What is resident engagement?

Before COVID 19, placemaking, community management and resident engagement was a topic beginning to rank higher on the priorities of developers, property managers and agents everywhere. 

Then… the pandemic happened and local community became ever-more important. 

What we are seeing now is a switch from community being seen as a luxury to being seen as a necessity, by both developers and residents. Across our portfolio we’ve seen social engagement increase dramatically over the last 12 months.

Which is why we have put together a series of articles to help the industry prioritise and grow their resident engagement strategies, to meet the changing needs of residents and potential residents. 

WHAT IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT?

Resident Engagement is a strategy focused on increasing connections between your property offering, and your residents. Resident engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection residents have with the places they choose to live. It’s a measure of how residents positively interact with activity connected to your property, and a sign of how committed they are to staying there. Importantly, it’s an outcome that depends on the actions lead by property operators, managers and or/owners.  

Initiatives can incorporate anything from social events, to software implementation, depending on your strategy and focus. The aim is to ensure residents are positively engaging, and are as emotionally connected to where they live, as possible.  

Some popular strategies property operators and owners focus on include: 

  • Keeping residents connected to on-site staff  
  • Creating community by connecting residents to one another 
  • Offering helpful, additional services to enhance residents day-to-day lives (e.g. Cleaning) 
  • Enhancing your online reputation 
  • Streamlining rental / purchasing journey   
  • Improving building management efficiency 
  • Improving the overall resident experience 

WHY IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT IMPORTANT?  

Resident Engagement goes hand-in-hand with increased resident satisfaction. Maintaining high tenant satisfaction is top priority for 97% of facility and real estate managers

It’s widely accepted that consumer satisfaction is essential to long-term business success, and is one of the most frequently researched topics in marketing (e.g. Jones & Suh, 2000; Pappu & Quester, 2006).  

More specifically, Research shows that resident engagement is essential for retaining residents. In a recent study, 77% of consumers say that engagement programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand. Positive resident engagement leads to signed renewalsincreased revenue and a better reputation.  

By embedding resident engagement tactics into your sales / rental processes it can directly affect new revenue also. It is widely accepted that satisfied consumers are less price sensitive, less influenced by competitors’ messaging and loyal to the firm longer than dissatisfied customers (Dimitriades, 2006).  

In 2021 the modern consumer expects more than just a place to live, and they are willing to shop around, and do their research to find what they’re looking for. Respondents rated the importance of the online reputation of the management company managing their development community at a high of 7.85 on a 10 point scale

To remain competitive, property operators, owners and managers must prioritise resident engagement to maximise retentionrevenue and reputation.

Resident engagement has become ever-more important over the last 12 months, as people are spending considerably more time at home. Social distancing measures also mean people are at a higher risk of loneliness, especially in single person households. By supporting your residents though these uncertain times, brand loyalty is built and will be remembered. Operators who go above and beyond for their residents will be the leaders of tomorrow.   

To find out more about how Spike could help improve your resident engagement, retention and reputation, get in touch and a member of the team will be in touch shortly. 

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Resident Software – Six tips for a successful launch

Covid-19 has accelerated the uptake of resident software and PropTech in general. To remain competitive many operators are looking to implement new resident software platforms to best serve their residents’ needs.

Operators are looking to increase building management efficiencies whilst also growing resident engagement and community. Our Client Success Team share six valuable tips on things to consider throughout your implementation journey.

THINK BEYOND COVID-19 – HOW WILL RESIDENTS USE THE SOFTWARE ONCE THE PANDEMIC ENDS?

It might be hard to imagine, but the Covid-19 crisis will pass and the world will go back to a version of normality. Although, people’s attitudes and priorities may have changed. Therefore, it’s important to consider your residents needs after the virus passes. How will your new resident software work post Covid-19, and what are all the different touch points you need to consider?

This could mean a variety of different things: a better booking system for hot desks to facilitate more flexible working. A solid, instant communication platform to ensure your residents feel supported and safe, or simply more community engagement initiatives so help residents get to know neighbours. It’s vital to prioritise these needs and build them into your strategies moving forward. 

WorkflowsUSE THE LAUNCH AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RE-EVALUATE WORKFLOWS AND PROCESSES.

If you’re looking seriously at implementing new software, it’s probably a great time to audit your workflows and processes. Are you doing things the most effective way, or is it just the way you’ve always done things?

Survey your staff and listen to their needs and concerns. Furthermore, ask your new software suppliers for any recommendations, they’re usually very happy to help and are full of wisdom from other implementation projects.

UTILISE THE CUSTOMER SUCCESS TEAM.

Reputable software providers will offer support in implementing your new systems. Ensure you setup a meeting with the Customer / Client Success Team as soon as possible to discuss your launch and implementation strategy. The team will be full of ideas for the long-term success of your resident software. They can usually help with everything from technical implementation to content and event ideas.

 

PLAN A LAUNCH EVENT (EVEN IF IT’S REMOTE) AND HAVE A LAUNCH STRATEGY IN PLACE

Your new resident software is going to benefit both your staff and your residents. In order to maximise the potential of the software you need to get both groups excited, and on-board. At Spike we recommend planning the launch in advance and having some sort of launch event, even if restrictions mean this has to be remote. Take this event as an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the software and how it’s going to make their lives easier.

LISTEN TO YOUR RESIDENTS, EVALUATE THE DATA AND IMPROVE.

Once your software is live it’s easy to think that the work is done, however it’s important you continue to listen to your residents and adjust your strategy accordingly. Resident Software is a fantastic tool for listening and gathering data. Use these insights to continue improving and get the most out of your investment.

phoneinhandCHOOSE THE RIGHT SUPPLIER.

When you’re looking at new software it’s important you consider more than just the technology. Does the company have the on-going support you need? Are they flexible and willing to help you problem solve? What do their customers say about them?

You’re going to be working with your chosen company for a long time. It’s important the relationship is the right fit for you and your business. 

How could Spike help your business?

Spike Global delivers industry-leading software that connects people and properties to create attractive, efficient and engaging places for living, working and playing. 

Working across residential and commercial sectors, our unique market insights help us consistently achieve industry-leading results that maximise occupancy, revenue & profit.

We understand what it takes to make resident software successful. We have a proven track-record of delivering real, tangible results with more than nine years experience in launching and operating property software worldwide. 

Want to find out more about Spike Global? Get in touch and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.                                                                          

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Tenant Engagement Software and getting workforces back to the office

Monday August 3rd, marked an important milestone in the COVID-19 crisis, as people were encouraged to return to the office for the first time. However, many organisations choose to keep their workforces at home. We then saw a series of tiered restrictive systems followed by two full national lockdowns, meaning office working was off the cards once again. 

As we look towards the future with cautious optimism businesses are starting to plan their return to the office. Studies indicate people will not return until they are reassured it’s safe to do so. Could tenant engagement software be key to getting people back to the office?

Blended working  

A recent survey found that three in five British employees are itching to get back to the office. However, many participants say they would like to work from home more often once the pandemic is over. This indicates that people see the benefits of working from home, but the argument simply isn’t as straight forward as one or the other. Moving forward offices will need to cater for a hybrid workforce. 

As occupants cycle between remote and in-office working, its critical landlords build occupant confidence with communication and the right systems in place. Occupants will expect more information, safety processes and clear communication from landlords and building managers. Buildings will need to adapt operations to ensure a safe, clean working environment for occupants.

Alongside operational challenges businesses will need to engage workforces remotely, finding ways to build company culture despite this new way of working. 

Evolution of the office

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the evolution of the office. As a result, technology is playing important role in keeping productivity high and workforces happy and safe. 

Asset-owners need to understand people’s priorities have changed as a result of the pandemic and adapt quickly to remain competitive. They need to position the office as a connected, safe and inclusive environment for occupants who are in the office or at home, and rebuild their trust. 

By offering tenant engagement software that connects occupants to staff a the touch of a button, has contact free hot desk and meeting-room booking systems and social clubs and forums which encourage peer-to-peer relationships, asset-owners can reassure businesses and support occupants in these uncertain times. 

Spike’s Tenant Engagement Software, Spike Workplace, combines tenant engagement and building management functionality. The software keeps occupants engaged whilst improving building efficiencies. 

SPIKE WORKPLACE AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Spike Global has just launched its new Spike Workplace application. The software helps companies and landlords promote a connected culture while the majority of office-based employees are working from home. The software will help companies and landlords adapt to a ‘blended’ way of working moving forward. Where we see employees cycle between remote and in-office working.

Spike’s workplace portal builds and manages buzzing, supportive communities where users can form meaningful connections. Companies can nurture the office culture virtually through social clubs, forums and events, keep occupants engaged with up-to-date news and articles. Importantly, employers can ensure staff are as settled and supported as possible by offering preventative health and well-being initiatives and support forums. Spike have also partnered with well-being provider Antidote, to offer further well-being services directly from their portal. 

Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is a key element of what the software provides.

To find out more about our Workplace portal, complete the enquiry form below and a consultant will be touch shortly.

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Community Engagement Growth Across Spike

Since February – the last month prior to lockdown – engagement on Spike Living saw over a sevenfold increase in the volume of posts, shares and interactions (March; 712%, April; 680%), covering community outreach, social forums, events and bookings, from a cross-section of our portals. 

Our Community Engagement team have been working with clients to ensure their residents are supported throughout these uncertain times and to ensure they still feel a part of a thriving community, albeit a socially distanced community. We’ve seen everything from balcony workouts to pizza parties, from wellness workshops to charity bake sales organised and advertised through our portals. As the data shows these initiatives have been extremely well received.

As leaders we need to be considering resident and staff mental health, happiness and wellbeing. Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is key to this happiness. Spike Living delivers exact that.  End users feel invested, valued and better connected to their homes or work places.

We form long-term partnerships with our client’s to help them move into this new age of community management. At Spike we offer more than just technology solutions, we work with our clients to improve their community engagement strategies to achieve their KPIs. We make it our business to understand how communities interact and we share these insights with our clients.

Want to find out more about Spike could do for your business? Get in touch and a member of the team will get back to you.

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Spike to Host Community Webinar with UKAA

Building on & Maintaining community post Covid-19

Spike Global is teaming up with the UKAA to host a webinar on Wednesday 27th May, at 10 am. The webinar brings together operators, industry experts and tech providers to discuss the future of community building.

The webinar will be addressing how the BTR and wider real-estate industry can continue to place community at the centre of their developments, maintaining engagement levels with residents.

>> Register here to attend

We will be exploring:

  • Stats that show community is more important than ever before and what these really mean.
  • How the industry can continue to deliver in this important area, as we start to emerge from isolation.
  • How did operators fair during lockdown and what changes need to be made moving forward?
  • What parts of community are important to residents and what really adds value to their experience, how can developments continue to be pro-active in this area?

We’ll look at data from reviews, industry trends and examples of how operators are implementing changes to prioritise community.

Sound interesting? Registration is free, simply click here to secure your place.

Joining us on the panel we have:

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Why Mental Health Needs to be Top of your Organisation’s Priority List

Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives, across the globe. In six short months the disease has shut borders, grounded planes, closed schools and cancelled thousands of events, large and small.

With the easing of lockdown on the horizon, the trauma and stress of the last few months has not been forgotten, yet we’ll soon be expected to re-enter our cities, get back on public transport and start living some elements of pre-lockdown life. Without the certainty of a vaccine anxieties will naturally be high and people’s mental health will be strained after months of isolation.

Businesses, developers and operators need clear, concise, communication strategies to ensure staff and/or residents feel safe and supported. Businesses will need to provide initiatives to support people’s mental health and provide an easily accessed area where people can find information and reach out for help. How businesses act during these uncertain times will be remembered, and we all need to work together to ensure the safe re-opening of society. 

As leaders, we need to be considering our resident’s mental health, happiness, and wellbeing. Jeremy, CEO of Spike Global comments: “Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is key to residents’ happiness. End-users feel invested, valued and better connected to their homes or workplace.”

He also adds “Many businesses claim to have a ‘people first’ approach to business. These values will be tested over the coming weeks and months, and organisations need to ensure they are actively supporting their staff and residents through these uncertain times, ensuring they are comfortable navigating through the new normal.”

Throughout-lockdown Spike software has been invaluable to users, keeping people connected, engaged and informed. Spike has helped businesses start and manage digital mental health initiatives, help forums, fundraisers, virtual get-togethers and much more. Spike was even named one of Property Week’s Top 5 Tools to get the industry through the crisis. Spike are now helping our clients with re-opening strategies and communication plans.

What plans do you have in place?

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Spike Named as One of Property Week’s Top 5 Covid-19 Tools

Staying connected during lock-down is extremely important for people’s mental and physical health. Spike is so happy to be able to play a part in keeping communities together through isolation.

Spike are honoured to be named one of Property Week’s Top 5 Tools to help the industry through the Covid-19 Crisis. Being named number one for community. Our software allows residents to continue to socialise through our portals, keeping residents connected to their buildings and communities.

It’s been heart-warming seeing our clients and residents adapt to the ‘new normal’. We’ve seen everything from people offering help and to neighbours, to group video work-outs and fundraising organised via our portals. 

Our software has also allowed front-of-house staff to work from home. Spike Living keeps staff connected to buildings and their residents needs, via our building management system, with minimal disruption to residents. 

Fizzy Living, a build-to-rent provider in London, uses Spike across seven developments, and are also mentioned in the article.

“We have a strong community at Fizzy and we are communicating with residents through the app throughout the day,” says Mandy Ghumman, head of sales and marketing at Fizzy Living. “We provide reading materials, free online classes, working-from-home tips and any other interesting guidance that we find online.”

Clients include, Moda LivingBattersea Power StationVertusPocket LivingAptBallymoreJLLCA Management,  and Renaker.

Read the full article here.

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Spike App Launches at Deansgate Square West Tower

We are very excited to announce the launch of the Deansgate Square West Tower, Spike Living Portal. Following the success of the app launching in their South Tower earlier this year, with 95% of the residents actively using the app to book amenities, manage deliveries, interact with neighbours and much more. 

Deansgate Square takes contemporary city centre living to a whole new level. Marrying together luxury living with unprecedented private on-site amenities, set in an iconic location at the heart of Manchester.

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Spike Appoints new Head of Sales Michelle Andrew

Spike is excited to announce that we have appointed a new Head of Sales, Michelle Andrew.

Michelle joins us with a wealth of experience spanning the tech, banking and education sectors.

Michelle is the fourth addition to the leadership team in six months, marking a significant expansion to the company, following a successful 2019. Our CEO, Jermey Heath-Smith comments “We’re very excited to welcome the wonderful Michelle to the team. We’ve got big plans for 2020 and I believe Michelle’s addition is imperative to us achieving our goals”

Michelle re-located from Vancouver in Canada to join the team in London. See her pictured below with her dog Bella (an equally important addition to the Spike team!)