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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 are keeping their workforces at home for the foreseeable future. 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 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. 

Want to find out more about how Spike technology could help your business? Find out more about our software here. 

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Resident Engagement – 5 Tips to Strengthen yours

As Spike’s Community Manager, I’ve pulled together five simple things PRS operatorsproperty managersasset managers, developers and home builders should consider when putting together a resident engagement plan. These actions will boost engagement levels and ultimately help you nurture content, loyal residents who want to occupy your spaces for longer. 

COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of our lives. For many this change has provoked a priority shift and attitude change. In order to stay competitive, businesses must adapt to these changes and support their residents through these uncertain times. 

Resident Engagement Tips

1. Think beyond traditional face-to-face events.

Six months ago events were likely a large part of your resident engagement strategy. Even with restrictions lifting, residents and staff will be cautious of mass gatherings. Despite restrictions we’ve seen some fantastic innovation with community engagement initiatives. These examples prove it’s still possible to rally together as a community, even from a safe social distance. Moda Living for example hosted a pizza night for their residents, which was launched through their Resident App, My Moda. Moda partnered with a local Italian restaurant to deliver a pizza to each resident who’d signed up, as a treat from Moda. This small act of kindness supported their local community and made residents feel less alone and supported. In the midst of lockdown this was a real boost for their community. 

2. Establish open lines of communication between your staff and residents.

On-site teams play an important role in nurturing your residential community, even if they’re not onsite all the time. Residents need to feel comfortable in approaching staff about problems and/or worries, and feel issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. After all, happy people make happy spaces and feelings of dissatisfaction can be very disruptive.

Some of our client’s have chosen to set up ‘I’m happy’ and ‘I’m not happy’ forums in their Resident Apps. Residents can then post issues or praise accordingly. Although this might sound risky it gives operators the right to reply to any complaints as a result, and keeps the problem contained. Moreover, it offers residents complete transparency which then translates into trust and loyalty. 

3. Empower residents to socialise outside of organised activities.

Although organised activities and initiatives are important, there will be residents who prefer to socialise with neighbours on their own terms and in their own time. It’s important to give your resident’s choice in how they interact. Since the start of lockdown in March we’ve seen an incredible 700% rise in social interactions across our resident portals. These interactions include comments, likes and messages on social forums and clubs. We’re now seeing these digital interactions  transforming into face-to-face friendships. What is even more encouraging, for instance, is that residents are now creating these forums themselves, creating micro-communities. We’ve seen everything from charity bake-sale forums to poker clubs being created as a result. 

4. Listen to your residents.

Many make the mistake of assuming they know what their residents want, and create a strategy around these assumptions. As a result these efforts are often wasted. Invest in really getting to know your residents. This can be done in a number of ways; Fizzy Living created a service where residents can reach out to their buildings managers to book an hour slot to discuss their life at Fizzy. Building managers then come away with actionable insights to implement moving forward and residents feel heard. Another simple way to do this is by tracking and analysing data from your resident portal, identifying popular subjects, events, discussions and pain-points. 

5. Plan, Track, Analyse, Plan 

Despite the ever-changing landscape it’s still important to plan ahead when it comes to resident engagement. Our in-house Community Engagement Team put together a monthly engagement plan with our clients to map out key activities. Following this, the teams meet at the end of the month to analyse data, spot trends and make changes accordingly. This approach is instrumental in the success of portals. As a result this allows our client’s so stay one step ahead.

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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? Simply submit your details below 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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Property Software Solutions & Supporting your residents

As a human race, we are innately social beings. Although the need for human interaction varies from person to person, being alone for long periods of time is tough, even for the most introverted. Social distancing is lonely and the toughest part is not knowing how long restrictions will be in place. Property software solutions that connect development communities have an important role to play.

Connected Development Communities

It’s clear that since the outbreak of coronavirus, the most positive communities are the ones that are better connected. Below, we share with ways our property software solutions are supporting our clients through these unprecedented times. As a result residents feel connected, supported and less alone.

Spike’s Property Software Solution, Spike Living, is a community communication tool and building management portal. Seeing how the app used in times of hardship restores your faith in humanity, embracing how we can come together, even with social distancing, thanks to the help of technology.

Information is power.

We have set up information centres dedicated to posting Covid-19 updates, sourcing only reliable government links and helpful advice. Clients can push out notifications to users, some are sending out simple reminders daily about social distancing, or key pieces of information from the daily briefings.

Alongside this, our property software can efficiently manage entire buildings, everything from deliveries to defects. Our property software has allowed concierge staff to work from home, but still be connected to their buildings and their resident’s needs. As we learn to live life at a distance, I suggest that remote management will become more common and that businesses will need strategies to support this.

Community is still Queen

We have also setup specific Covid-19 forums where residents can offer or ask for help from their communities. These forums and the social side of the portals have proved invaluable to residents since the lock-down. We have seen incredible acts of kindness offered through the portals, everything from offering to pick up groceries and medicine, to sharing tips on keeping children occupied or simply offering to listen to people’s frustrations and worries. People have rallied together to support the vulnerable and the lonely. We have even seen one resident who owns a wine company, and another who has a pizza business, taking orders through the portal and delivering to their neighbours, leaving their orders outside their apartments.

Some developments are extending their help to the wider community too. A foodbank at the Fizzy’s Living Canning Town site was promoted through the Spike Portal, to ensure that those residents who were under stricter self-isolation rules would always have access to supplies, and anything that wasn’t needed was donated to the local community.

In one of the Ballymore buildings, a resident bakes a cake each day, she posts an announcement on the portal when it’s ready and leaves it at the front desk for people to help themselves to. People have started donating small amounts of money, all of which has now been donated to a local food charity.

People want to come together to help, and facilitating this is extremely important, to ensure your residents feel supported. Community is something that will continue to be extremely important to people, it will be high on people’s priority lists when choosing where to live. Developments will need to maintain this momentum and provide their residents with meaningful, fulfilling places to live. 

Supporting your residents well-being

As we all know, it’s not just about staying physically healthy throughout the crisis. People’s mental health is equally important. Residents need to know they’re not alone, and maintain some sense of normality.

To tackle the potential loneliness, every Friday during the lockdown period, one of our clients, Fizzy Living, hosts an online virtual hangout, organised through the portal, for residents to meet one another, chatting through video with drinks and nibbles for a social atmosphere.

Another example is from our client Moda Living, who’ve set up virtual balcony workouts communicated and organised through Spike the app, where thousands of people have ended up viewing it.

Navigating the new normal

What has really shone through over the past few weeks especially, is residents wanting more community led initiatives that support their well-being. People want to know who their neighbours are and engage with the people they share walls with. The desire to live in an environment that feels much more supportive on many levels, will be one of the lasting legacies from lockdown, and people will certainly remember those who helped us through these tough times.

I’ve seen people post things on our portals like, ‘why haven’t we done this sooner’, promising to meet up in real life as soon as the situation allows. Human interaction is the one thing we have all taken for granted.

It is clear technology is playing a vital role in how people are dealing with the pandemic and we are glad to play a small part in connecting people.

Supporting the Property Industry throughout the crisis and beyond

Forward-thinking businesses know that the industry is changing. Residents expect digital initiatives that help them get to know neighbours, that make them feel safer in their homes and that allow them to get the most out of the spaces in which they live.

We live in a world where we expect information at our fingertips in an instant. By updating the way you communicate and support your residents, you can be reassured that you’re meeting today’s digital age demands.

We all want to be part of a real community with real heart, and Spike is a medium to help that blossom.

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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 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!)

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Spike Grows Leadership Team with New Sales & Marketing Directors

Following a very successful 2019, Spike is expanding significantly in 2020.  Spike starts the year off with a bang, with the addition of new marketing lead, Kirstie Lane and new Sales Director Julian Mullineux, and the opening of the new London office. 

Both new hires bring many years of experience from the technology industry. Before Spike Julian worked in Oman, heading up an extremely successful regional sales team for an app-based rewards solution business. Alongside Julian, Kirstie joins Spike as Marketing Director from an AI start-up that grew exponentially during her time there as Head of Marketing. 

Our CEO, Jeremy Heath-Smith comments “I am extremely happy to welcome Kirstie and Julian to the team. These additions mark an exciting expansion to the commercial and leadership team at Spike, and the start of a new era for spike. I am confident that with our new team, Spike with go from strength to strength in 2020”.