Putting your tenants in the center
If the CRE market learned nothing else from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that without tenants, there is no CRE market. It sounds obvious, but it’s worth pausing to consider for a moment. The technical innovation of the IoT (internet of things) over the past decade placed the focus on the buildings themselves and not on the people who use them, but when the world came to a standstill in order to protect people from a global pandemic, it served as a reminder that the buildings are important, but that the tenants are even more so. The problem is, businesses are dynamic and ever-changing: keeping track of how your tenants are doing is no simple matter!
The first challenge for asset managers when it comes to new tenants is the ability to properly identify them: the vast majority of businesses fall into the category of SMBs, small companies with a staff of hundreds or even fewer. Finding information about these smaller entities can often be very challenging, and without information, asset managers are faced with a blank page when it comes to lease risk assessment.
The difficulties presented by the relative inconspicuousness of smaller companies apply even for existing tenants. An asset manager needs to be able to plan ahead, to understand the ups and downs affecting each tenant in order to keep up-to-date as to the ongoing risk associated with each lease. Lack of information can make this challenging or in some cases impossible, which can feel like riding blind.
Putting the tenant in the center means more than just understanding who your tenant is on a technical level; it means understanding who your tenant is as a person. Research shows that the importance of good customer relationships has become essential to businesses, now more than ever in a world of digital communications. When managing a portfolio involving multiple tenants in multiple locations, it can seem like you are only just staying on top of fighting fires, coping with one customer crisis after another. This leaves little space or energy for focusing on the positive aspect of customer relationships.
The age of machine learning and augmented intelligence has begun to provide some creative solutions to these challenges. AI engines have the ability to process data at such a rate that it opens up new possibilities for gaining business insights, and proptech uses this ability to make it much easier for asset managers to put the tenant back into the center of the business.
In the case of a new or prospective tenant, Okapi uses augmented intelligence to enable you to get a thorough understanding of who your tenant is.
- Starting from the simplest level, our AI machine will need only the name of the tenant.
- Unlike a manual system, Okapi’s engine is able to pinpoint the business entity from just basic and even incomplete information. The algorithm identifies if the business has any digital presence, even if it is only a social media account or landing page. This lends validation to the entity.
- Referring to the NAICS code enables the Okapi engine to extract information from relevant data lakes and assess the associated risk factors. The algorithm is able to understand market trends and extrapolate information relevant to your specific tenant.
- The engine will also identify if there are any additional locations associated with the business, and if there is a parent entity. This helps to give information about the financial health of the tenant.
Once Okapi has got to the heart of the business information, it is possible to generate an accurate risk assessment report and this is great news for asset managers who want to be mindful of their risk exposure as well as being able to plan ahead.
Okapi’s AI engine makes it possible to understand the risk factors involved with all tenants, whether new or existing, even when there is very little data available. Our revolutionary system makes this possible by pulling data from many global sources: once the data has been processed, it lights up patterns which were not previously visible, for example, by understanding market trends for a particular industry, it becomes possible to assess the risk factor for a tenant who has a small business in the same field.
When it comes to interacting positively with existing tenants, Okapi’s system makes this possible with just a few clicks, by flagging up any news mentions or other announcements, in the same way as you would interact with the people behind the business on a LinkedIn page, congratulating them on a business win or a new employee. This re-enforces our belief that “you know your tenant”, in other words you as an asset manager take the time to get to know the client.
To find out how putting your tenants in the center can help your business, contact our team today at [email protected] for a free risk assessment report