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Modern reception as your property showcase

Posted By Real Estate Manager | 12 March 2018 | Guest Management

One of Facebook fanpages „I’d buy this book if it weren’t for the cover” has gathered almost 5000 fans so far. The golden rule “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is valid down to its present day. As well as in the real estate business. The first impression starts at the property reception for both visitors, business partners or potential tenants. It’s no accident that at the lobby, there are sitting places-integrated architecturally into company or property image-and comfortable places to read newspapers and drink coffee. Moreover, the staff that is friendly and helpful. Recently, the glory days of “digital signage”– screens with news and content presented to the people waiting at the reception for their host - has come. Digital Signage is the first element of, so-called, “interactive reception”. Mostly because its content may, or even should, be dedicated to the guests visiting a particular property.

All the ideas to enhance reception attractiveness arose from a willingness to improve property image. At first, treated as a simple supplement, today it constitutes a compulsory element, required by the tenants. Tenants are the ones who invite the guests to their headquarter. Therefore, they expect the highest quality of service. It begins with guests first impression and friendly environment around them and finishes with the service quality and the length of waiting time. There are multiple ways to make the reception, as a waiting place, more appealing – starting from hiring more employees, through offering a coffee and a comfortable couch in the lobby to rest. Even all these amenities, though, will not ensure that the service will be much better and that the visitor would remember all the process as comfortable and professional.

All the above aspects have resulted in the appearance of numerous solutions, aiming at improving visitors registration as well as raising the prestige and innovative character of the property. One of the examples of innovators in the field of modern receptions is Hines Poland – administrator of commercial and logistics properties with a total area of more than 350K sq meters, including Warsaw New City office complex. The New City is visited daily by hundreds of various guests – VIPs, suppliers, standard tenants’ visitors – all in a rush. Hines was looking for solutions to speed up the service of the guests waiting for their host and to improve the building security. At the same time, such solutions were supposed to fit into property modern image and to boost its innovative character.

"Our goal was to adopt such tools that our guests would feel safe with, that would have been served on the basis of the highest standards and the service time would have been as short as possible. In consequence, we want our guests to remember their visit to our property positively. Last but not least, it was important for us to boost our tenants' satisfaction and to indicate, that their workplace goes along with their companies’ modern image" – says Karolina Kucharczyk, Director of the Office Property
Management Department at Hines Poland.

"Positive feedback to our reception, visitors service improvement, and our guests' satisfaction encouraged us to implement Electronic Guestbook in our other properties" – she adds.

The main element of the tool implemented by Hines Poland is a touch screen, allowing the guest to register independently. Registration results in sending a notification to tenant’s reception desk. The guest visit may be prebooked through dedicated Tenants Portal, the guests have been awaited in the lobby, and their service is immediate. Thanks to registering in the IT system all of the guest entrances and exits, the overall property security has been improved. What’s more, property services are able to generate evacuation report with a click of a button, while the tenants have an instant preview of who is being present in their premises at the moment. Hines has gone a step further beyond the modern reception. They’ve placed in their lobby another self-service station, dedicated to registration into carpooling platform. The system, implemented by Velis Real Estate Tech company, aims to create an internal community for New City tenants. The users may share their rides to work with the main goal to care for the environment and to reduce the number of cars arriving at New City complex.

"We’ve been creating IT solutions for receptions mainly due to market expectations. We create a software for management and technical maintenance for the commercial properties, but beyond such tools, the market searches for innovation focused on tenants and visitors. Together with our clients, we’ve decided that the reception service is something which in influences property image the most. We’ve deployed a complex portfolio of solutions for commercial properties dedicated to providing our clients with added value and, in consequence, boosting their competitive advantages. It’s worth adding that already at the preliminary stage of our projects we’ve succeeded to implement them in over a dozen of countries around the world and our solutions fit perfectly to both logistics centers and production facilities. All those successes have proved us, that the chosen products development strategy is the right one" – claims Adam Penkala, board member of Velis Real Estate Tech.

There’s a number of possible improvements, used to enhance the front desk functioning in the office or logistics centre. You may use QR codes (printed on badges used to register entrances and exits), you can send an email with information how to get to your office centre, WIFI password or information about the cafés nearby (in the case of guest’s earlier arrival). What’s important for foreigners, is the possibility to use different language options while registering into the Guestbook. We may choose “take a photo” option to help to identify the guest quicker. To inform the host about the guest arrival, we can send SMS notifications. Some of the properties have their own regulations and the guests are supposed to sign themselves in before entering the premise. A dedicated tool is going to speed up this process by filling in the form for the guest automatically.

Specific requirements regarding visitor approval are present in the production facilities. The guests are supposed to get acquainted with OHS (Occupational Health & Safety) rules and be provided with special equipment if needed. There are various IT tools, helping to support and fasten this process by displaying OHS instructional video, or even by checking whether the visitors have understood it (by asking few simple questions). As far as the logistics centres are concerned, different aspect is the most important. For example, truck arrivals notifications together with truck plates automatic recognition, or SMS notifications to the drivers that the previous has vacated the place. The truck entering the plant premises is automatically identified by reading its plates by a dedicated camera equipped with analytics functions. As a result, the barrier is uplifted and the driver may be even directed to a dedicated ramp/gate.

To wrap things up, the possibilities are endless. It’s crucial to decide what we want to achieve and which areas are to be improved. In most cases, companies decide to implement the systems of electronic service for their visitors and suppliers in order to streamline the processes and to constantly improve the security. Modern IT tools are always designed for specified targeted groups. In case of software solutions dedicated to receptions, their main goals are to streamline the service, improve the security, increase the prestige and to stand out from the crowd. Regardless of the implementation purpose, modern IT solutions always influence the first impression. And it’s always worth to take care of it.

Krzysztof Kogut
Real Estate Manager

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We gather proptech specialists from different parts of the world in order to create a platform for thoughts exchange and sharing a knowledge. Velis Real Estate Tech brings together like-minded professionals in the field of technology in a commercial real estate. Our company creates technology for buildings which transforms the way you operate in them. Velis’ own solutions, provided for property and facility managers as well as owners and tenants, are based on the newest technology, including Internet of Things sensors.