By Ben Comm, Senior Managing Director
In the article, “Tenant Confidential: What They’re Not Telling You – And Why” in the March/April 2017 issue of BOMA Magazine, John Salustri takes a close look at why the relationship between building tenants and their management team can be ineffective.
Salustri explains that there are many reasons why these relationships can falter: “Maybe the relationship never advanced beyond the basics of maintaining the lighting and cleaning the rugs. Maybe you, the property manager, could never find time to sit down with the tenant and strategize long-term goals. Maybe the tenant couldn’t articulate a coming need. Or maybe they just didn’t want to rock the boat.”
The main issue, however, appears to be a misunderstanding between tenant and building management. Larry Gamache, Director of Communications at Carfax says, “Too many tenants think their property management company won’t be open to certain ideas, or they get it in their heads that the way to meet their needs is simply by going someplace else.”
Property managers can combat this issue by being proactive and asking tenants to communicate their needs. Carfax, a Cushman & Wakefield tenant, is a great example of how a collaborative relationship between tenant and management can enhance the employee experience and, in return, create business success—for the tenant, the building owner, and the management company.
Carfax houses its headquarters at Cushman & Wakefield-managed Trinity Centre in Centreville, VA. The company attracts many young employees and aims to create a campus-like environment, much like Google’s. “For us, it’s giving people an experience. Is there a destination? Is there a way our culture can flow from the parking lot to the office?” says Gamache.
Carfax decided to create a vertical campus, right at Trinity Centre. “All of it was inspired by a conversation we had with the property manager,” says Gamache. Carfax expanded from 50,000 to 100,000 square feet, constructed internal stairwells to connect all four floors of the space, and collaborated with the management team to enhance the outdoor space by installing a sculpture garden, fire pit, and enhanced walkways. They even worked with management to establish a dog-friendly policy that allows employees to bring their pooches to work.
In February 2017, Carfax was named a “Great Place to Work” in the D.C. area by Washingtonian for the eighth time. A critical basis for this award was its campus expansion and dog-friendly policy, something that wouldn’t have been possible without effective collaboration between tenant and management.
Check out BOMA Magazine’s March/April 2017 issue to read more about the tenant-management relationship.
Ben is responsible for ensuring the firm’s best practices are implemented and overseeing consistent delivery of asset services. Ben also manages the profit and loss for the firm’s +45 million SF Mid-Atlantic portfolio, which includes office, industrial, and retail properties. He brings more than 30 years of experience in real estate management.