Why Deploy a Mobile App for Large Commercial Properties

Posted by Brian Hurley on May 30, 2014 in Blog

Mobile apps are a powerful addition to the communications and engagement strategy of large commercial or mixed use commercial properties.  Specific benefits include:

  • Increased accessibility and engagement
  • Marketing and branding
  • Tenant amenities enhancement
  • Business intelligence

Increased Accessibility and Engagement 

Mobile apps offer a stronger engagement compared to mobile websites – industry research shows that mobiles apps take up a greater share of users’ time each day compared to mobile and desktop web usage – 94 minutes per day for mobile apps, versus 72 minutes per day for mobile and desktop web. Statistics show that time spent on iOS and Android connected devices is 80% mobile apps, and only 20% mobile and desktop web usage. The trend towards higher time spent on mobile apps is increasing year over year.

For a commercial property a mobile app has three targeted groups of users and associated values:

  • Visitors
    • Enhanced visitor experience
    • Ease of finding tenants (commercial, retail and dining)
    • Real-time access to most current information
    • Access to retail and dining deals and special offers (where mixed use property)
  • Tenants
    • Access to tenant service portals
    • Building contacts
    • Property management news
    • Property sustainability information and news
  • Prospective tenants
    • Leasing contacts
    • Building Information
    • Building amenities
    • Property sustainability information
    • Leasing information

Marketing and Branding

The mobile app provides benefits related to marketing and branding, including:

  • Enhances property perception as being progressive in embracing new technology for the benefit of visitors and tenants
  • Increasing reach / accessibility to mobile users – apps are used more often than mobile websites by smartphone users and often become part of the users daily routine. Industry reports show that mobile devices are outpacing desktop as the means to access information and services.
  • Adding visibility of property and commercial brand in Apple App Store and Google Play Store – app discoverability is higher via app stores compared to web search for mobile sites. Industry reports show that smartphone users use apps more frequently than mobile websites and that trend is increasing.
  • Ability to deliver integrated and cross-property marketing messages 

Tenant Amenities Enhancement

The mobile app becomes an additional tenant amenity and differentiation from other properties, including:

  • App becomes an integral part of visitor and tenant building experience. App adoption and use will be supported / encouraged by WiFi deployment (reduces any perception of additional cost for using). Helps turn tenants and visitors into advocates by having property information in their pocket.
  • App provides a new benefit that can be offered for tenants – ability for tenants to request additional information on their business to be added to their entry and reference the app for their visitors. Extends the building directory beyond the entrance. Not all tenants will have or be able to afford a mobile app – their entry in the property’s app can provide them with a mobile presence they may not otherwise have.
  • App provides platform for future enhancements to support building operations, tenants, visitors, property marketing and branding.

Business Intelligence

Mobile apps can provide significant insights into user demographic, visit patterns, interests and intents.  This business intelligence can help with identifying improvements to the property in terms of services, tenant mix, etc. 

Public WiFi Monetization

For commercial properties who have deployed or will be deploying public WiFi based on products from Cisco CMX, Meraki, Aruba and similar, a mobile app also presents the opportunity to create new revenue.