10 years ago the Houston Business Journal ran an article about how concierge services benefit both tenants and property managers. They suggested however, that offering a professional corporate concierge service was underutilized by property managers of Class A buildings. That has changed—today you see all kinds of titles that are a variant of ‘Director/Manager of Concierge Services’. It is hard to imagine a Class A office building or office complex not offering these types of services today. For this writer it is even harder to image why Class A buildings aren’t already adopting mobile concierge apps.
Why aren’t property management companies waking up to changes in technology and demographics?
The professional corporate concierge service model of 2006 needs to be revisited due to the dramatic changes in office worker demographics and adoption rate of Smartphones. There really weren’t any Smartphones in 2006. The Apple iPhone did not launch until the summer of 2007. Since then the adoption rate of Smartphones has been nothing short of astonishing. The other astonishing thing is that Baby Boomers are now only about 30% of today’s civilian workforce in the US—as they are now turning 65 and retiring that percentage is going to dwindle quickly.
As the chart above shows Gen X and Gen Y comprise 70% of today’s labor force. This group is tech savvy and are the reason for the fast adoption rate of Smartphones. Combine that with the knowledge that this group has shown a marked preference for downloading mobile apps versus using mobile websites for content they consider meaningful or more convenient. Property managers now have the perfect opportunity to use technology to better address the needs of a time starved generation that will appreciate a consolidated approach to tenant services.
The technology adoption cycle for mobile concierge apps will start with property management visionaries.
Many people are familiar with the technology adoption life cycle made popular by Geoffrey Moore’s book ‘Crossing the Chasm’. In his book Mr. Moore contends that the adoption life cycle is a bell curve that starts with innovators and visionaries and then moves on to the more pragmatic decision makers (early adopters) who start the bell curve moving to its peak.
Even though mobile concierge apps have been around for a few years now, in the property management business, the innovators and visionaries are just getting started. At Clientry Concierge we believe that the adoption life will be very rapid—it just makes sense—Gen Xers and Yers will start wondering and asking why their building does not have this app.