Occupier Engagement is a central part of responsible property management. Constructive relations between property and facilities managers and occupiers contributes towards meeting compliance obligations and the achievement of wider sustainability objectives.
Occupier engagement involves clarifying the needs and expectations of occupiers and aligning these with Asset Manager's objectives for a property. It is also important to establish communication and engagement methods that can be used to share information and evaluate the way in which these needs can be met.
It is important for property managers to take responsibility for the promotion, management and oversight of sustainability requirements within leases.
Property managers should be familiar with the sustainability content of leases, which may vary between occupiers. Arrangements should be developed to monitor adherence to these requirements on a regular basis.
Property managers should ensure that occupiers are provided with a building user guide as their tenancy agreement commences.
Information in the building user guide should be kept up-to-date, reflecting the on-going, shared aspirations of the asset manager and occupier.
Property managers should ensure that occupiers are provided with a fit-out guide at the commencement of their tenancy agreement.
Information in the fit-out guide should be kept up-to-date, reflecting the on-going shared aspirations of the asset manager and the occupier.
Understanding the sustainability requirements of building users is critical in providing a property management service that is valued by occupiers.
Occupiers’ needs can be determined through a range of methods, including reviewing the lease, undertaking surveys and conducting post-occupancy reviews. Requirements should be documented and reviewed on a regular basis in order to contribute towards the shared sustainability aspirations of property owners and occupiers.
To support occupiers’ on-going satisfaction and contribute towards occupier retention, it is important to maintain effective ways to communicate with, and receive feedback from, occupiers. This will enable property managers to keep up-to-date with occupier needs and experience.
There are different methods for engaging occupiers, including both one-way information provision, such as newsletters, as well as two-way engagement, such as property sustainability forums.
It is important to review opportunities to re-charge for sustainability related services as an incentive to encourage responsible behaviour. For example, charging for an occupier’s actual energy and water consumption or waste generation, rather than applying a flat fee.
The fair apportionment of costs for utilities and other sustainability initiatives helps to provide transparency, accountability and continual improvement, as well as aligning with the ‘polluter pays principle