Aiming to enhance the tenant experiences at its properties around the globe, Hines is rolling out a new digital application partnership with Paris-based Workwell that will connect the spaces, services and people inside its buildings with a single mobile app.
“The market is crowded with options for tenant apps. For an app to drive value, it’s imperative that we pick the right partner and create an effective program, and we believe Workwell is that partner,” Hines Innovation Officer Charlie Kuntz said in a prepared statement.
Hines is kicking off the partnership in major cities in the United States, including Houston, New York, Chicago and Atlanta, as well as in the United Kingdom. The privately owned international real estate company will be adding multiple locations in 2019.
While Hines will be the first to launch Workwell in the U.S., Workwell is already being used in more than 10 countries and more than 100 corporations, including Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, AXA, American Express and BNP Paribas.
Mirvac Group, a leading Australian property group with office, retail and industrial assets and a development business that has residential and commercial projects, said this month it will debut Workwell in several buildings in its portfolio early in 2019. Mirvac will be using Workwell first in the EY Centre, 200 George St. in Sydney; 367 Collins St. in Melbourne, Australia; and Calibre Industrial Estate in Western Sydney, before rolling it out to its other properties.
In addition to Paris, Workwell now has offices in Sydney and New York. Its team is comprised mostly of engineers who are highly focused on building the most advanced digital layer for buildings.
“We are thrilled to partner with Hines in their mission to provide a digital experience that will improve the quality of life for the occupiers of their buildings,” Marie Schneegans, Workwell CEO & founder, said in prepared remarks.
Integrating building, tenant systems
Built as an open platform that offers core functionality, Workwell enables building managers to easily integrate their existing systems into the mobile app. This allows buildings to bring operations, communications and social features together on a single screen. Tenants can also add their own systems and services, making in a one-stop shop for the workplace. Rather than scrolling through several different apps to book conference rooms, sign up for wellness classes, arrange for childcare, find parking or order meals, all those services and more will be available through the Workwell app.
“The occupiers of our leased spaces have been asking for ‘bed to desk’ control of their work environments and lives, demanding an increased set of convenience services that bring a sense of calm to ever busier worker and personal lives,” Lisa Newton, Hines senior vice president, operations management, said in a prepared statement. “In addition to our already existing client-focused perspective and Hines expertise, we have been seeking a differentiating product-tool to accomplish this, and we believe we have found that in Workwell.”
Proptech is becoming increasingly important in commercial real estate with artificial intelligence products including mobile apps and building information modeling become the norm. At the recent Expo Real 2018 Innovation Forum in Munich, executives discussed the digitalization of CRE and corporations, noting that many firms will engage in partnerships, as Hines is doing with Workwell, rather than create their own products.