The Swig Company Accelerates Leasing with Smart Flex Suites

By Join Digital Inc.

High Tenant Satisfaction and Lower Building Operating Costs. With an 80 year history of investment, development, partnership, and management of commercial real estate, the Swig Company is an expert on the CRE market and trends.

Two top trends the Swig Company has noticed in recent years are flexibility and advanced amenities. Tenants don’t want to be locked into 5-7 year leases. They, instead, want spaces that can grow with them. These spaces need to have top-notch amenities to grab their interest.

Because of this, “We see a trend towards larger companies wanting to take advantage of the options flex spaces offer,” notes Jay Scholten, Vice President of Innovation and Asset Management at the Swig Company.

The Swig Company has seen these trends at play in one of its own buildings. The Wakefield building in downtown Oakland had a floor vacant for 3 years. Although “we made marketing investments and tenant improvements, we didn’t see the activity we expected. As such, we decided to try a new approach,” Scholten recalls.  

New Approach to Flex Spaces

The new approach included partnering with LiquidSpace, which already provided flex space in other Swig Company buildings. Differing from its other flexible suites, the Swig Company offered Smart Digital Workplace Services from Join. Along with other more traditional flex space components, like Steelcase furniture.

With Join Smart Workplace Services, tenants don’t have to buy, install, maintain, or support network infrastructure or digital services for employees. Instead, Join takes care of everything for them.

“Incorporating the Join Cloud into a premium flex space package enabled us to completely set up and enable the suite before a tenant moved in,” according to Scholten. This meant that there was no rushing to coordinate delivery. Adding digital services to their flex space offering also helped the Swig Company to attract more tenants.

Fast Implementation and Leasing

The Swig Company was able to install Join equipment, connect to the Join Cloud, configure, wire, and test in just two weeks.

This paved the way for a tenant to move into that space only 6 days after initially looking at it. Since that tenant was looking for immediate access to data and internet services, it was a no-brainer for them to move into a space with Join.

“A key for leasing and occupying the space so quickly was that the tenant didn’t have to deal with the typical delays from buying or installing equipment or contracting with an ISP or support organization. Offering a move-in ready space gave us the opportunity to attract tenants that we wouldn’t normally get to target,” Scholten stated.

The tenant, Coding Dojo, set up and started classes on day one due to having active internet service on move in. Unlike traditional spaces, there wasn’t any productivity lag when moving in, which was crucial for the Coding Dojo’s students and staff.

Lower Operation Costs

However, the Swig Company didn’t stop at just outfitting tenant space with Join. The Swig Company also partnered with Join to support the building HVAC system. It was easy for the Swig Company to add the HVAC system to the Join network because the building was already Join enabled.

The Swig Company can securely add any building system with the Join Cloud – without new equipment or ISP service contracts. “When we did the analysis comparing the Join Cloud to a traditional approach, Join provided clear advantages in terms of implementation, cost, security, and flexibility,” Scholten noted.

Because of Join’s huge value-adding potential, the Swig Company is interested in incorporating Join not just into tenant spaces – but also into its own building operations.

Future Value

Traditional leasing is becoming a smaller part of how companies lease space as tenant expectations change. Many companies look to flex spaces to meet their needs, instead of long-term leases.

For savvy property owners and operators, flex spaces are a way to build long-term relationships with tenants. These relationships have the potential to develop into long-term leases over time. “The plug and play availability of secure, enterprise-class services from Join is a valuable part of this strategy,” according to LiquidSpace CEO Mark Gilbreath.

Adapting to the needs of tenants today and in the future is crucial for providing value over the long term. Commercial real estate owners and operators who cling to outdated models of leasing will struggle. While innovative ones, like the Swig Company, who choose the right partners, like Join, will thrive.


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