Electronic Tenant Solutions
Founded in 2002 by brothers Ian and Aaron O’Neil, Electronic Tenant Solutions has become a leading technology provider for the commercial real estate industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the company distinguishes itself by providing applications and services that advance tenant attraction, satisfaction and retention. Electronic Tenant Solutions’ software is deployed in more than half a billion square feet of commercial real estate throughout the United States and internationally.
Before starting Electronic Tenant Solutions, Ian O’Neil owned a full-service advertising firm in Washington, D.C. The building known as 101 Constitution has recently been completed and the building’s management team approached O’Neil’s firm seeking a brand for the property. “When they approached us they had a binder-based manual for every tenant in the building,” recalls O’Neil. “We decided that it would be cool as a CD-ROM. Once we did that it became clear to us that we could turn it into a website.”
This led O’Neil to consult with other property managers to investigate the need for this type of product. Once the demand was discovered, the business model was then launched for Electronic Tenant Solutions to create property management websites and software. “We developed some prototypes and then took those to some big property management companies who immediately saw value,” says O’Neil. “As a result, of building a ‘better mouse trap” for centralized tenant information clients then asked us to address different challenges in operations, communications, risk management and other aspects of property operations .”
Over the last 12 years, Electronic Tenant Solutions has evolved from just building property websites to having 14 applications that serve operations, communications, risk management, leasing / marketing, reservations and energy. A notable distinction to the company’s offerings is the capacity to foster proactive tenant engagement, “With the technology we have today we can help property management personnel find the individual who is environmentally and sustainability conscious in their tenant suite and have that person become the managements agent for advancing sustainability in their suite,” says O’Neil. With a focus on class-A commercial office space, the company also has a substantial presence in medical office.
With offices stationed throughout the country, Electronic Tenant Solutions has software installed in nearly 3,000 offices in 47 states. The company’s geographic footprint also stretches internationally with systems serving customers in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Iraq. “There was an oil services company that was using our product in the corporate headquarters in Houston and they realized they could really use it in their Basra, Iraq, location which is in a small refining village,” says O’Neil. “That situation really speaks to the diverse capabilities of the platform.”
Presence in the industry
If one were to look at virtually any marquee skyline in the United States they would find Electronic Tenant Solutions products. Installations are found in locations such as One World Trade Center in New York, Brookfield Office Properties in Los Angeles, and the John Hancock Tower in Chicago.
“One of the things that we take great pride in is that year after year many of our clients are finalists and often winners in the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) awards,” O’Neil explains. “We’ll deliver value in any property anywhere at any time but it’s very gratifying to work for the folks who are the best in the business and have them use our tools to be successful in the highest arena of property operations.”
The evolution of sustainability in commercial real estate has taken place for multiple reasons such as moral and ethical standpoints from property and business owners, as well as the internal rate of return (IRR). Statistics have shown that when property owners act sustainably, the results benefit all parties involved. Tenant satisfaction, less absenteeism and greater workplace productivity are all by-products of proactively engaging tenants in sustainable endeavors.
“To be able to witness and contribute to that evolution as well as make people aware of the efforts that a lot of these properties have invested in is very rewarding,” says O’Neil. “To see this trend move so rapidly is very exciting and is all about what we do at Electronic Tenant Solutions.”
A bright future
A core group of quality people are essential to Electronic Tenant Solutions success. As a relatively young company, the average tenure of an associate is seven years. “The people who work for us are absolutely critical to the success of our endeavors and are phenomenally dedicated and extremely smart,” says O’Neil. “The employees here give me the biggest sense of pride about this company. I believe that if you give them an opportunity to make their professional lives fulfilling, then they will be happy and as a result you will have happy clients.”
Moving forward O’Neil sees room for plenty of growth. With installations in half a billion square feet of office space throughout the country, Electronic Tenant Solutions is present in approximately 3 percent of the commercial office space of its target markets. “There is a ton of room for us to grow simply in the environments which we have already been successful,” O’Neil explains. “I’m looking for this company to quadruple in size over the next couple of years.
With great brand awareness in the industry, Electronic Tenant Solutions has quickly grown from a simple software company to a sophisticated, multiple platform technology firm. With an excellent customer service and satisfaction rating, the company is well positioned to continue as a leader in the commercial real estate technology evolution.
Watch the US Builders Review interview with Electronic Tenant Solutions at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo 2015 here: https://youtu.be/ATReoSwT8q0
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