Presented By: RXR
RXOs Build Community and Enhance Value for RXR Tenants
When a major tenant at one of RXR’s office buildings sought a way to greet employees returning to the office after months of working remotely during the pandemic, RXR curated a program that was uniquely tailored for the tenant’s team. This included a rotating line-up of musicians, and vendor markets that transformed what could have been an anxiety-ridden experience into something special and memorable for its employees.
The collaboration was not a stand-alone occurrence, but part of a larger RXR program that offers tenants bespoke events, social impact experiences, exclusive perks, amenities, personalized programs and partnerships and more. The execution of this multifaceted program falls on the company’s Resident Experience Officers or RXOs, a team of customer-centric specialists dedicated to enhancing the overall tenant experience.
When asked if the RXOs are traditional concierges, David Gise, First Vice President of Customer Experience and Community Engagement for RXR, explained, “A traditional concierge connotes a service that exclusively responds to requests for help. The RXO program is so much deeper and more introspective, where services and programming are uniquely curated to address not just the individual tenant’s needs, but the needs of the broader office building community.”
Recognizing that the future of real estate is no longer about delivering four walls, but about creating a distinctive, personalized customer experience that fosters meaningful interactions, collaboration, and community, RXR launched the RXO program in the months prior to COVID-19. But now, with structural shifts emanating from the pandemic fundamentally altering the role of the workplace, the customer’s experience is more important than ever.
Today, RXR’s RXOs service 26 buildings across the company’s New York City and Long Island portfolios. Over the past year, as more companies bring their teams back, the RXOs have been working harder than ever to activate once-dormant buildings, with programming that makes employees feel welcome and energized about returning to the workplace.
At the company’s 2.3 million square foot Starrett-Lehigh building, home to a diverse array of companies and a building known for its distinct sense of community, the RXO’s role has been critical as employees began to return to their offices. RXR received numerous requests from companies for networking opportunities so their team members could get back to socializing and acclimate themselves to feeling comfortable around their colleagues again in a way that also had positive ramifications for their businesses.
Over the past year, the RXO Program coordinated a monthly speaker series and arranged discounts for everything from Chelsea Market to the Web3 NYC Gallery. Recent events have also included terra-cotta painting parties, special gardening days in Hudson River Park, and a party for National Hispanic Heritage Month that attracted 300 people to the Starrett-Lehigh lobby.
“Companies are seeking ways to bring their employees back to the office to encourage in-person collaboration, mentorship, and culture,” said Gise. “We know that an elevated level of hospitality, curated experiences, and a sense of community cultivates employee satisfaction and customer loyalty.”
Other RXO events throughout the RXR portfolio have included panel discussions, farmers markets, an urban beekeeping program, e-waste recycling programs, art and photo exhibits, film screenings, clothing drives, and other volunteer opportunities for tenants, to name just a few. There are also valued amenities such as Rentbrella, an app-based umbrella renting program, and Mamava lactation pods, providing new mothers with private, comfortable spaces to meet their needs.
The RXOs also prioritize local events and working with local creatives to activate buildings and public spaces, enhancing the sense of community RXR’s properties have to offer. The Front Stoop Series, for example, is a five-part photographic exhibit housed in the lobby at the company’s New York City headquarters at 75 Rockefeller Plaza where RXR, in partnership with student art nonprofit NYC Salt, has helped promote contemporary voices on Black history, women’s experience, the LGBTQ+ community and more.
The RXO programming that helped facilitate the tenants return to the office has now evolved into reoccurring vendor markets. The vendor market, comprised of local family-owned small businesses, provides the building’s tenants with an opportunity to shop from a variety of different vendors, picking up everything from plants to holiday gifts.
“We work with those local businesses to make sure our tenants know about those opportunities so that they not only feel like their building is activated, but that they can take advantage of the exciting neighborhoods around RXR buildings,” said Shar Nims, RXO Senior Manager at RXR.
And with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) serving as a priority for all industries, the RXO program further amplifies and maximizes the impact of individual company DEI initiatives.
Whitney Arcaro, EVP, Head of Marketing & Retail Leasing for RXR, notes that these services appeal to clients of all types and sizes.
“Tenancies big and small are leaning into these services for a more fulfilling overall experience,” said Arcaro, “as well as the ability to extract even more value from the environments in which they operate their businesses.”
While the social and community advantages of the RXO Program are apparent, RXR emphasizes its importance on a business level as well.
“There’s a business intent tied to some of these initiatives that helps drive real estate value creation in a great way,” said Arcaro. “That’s important when we look at where we are today economically. The tenant reaction’s been incredible — these events are actually driving velocity and retention in our buildings. We see these services and events as not just ‘nice to have,’ but as a ‘need to have’ in this post-covid world.”
Moving forward, RXR will continue to evolve the role of RXOs to provide greater community building and value enhancement to their customers and neighborhoods at large.
“As more and more companies return to the office, the RXO program will only continue to grow in importance and evolve as we work more directly with our tenants to foster a sense of community within the building and the broader community at large,” said Gise.