Presented By: VTS
How Portfolio-Wide Digital Access Separates VTS Activate From the Pack.
How VTS Activate uses Bluetooth and NFC to offer portfolio-wide digital access through one app, making return-to-office more desirable for tenants.
VTS Activate is an easily configurable tenant experience platform that allows building owners to connect tenants to everything they offer — in their building and across their entire portfolio — by enabling full digital access to buildings, the tenant suite, conference and amenity centers, and more. VTS’s digital access system makes use of both NFC and Bluetooth technology, making it the only system to do so and greatly broadening the abilities and reach of the application.
Partner Insights spoke with VTS CEO Nick Romito to delve into the abilities of VTS Activate and its unique approach to digital access.
Commercial Observer: Tell us about VTS Activate.
Nick Romito: VTS Activate is a single application that services the property manager, the asset manager and the tenant. This is the first application to serve all three. Operationally, property management can easily handle all digital access for the building, and the tenant gets to do away with plastic key cards forever. Their phone is now their key to get into the building at the security turnstiles downstairs and at the tenant’s office. Our slogan may as well be “Death to the plastic key card because VTS Activate is here.” We are redefining digital access.
In speaking with your clients over the years, how important is comprehensive digital access to them?
In our new hybrid-work world, it’s critical. If owners want their tenants to come back and work in an office, they have to make it very easy, with as few barriers to entry as possible. VTS Activate allows an owner to turn their portfolio into a potential campus for their tenants by giving them access to everything — not just their own office, but amenities throughout the campus or even in other markets — all through a single application.
Is there any information available about how having this capacity has helped owners and operators attract more people back to the office?
Right now, given the problem with the capital markets, owners can’t afford to deliver an amenity floor in every office building they own. But, they know they have to offer a trophy-asset experience, because the trophy assets are the only ones with any kind of growth or leasing activity right now. Those buildings have major amenity floors and lots of CapEx going on. Activate allows owners to pick a building, spend that money to create the trophy asset, and then, through our technology, give all of their tenants in all of their buildings access to the trophy asset which has the amenities. So that one building they’re investing in helps them deliver a trophy experience to every tenant in their portfolio.
What are some of the greatest challenges for VTS in creating ways to consolidate access?
Regardless of which access control system they have, we make access streamlined within a single application by integrating into all aspects of their system. That is a really important part of the story. We are one of the most integrated solutions in the industry. So regardless of what existing access control systems you have in place, we make access simple. Landlords don’t need to rip and replace what they have to make this work. We take care of it for them.
What are some of the other significant features VTS Activate?
VTS Activate does digital access using both NFC and Bluetooth, whereas historically Bluetooth was the only option. Most of our competitors still only use Bluetooth. NFC allows you to store your mobile key in your wallet for both iOS and Android, which makes building access instantaneous. One tap and you’re in.
How does VTS Activate improve both physical and technological security for your users?
The property management team manages credentials directly in VTS Activate. They control who gets digital access in the building from one system versus having to go to multiple systems, which takes a lot of time, might work differently and has a lot of room for human error. VTS allows a property manager to give a tenant access to one or more doors, or one or more buildings, that might have amenity floors, flex space or conference centers, and all from one system. Historically, they would have to go to five different access control systems with five different plastic key cards. Again, death to the plastic key cards.
How do the digital access functions of VTS Activate compare to those of your competitors?
The biggest difference is that most of our competitors do not do this natively. They use third parties, which means these functions are not a true part of their application. This is a core aspect of VTS Activate, because we understand how important it is to deliver the kind of experience that tenants now expect. Also, no one else uses both NFC and Bluetooth, which means that regardless of the access control system you have or your reader, we can get your tenants into the building digitally. That gives us an edge.
What are the ultimate big picture advantages clients will enjoy due to using VTS Activate?
The word “workplace” has been redefined by the pandemic, but the industry hasn’t had the technology to enable it. That’s what VTS Activate does. The biggest benefit is that tenant sentiment is changing because of VTS Activate. Owners now offer their tenants an application that lets them work the way they want to work, utilizing a variety of spaces across a portfolio.