After I spent many years working for gigantic Fortune 100 companies, many of my former colleagues have asked me what it’s like to work for a smaller, rapidly growing tech company. I tell them it’s like flying an airplane while building it at the same time. It’s about pushing forward while pushing through even when the skies aren’t so friendly and there’s unplanned turbulence. After this past year, I think it’s safe to say we can all relate on some level as 2020 was filled with unexpected twists and turns. Here’s a look back from my bird’s eye view on the past year.
Heading into 2020, we observed the many ways our clients were utilizing the Rise Buildings platform to activate expansive amenity spaces and publish events and communicate with occupants. I spent many days on the road visiting clients and each time learned of a fun and innovative way our clients were utilizing our platform to engage with their building populations. One of my favorite Go-Live Events in Los Angeles involved a Make Your Own Acai Bowl gathering of hundreds of occupants. They also had a Mobile Meditation Truck in the plaza next to the food trucks over lunch. Getting people together and enjoying the amenities was the name of the game and we’re fortunate to partner with the best in the industry to get it done.
Another common solution we’ve delivered is access enablement to allow clients to seamlessly register guests and enter their buildings using the Rise Platform. Thousands of Rise Passes were issued each month for guests to attend meetings, conferences, and special events. By using our end-to-end Visitor Management solution, occupants and their guests could enter a property from any access point whether using our outdoor kiosk or a turnstile. And they could securely access a desired floor with our elevator access solution as well.
Our patented beacon technology was also used to help track building occupancy so our clients could prioritize their staffing needs and increase efficiency by monitoring usage trends in near-real time. Just-in-time notifications were sent to occupants for timely updates about the building or letting them know of promotions. Our clients were soaring, and we were flying high with them.
Then the all too familiar shelter-in-place restrictions and social distancing orders were issued, changing everything we knew about built environments. The use of physical spaces was completely altered. But even then, an opportunity was created for Rise to assist clients in new ways. The winds changed and every Rise team member quickly adapted, while always keeping our client’s success in mind, as our VP of Client Success, Chris Ehinger talked about here.
Less than a month into this global shift, we saw clients leverage technology even more as we moved from the physical world to a virtual one, concentrating even more on sharing information and creating community online. Comparing pre- and post-Covid activity, Rise saw a 300% increase in engagement on our platform and a growing client base who wanted to meet this shift head on.
While absent from the normal physical space, occupants still wanted to be a part of it all. Our platform became the preferred way for occupants to communicate with management and each other. In addition, savvy clients took advantage of this opportunity to implement our latest feature set not only improving communications, but also improving operations and promoting a safer return to work or place to live.
For us, addressing this challenge was paramount. Our clients went from wanting to pack their amenity spaces with as many occupants as they could hold, to looking for new ways to safely manage a space at reduced capacity. Our job is to help them achieve their new goals. Clients are now trying to differentiate themselves through safety and communication offerings and the ability to create virtual and interactive communities online.
During this time of social distancing and isolation nearly everyone has become more reliant on technology in both our personal and our professional lives, and this dependence has also influenced Rise. At the height of it all, my husband and I had our first son and I really can’t tell you what that experience would’ve looked like without technology – from virtual doctor’s appointments, to ordering necessities online and connecting with family remotely near and far we would’ve been lost without it. Like many others, we were searching for new ways to stay connected while staying home or while being kept at an arm’s length, or at least six feet away, from a normal routine.
Staying in Good Company
Looking back at the year, we altered everything from the way we worked, went to school, visited the doctor, got our groceries, attended church, and I am certain that our world will be impacted in ways we don’t even know yet. Although there is some uncertainty on exactly what 2021 will look like, I am certain of Rise’s ability to perform because we have always kept our clients top of mind. We don’t blindly follow every trend; we listen closely to our clients and create and deploy the solutions that will set them up for success.
I am also optimistic about the future because, above everything, we are led and surrounded by the best flight crew a person could wish for. From the time we packed into a tiny space in a co-working office years ago, then over-flowing out of four separate offices, until we established our own global HQ, the people who filled those spaces make all the difference. As we continue to grow, I am certain that I’m surrounded by an extraordinary group of colleagues who deliver day in and out to help our clients and work tirelessly to keep us moving forward as a team. If quarantine has taught us anything, it’s that the company we keep is what matters most.
As we wrap-up the year and as this is the last team blog post of 2020, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season! I sincerely thank all of our clients, partners, and team members near and far for all of the ways we are able to collaborate for successful outcomes for all. We are indeed in great company in that regard as well. Although 2020 was probably far from what everyone may have planned, if we look back I hope we can all find some silver linings. For many, it has brought us closer to our foundation – we learned to live with less, that we’re more resilient than we might have imagined, and that technology can do wonders when it’s the only way we have to connect.