TEN Takeaways from Caleb Parker, Founder of Bold
ICYMI: HILO’s David Abrams welcomed Caleb Parker, Founder of Bold to the TEN Podcast to chat about putting customers first when it comes to CRE. Here are some of our takeaways:
You have to have passion for what you do
Caleb shares that he is an “entrepreneur at heart”. He says, “I think as an entrepreneur or any person that’s looking to innovate or, you know, trying to have some sort of success in whether it be their own business or innovating within some other business, you have to have a passion for what you do. And for me, being an entrepreneur does require optimism and positivity, and that was innate in me already.”
Entrepreneurs can be big dreamers
As entrepreneurs, David and Caleb discuss the importance of balance. Caleb explains that “as entrepreneurs, we have that optimistic view of the world and sometimes we can be really big dreamers. Which is great, you need that, but you also as you say, need that balance. And for me, my co-founder was that balance. He wasn’t a pessimist by any means, but he was a realist and he thought about things logically versus romantically, so to speak.”
$100,000 to improve customer experience
David asks Caleb how he would spend $100,000 of additional budget right now. Caleb says, “I would take my tech and I would go explore in the areas that I already think about, I’m already thinking about, how can we improve the customer experience? And so I would take it and allocate that. If it was just a magic hundred grand, I would just dedicate that to trying something new, that we think is on our horizon, that will improve our customer experience.”
A return to the workplace requires a hybrid model
Caleb believes that flexibility and choice are two important keywords when thinking about returning to the workplace. He says, “I think we, in commercial real estate, whether this is on the operator or landlord side of the industry or whether this is on the customer side of the industry, we need to be thinking about okay, well if people have choice, what is going to make them feel good? What is going to help them be productive? Flexibility comes into that, that’s why I’m really big on that. So I think the future, we’ve seen this massive discussion in all the circles online about work from home, the office is dead, or the office is not dead, everybody’s going to come back into the office and we’re going to go back to normal. And there’s a little bit of truth to both, but neither are exactly right. And I think the key word is that hybrid model.”
Flexible working is a talent acquisition tool
As they continue their discussion on flexibility in the workplace, Caleb explains that “prior to the pandemic, we saw future leaning companies already embracing flexible working, as a talent acquisition tool. Because when you have this war for talent, if somebody else is offering better terms, whether that’s money or flexible working or whatever it might be in culture, then they’re going to get the top talent. Because today, particularly in a knowledge-based economy, talent has a choice of where they work. So leading up to the pandemic, we were already seeing this shift towards flexibility, flexible working.”
The question is, what do your customers need to be successful?
David and Caleb discuss the importance of customer experience in CRE. Caleb shares that he was recently asked “what technologies do we need?” He explains that this is the wrong question to ask. “The question is, what do your customers need to be successful? Tech is an enabler. The best tech, you don’t even know it exists because it’s there and it makes your life easier. But tech is just one piece of it. There’s also hospitality and service and the technology should free people up to be human.”
Building managers need to consider the broader ecosystem of the “office”
David asks Caleb if he is facing any challenges in light of the current world circumstances that our listeners might find interesting. Caleb explains that he and his team “operate assets for our clients who are asset owners, portfolio owners and big occupiers.” They are focused on the entire customer experience of a building including: contactless access, well-being during COVID and post COVID, air circulation, humidity levels, CO2 levels, IOT, sensors, lead certificates, as well as amenities like gyms and yoga studios. It’s important to think about the entire building ecosystem!
Thank goodness for Netflix
When he’s not working, Caleb shares that he likes to work out and travel. However, he says “if I’m really honest and maybe this resonates with most people on here, I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix. Designated Survivor has to be my favorite Netflix series right now.” David adds The Queen’s Gambit as another recommendation if you’re looking for a new show to watch.
David asks Caleb to share the number one thing he misses about the workplace. He says, “the people, absolutely. There’s no replacement for face-to-face.” We couldn’t agree more!