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Tenant Experience

Neigbourhoodisation Defines the Future of Travel Hubs: 2 Key Takeaways from our Webinar

Discover the inspiring takeaways from Chainels' webinar on Creating Better Tenant Experiences in Travel Hubs. Delve into key trends reshaping real estate in airports and train stations, the impact of digitisation & neighbourhoodisation to how travel hubs of today are managed.

Remember train stations from fifty years ago – they probably only had a little cafe that travellers could stop by for a while to wait for their trains. Or, retail areas in airports consisted of a simple duty free shop, and that only. 

What we see today is a totally different picture than that. Airports are surrounded by offices, hotels, congress centres, and are connected with several streams of public transportation – and the same applies to train stations. Why is this happening, and what does that mean? 

Travel hubs like airports and train stations have evolved, and continue evolving as a natural consequence of what we call experience-making in real estate that sweeps all types of real estate, be it commercial or residential. That is the reason why we define them as a hub these days – as they have evolved into vibrant spaces that offer a wide range of services and experiences. 

For travel hubs, this means engaging travellers to spend more quality time at the place of departure or arrival, by accommodating services like food and shopping. Accordingly, travel hubs have to grow in a way to serve a bigger number of tenants (and more diverse!), as well as expand out of the main travel building, and grow into a neighbourhood. 

Neighbourhoodisation of travel hubs, explains the now and future of these assets – not only the airport or train station itself, but also the entire area or campus that surround it. All stakeholders, especially asset and property managers in travel real estate know very well that such a transformation brings about a change in tenant relationships and experiences as well. 

Now that property teams manage a high number of tenant companies and their employees that work in their travel hubs, they need the right communication strategy, people and tools to do so. 

There is one company that takes the lead in creating a collaborative and engaging travel hub community, and that is Vienna Airport City. (Read the one-page case study here.)  

Situated right next to Vienna's main airport terminal, with over 200 tenant companies, 2,000 employees and countless services like hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, dry cleaning service, medical centre, fitness saloon, and others on the landside, it is one of Austria’s most attractive and well-known business locations. 

Vienna Airport City takes their tenant relationships seriously and facilitates community activities through a bunch of tenant engagement activities and initiatives, all communicated & managed through Chainels platform. 


“Tenant experience in travel hubs consists of three main aspects today - data, communication and operations. For your operations to work, you need quantitative and qualitative data on what tenants want and need, as well as you need to communicate with your tenants to solve issues.”


These make only the tip of the iceberg of what we learned from a recent dialogue with Vienna AirportCity’s Stefan Kreuzhuber who leads the Digitalisation & Marketing department for the Real Estate and Landside Management at Vienna Airport at a webinar. Through that, we landed into two key takeaways around building and nurturing tenant relationships in travel hubs of today.

Let’s dive right in. 

Watch full webinar now 👇


01 The fewer communication complexities, the happier the tenants

Travel hubs are extremely complex spaces. The amount of day-to-day problems that tenants have to tackle, as well as demands from travellers, is huge. Therefore, landlords have to assist tenants with ways of communicating that are as hassle-free as it gets. 

In a communication dynamic where announcements are shared via emails, events are organised on WhatsApp or Facebook, issues are solved over countless phone calls, tenants will get confused and lose track of the thread. Accordingly, a consolidated platform where all communications are handled in one place works better for such environments. 

“When a tenant requests a maintenance repair, they do it via an email, then you as the landlord communicate with a service provider via WhatsApp, and the list goes on. That process gets very inefficient but also confusing. The asset management will have a hard time collecting data, as well as understanding how tenant problems gets solved.


02 Tenant satisfaction goes beyond solving maintenance issues 

For the ultimate level of tenant satisfaction and retention in travel hubs, community-building is key. That happens with organising meaningful events that your tenants will appreciate, sharing incentives like discounts or vouchers with the tenants' staff, encouraging tenants to share best practices around the daily life in the hub, and more. 

In such vibrant environments like airports and train stations where there is a high number of tenant companies and their employees, tuning people in to collaborative activities gets difficult without a dedicated community platform. Having all tenant communications in one platform will help landlords centralise their community-building efforts. 

“You have to connect with your community, keep them happy and engaged to stabilise tenant retention. What works well for us is to organise events - but you have to be patient with the show-up level. We started our first community event with 30 people, and recently we reached over 350 - and these events are always so appreciated by tenants.”


In conclusion, we acknowledge that today's airports and railway stations go beyond simple spaces for transport of goods and people - as they have become vibrant hubs where people spend more time for leisure, work, shopping, and more. In such spaces, to make sure that operations are working efficiently, it is vital to have the right property management tool that facilitates communications, community-building, and overall the operational efficiency - all at the same time. 

Want to know more about Vienna Airport City's tenant experience journey with Chainels' community platform? Read the one-page case study here


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