A new report suggests that landlords of commercial office property should concentrate on the type of relationships with their customers, the tenants.
The British Council for Offices (BCO) report titled “Office Service Standards and Customer Experience, a Best Practice guide”, argues that “disruptors” in the commercial property business have changed the nature of the relationship with customers. Standard customer service has focussed on revenue, retention of tenants and maintaining the reputation of landlords. The report says that the shift in customer relations involves the “soft skills” of empathy, understanding, and trust when dealing with tenants.
Workers in offices want more than just a desk to work on. They require facilities such as food areas, gyms, and relaxation spaces. This reflects a shift in how many people work. The report sums this up as moving from “space as a commodity” to “space as a service”.
The chair of BCO’s Occupier Group, Chris Richmond, said:
“There is a clear commercial imperative to deliver improved customer experience in the property sector. With the uncertainty of Brexit affecting property values, and an intensifying focus on income returns and retention in the light of weaker occupier markets, there has never been a more apt time for our industry to get closer to its customers.”
Rental yields can be high on office space and commercial mortgages are available for office property purchases. The BOC report reveals that renting out office space with good customer service ensures that tenants are happy and more likely to renew leases.