Selling with Service

Article excerpt

Faced with declining office demand and soft leasing markets, commercial real estate owners and managers are once again focusing on customer service to get them through the current downturn. Speaking at the Institute of Real Estate Management's Education Conference in Dallas last November, Jon Dooley, of Trammell Crow Company, said, "We want to turn customer service up a notch. We want to quit calling our tenants 'tenants' and call them customers. Our property management offices are now called 'customer centers'."

Dooley said, "It's possible for one person alone to provide outstanding customer service. If you can't take care of a customer's basic problem, try to take care of the mess it caused."

He added that with owners today focusing on results and reporting that indicate metrics of performance, it's essential to measure the success of customer service efforts. "What gets measured becomes very important," he said. "You need to provide owners reports in a timely manner that includes metrics of performance."

[Sidebar]

Building Tenant Relations

[Sidebar]

Bob Sulentic, president and CEO, Trammell Crow Company, stressed the importance of customer service in his organization at a recent company meeting: "We basically have nothing to sell but the service of our people. …

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