Hasn’t the focal point been directed at customers to date?
Oliver Hofmann: It was common in the sector 10 to 15 years ago that we received a fixed percentage of net rent as remuneration from property owners. Today, our sector is for the first time properly opening the door for customers and their needs. But we still harbour catch-up potential compared with other sectors.
Sandro Principe: Here, I can certainly apply everything I’ve been able to achieve in my career to date. In fact, at my last two employers, we had initially intensively tackled and subsequently analysed the issue of customer needs too. Thereafter, we addressed these needs and presented customers with solutions and services tailored to their requirements.
Oliver Hofmann: In my past activities in the realm of banking, I also worked in a sector that has progressed much further in this regard than we have advanced in the real estate services segment at present. Client portals that are currently the subject of discussion in our sector have been the standard in banking already for some time.
Sandro Principe: Our shopping centre apps are a good example of how we’re catching up with other sectors at the moment. End-customers can learn from the app all the important information regarding the respective stores, site maps or opening hours. In addition, shoppers moving around the centre also receive timely up-to-date offers and special discounts via iBeacon (i.e. small Bluetooth transmitter) – depending on where and when the shopper is particularly located. This isn’t just a totally new user experience for end-consumers, but also a great service for our tenants. Moreover, especially noteworthy for a provider of our size is the fact that the concept can be brilliantly developed in terms of multiplicity and scalability.
Oliver Hofmann: We should not forget the virtually accessible rental properties. Together with Matterport – the leading innovator in this segment – we have achieved virtual accessibility for the Nike Store in Sihlcity as well as for numerous apartments. This technology will now systematically flow into our daily routine operations step-by-step.
Is becoming a digital master a simple mission?
Sandro Principe: No, by no means! From a technological perspective, naturally some «low hanging fruits» can be picked at first. In this regard, Wincasa is like an Eldorado for me. But we will tread along the really right path together with our employees. In this context, it’s not just about getting to know the new tools, but also acquiring the capabilities that are indispensable at the present time and in the future.
Oliver Hofmann: Consequently, we began training all employees in the subject of digital skills already in 2017, getting them in shape for the digital transformation. In this way, we are systematically preparing the entire organisation and bringing all participants closer to realising what our objective means and knowing how they and our customers will reap benefits as a result.
Sandro Principe: “The Golden Circle Model”. Why – how – what. Why are we doing it; how are we doing it and what are we doing.
Oliver Hofmann: We are perhaps even ahead of the market in other areas. Indeed, we are the first to offer tenants the option of retaining security deposits in the block chain. We are blazing new trails together with IT firm and inacta and Swiss Prime Site. The path is so new that it’s still unforeseeable if and how this very state-of-the-art, efficient and secure method will gain a foothold. But that’s also part of our focus as digital master: daring to venture forward with innovations and leading the way.