Last week we kicked off our pioneering research programme with the first ‘Return on Experience’ Research Consortium meeting.
This is a new initiative commissioned by Experience Makers that will help property owners make better asset management decisions in the Covid -19 era. Covid crisis is challenging the fundamentals of real estate; location, product, rent, value and service. What our customers want and the way we work, shop, live and relax is changing fundamentally.
New tools and thinking needed
“It is the job of asset management to make investment decisions which drive loyalty, protect rents and maximise retention” says Howard Morgan, Director at research partners, RealService “but the tools to help them evaluate these decisions are undeveloped compared with other industries”.
This was echoed by Neil Young, Investment Chair at Young and ex-Chief Executive at Get Living, who says “budgets may be pressed but the need to invest to drive loyalty and retain customers is the clearest path to recovery, as long as we make the right decisions. This requires new types of data and new tools to evaluate investment”.
‘The need to invest to drive loyalty and retain customers is the clearest path to recovery, as long as we make the right decisions’.
The project is being supported by lead sponsors Transport for London and Experience Makers members, including The Crown Estate, BNP Paribas, Savills, Hines and M&G Real Estate.
Siobhan Jared, senior business and customer performance manager at TfL said: “My team is working very closely with TfL Property to help define strategy, develop customer products, improve communication and learn how to evaluate our CX decisions.
“But I am constantly being asked, ‘where’s the value?’, ‘how is revenue increasing because of the customer?’
‘So, what we have to do is stand back, be professional, and prove empirically that what we’re doing is targeted and has a positive impact on ROI’.
With more demanding and diverse customers, blurring between sectors, acceleration of technology, and wellbeing, sustainability and purpose rising on business agendas, customer experience in real estate has never been at a more daunting - and exciting juncture.
‘Different businesses are at different levels of CX maturity but the direction of travel is undeniable’.
Chris Garthwaite, CEO at customer consultancy CGA, and the latest partner to join Experience Makers, also suggested that getting to grips with CX in real estate is a question of language. Different businesses are at different levels of CX maturity but the direction of travel is undeniable.
The ROX Consortium research project seeks to unify understanding and help fill the gaps by creating a toolkit for asset managers to classify, assess the business case and measure the impact of investing in customer experience initiatives.
The programme will look at metrics such as vacancy rate, lease renewal, Net Promoter Score, ESG indicators and financial measures such as total return or net revenue, as well as brand value.
The new toolkit will be the outcome of a two-year programme which will start by creating a knowledge bank of customer experience best practices and a set of measurement guidelines drawing on experts within and outside property.
These guidelines will then be tested through a series of real-life projects working with the project sponsors.
‘We’re thrilled to be supporting the ‘Return on Experience’ Research Consortium which will help redefine the way we think about real estate, at a time that calls for greater purpose, collaboration and clarity”.
- Siobhan Jared, TfL
Experience Makers is the real estate industry champion for customer experience professional education and research. If you would like to join the ROX research consortium or for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org