The current issue of the “Immobilienmagazin” examines “The new world of work“. This special supplement was prepared in cooperation with IMMOFINANZ and contains a number of interviews on our brand strategy and our myhive office brand. These interviews will also be published here in our blog. We are now starting with COO Dietmar Reindl and his Statements on “Brands and Growth“. You can find the interview here:
With its strong focus on brands for individual asset categories, IMMOFINANZ distinguishes itself from its competitors, who usually brand individual properties. So is IMMOFINANZ a real estate concern or a branded company?
Dietmar Reindl: Both, there is no contradiction at all, although we have certainly taken on the pioneering role here. A brand helps with orientation, creates trust and recognition value. That is also important in our everyday work with our customers, our tenants. With our brand concept, however, we have gone a step further than our competitors: Instead of branding property individually and differently, we have oriented our portfolio consistently on three brands – myhive for offices, STOP SHOP for retail parks, and VIVO! for smaller shopping centres. And we have implemented this rapidly in the past few years: By now, more than 70% of our rental revenue is already being generated in properties under these three brands.
What is pivotal for this branding offensive?
Dietmar Reindl: Our very positive experience in recent years with our first brand, STOP SHOP. Building on this we launched VIVO! in 2014, and introduced our office brand myhive at the end of 2016. Our brands stand for high quality and create security and trust for our tenants. In addition, for us as a large real estate company, the brand policy represents a competitive advantage due to the high degree of standardisation. Instead of developing individual concepts, we roll out a uniform concept with a high recognition value. That allows us to expand rapidly, while at the same time saving costs.
myhive – your latest office brand for office property – was presented at the end of 2016.
How has the concept been received by tenants?
Dietmar Reindl: Very well. That is reflected not only in the occupancy rate, but also by the extensive positive feedback. What pleases me particularly: We exceed our tenants’ expectations. That begins with the friendly greeting by name at the Welcome Desk, and continues with the pleasant atmosphere. This is all supplemented by numerous service offers and support from our Community Managers, as well as an exclusive lounge and a power-nap room, for instance. We regard our tenants as guests – just like in a hotel. At the same time we also show consideration when room needs change. For example, within reason we allow the uncomplicated return or expansion of rented spaces.
At myhive, great value is placed on networking between and among tenants. Our newly-introduced Community Managers therefore take care of exchanges between tenants, identify business opportunities, and establish the relevant contacts. That ranges from sporting activities to after-work events and business, where the experts among our tenants give talks on current topics.
How many myhive buildings does your portfolio now contain, and what are your future plans for the brand?
Dietmar Reindl: We already have 21 myhive office properties in five countries, with a rentable space of around 470,000 m², and we are currently rolling out the concept to more buildings in Vienna, Bucharest and Warsaw. Tenants in existing office buildings have also approached us directly and asked whether the myhive brand and the associated services might also be rolled out to their building. We are also bringing the concept to Germany.
But myhive is not suitable for every office building?
Dietmar Reindl: That’s true. The size and infrastructure need to be right. The office property should certainly be at least 10,000 m² or so. Also, myhive, with its strong community idea and its numerous events is naturally ideal for multitenant buildings.
In the case of single-tenant buildings, such as our new trivago campus in Düsseldorf, the tenant trivago does not need to rely on our support for mutual networking.
What role is played by innovation and digitalisation in your brand concept?
Dietmar Reindl: Of course we are addressing the issues concerning “big data”. We must gather, process and use all of the relevant data in the right way. New technologies help us here. We use them particularly to generate additional customer benefits. In the retail sector, for example, we not only measure visitor numbers, but also combine these data with other sources such as weather, events and turnover.
This allows us to optimise our marketing activities and thus increase the benefits for our tenants and their customers. At myhive, in turn, we use apps for service performance, as well as for comments and complaints. In other words, while developing the concept further you also rely on feedback from your tenants? That plays an important role. Customer satisfaction is right at the top of our list of priorities. In the office sector, we conduct regular tenant surveys and derive optimisation needs from them. The suggestions and wishes of our tenants were already included in the conception of our myhive brand. And we aim to continue working in this cooperative manner!