The interview with Łukasz Kwieciński, Asset Manager at Skanska Property Poland
RAC is a unique offer on the Polish market. Could you tell us something about its main assumptions?
I am managing a team which is composed of six people. Our main objective is realization of the Skanska Customer Care program with after-sales care in all realized office buildings. Considering our philosophy of cooperation with clients, we are taking care about close collaboration with a tenant at each stage of a lease process – starting with the moment of signing a contract. Our role is to provide each tenant with support – logistic, project and legal. Therefore, conditions of a lease contract may be realized in accordance with needs and idea of a tenant and – most of all – in a way that is comfortable for them. Moreover, we are trying to show our clients that the fact of cooperation with us allows them to receive a unique value, that is a constant presence of our company. We are also taking care about not losing a contact with tenants after their moving into our structures. By maintaining permanent relations with them, we may be informed about existing solutions and ways how to meet their future expectations. We are close with our clients, we perfectly understand their needs. It allows our company to gain a big portion of market knowledge.
How about the idea of creating such a post? Was it dictated by a need or maybe Skanska Property Poland drew inspiration from foreign partnerships of the group?
I am managing first such department in the structures of Skanska Commercial Development Europe, including the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The establishment of the function of Regional Asset Coordinator was dictated by a need which we were all able to notice. We realized that the verification process of a contract shall and their execution might seem problematic for many tenants. It is especially noticeable in the cases when tenants have to deal with legal regulations negotiated by foreign departments of big organizations. Therefore, we decided to prepare a dedicated team which will support them in this process. We have an advantage over external consultants because we are working on our project and we know everything about it. Thus, it is easier to obtain certain decisions and crucial information from the point of view of a tenant.
What functions are exactly performed by Asset Manager? What are the competences of RAC in a certain office? Does not your job remind activities taken by a property manager?
The functions of RAC and Asset Manager complement each other. Therefore, we are trying to strictly cooperate. Property Manager has following duties: contracting and supervision over building services and responsibility for operation activity of a structure. On the other hand, we are responsible for service of tenants in the whole adaptation process of their offices.
First and foremost, we are performing a crucial role in our every-day work which is reflected in the process of preparation and handing over of office area. We are in a constant contact with the building's manager and project manager responsible for the building's process and finishing of the office. We are verifying – in cooperation with them – whether the realization of finishing works is consistent with regulations and we are also mediating in communication with tenants in that area. Moreover, we are coordinating the process of introducing changes suggested by tenants for executive projects. It happens really often and in such situation we try to consider these changes if we are able to do it. We are also engaged in preparation of documentation which is needed in the process of handing over of space and we are actively participating in it. We are devising a possibly positive set of rooms in cooperation with our client. We are also adjusting office space to specific requirements of the organization of their team. Certain coordinators are the only contact for clients in all issues concerning this new office and thus they become a natural connector between the executor and future tenants. We are the first company with such a complex approach to the issue of customer service.
Your first tasks as asset manager were harmonization of the Skanska Customer Care program in all investments of the company in Poland, enhancement of quality of developer services delivered by Skanska in the country as well as implementation of chosen solutions in the office partnership owned by Skanska, including the region of Eastern and Central Europe. Did you manage to realize these tasks? Which solutions were implemented and what are the effects? What is left to do?
A great part of these assumptions has already been implemented. Our customer care program was normalized and implemented for all investments realized by our company in Poland. We have already noticed some good effects of implementation of the Skanska Customer Care program, mainly by positive feedback from tenants. Thanks to realized activities, our clients feel that there is someone at the developer side, someone is taking care of them – at each stage of a lease process.
First and foremost, we are still going to develop the department to such a stage so that the service could be realized in accordance with the same standard in all our buildings in Central and Eastern Europe, that is in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. It requires constant internal consultations and learning from experiences of all of these markets. Our clients often choose buildings of Skanska also in other countries of Europe. We are meeting with them all the time. Therefore, it is really important to always present the same high level of services within many projects.
What needs are reported by tenants serviced by your team?
I think that the most meaningful trends are all issues related to implementation of green and sustainable solutions. The Skanska Customer Care program envisages a wide segment devoted to building of ecological awareness of tenants. In cooperation with a group of experts from department of sustainable development, we are preparing programs of green education for those clients who report a need for extending their knowledge in the area of proper using of a structure. Another important issue is adjustment of area to specific needs of tenants. We are trying to meet these expectations when we are receiving a need for application of special technologies on the area rented by our tenant.
What was the most difficult or the weirdest need of a tenant who contacted your team? Did you manage to fulfill it? If so, how, by what means?
Actually, there are no „weird” needs for us. All requirements of our tenants in respect of office area offered by our company are important. We are trying to meet them in the best way possible. An interesting example may be a situation when it turned out that there is no planned jack for a coffeemaker in the management zone owned by one of our tenants. The office has already been functioning so we secured the possibility of ordering a free coffee in a cafe located on the ground floor for all tenants till the moment of installation of the jack.
Are you planning to increase your team in the nearest future? If so, what competences should have candidates for the post of RAC?
Our team has increased by two people within last six months. We are still developing and thus I do not exclude that there will be such a need. Candidates for this post should meet several fundamental conditions. First and foremost, they should have experience in areas related to lease of office area and customer service. Regional Asset Coordinator has to coordinate their work and take needs of many separate stakeholders into consideration. Therefore, we really care about high interpersonal competences and ability to negotiate. Undoubtedly, they have to know English very well with a special emphasis put on technical language in the area of properties.
Thank you very much for the conversation.