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Focusing Property Management on the Customer Experience

Knowing the strategies that picked up steam in 2021 will position marketplaces industry pros well for 2022 and beyond Here’s Part 8 of Commerce + Communities Today’s series.

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Property managers at Trademark kept sales and traffic high in 2021 by intentionally creating safe, clean environments and then making sure tenants and visitors knew all about those efforts, said vice president of property management Maranda Auzenne. “We understood visitors’ hesitancy about returning to our spaces, but it quickly became clear people still craved activity and connection,” she said. “Property managers needed to provide the right environment so we could welcome ready customers back with exemplary customer service and innovative experiential activations.”

Trademark is known for retail, dining and entertainment centers like Market Street in The Woodlands, north of Houston, and the 200-tenant Galleria Dallas, along with mixed-use assets like the 278,000-square-foot WestBend in Fort Worth and the 2 million-square-foot Annapolis Town Center in Maryland. As did others in the marketplaces industry, property managers at Trademark historically had focused on back-of-house operations, the quiet but critically important stewardship of how visitors and tenants experience a property.

But in 2021, Auzenne and her team spent more of their time rolling out and working with communications and data analytics tools that facilitated curbside pickup and virtual shopping. “Property teams were now part of tenants’ omnichannel, last-mile delivery,” she explained. “This, in turn, assisted with the labor shortage issues they faced.”

Rather than relying on marketing budgets to pay for these efforts, Trademark classified some of these implementations as strategic capital projects, the kinds of investments that yield value for the company and its assets over the long term, Auzenne noted.

“Last year proved that shopping centers and mixed-use projects are dynamic, complicated property types,” Auzenne said. “Managing them well requires dedicated, tenacious professionals with broad and nuanced skills for enhancing places.”

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