Executive Spotlight: Recipe For Success, Kris Broder of BECO Management
- Jun 25, 2015
Rockville, Md.-based BECO Management Inc. has had a lot of success attracting tenants to its Greater Baltimore-area properties this year. This success is a result of the commercial real estate company’s strategy to develop true partnerships with tenants.
Kris Broder, BECO’s vice president of brand and workforce experience, has agreed to tell us more about her company’s approach. Broder first joined BECO in 1995, as director of special projects. She assumed the position of vice president of brand and tenant experience in late 2013. The position was created as part of BECO’s company-wide mission to bring five-star service and amenities to its tenants.
MHN: Levi Cohen told us earlier this month that BECO’s strategy to develop true partnerships with its clients played an important role in attracting new tenants to BECO Towers. Can you tell us more about this approach? How does it work?
Broder: If you think about the Ritz Carlton, Peninsula Hotels or the Four Seasons, and what sets them apart as destination hotels, the difference is the experience and service that drives loyalty. That’s the idea that we’ve built our business on – from our signature touchpoints, each of which is a defining opportunity to connect with our customers and their employees, to our extraordinary service. In order to deliver this extraordinary service and develop true partnerships with our customers, we’ve appropriately resourced the organization to ensure that we can deliver on our promises every day, without exception.
MHN: When did BECO first come up with this idea and why?
Broder: BECO Management was founded on the idea that the workplace experience should be extraordinary, but in recent years we have really homed in on this concept, asked ourselves what that really means, and refined our approach. My position was created in the fall of 2013 to ensure a true focused effort on making life better at work for our customers in every part of the company.
MHN: What results did it yield? Did it bring any important changes?
Broder: This has been a true evolutionary process for us, and it is a continuous improvement initiative that is all about understanding the evolving needs of our customers and how we meet them where they are. We know that when we understand our customers better than anyone else, we’re better equipped to align with their wants, needs and aspirations. But no two customers are the same, and even similar types of companies have subtle nuances that differentiate them, so we have learned that understanding each customer at a micro level is key.
MHN: Are other companies in the market using this approach or is BECO the only one?
Broder: Our credo is that BECO is more than a portfolio of buildings – it is the idea that the workplace experience can be extraordinary, and that is what differentiates us in the marketplace. There are undoubtedly landlords that provide top-notch amenities, and others that deliver excellent service, but striking the balance between those two factors, combined with a true commitment from our ownership, is unique. That’s what separates us from other companies in the market.
MHN: Do you feel that this strategy has given you an advantage over your competition?
Broder: We know that this sets us apart, and we do feel like this has given us an advantage. This model goes beyond what people expect from a commercial real estate company – “beyond the brick,” if you will. As more and more companies focus on things like employee engagement and workplace wellness, it seems like a natural fit to be in a building that supports the kind of experiences that foster relationships, collaboration and ultimately, growth.
MHN: Besides the signing of new deals, what other feedback did you get from tenants regarding this approach?
Broder: We are constantly soliciting feedback from our customers, in many different ways, to make sure that we evolve to meet their needs. We measure our performance and delivery based on those metrics. What we’ve seen is increased loyalty and growth within our portfolio that outperforms the market. Not only are our customers loyal, they’ve become our advocates, referring us to their partners, which is unique in a commoditized market, and of course, the ultimate compliment.
MHN: Do you plan to improve this strategy in the future? If so, how?
Broder: Since we’re always seeking feedback and evolving our approach, I definitely see us continuing to improve. We are working on several new offerings for our customers that will allow them to be more productive while realizing cost savings and efficiencies, so we are very excited to roll them out. Stay tuned!
BECO Management isn’t only looking to make life better for its customers, it’s also looking after its employees. Recently, The Washington Post named the Rockville-based company among the top-10 best places to work among companies with less than 100 employees in Metropolitan D.C. The criteria for the award includes factors like leadership ability, work-life balance, and pay and benefit practices, based on a survey of employees conducted by research firm Workplace Dynamics.