The Frontline of the Luxury Experience
- Jun 01, 2016
2015 IREM® REME Award Winner: Leadership
New York City
DDG’s ThreeSixty Leadership Initiative provides leadership opportunities to property management professionals through experiences that broaden their knowledge base, enhance skills, encourage personal growth and spark interest in the industry. This initiative has a unique multiplatform approach that integrates investment, design, development, construction and property management to enable team members to seamlessly exercise a key component of DDG’s vision: enhancing resident experience at a condominium property with street-level retail.
Extending the Legacy of Luxury
“After evaluating development, design, construction and marketing, we sought to ensure the team composed of individuals from hospitality, military, and food and beverage backgrounds knew their importance as an extension of DDG’s legacy,” said Ryan Kinser, director of concierge services & property manager for DDG. “They are essentially the face and frontline of our luxury residential environment.”
After its first year of operations, the team conducted a needs assessment that included resident and staff feedback. The objectives were to identify opportunities for improvement and to better understand resident expectations. Implementation of the initiative followed a circular model beginning with resident expectations. This led to fine-tuning and staff training. By regularly gauging the residents’ experience and expectations, the initiative enabled continuous growth and improvement for the property management team and enhanced service for the residents.
Paving the Road from Expectation to Experience
“The roadway from expectation to experience is in the hands of the building staff,” Kinser noted. “We realized by nurturing, training and elevating our team members, we were enhancing residents’ experience.” The team held resident care sessions to enable team members to shape their learning by studying residents residing at the property. “We evaluated how our residents wanted to feel as they moved through the building, starting from the front door, outside, and then back again,” Kinser said. “We encouraged the staff to envision all aspects of their roles and how they, as leaders and ambassadors of the DDG brand, could add value. Our ThreeSixty approach brought details to the forefront and encouraged team members to explore ways their involvement could close loops and complete the daily circle the residents experience to make their paths smoother and more luxurious.”
What makes a residence luxurious? Some team members pointed to the building, staff, amenities and price, while others noted sustainability and maintenance. This produced great starting points. The team toured luxury hotels to observe decor, uniforms, lighting and care taken by staff. Hotel staff often have 24 hours or less to complete the path to customer satisfaction. The team learned from these tours, took notes, asked questions and engaged in conversation about standards and leadership. Team members grew more engaged and determined to deliver higher standards of service.
DDG started a book club that included everything from “One Minute Manager” to “Songwriting Strategies” to art and design books. This enabled the team to compare similar approaches with dissimilar goals. “The team expressed interest in sustainability, so we dedicated training to LEED certification, which afforded greater knowledge to build on their enthusiasm,” Kinser said.
Closing the Loop Leading to Luxury Service
DDG launched a ThreeSixty point system recognizing staff for outstanding leadership contributions. Team members utilized their knowledge to establish standards for property tours, uniform inspections and cleaning detail. “We engaged team members at all levels to contribute ideas and recommendations, and we empowered and incorporated those ideas to create symmetry in the service we provide our residents,” said Kinser. “This emphasis on leadership development motived our team members; engaging them in the loop enabled them to reveal their potential and use their newly polished skills to deliver outstanding, luxury resident service.”
A video about DDG’s ThreeSixty Leadership Initiative at www.irem.org/remewinners.
The IREM® REME Awards recognize real estate management companies and individual practitioners for innovative, leading-edge, business practices and initiatives. For more information about the 2016 IREM® REME Awards, visit www.irem.org/REME.