Svetlana Petrova, Director of A-100 Comfort, and Natalia Konyukhova, Commercial Director, will tell you what is the administration of comfort, how to manage an area of 500,000 m² and educate polite plumbers.
– The history of this business within the A-100 Development group of companies began gradually. We have been creating residential areas and business centers for many years. Over time, our projects began to stand out strongly in the market – for example, perhaps the whole city knows about the Novaya Borovaya area. This area is populated by people with a certain philosophy of life. In a new, “brand new” area, they expect that this level of aesthetics will be preserved, and in a few years, fences will not bend around their house, and plaster will not fall off the walls.
Until recently, these tasks for servicing areas were solved by the contractor. Not getting enough involvement for us in the process, we decided to take care of them ourselves. This is how the A-100 Comfort company appeared.
What is our job? We call it “comfort administration”. Our task is to manage real estate, take care of the property of residents, anticipating their needs. We study customer experience 24/7, collect analytics and pass all processes through a customer filter. The company has been on the market for a little over three years, and now we are actively gaining experience: we build communication, business processes and much more, without which effective work is impossible.
If we decompose the work of “A-100 Comfort” into understandable tasks, then these are:
1. Scheduled maintenance of residential areas and business centers of the A-100 group of companies: sanitary maintenance, maintenance of engineering systems, landscaping and maintenance of green spaces, cleaning of adjacent territories, maintenance of warranty obligations, informing customers about upcoming or current work …
2. Work with requests from residents of districts and tenants of commercial real estate: customer center 24/7, round-the-clock emergency service.
3. Assistance in the creation of new objects: together with “A-100 Development” we discuss projects of new residential buildings and accept them before commissioning.
4. Additional paid services related to relocation, apartment renovation, electrical work and much more.
The word that accompanies everything we do is service. What is it in reality?
People who share the values of the company
We will tell you about the path to good service.
How we assembled the team
We found part of the management team as part of a group of companies (it’s always better than looking for external candidates), some managers were taken from the market.
The next step was to find line specialists who, with their own hands, would create comfort for our residents – cleaners, engineers, plumbers. There were many responses to vacancies – apart from the salary, we offer a good social package and career growth. But in fact, it turned out that not many are willing to work as hard as we need to.
We emphasize the attention of applicants that the company “A-100 Comfort” is about people and for people, we value such qualities as empathy, responsibility, ethics. And the selection by values was a success – we see how readily the employees help our residents, it is not a burden for them. There were cases when a kitten got stuck in a tree, and 2 rubles from a teenager fell under the bench – you can always turn to A-100 Comfort.
After the selection of employees, we monitor the quality of their work. We estimate how many tasks the employee manages to complete, how disciplined and punctual he is, and we also conduct research to find out the opinion of residents about the quality of service.
We can review the recordings from the video cameras installed in the courtyards and houses – and if we see that the employee behaved unprofessionally, we correct his actions, talk, teach. Negative feedback on an employee for two months is already a reason for increased attention and even dismissal.
From our side, not only control is needed, but also development. Therefore, for example, within the group of companies, webinars, lectures, conferences are constantly held. There is an electronic library. Recently, together with architects and art critics, we analyzed the architectural styles of the 20th century, the departure from complex urban forms to minimalism and the creation of a comfortable environment that is very close to us.
Business processes and how we created them
We set up clear business processes only by the middle of 2020. For almost two years we have been learning to manage residential areas, improve areas, work with applications, draw up regulations. In fact, they created a unique project, because there have not been companies on the Belarusian market that are ready to serve, manage, take care and provide additional services at the same time.
Our involvement in the maintenance of residential buildings begins even before their construction. Residential areas are not put into operation without our approval. We work closely with A-100 Development and help our colleagues improve each new project. We know, for example, which intercoms have shown themselves well, which sofas and poufs in common areas are better washed, and which ones will quickly become unusable, etc.
Further, we mainly carry out a pool of works that preserve residential areas in the form in which the architects conceived it: we take care of the external appearance of buildings, green spaces, structures inside courtyards. Our regulations are even richer than market standards. For example, dry cleaning of common areas, as well as wet cleaning of the first floors in entrances, is performed daily.
Each residential area has its own characteristics. In the same Novaya Borovaya there are houses with terraces, common recreation areas on the floors, new design and finishing solutions are used for each quarter – we work out all this individually.
Pay attention to the details. For example, there has been a tremendous amount of work being done on the technology for serving residential areas, down to the smallest detail like the choice of detergents. We brought in technologists to work together to define acid and chlorine free products because they damage surfaces. In winter, we try not to use salt, which damages the lawn and green spaces, destroys shoes and tiles, and instead of salt we sprinkle the paths with gravel chips.
We also provide assistance in organizing the work of owners’ associations, including the services of passport officers and accountants, holding meetings, drawing up reports on the work of the vehicle. We provide our own software, e-voting system and much more. As an additional service, we offer festive decoration of buildings and adjacent territories.
As for working with residents’ appeals, we have registered all standard applications and automated processes:
- Residents can make an application through the app, website, or through the 24/7 customer center
- The application gets into the CRM system, where the contractor sees it, after which he contacts the resident and agrees on the time of the visit
- In the mobile application, a resident sees the status of the application, can ask a question to the contractor, rate the work performed and leave a review.
With each new atypical request, more and more solutions are created. When appeals come with which we have never worked, we do not leave the client alone with the problem, but learn to react on the go. By the way, the director of the company is also involved in all client processes and actively participates in each of them.
There are also difficult cases. Do you remember how all the water was turned off in Novaya Borovaya in the fall? Huge queues lined up at the shops, and there was no end of calls. We acted as quickly as possible, both in the evening and on weekends. We discovered a problem, prepared a script for the call center, which would help to effectively inform residents, and tried to help everyone who applied. All employees of the company, including the directors, were involved, and we wrote endless letters to higher authorities to speed up the resolution of the problem.
Today we are looking for a solution that will be used to clean the decorative channel at Pirs. This is also a difficult situation. The groundwater level has changed, and now the rate of water exchange is significantly lower compared to the design values. Every week we drain the water to refresh the bowl and clean the sides. For a better result, perhaps a special rubber coating will be applied, which will allow the robot to be launched into the channel for cleaning. As an alternative, we are also considering the option of installing additional engineering equipment that will provide better water circulation.
Now we are 200 people – on 500,000 m² of residential and commercial real estate and more than 10,000 residents. In just a couple of years, we turned from a small operating organization into a comfort control center.
We have a goal – to solve all customer problems through a single application, to build something like a concierge service to ensure comfort. Need air tickets? Have a repair question? Need to walk your pet or water the flowers during your vacation? We strive to ensure that all this can be solved together with us. The first steps have already been taken – for example, with us you can take out home insurance or arrange a move.
In addition, sensing what benefits we can bring, we thought about offering our services to other owners’ associations and commercial properties. Such applications began to come to us themselves. But before getting involved in the work, we conduct a thorough audit, look at how the processes are set up, discuss what needs to be fixed, and after that we offer our services.
We understand that our clients value a high level of service and comfort. And in terms of servicing commercial real estate, we decided for ourselves that we will not divide our service into components. The main goal of the company is the administration of comfort, and we undertake the entire range of building maintenance work: seasonal, one-time, permanent work and work of narrow specialization. As a result, for the property owner, cooperation is being built not with a set of contractors, but with one partner in the person of A-100 Comfort, which takes full care of the building and the territory and all issues related to the operation.