Sweet Dealings, Sweetened Relations

CapitaLand plays Candyman with chocolate treats to thank tenants and enhance relationships

Issue: Nov 2011

CapitaLand staff connecting with tenants with sweet treats and smiles
CapitaLand staff connecting with tenants with sweet treats and smiles

Lunchtime at some CapitaLand managed properties in Singapore was extra sweet last month as landlord, CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT), gave out free Kit Kat chocolate bars to all the tenants.
Dubbed Kit Kat Day, it was another innovative initiative brought about by CCT's Tenant Engagement programme.

"Chocolates make people happy and we were certainly smiling after the chocolatey treat!" said Jeremy Seng, a Global Banking Advisor at HSBC who works in the HSBC Building. "My fellow colleagues are happy to have received the Kit Kat treats from CapitaLand. Keep it coming!"

Started this year, CCT's Tenant Engagement programme aims to organise fun activities to engage tenants and differentiate CCT from other landlords. Tenants from eight CCT-owned properties enjoyed the sweet treat: Capital Tower, Six Battery Road, One George Street, Raffles City Tower, HSBC Building, Wilkie Edge, Bugis Village and Golden Shoe Car Park. This successful tenant engagement activity followed the inaugural Ice Cream Day (Building Bonds with A Sweet Surprise) earlier in May this year where ice cream cones were handed out, to the delight of CCT tenants.

"These 'small delights' are part of CCT's tenant engagement programme for this year. Through these small gestures, CCT is given the opportunity to reach out to its valued tenants. More importantly, it is all part of CCT's efforts to build long-lasting relationships with its tenants. CCT aims to differentiate itself from other landlords through exceeding tenants' needs and service excellence," said Dawn Lai, Head of Marketing and Leasing at CapitaLand Commercial Management Pte Ltd.

A Landlord Like No Other

There's nothing like a little chocolate to bring out the smiles at Capital Tower (left) and One George Street
There's nothing like a little chocolate to bring out the smiles at Capital Tower (left) and One George Street

Always keen to connect with tenants, CCT decided to let them decide what goodies they would like following a warm reception to the cool treat in May. They conducted a survey amongst tenants and the overwhelming response was "chocolate".

"Most people like Kit Kat," said Priscilla Tan from HSBC global markets at the HSBC Building. "Having a small gift every now and then does brighten up your day."

At CapitaLand's commercial flagship building, Capital Tower, corporate executives were happy to bond over the chocolate treat and were seen smiling and joking with staff who were handing out the snacks.

"It's a nice, friendly (gesture) and quite unexpected of a landlord," said Jean Baptiste Oudea from Commodity Financing at Credit Agricole, a leading French bank. Oudea has worked in several Asian countries including Hong Kong and Burma. He said that he had never worked in a building where the landlord made such an effort to engage the tenants beyond business interactions.

"This is such a generous gesture, especially for workers who have young children. It is a good treat to take home to the kids. It also makes a good afternoon snack," said Clara Noriko Suzuki, Assistant Vice President of ASEAN Marketing at Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.

Both Suzuki and her colleague Hideharu Nagano, Vice President of ASEAN Marketing, worked in Japan before coming to Singapore and have never seen anything quite like this.

"I like sweet things, so I like this," said Nagano.

Senior Manager, Jeffrey Lim, from Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd who was also around on Ice Cream Day said, "I like it. We have never had goodies on such a regular basis before."

At Wilkie Edge, Kit Kat Day was brought to tenants who could not leave their shops because of business

At Wilkie Edge, Kit Kat Day was brought to tenants who could not leave their shops because of business
At Wilkie Edge, Kit Kat Day was brought to tenants who could not leave their shops because of business.

Stepping into the Spirit of Giving

At Wilkie Edge, a 12-storey mixed development with office, retail and serviced residence, there was an almost festive feel to Kit Kat Day. Laughter could be heard along the corridor leading to the make-shift Kit Kat stall as tenants and staff shared a friendly moment.

"It's just as fun as Ice Cream Day," said Marsuwita Bakhtiar, an Administrative Executive from education centre, Kaplan Singapore at Wilkie Edge.

When tenants could not make it to the Kit Kat stall at lunch time due to the the peak hours of their business, CCT staff made sure they did not miss out on the chance to have a Kit Kat break. In an excellent example of door-to-door service, the marketing and building operations team brought the chocolates to them instead. Staff at SPH Buzz Pod, Reizo, Wan Yang, Starbucks Coffee, Each-A-Cup and Hanis were particularly touched by the extra effort taken to include them in Kit Kat Day.


Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You

For Elvin Kwek, Building Manager of Wilkie Edge, Kit Kat Day was a good and informal way for him to build on existing friendly relations with the tenants beyond the usual landlord-tenant interactions. This was especially important to him because he had recently taken over the management of this property. Small thoughtful gestures like Kit Kat and Ice Cream Days help landlord and tenants to connect beyond the working relationship. "They help us to know our tenants better and a lot of issues can be better solved together with them," said Kwek.

At Raffles City Office Tower, some felt that CCT was a responsive landlord and Assistant Head of the IO Programme Office at EDB, Chloe Huang, felt the thank you with Kit Kats was "a particularly generous gesture".

Staff and tenants at Golden Shoe Car Park took to these little acts of kindness with great enthusiasm
Staff and tenants at Golden Shoe Car Park took to these little acts of kindness with great enthusiasm


At the Raffles City Office Tower, the Kit Kat treat made lunch time especially sweet
At the Raffles City Office Tower, the Kit Kat treat made lunch time especially sweet

But this sweet meeting is not new to David Leong, Senior Manager of Marketing and Leasing at Capital Tower.

"I make it a point to touch base with the tenants everyday via face-to-face visits, phone calls and regular e-mails," he said.

Kit Kat Day is just another platform to meet and greet his tenants.

"After the first Ice Cream Day, the tenants were looking forward to the next treat. One of them even e-mailed to thank us for the ice cream. This helps them remember us as the landlord and see us beyond just the people they go to for help about their offices," said Jessie Lim, Senior Customer Service Assistant at Capital Tower.

With requests for cookies, curry puffs, Yakult and frozen yoghurt for the next treats, it is apparent that tenants of CCT are more than ready to embrace this yummy way that connects tenant and landlord!


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