Real Estate Development Project & Transport.
Case Story 1
Marketing and Customer Services or even Value Added Services individually or collectively helps a business entity stand out and builds to its customer base, revenue and even profitability (generally).
If we take the above as a rule of thumb it would only be understandable for a responsible business entity to look at the various aspects and angles of conducting business, to address caveats, or areas where added attention or expenditure can considerably increase the "Footfall" and therefore conversion of customers and therefore the revenue, profitability and increase in visibility and brand value.
Brief definition of Transport - To move people or goods from point "A" to point "B".
This definition may generally be correct, however if certain non physical barriers are put up which are essentially barriers to trade in any economic environment then the business model of value added services gets bulldozed into the ground
Receipe for Success = Building infrastructure, being open to business, removing barriers to trade and have a welcoming and inclusive attitude towards people from different cultures and places. Having a fair playing ground.
An Investment Firm or similar chose to invest funds available in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) by constructing a state of the art mixed use Grade "A" property development project. The modern project catering to residential, retail and Iconic Office Tower. The location was within a planned mini city of sorts built from scratch in the desert which was supposedly addressing the various infrastructure requirements of the future sustainability of the area.
Requirements of a sustainable mini city or a city of the present and future is for there to be connectivity. To be connected with well built roads, multiple lanes, public transport e.g. Metro or subway connectivity, Public buses, bus stops, Zebra crossings, walkability, access to various services and facilities and parking structures
The Investment firm or similar wanted to increase the traffic of people to its brand new state of the art project.
The dilema faced by the Investment Firm was with the ease of access to the project once completed by residents, retail staff and office staff as well visitors and customers.
A simple logic governing the required need for increased traffic of people. The project cost a few hundred million to build over a few years. The sooner the property gets rented out the sooner the market will respond and therefore the sooner they will have "Return on their Investment (ROI)".
One side of the mini city is serviced by the state of the art modern Metro system, however getting from the metro station to anywhere in the mini city is problamatic since walkability in the sandy and uneven and tarmac road is a serious issue in the 5o degree heat especially when there is a lack of sidewalks, zebra crossings and shuttle van or shuttle bus services to the many building that comprise the mini city.
The advice for the investment firm or similar was for it to setup its own luxury transportation system to address the accessibilty and footfall requirements. Vans from leading luxury automobile manufactures were suggested for the transportation system to compliment the Grade "A" Iconic project.
To be complimented with visual branding on the vehicles, therefore the cars were wrapped in custom made wraps. The people driving were to have branding on their clothing. The passengers of the vehicle were to be greeted and assisted when getting in and out of the vehicles. The website for the project was to advertise the transport service. The project and website were to be marketed online on various public boards, social media platforms and search engine optimization to compliment the Marketing, Branding, Customer Service and Value Added efforts. The inhouse and outsourced teams and consultants were to come together to streamline and deliver seamlessly.
Therefore the investment firm decided to invest in providing their own luxury shuttle transport to visitors and customers to the project to ease the accessibilty issue and provide customer services, value added services, comfortable transportation and brand building at an additional cost with the view that they would be able to recover this added cost with the added footfall and revenue generated from the rent of the resulting higher occupancy of all the available units of residential, retail and offices in the project.
Brand new luxury vans were like a Vitamin pill working wonders in transporting people in high numbers with high frequency every hour during certain operational hours of the day. The users were greatly satisfied with the provision of the trasnsport service as well as the quality service itself.
But this became a problem since monopolistic public transportation and public transport governing bodies thought this was a loss of revenue for their own transport business. The way they saw it was that the investment firm could only choose from 2 other options. First option: Monetize the transportation and share the revenue/profits/fees with the monopolistic entity or second to shutdown the service and abosorb all direct and indirect costs and losses.
Sadly the barriers to fair play and fair trade won and the Shuttle services came to a screeching halt.
Lessons to be gained. To keep in mind the marketing mix, "Place, Product, Price, Promotion, People, Process and Phsical Environment
Essentially the "Place" was not suitable for the project and the residents, retailers and offices. However the transportation solution compensated for the flaws of the place.
CONS of the Project and Therefore some inherent issues that will remain with the footfall that could have been, e.g. No Parking area for vistors, small area designated for visitor pickup & drop off's, No Zebra crossings, No Bus stops or bus stands. Not a walkable area. Narrow and congested entrance/exit area. Prior permission of building management required for checking out the vacant offices available for rent or lease. Smart Card access pass required beyond the entrance of a public office tower looking for increasing likeability of the office tower, perceptions of being business friendly and wanting an increase in footfall.