The Link REIT ("The Link") is committed to enhancing service quality through a wide range of initiatives, including the Mystery Shopper Programme and new property management service contracts. Despite the rise in costs of property management service caused by factors like inflation and wage increase, The Link has decided to freeze management fee for the current financial year ending March 2013. This is the fifth consecutive year the management fee of The Link’s shopping centres has remained unchanged (Note). The fee freeze, together with various tenant-supporting measures, will add value for our tenants, contributing to better business environment.
George Hongchoy, Chief Executive Officer of The Link Management Limited, said, “Tenants are our key business partners. By strengthening trade mix, customer services, promotion activities and physical facilities, we are striving to enhance footfall in our centres, and improve business environment and operational efficiency of our tenants.”
Mr Hongchoy said, “We have launched in recent years new initiatives that further our drive for customer-oriented quality services, and enhance service for tenants and customers through stronger partnership with our service contractors and workers. In face of mounting cost pressure in areas like inflation, repairs and salary, we are freezing our fee again, keeping the management fee at its original level for the past five years. On the other hand, we continue to offer new services to meet customers’ rising expectations, and create value for our tenants.”
Backgrounder ─ Service Enhancements
To provide more value-added services for our tenants through stronger partnership with our contractors and workers, we have updated the property management support service and housekeeping service contracts earlier this year. The related service initiatives include:
• Providing free shop-front cleaning and point-to-point waste collection services for tenants in SC;
• Providing free waste collection service for tenants in fresh market;
• Offering more training and skill enhancements for frontline staff, an example being enhancing service personnel’s knowledge on the needs of people with disabilities;
• Improving performance management to maintain high service quality
We launched the Mystery Shopper Programme last year, which seeks to improve service performance of frontline teams. The programme also promotes stronger team cohesion through healthy competitions on service performance, while strengthening service by encouraging mutual learning and fostering a customer-oriented culture.
Capital expenditure of billions of dollars has been spent since IPO for the works of Asset Enhancement Initiatives (AEI), Barrier Free Access (BFA), chiller replacement, energy saving lighting, recreation facilities, CCTV systems and elevators and other landlord provisions. Among these, we have invested more than HK$2 billion in the 25 completed AEIs, and are committed to investing HK$200 million to enhance BFA facilities in all shopping centres in five years.
Note: Excluding four properties, namely Lok Fu Plaza, Stanley Plaza, Nan Fung Plaza and Maritime Bay. Management fees of Lok Fu Plaza and Stanley Plaza were adjusted once in 2009 and 2011 respectively after AEI. Nan Fung Plaza and Maritime Bay became The Link’s properties in 2011 and 2012 respectively. After the acquisitions, the original property management companies have continued to provide management services. Management fee is paid by tenants to these property management companies.