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Recognizing and realizing the value of customer-focused property management

Danielle Claire Sanderson (Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, London, UK)
Dustin C. Read (Department of Apparel, Housing and Resource Management, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 17 July 2020

Issue publication date: 22 September 2020




The purpose of this paper is to increase awareness of the value that can be derived from embracing customer service and ensuring tenant satisfaction.


This literature review synthesizes the results of research conducted around the world to examine the value proposition of customer-focused property management. The literature was identified through a search of academic journal articles and industry publications, together with the authors' experience of working with industry practitioners. Drawing on these sources, the authors identify five emerging trends that are likely to make customer service an even more critical part of property managers' jobs and propose best practices to help property managers actualize the benefits.


Three themes emerge from the literature. First, property managers can add significant value to real estate portfolios by delivering high-quality customer service to tenants. Second, emerging trends in the real estate industry are creating new opportunities for property managers to participate in the value creation process. Third, there are a number of steps property managers can take to leverage customer service to benefit the real estate investors they represent.

Practical implications

Real estate investors, and the property managers working on their behalf, can realize the advantages of customer-focused property management by adopting a series of straightforward best practices, which are discussed in the paper.

Social implications

The trends identified and practical steps proposed are likely to be all the more relevant in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.


This research should increase awareness of customer-focused property management and the mechanisms through which it can affect real estate returns. The ten best practices proposed should help property managers deliver effective service to tenants and achieve the associated financial benefits for investors.



Sanderson, D.C. and Read, D.C. (2020), "Recognizing and realizing the value of customer-focused property management", Property Management, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 749-764.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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