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In E-Commerce Duel, One Developer Kicks Service Way Up

Globe St.

Written By: Lisa Brown

FORT WORTH—With e-commerce and its advantages of time, cost and speed, can brick-and-mortar retail centers really compete? One developer thinks so. Trademark Property Co. is pulling out all of the stops when it comes to experiential shopping in order to differentiate in today’s e-commerce world.

At two of its properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Trademark rolled out Concierge+, a new initiative to help elevate the guest experience and take hospitality services to the next level. The program includes tasks such as curbside pickup, personal shopping, restaurant reservations, appointment services, party planning, gift wrapping, on-site car wash and oil services, dog walking, airport shuttle, dry cleaning, and grocery pick-up and delivery for residents, all with no service fees. Trademark states there isn’t another developer in the country that is taking its concierge programs to this extreme.

Company reps tout that Trademark’s guest services team will handle any customer need…as long as it’s legal. Trademark developed the program to be simple, allowing guests to schedule any services with a call or text.

“Given the rapidly changing retail environment, about 18 months ago, we decided to focus heavily on guest services as part of our operating platform. Service and product offerings are out of our control inside the retail stores, but we can enhance how guests are treated and how they feel on our property,” Terry Montesi, CEO of Trademark Property Company, tells GlobeSt.com. “The plan began to solidify when I met Paul Kurzawa, former COO at Caruso Affiliated, and charged him with helping establish a ‘customer-worthy’ platform for us, as Caruso was the pioneer of true integrated five-star service at a mixed-use environment. Our goal with Concierge+ is to make our properties destination worthy by making the guest experience more convenient and adding value to their lives, leading to an emotional connection at our properties.”

To ensure this program succeeds in truly catering to guests, Trademark created a role specifically to oversee the program’s implementation. It hired Stephany Ruiz, director of guest services for Trademark, who has a background in hospitality, not real estate or development.

“The main reason we created this service is as a thank you to guests who’ve been living, dining and shopping with us for many years,” Ruiz tells GlobeSt.com. “E-commerce is taking away from people coming to centers, but believe it or not, people are yearning for these amenities, the types available at high-end hotels. The answer is ‘no problem,’ no matter what the request. We’ve signed leases because of the concierge program. It provides a one-stop shop and it’s very popular, especially with Millennials.”

Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm is one of the properties that has launched the Concierge+ program. This complimentary service to all Watters Creek guests, shoppers, office tenants and residents includes enhanced amenities to make shopping and life simpler and more efficient.

“We created the Watters Creek Concierge+ program to go above and beyond guest expectations, and we are always looking to cater the experience to each individual resident or guest, so as no two people are the same, neither is our service,” said Ruiz.

One resident recently requested a Starbuck’s run during her nail appointment, just to prove to her friend that the concierge service would handle any task, Ruiz tells GlobeSt.com.

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