Bisnow/Allen Matkins - LA Property Management - Charlie Hobey, Equity Office

Equity Office VP of Operations Charlie Hobey said that in the doom-and-gloom days, operating expenses were the No. 1 focus. A key change in the last five years has been to tilt the pendulum back towards customer service and delivering value. One key item that influences tenant retention is the manager's responsiveness--it doesn't cost a lot of money to be available, answer the phone, and respond to emails, even if you're not solving every issue they have (such as allowing dogs in the building). In addition, a hot link isn't something you slather with mustard on a bun, but Equity's experiment in communicating with tenants in an emergency by directing them to a specific place on the company's website, getting away from the typical phone tree. The firm's also explored Facebook and getting tenants to follow properties on Twitter.