S-Bank’s Toimitila Investment Fund chose Retta for the second time – “The work is carried out by people, not companies”

Significant cooperation between Retta Management and S-Bank’s Toimitila Special Investment Fund will continue in real estate management. What is the secret to a successful partnership? S-Bank’s Tiia Vuolle and Retta’s Immo Suutarinen discuss this in this article.

Why did S-Bank’s Toimitila Special Investment Fund choose Retta as its property management partner for the second time?

Tiia Vuolle, Fund Manager from the S-Bank’s Toimitila Special Investment Fund, knows the answer.

”We are responsible to our investors for ensuring that the assets are managed well, and that they are profitable. That’s why everything needs to be taken care of in the best way possible. This can only be achieved with a partner who knows the industry and can continuously develop the issues that are important to us. Retta is such a partner.”

Retta Management offers its customers technical, financial, administrative, and commercial property management services, among other things. S-Bank’s Toimitila Special Investment Fund makes full use of the range of services offered by Retta.

The commercial and office space sector has undergone a strong transformation in recent years. Competition will not become easier in the future. So how do we win the competition? The right person to answer this question is Immo Suutarinen, Head of Premises Services at Retta Management.

“The users and tenants of the premises must be well taken care of. This work is done in the field, where the people are. The importance of fieldwork cannot be emphasised enough,” Suutarinen says.

“And that’s where Retta’s people operate,” he adds.

Effective collaboration is like synchronised skating

The cooperation between Retta and S-Bank’s Fund Management Company originally started in 2016. The partnership agreement was renewed this year.

Both Vuolle and Suutarinen agree that this is not just a traditional contract between a customer and a service provider – it is a partnership.

Perhaps thinking of the project as a partnership is the secret to effective cooperation.

“The collaboration model must be just right if the most is to be got from it. It’s almost like synchronised skating, where the movements have to happen at the same time. And for that to happen, cooperation must be organised,” Suutarinen thinks.

Vuolle agrees:

“Real estate management can be bought and sold in bulk, of course. Or you can decide to find more power in the machine so that in the end everyone benefits. That is what we have decided to do.”

The customer is always right – or are they?

Suutarinen believes that effective cooperation is about mutual appreciation and understanding.

“The customer is not just the customer, nor is the service provider just the service provider.”

Suutarinen emphasises that a prerequisite for effective cooperation is that difficult issues and issues to be developed can and should be discussed.

What does the customer’s representative say? Isn’t the customer always right?

“We don’t want to be right, we want an expert in the field to give us their recommendations on how to do things. That’s the added value we want to buy,” Vuolle says, continuing:

“Outsourced expertise is precisely one of the essential reasons for this partnership: Retta has a comprehensive vision that enables us to make better decisions for our business.”

For the love of the industry

Despite the pandemic that has affected the real estate sector, the S-Bank’s Toimitila Special Investment Fund has succeeded well. Retta has played an important role in this.

“The most important goal of property management is to keep the users of the properties happy and the properties and their conditions in good shape so that the utilisation rate and value of the properties remain good and even develop. This ensures that both the expectations of the users and the goals of the investor customers are met,” Suutarinen summarises Retta Management’s most important goal.

“The value of the assets must be maintained or increased. This only happens when the properties are in good condition, utilisation rates remain high, and customers are satisfied,” Vuolle continues. She says that the cooperation between S-Bank’s Fund Management Company and Retta is quite close and takes place even daily.

Which brings us back to the field – or the people – the importance of which is emphasised by both interviewees.

“The work is carried out by people, not companies,” says Suutarinen, reminding us that even though well-functioning processes are a map, there is always a need for map readers, or people who can be experts in their own field.

That, too, is one of the things that the renewed cooperation agreement further emphasises.

“People have a common goal, and the boundaries between organisations are blurring. We are all wearing the same S-Bank Toimitila Special Investment Fund vest,” Vuolle says and laughs.

“And maybe the collaboration also includes a touch of love for real estate”’ Suutarinen concludes with a smile.

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