Globalisation, digitalisation and sustainable development are accelerating urbanisation. They are changing people’s values and behaviour and offering SATO an opportunity to change its operations. We work to support and create thriving cities, with happy people enjoying a high level of well-being in multifaceted neighbourhoods.
We renewed our strategy in 2016 to focus on the customer. We work to truly listen to customers and understand their wishes, and be part of their daily lives.
During the review period, SATO and its partners took three major strategic steps:
Through our Customer Fisrt programme, we brought daily customer service closer to our customers. We updated the traditional concept of building management and integrated most of our previously outsourced building management services into our operations. Since spring 2017, each SATO building has had a designated service manager who knows the residents of their building and takes care of their well-being.
At the same time, we introduced the one-contact principle in customer service: the same customer service professional is responsible for the entire case, from the first enquiry all the way to resolution.
We hired around 40 new professionals for this and other customer service work. We also organised a competitive bidding process for our partners and provided the selected partners with training in line with our Customer First service model.
During 2017, we also trained everyone working for SATO to communicate with our customers in accordance with our tone of voice - lively and warm.
Our online services make our current and future residents’ daily lives easier.
In summer 2017, we introduced our revamped FindHome website for people dreaming about a new home and looking for a rental apartment. The renewal of the FindHome service has increased the number of housing applications, which has had a positive effect on occupancy rates.
To further improve the customer experience, we have started MySATO, a strategic development programme. We are fine-tuning the digital MySATO service in cooperation with residents, and the service will go live in 2018. The purpose of MySATO is to make our residents’ day-to-day lives easier, in addition to offering experiences and opportunities for communal activities.
We are continuously creating new housing concepts for residents in an increasingly urban-centric Finland.
Such concepts include the SATO StudioHome building in Martinlaakso in Vantaa, with 68 compact and reasonably priced apartments. The building was completed in 2017. Each apartment (15.5 m2) has a loft (6.3 m2), with shared facilities adding to the living space: the ground floor has a comfortable living room and kitchen for the residents, and there is a sauna and a roof terrace on the top floor. A community manager is responsible for creating favourable conditions for shared activities.
The StudioHome project drew wide attention, and more than 700 people applied for an apartment. The residents represent seven nationalities, with their age groups ranging from students to pensioners.
Multifaceted financing supports our strategic goals and profitable housing investments. To ensure the availability of financing and a broad financing base, we are aiming for an even stronger public credit rating. Our current rating by Moody’s is Baa3 (investment grade).
During the review period, we increased the proportion of financing free of real securities, as well as the amount of unencumbered assets.
At the end of 2017, 66,3 per cent of our total assets were unencumbered. Our target for the unencumbered assets ratio is 60 per cent or more.
During the review period, we continued to diversify our financing structure and increase the proportion of unsecured financing. At the end of 2017, the proportion of unsecured financing out of the entire debt portfolio was 53,4 per cent.
Towards the end of the review period, SATOs Board of Directors updated the Group’s long-term financial targets.
Katri Korhonen lives in a SATO building in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki. For her, digital services are a natural part of daily life.
The morning has been busy for Service Manager Piia Matilainen. It’s only ten o’clock, but she has already checked a renovated SATO home...
SATO takes customer service seriously – and for a good reason. The quality, ease and safety of living have a major impact on people’s well-being.
The fully packed StudioHome common area is buzzing on a Tuesday evening in December. Olli Järvenkylä, the building’s community manager, is preparing his presentation…