As part of our extension strategy, we are expanding our core business to include customer-oriented services. Thanks to our most recent acquisitions, we estimate that we have direct access to up to around 1,000,000 customers. We can offer our customers services that are closely related to and/or influence the rental business.
The extension strategy also includes maintenance and modernization services that make the units more attractive in general and help to boost customer satisfaction. Over the past few years, we have established our own caretaker organization and also our own craftsmen’s organization, bundling all technical services for the Vonovia Group, to serve our customers. Within the residential environment area, we have also installed our own employees to provide support on site. This organization is responsible for looking after outdoor areas, playgrounds, vegetation and refuse collection points, particularly in conurbations.
Our systematic insourcing strategy allows us to ensure that our own employees are on-site in the various property locations allowing the Group to improve the quality of repair work, react more quickly to customer complaints and ultimately to increase customer satisfaction.
We want to create new living space in our portfolio in the future, also as part of our densification strategy. The first set of new construction projects, like the one on Insterburger Strasse in Bochum, have already been successfully completed and others are in the planning stage. These also include moves to add extra stories to existing buildings. New construction and vertical expansion projects are realized using a standardized series construction system with the help of pre-configured segments, making them much quicker to complete. Modular construction using pre-configured elements allows standardization and scaling at a low cost, while ensuring reliable project implementation at the same time. We want to implement our projects with our own qualified employees in the future, also in projects relating to new construction and neighborhood development.
Other Vonovia service initiatives include the cable TV business and the smart metering business. At the end of 2016, around 75% of Vonovia’s properties were already being supplied with cable TV signals by Vonovia’s multimedia subsidiary. When it comes to recording and billing heating consumption, we are already billing the costs for around 30,000 units with the help of state-of-the-art technology via a wholly-owned subsidiary for our customers.
In addition to our established services, we are developing further products and services to respond to societal megatrends, for example in areas such as outpatient care, household services and energy services.