Stakeholder Interests: How We Involve Them in Our Business

The interests and wishes that stakeholders call to our attention are manifold. However, our business approach largely ensures that all our stakeholders benefit from it since it combines essential economic, social and environmental expectations.

As a service company, we have a natural interface with our most important stakeholder group: The direct contact that Vonovia employees have with our customers is the most important form of dialogue with this stakeholder group. Our customers expect us to be able to provide them with straightforward, service-oriented and timely answers to their questions and to complete any work that has to be done on their home as quickly as possible. Important issues for them are good availability, responsiveness and a local presence. We want to satisfy these expectations through the good coordination of our central customer service with our own local employees: The employees of our central customer service at the Duisburg and Dresden locations receive more than 10,000 telephone inquiries daily from our existing customers, solving or referring them further. Customers can also contact Vonovia by letter, e-mail or fax. We now support our existing customers with more than 3,700 caretakers, craftsmen and gardeners. Our approach to communicating with our customers also includes quarterly customer satisfaction surveys and ad hoc surveys that aim to achieve further improvements in our service quality and actively involve our customers in the development of our services (see Affordable Services). Customers also receive information on various topics in a quarterly customer magazine (see AR 2016, Customer Satisfaction as a Priority) 102-43, 102-44

Our employees want an attractive job with an interesting compensation, an employer that provides them with opportunities for professional and personal development, and a reliable, fair working environment. With our broad business approach, our employees find numerous opportunities for professional and personal development in an industry offering future security. We offer training in 14 commercial and trade professions, impart knowledge via our own academy and conduct HR development customized to personal needs. In order to maintain ongoing dialogue with our employees, managers exchange information with their employees on a regular basis, for example in employee appraisals, team or departmental meetings. Information relating to all employees is passed on in a timely manner and in full at works assemblies (see Initial and Further Training, AR 2016, Training and Development). 102-43, 102-44

It is important to our shareholders, investors and analysts that we successfully implement our business model, which is oriented toward stable growth and a reliable yield, and report on it transparently. We pursue our goals very actively with a broad-based strategy. In recent years, we were able to increase the earnings power of our portfolio significantly through our property management, portfolio management and the expansion of our Extension activities. In addition to our core business, we also regularly review acquisition opportunities. We mainly use face-to-face meetings, conference calls, presentations and road shows to maintain regular dialogue with our shareholders, investors and analysts. 102-43, 102-44

Policymakers would like us to work with them on issues of neighborhood and urban development, and participate as a major market partner in the solution of socially relevant matters, such as the rising demand for housing, demographic change or climate change. For this, we engage in regular and comprehensive discussions with political representatives and associations at the municipal, regional and federal levels. We conduct non-partisan discussions with representatives and participate as an opinion leader in forums and events on real estate matters. We also initiate projects of social relevance, such as projects for neighborhood development (see Neighborhood Development), projects for the inclusion of migrants or our measures to build new housing (see Affordable Housing Thanks to Serial and Modular Construction). In addition, the real estate industry is regulated by the legislative branch and must comply with high standards here. In our dialogue with policymakers, we refer to both the positive and negative effects of proposed legislation for our industry. However, Vonovia remains neutral in its political work and has the clear guideline not to make any political donations. The company is similarly prohibited from membership in parties or party-affiliated networks. 102-43, 102-44, 415-1

~1,000

Employees
at our service centers handle our customers’ requests

+160

New Trainees
started work at Vonovia in 2016

+20%

Increase
in dividends per share compared with 2015

4,200

Suppliers and Service Providers
are in a business relationship with Vonovia

Fair dealings in tenant matters as well as the quick and constructive identification of solutions in case of conflicts are important to tenants’ associations and initiatives. We maintain close contact with local tenants’ associations. We conduct tenant assemblies and, if necessary, are ready to respond to questions from tenant advocates on a short-term basis. In order to avoid escalations, we thoroughly review the legitimacy of criticism directed at us, if possible. In case of legitimate criticism, we attempt to eliminate any related deficiencies quickly. 102-43, 102-44

Our suppliers and service providers expect from us a business relationship conducted on a partnership basis, in which the interests of both sides are adequately taken into account. We and our commercial partners, partners in the trades and other partners are bound together by the common interest to deliver very good services for Vonovia and our customers. A Business Partner Code and a Code of Conduct ensure that we are on the same page in terms of the key cornerstones of our collaboration (see Procurement and Supplier Management). 102-44

The media expect from us the readiness to communicate and an open communication policy – also regarding matters that deal critically with our company. We conduct comprehensive public relations and strive to provide information even on short notice. In order to prioritize our communication properly, we continually inform ourselves about issues that influence our environment. We conduct regular press conferences and discussions with representatives from the media – also on location – and are available for interviews regarding technical matters. In case of crises or disruptions, we endeavor to respond quickly to questions. 102-43, 102-44

NGOs and the public sphere would like us to make a financial and operational contribution to social issues. As a corporate citizen, Vonovia is directly involved in municipal life since the object of our business affects the day-to-day lives of the neighborhood community and vice versa. Accordingly, we cooperate with numerous organizations such as welfare associations or church institutions. We participate in school projects, maintain playgrounds and support sports clubs, social and cultural institutions and disadvantaged individuals through our foundations. In addition, we involve public organizations in the development of new services (see Modern Ancillary Services for More Comfortable Homes). 102-43, 102-44, 203-2