In order to fulfil our tenants’ needs we consistently pursue solution-oriented approaches for our activities on the residential property market that focus on these needs (see chapter Customer Satisfaction). It is our aim to promote long-term loyalty to the company among our tenants. This means we have to guarantee that the homes remain affordable in the long term, i.e., our measures must ensure that we can provide modern, energy-efficient and also affordable homes for all population groups. The main focus of our activities therefore is on renting out our buildings efficiently, using digitized processes, for instance, such as our customer portal, and creating new homes (new constructions and vertical expansion). The aim is to alleviate the tense situation on the residential property markets (see chapter Creating Living Space and Affordable Rents). The debate surrounding the allocation of modernization costs has shown that the acceptance for cost allocation – even for measures to protect the climate and improve living standards – is declining significantly. Vonovia has thus pledged:
- not to conduct modernization work in the future that would add more than €2 per month to the tenant’s basic rent per m2,
- to ensure that our customers can stay in their homes, and
- to investigate hardship cases individually and actively look for solutions.
We develop existing homes according to peoples’ needs. This includes senior-friendly apartment conversion, the establishment of residential communities supervised by nursing assistants or offering assistance to older tenants in moving. When it comes to our portfolio properties, our focus is on quality and we aim to create an attractive residential environment with a high standard of living that tenants can actively help shape. This also means that we:
- use environmentally friendly and safe materials,
- equip our apartments with modern fittings, and
- offer our tenants additional services for more comfort.
Safety and healthy living are fundamental elements in the design of our apartments and the surrounding area (see chapter Portfolio Maintenance and Tenant Health and Safety).
When it comes to the composition of our portfolio, we strive to develop and acquire properties that are close together. This not only allows us to increase the efficiency of our management, but also provides us with a holistic overview that enables us to adopt new approaches. We take social, ecological and economic circumstances into consideration in our approaches by:
- making infrastructure available (e.g., mobility offers),
- creating spaces for well-being,
- designing green spaces and community spaces, and
- cooperating with social, pedagogical and cultural institutions.
We initiate participation concepts in order to purposefully include the people living in our neighborhoods and to increase acceptance of the measures we intend to take. This allows us to strengthen neighborhoods and networks, and we benefit as a company from peoples’ suggestions and lessons learned (see chapter Neighborhood Development).
This results in the following material topics for Vonovia related to society and customers, which are visually depicted in our materiality matrix:
- Portfolio maintenance
- Tenant health and safety
- Creation of homes
- Affordable rents
- Neighborhood development
- Social commitment
In the following chapters we will deal with these topics in more depth and explain their importance to Vonovia. We will describe the management approach, challenges, opportunities and risks, targets, measures and indicators for each topic.