Meet Momoko

Oi speaks to Momoko Hana­mura, The Land­mark’s new Mar­ket­ing & Leas­ing Man­ager, about Ja­panese hos­pi­tal­ity and why the prop­erty has been suc­cess­ful for over 20 years

Oi Vietnam - - News - In­ter­view by Chris­tine Van Im­ages Pro­vided by The Land­mark Viet­nam The Land­mark Viet­nam is lo­cated at 5B Ton Duc Thang, D1. For more info, visit www.the­land­markviet­nam.com

Can you tell us about your­self and how you got into the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try?

I’ve been work­ing in Viet­nam for 10 years now, which sur­prises my­self, as I orig­i­nally didn't plan to come here, let alone be here so long! I think many ex­pats can say this. I started in Yan­gon, which brought me to Hanoi, and then down to Saigon. All my ex­pe­ri­ences in hos­pi­tal­ity had been di­rectly with Ja­panese hote­liers, un­til now at The Land­mark Viet­nam, where I am work­ing with every­one.

I got into the in­dus­try by chance. I was born in the north­ern part of Ja­pan, in Mo­rioka. I love my home­town but it is a super cold-weather place and I had al­ways dreamed about liv­ing in a trop­i­cal place. One day at lunchtime, my boss at the time was talk­ing to me about Myan­mar and the place sounded ex­otic. Luck­ily, he used to work in hos­pi­tal­ity so he in­tro­duced and rec­om­mended me to a gen­eral man­ager [in hos­pi­tal­ity] that was work­ing in Myan­mar. I never imag­ined I would work in a ho­tel but I love meet­ing new peo­ple, giv­ing oth­ers in­spi­ra­tion and en­sur­ing peo­ple are well­taken care of, so it nat­u­rally fit.

Ja­panese hos­pi­tal­ity is world renown, what as­pects of it will you be bring­ing to The Land­mark?

To be com­pas­sion­ate, to show em­pa­thy and imag­ine your­self in the po­si­tion of the other’s sit­u­a­tion, this is the ba­sic idea of omote­nashi (Ja­panese hos­pi­tal­ity). When trans­lated, it doesn't just mean “ser­vice” but more, un­ex­pected thought­ful ac­tions or price­less ex­pe­ri­ences. For ex­am­ple, if a guest com­ments that he likes a river view room, we take note, re­mem­ber, and as­sign this kind of room for them. We re­mem­ber their likes and dis­likes. Be­fore a guest comes to ask, we have to think like that guest and act to serve based on that guest’s per­son­al­ity and pref­er­ence, both voiced and un­voiced. It is so im­por­tant to read the needs of guests even when they don't ask. Ob­serve what they are wear­ing, what they're car­ry­ing with them, what con­ver­sa­tion they have with you, where they're com­ing from, all the de­tails that go un­no­ticed for most peo­ple. It might seem easy but re­quires a great at­ten­tion to de­tail, read­ing the guest and com­mu­ni­cat­ing ap­pro­pri­ately with your team to take ac­tion to make unique ex­pe­ri­ences hap­pen.

The Land­mark opened in 1994, 23 years ago, many lux­ury res­i­den­tial and of­fice com­plexes have come and gone in HCMC since then, why do you think TLV has en­dured in such a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket?

It's the rep­u­ta­tion of pro­vid­ing per­son­al­ized ser­vice, all in line with our par­ent prop­erty Penin­sula Hong Kong and Penin­sula Prop­er­ties. Also we stand on an ideal District 1 and water­front lo­ca­tion, yet also pro­vide a quiet at­mos­phere for busi­nesses and res­i­dents. The build­ing un­doubt­edly has age, but our ag­gres­sive main­te­nance and staff en­sure we stay cur­rent here in 2017.

Who are The Land­mark's core guests and have they changed over the years? Have their de­mands for lux­ury changed?

Our cus­tomers are mostly busi­ness­men, many of who have been with us for over five or ten years! Their de­mands are sim­ple: clean­li­ness, con­sis­tency and care. They are also proud to be liv­ing and work­ing in Viet­nam's Penin­sula prop­erty, in an ideal lo­ca­tion, to have the bal­ance of up­scale com­fort with­out stress of be­ing taken care of. Many of our guests re­turn and we rely heav­ily on word-of-mouth ad­ver­tis­ing. In ad­di­tion, we have a small but exclusive health club and quiet pool that re­lieves work stress.

What are The Land­mark's plans for the future? Will there be an­other TLV in Viet­nam?

Per Penin­sula Prop­er­ties core val­ues, there is only one of The Land­mark in Viet­nam. This is to en­sure what we are do­ing, we do well and rep­re­sent the cul­ture of a city in one lo­ca­tion, how­ever, Penin­sula is ex­pand­ing its prop­er­ties to other global cities. We con­stantly sat­isfy our cus­tomers by lis­ten­ing to our guests’ feed­back and an­tic­i­pat­ing their needs and fol­low­ing mar­ket trends; we will con­tinue our ef­forts to pro­vide this ser­vice even af­ter all these years.

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