Coming from a consumer marketing background, I've always been focused on building brands. The success of any brand depends on its reputation with consumers. For most products, that reputation is based on the product's appearance, taste, or performance. In our industry, it is based on our customers' experience while they live with us. While our product–their apartment–is central to this experience, so is the customer service we provide. And while many apartment companies say that customer service is important, they fall short because they fail to make it a part of the DNA of their organizations.