Customer service is one of the most important aspects of running any business. If customers do not feel their needs have been taken care of or their concerns heard after a service or sale, the business is not likely to see returning customers. Similarly, if customers are not able to access solutions to problems or concerns quickly, they are likely to grow frustrated and seek assistance elsewhere.
Investing your time, money, and other resources into your property management customer service is a crucial aspect of growing your property management business within this competitive industry. Addressing underperforming aspects of your customer service to improve client engagement can help you increase revenue without having to make additional property investments. Read on for some practical property management tips regarding how you can boost your customer service skills from average to exceptional.
Step One – Improve Your First Impression
As with any other industry, great customer service and customer experience begins with your first impression. First impressions tend to stick in a client’s mind and influence future decisions. Thus, any experience a potential client has with your company begins long before you meet.
Address Your Online Ratings
In this day and age, technology – including social media and online rating systems – influences customer impressions first, before they have the chance to experience your customer service. Most people perform research on companies before doing business, usually while narrowing down company contact lists. Ensure your company has honest, positive reviews and BBB ratings potential clients can view.
Optimize Property Management Software
Allowing prospective tenants to schedule appointments and showings on your property management software can speed up the scheduling process and make it nearly effortless on the client’s end. The client will have the benefit of access to your entire availability and will be able to find an appointment time that works with no phone call necessary. In addition, most services can send notifications or reminders to your clients, assuring them they are front of mind while showcasing your technology.
On the day of the showing, your customer service skills should shine. Ensure you are on time (or early) and come prepared with a wealth of knowledge about the property. Be attentive to your client’s needs; if the current property doesn’t meet those needs for one reason or another, suggest a different property that may be a better fit. Overall, show interest in your client – ask questions conducive to building a future relationship and remove all distractions, including your cell phone.
Step Two – Resolve Tenant Complaints Quickly
Customer issues and complaints are the most common subject of negative reviews and comments about your business.
Look for Trends
Before attempting to address your current tenant complaints, it is essential that you know the most common complaints your company receives. Which areas of service most commonly result in complaints? What systems can you create to address these situations before tenants have a negative experience and leave a bad review? Approach each tenant complaint as a learning experience to guide you toward reducing negative experiences in the future.
Automation is Key
Utilizing your property management software and common office tools at your fingertips can help you improve your response times when a tenant is unhappy. Speedy response times reassure your tenants that you care about their issues and help turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Utilizing property management software with a resident portal allows rapid, detailed maintenance scheduling that can assist you in responding much more quickly. In addition, office features such as phone rerouting when you’re out of the office or setting up a message to list an alternate point of contact can improve tenant confidence that help is on the way.
Step Three – Remaining Transparent
Just as each of your managed properties is different, each property owner is different as well. Remaining transparent can help you improve your relationships with each owner and streamline your communications.
Establish a Personal Relationship
Be transparent and personal with each of your owners – know what items and aspects of homeownership each truly cares about and adjust your responses accordingly. To achieve this, be sure to take detailed notes regarding owner preferences, and keep them in mind when discussing home information.
Utilize Property Management Software
Software is one of the best property management tips when it comes to dealing with property owners. Utilize a management system with an owner portal so each owner can access documents relating to their property. Also, set up triggers to keep owners in the loop regarding maintenance, and use the software to document all instances of concern, including late rent and eviction proceedings and documentation.
Step Four – Use Your Feedback
Although it’s never pleasant to view negative feedback, it’s a great resource for you to determine which aspects of your business need addressing. No matter what the source of your feedback is, do your best to approach it positively.
Respond to Reviews
If you encounter a negative review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or any other site, respond to it as quickly as possible. Never engage in an argument with a tenant or prospective client online. Instead, stay calm, stay positive, and apologize for any negative actions on your or the company’s part. Then, offer contact information so you and the tenant can resolve the issue privately.
Use Resident Surveys
Resident surveys offer your tenants a way to notify you of areas of concern as well as areas of improvement. You can automate these surveys to roll out after move-in, move-out, or after a work order is completed. Use the information provided in these surveys to address potential concerns and identify potential employees of them, or other issues moving forward.
Put Clients First to Maintain Tenant Relationships
Although customer service is essential in any industry, putting clients first in the property management industry is key to creating the strong relationships necessary to maintain an active business and promote growth. The industry is continuously evolving, including the introduction of new technologies and automated processes. However, you can utilize these technologies to strengthen relationships and improve customer service. As long as you have the right tools in place to put your residents and owners first, your business will succeed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t have time to manage all the details that go into property management customer service and maintaining healthy client relationships, contact Bay Property Management Group in Prince George’s County, and we’ll take care of them for you.