With things like next day shipping and food delivery apps, it’s undeniable that our generation seeks instant gratification, and your tenants’ satisfaction relies on it. How can property managers keep up? Here are some tips.
Nope, it’s no longer business as usual. Our entire culture has become “on demand,” and the most successful property managers will show their tenants that they are on the cutting edge, ready to serve at a second’s notice in order to remain consistent with their tenants’ every day expectations.
In 2018, 56 percent of consumers had higher expectations for customer service than they had even one year before that, according to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service report. If the past is any indicator of a trend, we can reasonably believe that this statistic will only continue to increase.
What tenants want from property managers is the same thing they want and expect in any environment: personalization, convenience, and speed. It’s all about the experience.
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How to give your tenants the most high-quality experience: focus on service anchored by technology, and you will likely satisfy your tenants by giving them the instant gratification to which they’ve grown accustomed (yep, it’s possible).
Here are a few ways to achieve that:
Putting a rent check in the mail has always been burdensome, but now it’s considered downright old-fashioned. Most tenants — especially younger tenants — don’t want to go through all that hassle. Be sure to have an e-payment system available, with a mobile application, so your tenants can pay their rent while on the go. A plus for you: paying electronically is usually more accurate than old-school checks and ledgers.
Shine a light on the maintenance process.
When a tenant notifies you of a maintenance emergency or issue (and, of course, they will!), be sure to keep them posted regularly, and at every step along the way. Don’t let the process get murky or mysterious, and definitely don’t give the impression that the request has become buried or forgotten. Respond quickly through a resident portal, or by text, email, or voicemail, even if it’s just to say that you received the request and you are working on a solution. Keep them posted at regular intervals, especially if there are any delays or roadblocks. In the long run, your tenants will appreciate your determination; they’ll remember your efforts long after the issue is resolved. Make the process visible to them, from beginning to end.
Make your tenants’ experiences similar to their other online experiences.
Most people today live on their phones, so don’t be the exception when it comes to your communications. They want to be able to toggle between property announcements, details, and reminders as they check their social media, email and texts. Get into the mix.
Be available on their schedule via automation.
Potential renters may not want to wait for available office hours to see if you have vacancies. They want to find information on their own time, and they want that information to be fresh, up-to-date and accurate. They often go to third-party listing sites such as Zillow and StreetEasy for the latest on what’s available. Be sure to be there; your competition definitely will be.
Allow for one click.
When using a series of third-party listing sites like Zillow, consider a one-click vacancy posting that lets you easily manage vacancies so that they may post on all sites with just one easy click. This strategy will also help ensure that your listings don’t become stale or inaccurate. One click will distribute your listing to all the third-party sites you choose, without all the time it takes to list them one by one. Instead, one click posts them fast and accurately. Prospective tenants will learn quickly that you are on top of your game.
Bring the AI.
Artificial intelligence can be used in all kinds of ways. One particularly good use of AI: a bot on your website can engage potential and current tenants by asking the right questions and gathering information that will help you serve them better during office hours. This technology can also offer self-guided tours to potential tenants online, 24/7. They’ll have a good idea of the space you’re renting even before they visit you in person. The benefit: results, in real time! A Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends reveals that 71 percent of renters expect a response to their initial inquiry within 24 hours; 31 percent expect a response within only a few hours. AI can help make this happen.
Nobody wants to fill out paperwork the old-fashioned way anymore. Use mobile technology to allow prospective tenants to apply for a space online, even before they arrive for a tour. Online screening can reveal credit checks, eviction histories and criminal reports, thereby approving tenants within minutes (or less). If the tenant is approved, the lease can be signed without delays.
What are common reasons for low tenant satisfaction? Read our blog post!
Go above and beyond in the good times and in the bad. Make sure your elevator phones and other emergency communications systems are seamless, clear, and effective.
“On demand” is never more important than in the event of an emergency situation. A customized communications systems hits all the points of what tenants want as far as seamless, accurate, real-time service. Kings III Emergency Communications incorporates technology that allows tenants to get in touch with professionals who can help them — immediately. Its staff takes calls directly from your property, speeding help and reducing risk, liability and costs and can provide pre-arrival medical instructions right up until help arrives for your tenant. Most importantly, though, technology like this can save lives.
Talk about “on-demand:” tenants will appreciate the ability to be in regular contact with those who can help them, whenever that help is needed. This type of system builds trust, satisfaction and a 24/7 feeling of property safety.
Learn more about how you can maximize your property’s emergency communications here.