Should I Stay or Should I Go: Reasons For Low Tenant Satisfaction
With so many options available to them, it truly is a tenant’s world, making tenant satisfaction and the tenant experience more important than ever. When it comes to tenant satisfaction, you want to stand out- but not in a bad way. Avoid these DON’Ts.
Throughout the course of a property manager’s intensely busy day, keeping tenants satisfied is a constant challenge and remains a work in progress. Many factors contribute to a tenant’s overall feeling of satisfaction, but sometimes not all the items on the checklist are given equal attention.
Tenants often lose faith in their property’s management and move on after their lease is up due to common oversights or mistakes. Here are some of the most common reasons for tenant dissatisfaction that you will want to avoid at all cost.
Not being available, or available enough.
You already know that being there for your tenant is important, but to them, it is everything. Your being there for them when they need you (and even when they don’t) sends a message that you care about them and their well-being. They will feel when there is a lack of attentiveness. Be sure to answer the phone and respond quickly to texts and emails, even if just to say that you received their message. This is important more now than ever, as the digital age has accustomed us all to an immediate response right at our fingertips.
Not providing clear and regular communication.
Regular emails, texts, bulletin boards, tenant surveys, and even tenant meetings show that you are concerned with keeping your tenants in the know, and welcome feedback and interaction. If you aren’t providing these avenues of communication for your tenants, they may not feel empowered to reach out or provide feedback at all. Regular communication helps give your tenants control in interactions with you.
Not being transparent.
Expanding upon the previous tip, tenants want to know that building staff is willing to share both the good news and the bad news with them. Be sure to be straightforward about any issues that arise on the property (leaks, malfunctions, repairs), and keep them informed on all progress or even lack of progress. The tenants may not like the news, but they may appreciate your willingness to be completely honest with them.
Not providing quick turnaround.
Address all problems quickly. Even when a repair or other issues are a challenge, the fact that you are making your best effort to get them resolved goes a long way toward customer satisfaction. Staying in close contact with the tenant, as well as periodic updates and a determination to get it done will be remembered long after the issue is resolved.
No value added benefits.
These days, location may not be enough. Prospective tenants should remember your property while they’re visiting a number of others to consider. Get creative about how you may offer amenities and extras that could keep your property at the front of a prospective tenant’s mind. This doesn’t always have to be tangible- for instance, customer service that goes above and beyond expectations can be equally or more valuable to someone than, say, for instance, trash valet.
Not stating items clearly in the lease.
Of course, rent and utilities should be spelled out clearly, but leave no question in the tenant’s mind about who is responsible for what, including repairs, maintenance, and upkeep. Arguments over how the lease is worded may lead to the tenant not renewing. Be clear about what’s in the lease from the beginning of the relationship, and be sure to encourage questions. Have the tenant initial each page of the lease to show that they have read and understood what is expected.
Not being aware of tenants’ rights, or respecting them.
Let them know that you are well aware of tenants rights in your city or state, including all tenant entitlements and protections. Going over these points with your tenant shows them that they deserve their rights and you are ready to protect them. (Of course, be sure to regularly review these yourself as well to make sure you’re staying on top of them!)
Not providing adequate safety.
A survey recently conducted by Kingsley Associates showed that among the 670,000 multifamily renters surveyed, property security fell into the top six renewal decision factors. Property safety is not only about life-threatening situations. Your tenants want to feel safe and protected at all times, with well-lit areas, safe exits and entrances, and knowledge that they are not alone should a situation arise. They also want to know that they can get help in an instant. See our blog post: Property Safety: The Small Items That Make A Difference.
One way to provide peace of mind to your tenants (and yourself!) is to implement a first-class, user-friendly emergency communications system. Not only will a 24/7/365 monitored system make your tenants feel safer, it will help minimize your liability. Our Kings III Emergency Communications system calls for help at the mere touch of a button, and it’s far more reliable than a smartphone or app. A Kings III call box contacts help directly and in real time, every time. No dropped calls, no missed signals, and no voicemail. That’s because the call is coming from a fixed location and is connecting to live operators.
Our Kings III monitoring service will keep your tenants connected in any emergency, dispatching immediate aid and reassuring them that help is on the way. In fact, Kings III staff are trained in providing pre-arrival medical instructions in case of a health emergency or accident, reinforcing your tenants’ feeling of security up until the moment that help arrives.
Learn more about how you can increase tenant satisfaction, transparency, and the value of your property with a Kings III Emergency Communications system- contact us.
We have found as an emergency pool phone provider that there are multifamily communities unaware that their current pool phone service is actually using a deactivated cell phone. Depending on the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), this often does not pass inspection for several reasons. This puts both property managers and their tenants at risk. Learn why.
Kings III equipment has been approved for the use of FirstNet, built by AT&T, which is a long-term evolution (LTE) network that gives first priority to first responders and other public safety personnel. Learn more here.