Property management is a profession that involves dealing with difficult situations. Often times, a property manager has to work with people with differing viewpoints. On one side of the spectrum, there are real estate investors who are looking for a maximum return with minimal expenses. On the other side of the spectrum, tenants and residents are looking for the maximum value of a home for minimum rent.
Customer service is often the most overlooked key to balancing these two perspectives. How do you create value for tenants while also increasing ROI for owners? You start with quality customer service for the tenants. Response time, value and professionalism are key factors for a property management organization.
We all know some of the most common customer complaints: they never called me back or I never heard from them. I remember calling property management companies and leaving voicemails trying to schedule showings for my first office. It took months and the response rate was extremely low. When they did respond, it was usually days or weeks later. This experience taught me a great lesson. Simply answer the phone and you will have a competitive advantage as a business. This is why Nexus Property Management Franchises all have 24/7 live answered response lines. When a customer has a question or an issue, any waiting time will only have a negative effect on the relationship. As a property manager you want to have rapid response times, provide constant updates and follow ups to your tenants. Overcommunication is the best practice for all parties.
When making a purchase, most people review the available options, weigh the pros and cons of each choice and look to make a decision that results in the best value. Tenants do the same thing when searching for a rental home. They will look at the available properties that fit the basic criteria and then pursue the best perceived value. This means that landlords are always in competition with other landlords in the area. Essentially, landlords are providing a product and tenants are purchasing that product. To be a successful real estate investor, you need to provide value with a quality product that will attract quality tenants. This will increase your chances of achieving above average returns through high rents, long term tenancies and reduced turnovers.
Inexperienced landlords will attempt to rent units in below average conditions, put off repairs and look to avoid investing time and money into property improvements or tenant relations. This is common and creates a cycle of short tenancies, evictions, vacancies, lost revenue and declining property value. Experienced real estate investors and property managers look to improve the condition of properties and improve tenant relations with equal treatment for all residents.
Nick D'Agnillo is the CEO & Founder of Nexus Property Management™, A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property, from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.