The other day a friend told me, “I spend all my time reacting and putting out fires. I don’t have time to be proactive.” Who doesn’t understand that feeling?
The shift to a more proactive approach to customer service doesn’t have to mean sweeping changes. Just a few tweaks can net great results. Consider these four basic tips, all centered around one key aspect of property management—communication!
- Set expectations. Residents don’t like to be surprised. Time and again, surveys show that residents want more communication from their property managers and homeowner’s association management. They want to know what’s going on… what to expect. It’s a fact: people aren’t happy when their expectations are not met. Make that work for you and set their expectations.
- It’s easier to get the word out than to respond to inquiries. “The parking lot at building A will be closed for repaving on Monday.” “The west gate does not open automatically and will be repaired tomorrow.” “Saturday’s pool party will start at 4 PM instead of 3 PM.” How many phone calls, conversations and complaints would these messages save you?
- Invite feedback from your residents It helps you plan. “Let me know if you plan to attend.” “The roof will be repaired next week; please report your damages by Friday.” “Please respond if you want to help at the cookout.” People like to know their voice counts.
- The right tools make all the difference! Bulletin boards have their place, but a proactive approach depends on you reaching your residents rather than them seeking you. Try putting affordable technology to work with an automated message notification service. The best services for property managers include features like one flat rate so you can use it often; across popular mediums: voice messaging, text messaging, and social media with multiple contacts per resident; automatic language translations; and the ability for residents to instantly respond.
“Automated” doesn’t have to mean impersonal. It means hassle-free set up and maintenance; pre-recording and scheduling your messages; sending messages to everyone at the same time; and saving money on paper, printing and postage.
Like many good things, a proactive approach takes vigilance. It’s easy to unwittingly slip back into reactive mode. Take advantage of technology and find the right tools to help you get the most out of the changes you make.