Online review websites such as Yelp, Google, Zillow have a dominating influence over tenant perception of property managers, which in turn can affect the buying and renewal process. Studies have shown that tenant satisfaction is directly linked to higher renewal intentions.
Think Online Reviews Don’t Affect You?
A 2009 Harvard research study showed that in the city of Seattle alone that Yelp, a popular consumer-driven review site, had a 70:5 ratio influence on the city’s restaurant reviews than the professional critiques from The Seattle Times.
Have you checked your own property’s online reviews recently? Type your property name into your Yelp app to find out.
If you are unpleasantly surprised with the online tenant perception of the properties that you manage, this checklist will provide you with 9 simple but powerful ways to get and keep high-quality tenants. You would be surprised at how cost effective and easy it is to turn your reputation around.
- Provide Concierge Services
You may have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for tenants who want a list of services provided in the area. You can take it one step further by having someone assist guests in making arrangements for various services. Imagine that you are a new tenant in the area and it took one phone call to take care of dry cleaning, handle DMV registration, or make rental car arrangements.
Your management company may not provide these services, but a quick search for your local chamber of commerce will help you find a concierge services company who will gladly provide these services to your tenants.
- Acknowledge Courtesy Officer Needs 24/7
Disturbances in community living or industrial buildings can impact the tenant perception of the properties that you manage. While no property manager can guarantee the safety of their tenants, your customers will feel safer if they are able to talk to someone who can address their concerns right away.
While most courtesy officers work normal business hours, a tenant ought to have the ability to speak with someone to determine whether their concern is an emergency that should be escalated to 911 or if they can address the issue the next day.
- Respond Promptly to Door & Gate Access Requests
You likely have a door and gate access control system to help protect your tenants, employees, and property assets. It is important to know who is entering the premises of your property, but it may not be easy to manage when entry codes are forgotten and gate cards are misplaced.
Your tenants are likely already frustrated by the inconvenience of not being able to access their own premises, so swiftly verifying their identity over-the-phone will allow them to continue to appreciate your security system investment.
- Have Elevator Emergency Protocol in Place
Emergency response & life safety protocol are likely on the top of your list as important information for your tenants and landlords to have.
If you have not documented procedures for handling elevator emergencies, you may want to check out this free guide provided by Schindler to establish some operations criteria.
It will be important for tenants, visitors, and landlords to be able to reach someone from inside a stalled elevator should an emergency arise such as bad weather, a fire, or an accident. By having proper elevator emergency protocol in place, you not only stay in compliance with building safety codes but you provide peace of mind as well.
- Engage with Tenants 24/7 Via Text & Email
Mobile push notifications are the easiest ways for tenants and landlords to engage with each other. The more opportunities you provide your tenants to get a hold of their landlord, the more engaged they will perceive your employees to be in addressing their concerns.
- Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
According to Building Engines, a web and mobile Property Management Software company, you can achieve long-term goals and repair poor reputation by collecting customer feedback.
While it is tempting to simplify the process of achieving customer feedback via online surveys, having a representative call the tenant by phone will personalize the experience and provide the validation that they are looking for.
- Manage Frequent Complaints
A business management journal that measured customer satisfaction stated that in order to retain customers (or tenants in this case) you must achieve higher levels of satisfaction than your competitors.
Think about the things that your tenants are complaining to you about and come up with processes to address frequently addressed concerns. Have your employees log how many times a tenant had a particular issue. You can also use the results from your customer survey and place it into a spreadsheet that will count up the occurences for you.
Remember, tenants are not shy about writing about their experience on online review sites.
- Respond to Billing & Portal Questions 24/7
As convenient as reviewing bills and making payments through your online portal is, your tenants are still going to have questions. You would be surprised how opportunities to delight can exist in the smallest of gestures—guiding them through your online portal or answering questions about line items on their invoice.
The combination of providing safety and security measures, delighting new tenants, and being ready to engage with them 24/7 will keep you way ahead of the competition.
As writing contributor of Harvard Business School Michael Blanding puts it: “Reviews are one piece of the reputation puzzle, but a comprehensive reputation system must do more to facilitate trust by incorporating other types of information as well.”
Previously poor online reviews may act as a sting to your reputation, but retaining high-quality tenants will eventually pay itself off and restore your good brand.