Earning a reputation as a great property management company is no longer about offering good customer service—it’s about creating an amazing customer experience. How does a customer feel before they meet you? While they are talking with you? After they leave you? Customers deserve to be WOWed!
What did you promise?
All property managers sell the same thing. Once you look past the zip code, you’ll realize that every apartment complex has rooms, walls, floors. Granted, we all need a clean product and a competitive product in terms of look and feel. But in the end, what sets your rooms and walls and floors apart from the next door neighbor’s is the interaction customers have with the people—your staff. Experience matters!
How many of you have paid more for something or driven further for something or even waited longer in a line because it was worth it? This is how you want your prospective renters to feel. You want them to want to live in your properties. If you have a waiting list, you want them to want to be on it!
Did you set [realistic] expectations?
In everything our businesses produce, we set expectations. In our marketing, on our social media channels, in our paid ads, third-party property listings, everywhere.
Branding is important because it sets up the expectation someone will have when they hear your motto. Does your branding create a sense of high-quality? Or speak to a particular demographic? Be clear about your audience and be mindful of your word choice. Ask yourself who are you trying to attract and what visuals do you want your customers to picture when they hear your brand name?
The days of under promising and over delivering are over. The new rule of thumb is “When you say it, do it.”
What defines a good or bad experience?
Ever wonder what are some of the top reasons people have a poor experience?
- Had to explain my problem to multiple people
- The person I dealt with was unpleasant
- It took too long to resolve
- The problem was not resolved
What about what makes a customer service interaction good?
- The problem was resolved quickly
- The person who helped me was nice
- The problem was resolved in one interaction – no passing around to multiple people
- The outcome was what I was originally hoping for when I contacted customer service
3-Step Formula for Happy Customers.
What’s the secret recipe for gaining happy customers? Following these three steps will likely result in happier renters.
- The Brand makes a promise about what it will do for the consumer.
- The Brand keeps the promise by delivering it to the consumer.
- The Brand delights its consumers by exceeding their expectations.
Happy renters equal repeat renters who will be advocates for your property management business.
So, how do you amaze people?
If you are not thinking about how you will amaze your customers today, the likelihood you will actually amaze is diminished. Great service isn’t good enough anymore. It has got to be a superb experience. We all have budgets and have to be concerned with the bottom line; however if you don’t deliver and people move out, it stresses the leasing staff, the maintenance staff, and everyone in your business. You can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s all about them!
The property management business (all businesses in fact) has transformed and become more customer-centric than ever. It’s the responsibility of the property manager to figure out how to amaze, keep renters coming back, and talk about your business in a positive way. You need to resonate and be empathetic. Listen to frustrations and feedback, understand their concerns. Don’t multitask and be present.
How do you measure customer service success?
- Referrals: How many of your residents are referring other people to you. It’s not about the bonus, it’s about “I love living here, I want you to live here too!”
- Renewal Percentage: If you’re not seeing at least 45% to 55% resident retention, something’s the matter.
- Satisfaction with Service: In this case, service refers to maintenance and office staff. You can survey your residents using the Net Promoter Score method: How likely are you to recommend this property?
Remember, it’s all about them.
It’s important to find the technology that supports the achievement of the feelings that you want your renters to experience with your property. Something user-friendly and allows customers to contact their property managers whenever and however and at their convenience. Tools like online resident portals, online maintenance requests, and text message communications can help give your renters self-service options, freeing up your time to focus on what matters most—giving them a WOW! experience.
For even more tips on crafting a great resident experience, check out our webinar from The Apartment Doctor, Doug Chasick!
Don’t miss our next complimentary webinar on May 19th:
The Self-Service Generation: Connecting with your Modern Renters, Featuring AppFolio Senior Manager of Customer Success, Katelyn Surak