Engage Property Technology recently carried out a survey which revealed some very interesting insights, namely that 49 percent of all tenants questioned were unhappy with their landlord's service.*
In the face of such discontent, it’s definitely time to make a case for property management and focus on the value that a premium agent can bring to the rental experience.
Displeasure with the time taken for repair resolution, poor communication and a sense of disconnectedness from their surroundings were the key tenant pain points uncovered by the Engage survey. While tenants in the 18-24 age group were the least content, deep dissatisfaction with the service provided by their landlords echoed across all age groups.
As managing director of Engage, Mitesh Patel says:
"As an industry, the rental sector is lagging behind probably every other industry in terms of customer service. But by thinking of tenants as customers and putting them at the core of all services, landlords can capitalise on the opportunities the growing market presents."
What does this mean for letting agents?
What the results make clear is that in an environment where people are anticipating to rent for longer combined with the ever increased connectedness of society, tenants will inevitably be expecting greater service levels. This is where property managers can, as digital analyst Antony Slumbers puts it, “go from zero to hero”.
It’s no longer enough for managing agents to be non-communicative until problems arise – they need to provide a greater customer experience whereby tenants who rent long term can feel at ease and happy with their properties. Because when the management process of a property is done well, it can have a tremendously buoyant effect on the agent’s brand, ensuring that the firm retains the business of both the landlord and the tenant in the future and enhancing their reputation far beyond.
So how can letting agents get it right?
In today’s service culture, it’s not enough for a managing agent to only check in when a problem arises, Instead, property managers aiming to go above and beyond should ensure that they are contacting their tenants regularly. Courtesy calls take just a few minutes but should go some way to addressing those tenants who feel disconnected.
Swift repair resolution
Nothing causes tenants and landlords more headaches than repairs being delayed or dragged out. An effective agent of a fully managed property should have contractors on speed dial to ensure that any repairs are dealt with promptly and effectively.
Slumbers also highlights the importance of the human touch in a professional context. As more and more industries become automated, property managers should be on hand to provide a bespoke blend of empathy and authority to concerned tenants.
In times of trouble, tenants who reside in properties that are managed by a single landlord are limited to contacting just one individual in the hope that they’ll be available. However, a property that is being fully managed by a letting agent will have a team of contacts behind it, so that even if the manager isn’t available, one of their colleagues will be able to assist. With software services like Fixflo, which enable 24/7 communications, tenants will know their issue has been recognised immediately, regardless of the hour of the day.
While a landlord has a personal investment in a property, staff turnover within management companies has the potential to disrupt continuity of management. Effective agencies will utilise software like Fixflo Plus, which records and collates every maintenance request and tenant interaction, allowing accounts to be immediately picked up as they were left off. This goes a long way in ensuring that even staff that are new to an account will feel like old hands.
Interested in the Fixflo software? Book a free 20 minute demo by clicking here.
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