The property business is a business of communication –to tenants, to owners, to vendors, to colleagues. A stellar communication strategy is the foundation of outstanding customer service. Property managers must ensure that all interactions flow freely and effectively to these key stakeholders. This requires the use of communication portals as well as anywhere, anytime access to mission-critical information.
Tenants: Communicate Early + Frequently
All property professionals know that they need to communicate with the tenant when there is an event – like a repair that requires the water to be shut off for a few hours – that will interrupt the residents’ daily routine. However, communication in “good times” helps build solid relationships. For example, property professionals should also highlight upgrades, building amenities and longer-term plans for the building. This helps residents to see why they should stay in the building when the lease is up.
One way to set expectations and build good relations is to communicate to your residents what you expect of them by outlining your requirements in your welcome package and on your resident portal. This ensures everyone is on the same page and there is less of a chance of any confusion or assumptions about who is responsible for what and when. A few days after the move-in, follow up to see how the new resident is doing and offer your help if they need anything.
When maintenance requests come in, it’s crucial that you respond promptly and efficiently. A tenant portal allows you to implement a process that sends an immediate response to any requests, and provides emails to confirm each step along the way. Being accessible and communicative does a lot to establish goodwill with your renters.
Owners: Give Them What They Want When They Want It
One of the most common reasons that owners change property management firms is a lack of communication. Slow responses and a lack of access to information send owners looking for a more responsive company to manage their assets.
Keeping the lines of communication with your owners open is, obviously and without a doubt, essential. You need to keep them up-to-date on what’s going on with their properties, whether it relates to rent rates, vacancies, turnover, maintenance, or compliance issues. Owners want anytime/anywhere access. They don’t want to have to wait for the property company to prepare a report for them. An owner portal allows property management clients to instantly access important documents like financial statements and property inspection reports whenever and wherever they want.
Through the owner portal, you can provide timely communication and any pertinent updates to their properties. You can schedule reports to go out at the first of the month, or send details about any new issues or challenges that have arisen.
Vendors: Remove Bottlenecks
Coordinating maintenance across a portfolio of buildings can be multifaceted, with a ton of moving parts – getting permission to enter, managing vendors or maintenance people, approving work orders and POs, inspections, and the list goes on and on.
The key to a communication strategy with vendors is to remove bottlenecks so that repairs can proceed without any holdups. A good property management solution can help you improve vendor relations and maintenance times by replacing time-consuming, paper-heavy processes with an optimized, digitized workflow. The web-based centralized portal also offers increased visibility so that no service request or preventative maintenance falls through the cracks.
You can also close the gap between maintenance requests and getting the job done by prioritizing and assigning tasks, defining workflows and dependencies and resolving issues. For example, in the Property Vista system, you can easily allow employees or trusted vendors to see maintenance requests, and maintenance requests can be assigned to specific people. This helps to ensure that nothing is missed, and everyone is accountable.
Colleagues: One Version of the Truth
Disparate and legacy systems can render important information siloed. At the very least, it hinders communication, collaboration and decision-making. Better communication starts with better understanding.
To effectively communicate with one another, property teams need productivity and organizational tools like online digital documents, access to reports and financials and other key data. This gives them consistent data (aka one version of the truth) that is visible to all stakeholders.
How Property Vista Helps
At Property Vista, we provide both the technology you need to better understand your business and the tools needed to make changes. Our portals can help you communicate to tenants and owners, as well as share information amongst your team and your suppliers. To learn more, get started here.