Ensuring an outstanding customer experience is the key to attracting and keeping residents. To stay relevant – especially during a pandemic – property management companies must anticipate customer demands, and create seamless customer experiences.
We wanted to share some stories from the property management frontlines, and show how property leaders are creating better customer experiences.
A Shift in Technology
A property management professional with over 20 years’ experience, Jack Beaton is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Sterling Karamar, a full-service property management company headquartered in Toronto. The company manages diverse asset classes, including a residential portfolio that includes over 9,000 units.“
Our goal is to continually get better. Better at connecting to our residents and owners. Better at ensuring accessibility and an open, two-way dialogue with our stakeholders,” says Beaton, Vice President, Operations. “When you are dealing in a paper-based world, things can get missed.”
To improve the customer experience, as well as move away from manual and paper-based processes, the company embraced technology several years ago. By using our web-based suite of software Sterling Karamar was able to meet key objectives such as ease of rental payment was key, and anytime/anywhere applications. The property organization also benefited from the improved workflow that a web-based solution offers. With online applications, all information is captured digitally and can be populated to other forms, like leases and welcome letters.
Better Communication, Better Customer Service
An owner-manager property management company specializing in the multi-residential field, Compten Management was founded 35 years ago in Toronto. Dedicated to excellent customer service, Compten was looking to enhance their communication between residents and staff. The goal was to be able to not only simplify the process but to support their property managers and other frontline staff to be more nimble and responsive.
The solution was a resident and maintenance portal. J. Daniel Greenberg, Vice President, Director of Investment at Compten Management Inc. states, “Through the resident portal, we can answer questions or respond to requests faster which is important in providing a high level of customer service. For maintenance requests, our residents can simply submit their ticket and track its progress.”
Of course, while communication portals are pivotal to success, Greenberg also emphasizes the need to the human touch: “Our employees get to know the residents, and establish a positive relationship with them. As a company we are very hands-on and strive to maintain a high level of communication with our tenants.” He says that a superior customer experience has a direct impact on profits, say that it results in less collection issues and less turnover and therefore improves the bottom line.
A Streamlined Leasing Process
Brian Turpin, the IT Director at Greenwin, one of Canada’s largest privately owned property management companies with over 20,000 residential units, noticed that the property managers were constantly travelling to Greenwin’s various locations to get lease applications, confirm their approval and process them. He was also concerned about the number of paper documents and how they were being stored and tracked. Responsible for aligning the IT department’s priorities to the company’s strategic goals, Brian turned to Property Vista’s technology to help streamline the leasing process.
Our property managers and accounts receivable teams now have the lease and credit application information they need at their fingertips,” noted Turpin. “People no longer have to create manual reports or post into Yardi. Property Vista does that automatically. It eliminated those silos that required the rekeying of information. We can now push and pull information faster. And that’s been a huge advantage.”
By streamlining the leasing process, Turpin has confirmed that it’s saved the property managers hours of work per week through better time management and business insights.
Easier Payment Options
With over 60 years of property management experience, Westdale Properties understands that commitment to resident satisfaction is key to staying competitive. Donato Caprara, Westdale’s manager of real estate and information systems, is in charge of seeking out IT solutions —from software and hardware to new applications— to improve the customer experience for residents and to help the business grow.
While Westdale Properties had set up POS systems in its rental offices for residents to make debit payments, property managers were hearing from tenants that they would like additional payment options and online convenience. Caprara looked to Property Vista for a solution.
By incorporating the ability to take online rental payments into their systems, they achieved three very important objectives: customer convenience, customer satisfaction and better customer service“.
We’ve had a tremendous response from our residents. There’s been a high conversion rate across our portfolio. Tenants have been quick to jump on board because it’s just so easy to pay their rent. They can make a payment anywhere or anytime, even at night when they are relaxing in front of the TV.”
He also notes that the upshot is that it frees up on-site staff to focus on delivering more tenant-pleasing customer service rather than processing debit payments or collecting cheques.
Property Vista Improves Your Customers’ Experiences
At Property Vista, we can help you implement the systems and processes to streamline your marketing as well as leasing processes, minimize late payments, ensure a clear audit trail and improve renter satisfaction with issues like maintenance requests. Check out pricing and arrange for a demo here.