July 07, 2016
Maintaining Strong Resident Relations: How to Improve Maintenance Response for Better Customer Service
The demand for rental units is on the rise. Current economic conditions coupled with changing demographics – including a growing preference for renting among millenials and seniors – have caused an increase in the number of prospective tenants. So how can you make sure that your property stands out as a desired rental location?
Exceptional customer service is one of the surest ways to attract new renters. But first impressions, although important, aren’t the only thing that matter. Customer service is also a key method for keeping existing residents happy – and upping the odds that they’ll refer others to you.
Improving your responsiveness and attention to maintenance issues offers an excellent opportunity to do exactly that.
Find the Patterns & Be Proactive
Performing annual, proactive maintenance goes a long way toward reducing emergency calls. The benefit is twofold: Renters will be happy to avoid the inconvenience of unplanned disruptions, and you’ll save money by reducing the need for rush service jobs (and their accompanying rush contractor rates) and minimizing the damage that can come from ongoing issues like unchecked plumbing.
Property management companies should also look at all the units in their portfolio and amalgamate the top maintenance requests so they can spot recurring issues, such as out-of-order laundry facilities.
Respect Their Privacy
While performing maintenance work, always respect your renters’ privacy. Ask them what day and time is best for any inspections or repair work, and always give plenty of notice. Remember, your unit is their home, and they may have unusual sleeping or working hours.
Be aware of residents’ schedules and spend as little time as possible in their units; they’ll appreciate your effort and feel more comfortable living on your property.
Offer Open, Timely Communication
No matter how proactive you are, unforeseen issues will arise. When maintenance requests come in, it’s crucial that you respond promptly and efficiently. You should have a process in place 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 good will with your renters; long after the repair is done, they’ll remember how you treated them.
Follow Through on the Follow-Up
Once maintenance is complete, you have a perfect opportunity to follow up and inquire as to how your maintenance team or contractor performed. Ask your renter if they’re satisfied with the repair and whether there’s anything else you can do for them. If you have an online maintenance portal, you can automate the follow-up and direct residents to a survey that allows them to rate the repairs.
Improved Maintenance for a Better Bottom Line
Having long-term renters reduces the time and resources you need to spend on marketing available units. That means lower costs and increased profitability.
Take advantage of today’s technology solutions, like online maintenance request portals, to streamline and improve your maintenance services and keep residents happier – and longer.
With Property Vista’s software solutions, residents can quickly and easily submit their requests online, from their computer or mobile device, giving them the flexibility to reach out to you on their terms. From the mobile phone app, they can select “Maintenance” from their dashboard, and then fill out the form, upload a photo and click to submit their request.
Renters can also check the status of their maintenance request and see when the repair is scheduled. Upon completion, they can rate the service they received, giving you immediate feedback on how your team is performing and allowing you to address any lingering issues.
Our online system enables you to monitor work in progress and stay on top of maintenance requests. In addition, it empowers you to manage equipment and preventative maintenance, creating monthly reports on operations.
To learn more about how Property Vista’s powerful software can improve the efficiency of your maintenance operations, along with your bottom line and customer satisfaction, sign up for your free account today.