Believe it or not, as a Property Manager, you are running your own business.
You don’t have to own the property, you were entrusted by your owners and your management company to run it!
As the business owner you are also the Chief Customer Officer! Do you know who your customers are? Yes, they are your residents, but they are also your owners, your vendors, your teammates at the management company, your staff at the property, and your local community. Everyone you come in contact with each day is a customer of yours, and one of the best ways to increase your business is to make sure you are providing over the top customer service to all your customers all the time.
Each day presents its own challenges and you have to realize you are not going to always make everyone happy; however, you can treat everyone with respect, let them know you are listening to their concerns, you have received their request, you have heard what they have to say, and you will work diligently to resolve the situation in a fair and ethical manner.
There are company policies to follow, Fair Housing laws which have to be followed, industry regulations which have to be adhered to; face it, it’s a juggling act each and every day.
As long as you speak to everyone in a professional and respectful tone, don’t lose your cool (and it can be very hard not to), and listen, nine times out of ten the end result will be a win for everyone. Understand not everyone will walk away with what they wanted, but if you handle the situation as the professional you are, then your customer will walk away with a better understanding of why things have to be done a certain way. Remember too what you do for one, you have to do for all, so treat everyone the exact same way!
Customers generally want an immediate response. Don’t forget this as you go about your daily routines.
Make sure you are checking your emails first thing in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, and before you go home each day. Emails you get from your corporate office, your staff, your supervisor, or your owner should be answered even if it’s to say “I got your email and I’m on it”. If you’re asked to do something and you have another priority you are working on, respond back and give them an estimated completion time. If you are overwhelmed (and that never happens in property management world..ha ha), there is nothing wrong with letting them know what you have on your plate and ask for their advice on prioritizing it all. Bottom line, providing over the top customer service includes responding to all emails as quickly as possible so your customers know they are important, you have heard them, and you are “minding your business”.
Think about times you have had bad experiences with a customer service department. Did you send an email and no one responded? Did you call and leave a voicemail and no one ever called you back? How did it make you feel? I’m sure you didn’t feel as if you were important and you mattered. Don’t forget this as you go through your day and serve your customers. If you’ll remember everyone you come in contact with is your customer and they are a integral part of your business’ success, you’ll start to see things get better!
As the Ritz Carlton motto says “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” We should all remember this when dealing with our customers.
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