Property Managers... Tired of feeling like a broken record?
Many days in property management we will feel like a broken record, repeating things that we need to explain to each tenant and landlord, with a growing frustration of saying the same thing over and over. Our favourite phrases include explaining where the two weeks rent are from when the tenant moved in, responding to repetitive rental enquiries asking for more information on the property, or explaining to an owner the difference between wear and tear… I’m sure you could help me make the list even longer.
I’m sure we have all heard from time to time that the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So what is the solution to this recurring broken record syndrome? My advice is to educate, template and automate your expertise
It can be tricky to remember that whilst we do this job every day, completing the same process on multiple properties, we know how to move a tenant in and how to move one out with out eyes closed. However, the tenant or landlord on the other end of our transaction does not deal with that same issue every day. They cannot remember exactly how the process will work, and even if they have been through it at one point previously. This can lead to miscommunication or expectations not being met.
Ideally we need educate them so there is no confusion as to what has happened, is happening and will happen next. When we book a flight online or order products online, we are educated at each step (throughout the purchase process), our actions confirmed (a confirmation email) and next steps outlined (perhaps in the same email or a follow up email afterwards). So it would make sense that our consumer needs the same level of education in their property transaction as they experience this in most other areas of life.
But time is the challenge... so how can you better educate your clients along the way?
Having templates ready will go a long way to supporting this process. We do not want to be writing out an explanation at each step of the way. What templates do you already have in your business? How can they be enhanced? What other templates could you create that would help your cause?
What about “Commonly asked Questions at the Vacate?”, “Wear and Tear factsheet”, “What happens now your property is on the market” or “What happens to the two weeks rent you paid when you move in”… Having these ready to go so that you can easily attach, or copy and paste specific paragraphs into your emails, will drastically help in the time it takes to explain these things.
Now, utilising these templates without taking up more time is next challenge...
Let's streamline and speed up this process even further. What systems do you have in place to automate and support you in responding to and dealing with your clients?
If you are looking for a quick and easy tool within your business there are some great functions within your mail clients that will allow you to use your templates easily such as “quick parts” in your outlook or "canned responses" in Gsuite – used to easily create, store, and find reusable paragraphs of content. Or some agencies will have an FAQ section on your website to link through to.
However these are still somewhat manual so it might be time to look at some of the awesome and reasonably priced tools outside of the business such as Inspect Real Estate's Rental online booking systems for your rentals that respond to and manage all of your enquiry and keep your owners up to date.
Or there is also App Tracker, Key Tracker, Vacate Tracker, Lease Tracker and soon to be Routine Inspection Scheduler all available as well that streamline and automate the communication process tenants, landlords and contractors and team members alike, saving you huge amounts of time and headaches on the repetitive things we do everyday. These systems even come with all the templates built for you ready to customise to your agency.
If you are wanting to look outside the box you could even consider virtual assistants or trialling out the new Facebook Messenger for Business to create an autobot that can respond to all common enquiries, however this is not the main platform you will be communicating with your clients so it is limited.
In educating, templating and automating we will have happier clients who know what is going on, and thus we’ll be happier and less stressed. So don’t feel stuck feeling broken record, it’s just about how you look at the problem and what steps are put in place to minimise these occurrences, so we can find something else to spend our time on, like building relationships and growing the business.
If you want help improving your processes and systems get in touch.