Do your clients have a clear idea of what they can expect from you?
Have you set clear expectations of the service that you intend to provide?
Are your team all on the same page when setting and delivering on these expectations?
These are all crucial questions to ask and will ultimately determine whether your clients end up raving fans or investigating moving their investment/s across to your competitors.
It is important that before we start engaging with our clients, as a team, the department is clear on what our service offering will look like. Establishing a clear set of standards means that there is transparency and consistency between all facets of the department – be it new business, leasing, property management or accounts.
Below are some questions to ask yourself and your team and ultimately communicate to your clients:
- How often and via what methods can they expect to hear from you when their property is vacant?
- How quickly will your require a response from them when you are presenting a potential tenancy application?
- During the ongoing management of the property, should your client contact you, in what timeframe can they expect a response? Same day? Within 24 hours? One business day, half a business day?
- Should their tenant fall into arrears, at what point will they be notified?
- Should maintenance be required on the property, under what circumstances will they be contacted? Do they understand the maintenance limits that are in place on their agreement with your agency?
There are many additions that could be made to the above, however, it is most effective within your team, and when communicating to your clients, to keep things simple. Setting expectations at the commencement of the management and following on with these commitments means your client knows what to expect.
Consider this example: Your client has just purchased their first investment property. They have extended themselves financially to get into the market and are eager to have their property leased. They eagerly anticipate the first open home and expect a call following the open home on a Saturday. Little does the client know, the leasing agent conducting inspections has 7 other open homes to attend and has to navigate across the city. Calling each landlord following the open home is unachievable for the leasing agent without running behind schedule on the remaining open homes. The client is left wondering all day and all weekend, whether they have had any interest in the property. They feel as though they have been left in the dark.
Instead, consider the client has been made aware of how Saturday inspections run, advised that they can expect a text message following the inspection with a brief overview and that their portfolio manager will be in touch with them before 11am on Monday, once feedback calls have been place to the prospective tenants and applications reviewed.
Rather than feeling they have been forgotten about, they now know that this is part of your office process and feel confident that you have delivered as promised.
Make sure that you are setting realistic client expectations. The last thing you want to do is over promise and under deliver. Creating raving fans starts with having the right model in place and consistently focussing on meeting and exceeding client expectations.