Property Managers: How to attract and retain landlords?
Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of our activity, but how to attract and retain them? Traditionally, landlords judge a property management company’s performance according to criteria that matter the most to them:
- Social proof: Referral from a friend and/or website + Online reviews
- Processes: Vacancy process, Rent arrears process, Rent collection process, Tenant screening process
- Availability: Property Manager / Property ratio and location
- Financial aspect: Fees level and structure
As a Property Manager, your job is to protect the landlords’ interests and keep them satisfied. So, customer satisfaction is the N°1 metric to every sustainable property management business. Read more in our article: “The N°1 metric to creating a sustainable property management business”. In fact, the management fees are far from being the first criteria for most landlords (especially the ones you want to work with). Most landlords have a strong emotional attachment to their property and their n°1 concern is how you and your tenants will take care of it. Therefore they will mostly care about the processes you have to maintain it and how you select the tenants. If the service delivery justifies higher fees, they are easily accepted and understood. For a landlord it is never about cost, always about value. Customer satisfaction is always the starting point for any landlord’s retention and acquisition strategies.
Everything starts with customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is all too often a forgotten performance metric but it’s the one impacting your business bottom line the most. Read more about: “The real cost of customer satisfaction”. In the property management industry it is traditionally considered that the customers are the landlords only. In fact, they are the ones hiring your services to protect their asset. But in reality, the one really protecting their asset and taking care of their property every-day are the tenants. They are your customers too and their satisfaction is as much, if not more valuable than the landlords’. In fact, tenants satisfaction should be the starting point of your customer satisfaction process. It is linked to your landlords’ acquisition, retention, and overall satisfaction. That’s why it is important to understand the impact of tenants satisfaction on landlords’ satisfaction.
Tenants satisfaction and landlords retention
Landlords retention is a critical challenge for each property management business as each landlord turnover represents a cost. Taking into consideration the ‘natural’ churn of landlords (property sold, landlord moving back in, etc.) there is still a higher percentage of landlord turnover that can be worked on because it’s solely linked to your services. This part of landlords turnover is directly impacted by landlords satisfaction. Landlords satisfaction can be composed of many things such as your pricing strategy, but it is mostly about the service you provide meaning how you are taking care of the property and the tenants. Therefore solely caring about the landlords and completely forgetting the tenants isn’t a winning strategy. An unhappy tenant is much more damaging to your business than you can imagine and directly impacts your landlords’ retention rate. Unhappy tenants lead to a higher tenant turnover rate, which then leads to landlords questioning performance, being dissatisfied and churn. An unhappy tenant is also less likely to be transparent and communicate with you about the issues. Therefore, he might damage the property or not take care of it well. Landlords need their asset looked after : unsatisfactory property inspections trigger landlords dissatisfaction and turnover. Finally, they are very likely to leave bad online reviews. It could damage your brand, and create a considerate loss in potential business opportunities. It’s more likely to disturb your landlords’ acquisition and retention process.
Tenants satisfaction and landlords acquisition
Landlords acquisition is also one of the crucial processes of a property management business. Although marketing and advertising can be efficient strategies, there is no better strategy than good online reviews left by your tenants. Read more about this in our article: “Grow your property management business without a BDM” There is a growing importance and trust towards online reviews. You can’t ignore that if you want to grow in today’s competitive market. Online reviews are intrinsically linked to your customer satisfaction. That’s why today more than ever it is important to have a customer satisfaction strategy in place, starting with your tenants. In fact, everything starts with them: if your tenants have a bad customer experience they will be likely to share it. It will lead to bad online reviews which will lead to a significant loss in potential business opportunities (meaning landlords acquisition). Learn more about the cost of bad online reviews in our article: “The real cost of customer satisfaction”. On the other hand, if you have a customer satisfaction program in place, you will attract good online reviews which will lead to a significant growth in landlords acquisition.
Happy tenants => happy landlords => business bottom line increase
Tenants are the customers that represent both the greatest risk and the greatest opportunity for your business. Their satisfaction occupies a central position since they are impacting your business on so many levels: your landlords’ satisfaction, your brand reputation, and business bottom line and growth. It is crucial to have a customer satisfaction program in place for your tenants, to: – measure and improve your tenants’ satisfaction – identify happy and unhappy tenants – leverage your happy ones – turn your neutral customers into happy ones – deal with the unhappy ones internally (Read more about these steps in the article: “Grow your property management business without a BDM”)
How we can help
At Umanest we designed an online reviews management tool for property managers around these steps. Not only does it provide you with a powerful risk management system, but it also makes your business more profitable. Start now to reduce customer turnover and boost customer acquisition. If you’re interested in knowing more about our product, you can schedule a meeting with us to see how we can help you.
Interested to know how we helped a company save over $150K annually with our customer satisfaction programme?
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