One of the main functions of managing a rental community is to serve residents. Good customer service helps renters feel more at home and builds a stronger community. When residents like where they live, they are more likely to renew their leases and encourage people they know to live there too. With good customer service, you will build a stronger community.
Here are three ways to improve customer service for a rental community:
Seek out areas to improve
Start by surveying your residents and design your customer service strategy around their feedback. Distribute a printed survey that residents can drop off at the front office or even send out a Survey Monkey link that residents can complete electronically. You can also host a community meeting at a time that is convenient for most residents and encourage open discussion about the community and ways to improve it.
Then, talk to residents one-on-one as you encounter them on the property. Let them get to know you as you ask residents for fresh ideas on how the property and staff can better accommodate their needs by way of service. It’s important to be specific with your questions.
For example, “How satisfied are you with living here?” may yield more useful feedback if posed, “How satisfied are you with our community events, like our annual holiday party?”
Another example is, “What would you change about the availability and promptness of our property maintenance team?”
Make the most of feedback
Be prepared to receive both positive and negative feedback. Embrace negative feedback and use it to improve your residents’ experiences so that your community grows. Review responses from surveys, individual conversations with residents, and meetings, and write up a document outlining recurring ideas and issues that your residents expressed.
Here are a few guidelines to help you get started.
Track your team’s progress
As your team offers better and better customer service, offer rewards and property-wide recognition to team members who consistently make a hospitable impression on residents. Some of your team members may be learning residents’ names and using them to make interactions more personal. Other team members may be brainstorming referral contests and community parties, or even keeping the grounds free of debris. Lead by example to encourage your staff. If you want your property to be the best in your area, you and your team need to bring your best with you every day.
The idea of true hospitality in our fast-paced, convenience-focused society might seem a little old-fashioned. However, time and time again, studies have shown that people remain loyal to a brand if its customer service exceeds expectations. In the case of rental communities, tenants remain loyal (read: renew their leases) and they willingly spread the word about the friendly and hospitable place they are fortunate enough to call home.
What are some ways your rental community team has provided good customer service? Share your comments below!