Like every other industry, property management has seen major technological advancements in recent years, and it’s crucial to make sure your service adopts the most efficient tools available to it. But in truth, the quality of a property management company doesn’t hinge on technology — it comes down to principle.
Looking back on my last eleven articles, I’ve noticed a pattern. Much of what I recommend for property management professionals revolves around the simple, old-fashioned concept of going above and beyond for clients — not just meeting expectations, but exceeding them. I realized that idea needs to be front-and-center. Reflecting on a few of the practices I’ve highlighted before and exploring new ones, here are five ways to go above and beyond for the people whose property you manage.
1. Walk Every Unit With The Owner
In my article on transitioning new clients successfully, I stressed the importance of this practice with an anecdote about walking a unit whose balcony door actually opened to a three-story drop, because they’d removed the balcony but left the door. This is by no means the only outrageous thing I’ve found in my routine inspections. I’ve come across smoke detectors dangling from wires, bathtubs filling and draining continuously because of unreported leaks and tenants heating their entire apartments with lit stove burners because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of reporting a broken heater. Walking each unit you manage every six months — and documenting it to prove you’ve done it — isn’t a common practice in property management, but you don’t aspire to be a common property manager, do you?
2. Review The Owner’s Insurance
I’ve also mentioned that at my firm, we take a look at all of our clients’ insurance policies for them in order to make sure that they’re getting the right insurance at the best possible price. In extreme cases, we’ve found that our clients didn’t have the correct insurance for their property type, or even worse, didn’t have insurance at all even though they thought they did. If you’re serious about doing more for your clients than the bare minimum, this is one unconventional way you can protect their profits and increase their peace of mind.
3. Pick Up The Phone Live, 24/7
We all know how tedious and frustrating it can be to call a phone number repeatedly and receive no answer. That’s because companies across all industries have come to accept this low standard of customer service. To spare both your clients and tenants the frustration of a message machine on your end, see to it that all calls into your office get answered live, even after business hours. If that means hiring somebody in-office whose main job it is to answer phones and a contracting a service for after-hours emergencies, then that is what you must do. Your company should never manage more clients than it can serve at a high level.
4. Review The Owner’s Statement With Them
Set an appointment with all new owners to review their statement. For property owners, transitioning their rental units into new management may seem like a daunting and disorienting task. One way you can go above and beyond to ease their concerns and welcome them into your company family is by personally reviewing their first statement with them, detailing all of the items on it one by one. They deserve to know exactly what they’re paying for, and this process will help foster an atmosphere of open communication with them.
5. Learn The Owner’s Ideal Level Of Involvement
One hallmark of uncommon quality in a property management company is the willingness to personalize their management services to meet and exceed a client’s needs. One-size-fits-all really fits none. Find out exactly what level of involvement your client wants, and fit your service to them. Every property owner is different — you’ll find that some take particular pride in the design of their units, and others want to keep one individual point of contact for all their dealings with your company. Some want nothing to do with the day-to-day minutiae of managing their property, while others want to choose the color of every tile installed. Show your clients you value their individual input by catering your service to involve them as they wish to be involved.
You’ll find in time that consistently going above and beyond for your clients leads to the most beneficial long-term professional relationships. If you take pride in your work, implement these practices to elevate it.