Trading Hearts for Stars: Strategies to Improve Property Management Customer Relationships
How is your property management reputation these days? As you’re shopping for goodies to share with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, be sure to remember that you’ve got relationships to tend with your clients, too.
And when your customers love you, well, the 5 star ratings aren’t that far behind, right?
Strategies to Improve Property Management Customer Relationships
Today, Marie will share some strategies for improving your property management customer relationships.
#1: Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback, especially in the property management industry, is hard, and it can make you feel vulnerable. But if you never ask, you’ll never know how you’re doing! You won’t know what’s causing people to leave or causing friction with your owners and tenants.
You’ll end up making growth decisions based on stories in your head, instead of real, actual data about what’s affecting your property management reputation and relationships.
❤️ Heart Tip! Send Emails and/or Set Office Hours
You can always send out emails asking for feedback – or, if you prefer talking on the phone or in person, you could set up a day and time every week where your clients can approach you about any issues they’re having. Think of it as your “Office Hours” for conflict resolution. For example, you could let your clients know that every Friday between 10-12p, they can call to speak with you directly about issues they’re having.
Asking for feedback is just the beginning. Now that you’ve put yourself out there, you’re ready for the next one which is…
#2: Identify the real problems in your property management relationships
Review feedback with your property management team.
Schedule a meeting with at least one other person on your team to review feedback together. Having someone else with you to provide support and wisdom can help you really hear what your owners and tenants are saying, and then make clear-headed decisions on how to take the feedback and grow from it.
We did a blog called “What Our Data Shows About Negative Property Management Reviews (& What to Do About Them)” that takes an in-depth look at some of the most common complaints property managers deal with, and what to do about them! That’s a good place to start to get a sense of how your complaints measure against our data.
Get to the Root.
Don’t dismiss clients expressing their emotion. At the root of what they’re feeling is potentially valuable feedback for your company, and an opportunity for your client to feel truly heard and supported by you. Use reflective listening to get to the heart of their issue.
❤️ Heart Tip! Use Reflective Listening.
Reflective listening is a technique you can use to ensure that you’re understanding the other person correctly and make them feel truly heard. How can you do this? Well, once the other person has spoken, take a breath and start with “So what I hear you saying is…” then use your own words to summarize what they just said to you. This gives the other person the opportunity to clarify what they said and it minimizes any misunderstandings on both ends.
Once you’re clear on what the problems are, it’s time to do something about them!
#3: Take Action
Tweak your processes and procedures so that the root problems can get resolved and never come back. When you implement your new strategies and policies based on feedback — stick to them! Being consistent is key here.
Put controls in place and get your entire team on board to ensure things don’t just go back to how they used to be. Demonstrating to your clients that you not only hear feedback but are willing to make real changes based on it builds trust and improves your property management reputation.
But before you deep dive on every review you’ve ever received, be sure that they’re real. Check out “How to Manage Inauthentic Property Management Reviews in a Reputation-Driven Market” for some tips on what to look for in determining whether a review you’ve received is authentic or not.
Once you’ve addressed the problems, the work isn’t quite done! You have to communicate, because good communication is key to healthy relationships in property management (and elsewhere!).
Let your clients know what changes you are making based on their feedback. Doing this not only makes them feel heard, it also builds and strengthens trust in the relationship.
And at the end of the day, don’t we all want an excellent property management reputation based on great trust in our relationships?
Here at Fourandhalf, we’ve helped hundreds of property managers take control of their online reputation and grow their business in the process. We’ve been doing this since 2012, and we can help in all aspects of owner marketing — from creating a conversion-driven website, nurturing leads, content creation, online ads, you name it.
Just give us a call or send us an email, and together let’s make this year your best one yet.