By Marketing Team. For more information, contact Robert Parmar
It’s all about the experience.
That’s a phrase heard a lot in customer-focused industries like residential property management. Customer service is one of the largest influencers of the success or failure of an asset, and it’s easy to see why.
Happy tenants equal tenant retention.
Tenant retention is much less expensive than trying to gain new tenants, and an experienced property management company knows this. This is where the resident experience comes into play and why you need to work with a company that leverages its knowledge to achieve high retention and satisfaction rates. If you are a property owner or asset manager, there are ways to minimize vacancy. There is more to it than just balloons and flashy brochures.
What does your property management company do to create a seamless experience for tenants, especially over the holidays?
If you don’t know the answer, it might be time to consider a new management company.
The Changing Resident
If you have owned apartments for any number of years, you’ve probably noticed how the residents and their needs have changed. In the past, amenities such as a pool, gym, and meeting rooms were a hot commodity. Multifamily housing was in high demand if your building offered luxury amenities and residents were willing to pay up for it. Potential residents wanted to feel as though they were in a high-value building with the right address and clout.
Since the pandemic, residents have changed their priorities and how they choose an apartment.
Now, the desire is for the most space at the best price, what the unit has to offer, as well as the property services provided. Things like valet trash pickup, easy package pickup, efficient maintenance, and a staff that can help them 24/7 are higher on the list than a community hot tub or rooftop amenity deck. Ease of life is top of mind for renters and Summerfield Property Management understands that.
The resident experience throughout the leasing and move-in process is where it all starts, but it shouldn’t be where it stops. Give your residents a feeling of home through intentional opportunities to make meaningful connections with neighbors and also with concierge services to make daily life easier. Your residents want time to work their side hustle, spend time with family, or train for their half marathon, not worry about waiting around for maintenance or scheduling time to renew their lease. Time has become a more valuable commodity in the world today. Summerfield Property Management understands that and works with your tenants to make their experience amazing, which in turn keeps the ROI on your investment increasing.
Ways to Create a Seamless Experience
It sounds easy: Be a good owner and your tenants will stay.
In the simplest of formulas, this can work, but what does being a “good owner” mean? This is where it helps to hire a company that knows exactly how to tackle that question.
Let’s talk about how to achieve the coveted “good owner” title and how Summerfield leverages our knowledge to make it happen.
Just because someone is renting doesn’t mean they don’t care about where they live. A well-kept apartment complex is a source of pride, even for a renter. It is a great feeling to invite friends and family to your apartment and have them be impressed with the curb appeal, the condition of the complex, and the amenities within their unit.
It is time-consuming to keep a list of necessary repairs and expected upkeep. As the owner of a large asset, you want the property value to increase so your investment increases. Making a lot of unnecessary repairs and upgrades can hurt the bottom line. While you want to have a beautiful property, there are some areas where the investment isn’t worth the return. The experts at Summerfield will be able to look at the history of the buildings, the area, and the demographics of your residents to understand what they want and what they need.
Maintaining each unit is critical. It is more important for residents to have a steady supply of hot water than to have a designer meeting room in the clubhouse. The units don’t need fancy flooring, but they do need to have fresh carpet after several years.
Not only will your property manager understand this, but they will also be able to recommend when and who to complete this task. A management company has a list of contractors and vendors they can use for a given task. The list is extensive and will usually offer the best price since they know more work is possible. Your management team will schedule the entire process and make sure it minimizes the interruption to the tenant’s life as much as possible. Your manager is in touch with the tenants and will know if the best day to install the new carpet is on December 24th because no one will be home or if that is the worst possible day because they will have family in town for the holiday.
Concierge and Resources:
Do your tenants know who to call for pet care? Do you offer a valet trash pickup? Can they schedule a car detail in the complex garage?
This goes back to improving the daily life of your tenants. Anything that will give them time back in the day or save them future time will be appealing. Your property management team will look at what can be offered and put it in place. Your complex might have an extra-large parking lot, perfect for food trucks to stop by during lunch since so many people work from home these days. Around the holidays, why not offer a gift-wrapping service from a third-party vendor who can use the clubhouse or office?
The holidays are a busy time for everyone. It’s a great time to show your appreciation to your residents and studies have shown those once popular $5 gift cards are not valued highly. Why not partner with local businesses and services to offer discounts to your residents? Things like discounted dry cleaning, prescription delivery, dog walking, tax prep and even moving services are ways to demonstrate your appreciation in a tangible way. Tenants will think of you when they use that particular service, and it could be a deciding factor in their lease renewal.
Each time they use the local dog walker and get a discounted bill, thanks to the property owner and management company, they will feel as though they are cared about and valued.
A common tenant complaint is that everything involved with the leasing process is difficult. From maintenance requests to paying rent and even the move-in process is just too hard. A property management company can make those things easier, instantly. No one likes to move, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience.
Use your property management team to make it an enjoyable time for your new tenants. That feeling of calm and care will go far. When your new tenant picks up their keys and the office is ready and friendly to help, this is the best impression. Your tenants need to feel as though competent individuals are in control of their housing situation.
By using apps and software to pay and track rent, you can eliminate a lot of the tedious record-keeping that was part of your financial planning. As an owner, impeccable financial records are the foundation of your success. Without them, you wouldn’t know if your property was profitable or not, so streamlining the process of rents and invoices makes things easy for your tenants as well as you.
An online form to fill out for maintenance requests can help your team prepare for the issue ahead of entering the unit. It not only ensures dates and times are recorded but also keeps a digital record of the work that was requested, what was done, and what the tenant can expect. When a tenant returns home after a long day at work to find their microwave still doesn’t work, they will feel immediate frustration until they read the notes and see the part will be in the next day. This simple line of communication will take a tenant from being upset to understanding.
Maintenance requests can often get lost over the holidays. This is the time of year when residents will have guests visiting and having a sink that clogs or a stove that won’t heat is even more frustrating than usual. They will appreciate having things fixed quickly and correctly, even more than a candy cane reindeer. The property management team stays on top of the repair team and can offer solutions to keep tenants happy.
Efficient maintenance is one of the top requests from tenants when they are searching for a new apartment. If processes at your complex are simple from start to finish, you will have a reputation for caring about tenants and making their life easy from paying rent to submitting a maintenance request.
Property Management Makes a Difference
This is a great time of year to reflect on how things are going with your asset. Summerfield Property Management understands that you should be able to take care of your tenants and make their lives better because, if you do that, it will be better for your business. No two properties are the same, and an individual approach is truly necessary to optimize performance.
You deserve a team that has been working hard to improve the quality of life for the people who rent from you, not just during the holidays, but year-round. These tenants aren’t just customers; they’re people who live in your buildings, and they need to feel safe and supported. When they have those emotions, they are more likely to stay, even if the rent increases according to the market.
When Summerfield takes over a multifamily real estate property, we immediately implement our documented and proven Best Practices to optimize site operation and records management. As an Asset Manager or Multifamily Real Estate Owner, we know you’ll love our results.
At Summerfield Property Management we strive to fit that bill and to provide you with tailor-made plans and solutions that fit your needs.
Contact us today or book a call at a convenient time to learn more about our program.