Customer service expectations continue to rise in the property management sector. More than ever before businesses need to work out how to use technology to help them do more in a more personalised manner.
Renting a property can be a difficult experience in this country, filled with administrative tasks – from communicating with stakeholders, filing paperwork, meeting legal requirements or dealing with maintenance issues. This rings true for everyone involved in the process. Today’s customer expectations mean they have less patience for much of the service levels now on offer, more need for transparency, and value a personalised experience.
How bad is it? Research from Real Content found 16 per cent of landlords experienced poor service. Tenants had an even worse time, with 65 per cent receiving substandard service. So, what do agencies need to consider as they aim to survive, grow, and deliver better experiences to their customers?
Are you ready for tomorrow's business model?
For decades, property management has been a one-size fits all service menu. These include marketing a property, finding tenants, collecting rent, organising inspections, managing maintenance and repairs, dealing with tenant issues, accounting for the rent and expenses, paying bills.
The rise of tech means up to 25% of these tasks are now just as easily done by technologies or bot, according to Macquarie Bank research. Each time automation occurs, the inclusion of that service in a one-price-fits-all business model puts that entire business model under threat.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Breaking what we do into individual services from a menu that landlords can select from rather than an all-you-can-eat buffet changes the dynamic. For instance, your landlord might want to collect the rent and pay the bills themselves but wants assistance to do regular inspections and find new tenants.
Can you deliver personalised service?
Customers used to a certain level of personalisation (think Netflix, Amazon, Spotify) raise high expectations for the services businesses provide.
This is a trend we’ve been slow at adopting in property management, where we tend to treat everyone as either a landlord or tenant.
What does personalisation look like in property management?
It looks like identifying your best tenants in the lead up to their lease expiring and identifying other, better properties they might want to upgrade to, or locking them into longer-term leases that better suit their circumstances. Or helping them with buying their first property.
For landlords, it looks like tailoring a bespoke menu of services. Or recognising that your landlord has other properties in other locations across your franchise brand – and providing something of value in this space.
Consider if you can you offer a concierge treatment for clients prepared to pay a premium. And in doing so, what stress or risk can you remove for them. Moreover, consider what this mean for tenants, especially those in the luxury end of the market. Add in to the mix owners who have bought from you in the past - can you use your expertise as property managers to offer concierge-like experiences to them as well?
Start with your customer
At the end of the day, your innovation efforts should put your customer first.
Ask yourself if you’re ready to become your landlord’s best advisor and help them grow the value of their asset. And for a whole new range of customers like buyers or sellers, how can you deliver additional value-added property management services?
Let’s not see technology as a trend that replaces people in property management, but as a trend that liberates us into delivering what matters most to our customers.