Property management is a fast-paced and highly competitive endeavor that requires good communication, organization, positivity, and timeliness. As a property manager, your top responsibility is to serve tenants. Residents spend their hard-earned salary on their living space and amenities. Multifamily developments are communities and above all else, you are responsible for providing residents the experiences, services, and amenities they’ve paid for.
Here are eight tips for property managers who seek to take better care of their residents:
1. Prioritize Excellent Communication
First and foremost, communicate often and well. This includes texts, phone calls, emails, and chats. In-person discussions to build rapport. Whatever the channel, make sure your phrasing is always professional, cordial, and straightforward. Define expectations in the same way. Make sure your tenants are always clear about the next step in any process, from moving into their apartment to submitting a maintenance request. Define expectations clearly and concisely and be proactive by soliciting tenant feedback at every opportunity.
2. Invest in Effective Property Management Software
The more organized you are, the more residents will benefit. Install a modern property management platform if you have yet to do so. Yardi MultiFamily Suite is one example. With this technology, property managers can track maintenance work orders and schedule preventive maintenance well into the future. Tenants can also use this technology to submit and track their requests.
3. Offer Efficient, High-Quality Maintenance
It is obvious but it bears repeating: take care of maintenance and repair requests with skill and without delay. To that end, maintain, renew, and update your network of contractors, repair professionals, and others. These are the folks who will help you make good on your commitments to your tenants. Loyalty to those who’ve done good work is important. This is yet another time to be proactive. Stay in touch so they know you will call on them when the need arises and keep up-to-date on hourly rates and other fees.
When serving others, proactivity is almost always better than reactivity. An effective maintenance strategy saves money while enhancing tenant satisfaction. It is vital that no tenant maintenance request gets overlooked. Track every request from beginning to end and seek tenant feedback.
4. Be a Continuous Learner
Continuing education is as important in property management as in any other career:
- Join associations
- Attend seminars
- Do your research
- Seek innovative solutions
All but six states insist on licensed property managers. Managers must have either a property management or real estate broker’s license. Take the advanced coursework required to become a Certified Property Manager (CPM). Enhance your status as a leader in your field. Garner the respect of your peers while developing your tenant-related skills.
5. Maintain a Strong Social Media Presence
To better connect with your residents, maintain a solid presence on social media. For many tenants, what was once a novelty is now an integral part of daily life. For example, two-thirds of those in Gen Z see their social media use as essential. Effective use of social media increases transparency and this builds trust. For example, property managers can promote community-wide events on their social media channels.
Don’t forget that the social media landscape is constantly shifting. Check the latest trends on an annual or bi-annual basis. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube all continue to jockey for the top position among Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X.
6. Create a Sense of Community
Create communal spaces for residents to socialize and unwind after a long work day. Outdoor kitchens, grills, and dining areas bring people together, plus you can utilize these amenities at property-wide events like barbecues and holiday celebrations. Consider a new or expanded community garden or game room/lounge. Add or improve a rooftop deck so residents can soak up the sunshine and enjoy city views with neighbors and friends.
7. Provide Eco-Friendly Services
Increasingly, tenants expect eco-friendly property management. Enhance resident satisfaction while improving the environment. Residents and staff alike will take pride in a modern community embracing current trends. This may mean prioritizing energy and water savings. Consider the installation of solar panels for electricity or water heating. Commit to the use of recycled and eco-friendly products. Make green choices day in and day out, from paint to cleaning products. Do your research to avoid those who might “greenwash” their products.
8. Prioritize Tenant Retention
As in most businesses, the cost of acquiring a new customer is far more than retaining a current one. It’s important to look for ways to increase tenant retention. Consider offering property upgrades like a coat of paint or a change of flooring. Give the tenant a personal stake in the process by allowing him/her to choose from multiple options.
Enhance common amenities. Many tenants deal with your parking lots on a daily basis, so consider renewing parking lots with seal coating and new striping. Seal coating protects against UV rays, and it keeps oil and gas from penetrating the surface. Upgrade to LED lighting in parking lots. Long-life LEDs dramatically reduce maintenance and energy expenses and tenants will appreciate the whiter, brighter illumination.
Coworking spaces make remote work all the more efficient. Residents appreciate the time they save and the convenience they enjoy. Strive for an amenity-rich space: consider offering a conference room and snacks.
When in doubt, property managers can look to this mantra for success: “Residents First.” To that end, align yourself with industry best practices. Develop a staff of self-assured, yet service-oriented individuals who are motivated to serve tenants. Proactively cultivate a sense of “us” in your multifamily development, and you will soon build a community with a reputation among residents for excellent customer service.