As a property manager, or building engineer, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were stuck face-to-face with an upset tenant?
You know the position.
The tenant is upset about the space’s heating unit not switching off soon enough (justifiable – no one likes to be hot), the same lightbulb keeps blowing out seemingly every week, or they are unable to request a public space.
The variety of situations are endless. All you know is that you need to alleviate the pressure, without upsetting the tenant further.
To make matters more complicated, upon further investigation of the situation, you discover that the tenant’s experience isn’t unique. Many of the problems they are upset about have occurred before, either for this particular tenant or another one in the building. You just missed the telltale signs.
So how can you diffuse the situation, and nudge behavior (both for tenants and for your property management team) in the right direction?
The first step: be confident and accept that things need to improve, like a boss.
The second: Well, let’s first take a look at those missed telltale signs…
Re-submission of Work Orders
You want to know about building or space related issues, but if you’re receiving a lot of repeat work orders from the same tenant, something is up.
Take a step back and ask yourself:
Why am I receiving the same work order that I’ve had before? Will handling this service request differently improve the outcome? What can I do to make sure the tenant is satisfied with the resolution?
If you’re able to do this, you’re well on your way to handling tenant feedback like a boss.
Duplication of Work Orders
No one is a fan of spam, especially when receiving it negatively impacts the quality level of your work. If you’re noticing that work order requests are coming in, requesting the same thing be resolved from different tenants – you’ve got a problem.
That being said it isn’t easy to discover these work order duplicates, or even the resubmitted requests mentioned previously, if you’re working with pen and paper. To do so would require a massive amount of resources for monitoring, probably including another staff member.
There is a better way: a proper Property Management Software solution, which digitizes the service delivery process, and gives you insights into performance bottlenecks and trends.
Using Multiple Reporting Channels
One of the de-facto problems with any customer service related role (and yes, property management is all about customer service) involves receiving the same message across multiple channels.
Picture this: you’ve just accepted an incoming work order to fix a leaking faucet, and you’re off to work on it when you receive both a phone call AND an email inquiring about the status of the leaking faucet fix.
This kind of situation is frustrating, right? The issue has been reported, and assuming it has been properly recorded and assigned, it is unnecessary to spam channels of contact.
It only results in further service delivery slowdown, and a frustrated property management team.
So what can you do?
Set tenant expectations for service delivery, and gently inform them that only one report per incident is needed. You can also implement a Property Management Software that features a tenant-facing portal, complete with work order software tracking and a way for tenants to share their experiences.
Inspire Change, Like a Boss
The most frustrating interaction for any boss, is to try to anticipate the feelings and behaviors of a non-participating individual.
In the context of property management, that means reaching a tenant who does not engage your team by requesting service or alerting you that they are not satisfied.
The best way to do that is to regularly reach out to tenants on a personal basis. Talk with them about their wants and needs, and establish the basis for how they understand how your team delivers service. Capture and collect tenant satisfaction data on a regular basis. Simply put, let them know you’re there for them.
Once you do that, you’ll find that you are able to better handle tenant feedback, and manage your tenant relationships – like a boss.