7 Ways To Ensure Happier Residents In A New Year
Below are a few tips to help you start the New Year on the right foot with your residents.
The beginning of the year is always a good time to make sure that the properties in your care are in their best shape but what about the people that get to live in those buildings? The residents or occupants.
You’ll hardly find a better time to put some things in place that will somewhat determine how the rest of the year will go. Possibly people are still away on holiday and maintenance requests are at a minimum.
So, what better time to fine-tune your resident relationships, to make sure that your properties are fulfilling all of their wants and needs, and to schedule any planned improvements?
Here are just a few tips that will keep residents happy, keep you on top of your job, and ultimately help grow your property management business.
Reach Out To Them On Time
Start the year by communicating with residents. Send them a nice but brief New Year letter telling them a few highlights of your plans for the facility.
It’s likely you already have a website but what about an active and well-optimized blog? If you don’t have one, start or revive your blog with frequent articles about the property, general maintenance tips, and upcoming improvements.
You could also try putting a portal on your website that allows tenants to communicate with you.
How about social media; Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, and others? What better way to reach out and stay available than to use the same tools that your residents use daily? You appear visibly more responsive to their needs and more available using these platforms.
Here is an interesting infographic by Tech Client that shows some of the benefits of blogging today.
One great way that works when communicating with residents is to mail them with regular newsletters. Such newsletters could be in the form of weekly safety tips, weather warnings, or some other topic that will get their interest. This kind of info can make your job easier in the long term.
Take Action On Maintenance “Pain Points”
Check on every one of the properties for which you are accountable.
Now would be a good time to review any lingering maintenance issues and make sure they are in the past as soon as possible – not the future.
Schedule any needed repairs or improvements and be sure to advise the residents as soon as you have confirmation and funding in place. Even if project execution is still months away for whatever reason, they will appreciate the fact that plans are in motion to get it fixed.
Solicit their input as well, make them feel like part of the process.
Now is not the time to be preparing your maintenance plan for the year. Ensure it’s already in place some months before the new year starts.
Don’t Let Maintenance Requests Pile Up
Respond promptly to requests for servicing and repairs.
Whether it is plumbing, electrical or an appliance repair or service, nothing will make a bigger impression on a tenant and go a long way towards keeping them happy, as fixing promptly, anything reported.
Have you had problems with this in the past? Review your process and consider a CMMS or CAFM software if you aren’t already using one.
Make Allowance For Physical Fitness And Recreational Activities
Do you already have an on-site fitness area?
Or how about equipment upgrades or additions?
Could you go further by planning a schedule of personalized training or group classes?
Certainly, all those New Year’s resolutions about fitness, weight loss, and personal improvement can be addressed if you help out.
If there is an on-site clubhouse, you could schedule activities that can draw your residents together socially or activities that involve the younger residents for instance.
Remember to delegate tasks to members of your maintenance team. Trying to do it all yourself is a recipe for disaster.
Research Smart Home Technologies
Check out some smart home technologies to see what works for you and could be applied to your properties.
It doesn’t have to be too complicated or expensive though. Something as simple as smart thermostats and smart locks for a start would do. Consider improving the environment of the properties by installing better lighting controls; dimmer switches inside, automatic controls outside.
Your next step is to get professional estimates for installing these improvements. Budget for and schedule the addition of these features.
Devise Innovative Ways For Collecting Payments
It can sometimes seem like an uphill task to get residents to pay service charges and other bills on time, I can relate with that.
It doesn’t make it any easier for us that as facility managers and property managers, we have to keep an eye on budgets and cash flow constantly.
But you don’t want to go from one year to the next constantly engaging in a battle of wits to get paid on time.
So, instead of pulling out the dreaded “Notice of late payment” (or whatever you call it) letter, why not try a different approach?
One property manager reports that they hold a prompt payment draw quarterly and one annually. All occupants who pay on time get an entry into the drawings. The winner of the quarterly draw gets a $50 gift card, while the winnings for the annual draw is a large flat screen TV.
That’s some serious motivation right there.
Respect Residents’ Privacy And Time
Above all, respect your residents’ privacy.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but I have seen this go wrong several times. Many times this happens especially when you’re using the services of a third party contractor to carry out a repair or other task in someone’s apartment.
You’ve agreed on an ideal time with the occupant, but the contractor arrives too early (and wants to jump right into the apartment) or too late and still expects to have access.
This kind of behavior will annoy almost any home dweller.
Granted, property managers have the right to enter a residence, but this should only be done with lots of prior notice to the resident. The exception to this would be in an emergency, such as a fire, or to prevent possible property damage.
If you can implement just some of the strategies, above you’ll see happy clients that could even recommend your property management services to other people.
Do you need help with frequent communication with your residents? Or do you want to revive your outdated property management blog?
Let me handle that for you so you can focus on your core business and operations. Get in touch today let’s work out a schedule for creating and publishing regular newsletters, blog posts, emails, how-to-guides, etc.