Collectively these items reduce the quality of the customer experience. In other words- these are some serious loyalty shredders.
Every topic presented here is so important that each could be at the top of the list. Recognizing that every property is different, I encourage you to re-order the list for each of your assets under management and begin by implementing a remedy for the worst offenders on a property-by-property basis.
Stay in touch, be in touch
Communication. Or said another way- lack of communication. As a PM you are in the customer service business. When you consider the “lifetime value” of each customer this point becomes clear. Non-communication is another way of saying you are devaluing your customer base. When this occurs customers seek others that do value them as customers. Read more here about two-way communication.
Maintenance responsiveness. This is the number one reason most residents state that they move. It folds into communication. From slow response times, to no responses, from broken glass that stays for days, to ignoring the obvious, read more about leaving things broken.
Inconsistent policy. The only thing worse than bad policy is no policy. The only thing worse than no policy is inconsistent implementation of good policy. As an example, from an article on collecting rent, “An important part of rent collections is remaining consistent and refraining from any form of favoritism.” This follows for every service provided on property from the application and recording of late fees to maintenance scheduling.
Ignoring security issues. Ignoring security issues begins the death spiral of a multifamily asset.
Renewals. Renewals are impacted by all the items noted here. Everything rolls up to a renewal percentage for your assets. Batting fifty percent here is the industry norm. Increasing this by ten percentage points translates to a twenty percent increase in your renewal rate. That is huge!
Gaining customer loyalty is all about creating lifetime customers. Granted, a “lifetime” is defined in many ways, but considering that nearly half of all renters move at the end of their initial lease term, implementing methods to decrease turnover with quality customer service could turn X percent of one-timers into five-timers.
Just imagine if each property you managed had only twenty percent annual turnover. Hold that thought! And do all you can to eliminate the loyalty shredders.
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets. Multifamily Insight Vol 2 is set for release in 2015.
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About This Blog: Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. www.MultifamilyInsight.com