Match the expectation, escape the conflict

It’s no secret that, in our world where information is available at our fingertips and there is a need to know everything now, our landlords and tenants are educated and insistent and have a need for a level of service greater than ever before. The skills of a property manager are ever changing. And the expectations of our clients are higher than ever.

Why? Because the benchmark has been set by other industries. As a consumer yourself, what you want, need, expect from retail, hospitality and any service driven industry is exactly what our clients expect from us.

As a result of this ever-changing space, those we perceive to be ‘difficult clients’ are far more prevalent in our day to day dealings. Furthermore, situations with potential for conflict are arising more often. Even some of the most experienced property managers are not always equipped with the communication and conflict resolution skills needed to cope with these increased demands, expectations and knowledge.

There are an array of communication techniques and education plans to help you and your team avoid conflict and turn potential complaints into compliments.

Some of our top tips for ensuring you are staying one step ahead include:

Stay educated

Ensure you know what your clients know. Be the expert they want, and ensure you can provide the right advice and proactively tackle any potential issues.

Keep training

Undertake ongoing training will allow you to continue to develop your skills, so you can manage with ever increasing client needs/demands

Always look for ways to improve

Don’t assume that because it’s been done a certain way for a long time that it’s the best way to do it. Change is positive and improving your systems and process will only improve your clients experience.

Listen

Don’t listen with the intent of responding, listen with the intent of hearing. Make sure you are clear on the outcome your client wants, so you can give them the right solution.

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4 Steps to Onboard your Tenants

When you begin to think about your tenant onboarding process, how would it rate on a scale of 1 to 10? Would you say that the service level is only fair or is it providing the best customer service level of that person’s life?

Often in the property management journey, the importance of tenant onboarding is overlooked as we get caught up in the day to day processes and this is a step that is crucial in beginning the relationship successfully.

Some areas you might like to consider in the onboarding journey:

Communication

Communicate with the new tenants before the lease signing appointment to discuss details and answer any questions that they may have. Treat this step as not a means to an end to get the paperwork signed, but the first step in creating a relationship with your agency.

Information

 In the age of technology and human attention spans that are less than that of goldfish, it pays to be smart about how you convey your information. Try short and to the point, professional looking videos supplemented by emailed information rather than pages and pages of text which will likely lose it’s message in the delivery.

Initiation

 Your average lease signing appointment should take a minimum of 30 minutes and allow the tenant time to read through the documents that they are to sign. It is imperative to go over the important terms in the lease agreement, explain the condition report and reporting of repairs as well as information pertinent to the property.

Take the time to answer any queries they might have and perhaps ask them what their preferred method of communication may be for this to be noted in the system. Thank them for coming into the office and don’t forget to provide all the keys and paperwork required.

Evaluation

 If you are not sure of your service level rating, ask! Send out a follow up to your newbie tenants and ask them what they thought of the service that they received. Take any constructive criticism onboard as an area to improve and any positive, with permission use as testimonials.

If you would like some tips on the tenant induction, join us online for our upcoming webinars or give the Real+ team a call – 02 8355 4999.

Heidi

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Make This Your Year to Learn

One of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman, was quoted as saying “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

From the moment we are formed in-utero, our brains start to develop and this development is at a rate faster in the first two years than any other time in life. Our learning begins from the moment we are born and it’s up to you and your surroundings to feed that brain. This involves making mistakes, which can be the cornerstone of our learning.

No matter what stage at life you’re at, it’s a great idea to enrich your mind and enhance your knowledge through learning. You possibly don’t realise it, but there will usually be something new to learn every day. It could be something as simple as how to use an appliance, complete a task or something much more complex.

Property Management is a constantly evolving space and one of the things that I love about this industry is that no two days are the same. You are constantly learning, whether it is something that may be rewarding or something that may be a lesson on what not to do.

Learning isn’t always easy and can provide some challenges along the way. However it can be incredibly fulfilling. Never stop at an opportunity to learn. Read all that you can, stretch that brain to its capacity and fill it with knowledge, even if it is something completely random.

If you would like some help on where to start, why not give the team at Real+ a call and we can get you started on that growth journey.

And if you like, drop me a line, I would love to hear what you’d like to aspire to, learn and change in your world this year.

Heidi

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Is it Time to Look in the Mirror?

There’s no doubt most of us don’t like our negative side to be pointed out.

But the truth is, other people often see differently, or more clearly than we do ourselves, so feedback can be a good thing. As long as it is constructive of course!

Feedback can show you where you may be going wrong, where you are right and how you can improve. No matter how experienced you may be, there is always room to grow.

It’s important to remind yourself of the benefits of receiving constructive criticism. This reminder will help you to meet the expectations that your clients, manager and colleagues have of you.

So how can you take a positive approach?

Firstly, understand the other persons point of view. Don’t get too upset and take things personally. Sometimes we need to have thick skin to make sure that our emotions don’t control out reactions. Feedback is not a disapproval of your character but rather information to help you make a series of better decisions in future.

It’s also important to remember that feedback is a form of communication. If you get feedback from anyone, it means they are giving you feedback on what you are doing for them – this gives you an opportunity to learn more about the person or people you are working for and how can work together more effectively towards the same goal and achieve results as a team.

Of course, feedback assists you with your personal growth, giving you the chance to take an honest look at yourself. It’s often good to look into the mirror and see what others see.

Lauren

Want to get started? Then download our free New Tenant Survey here.

Real+ – we’re here for all your Property Management Training needs…contact us anytime team@realplus.com.au

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It’s About Time, Not Tech

Life is busy – and getting busier every day. It’s a constant battle to get everything done. But it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, we all have the same 24 hours in our day.

How good would it be if you had more time? Technology can help. While it can’t magically create more hours in a day, it can help you do more in the same amount of time and provide a more focused and valuable experience for your clients.

But there’s no point simply using technology for technology’s sake. It has to be the right technology. It’s all too easy to get caught up with the next shiny new thing. But does that shiny new thing save you time? More importantly, does it save you time repeatedly? And not just your time, but also everyone else’s time – your team, clients and stakeholders?

The value of implementing the right technology lies in its ability to save everyone time, over and over and over again.

Here are 3 ways technology can help you save time:

  1. Automating personalised communications

No one wants to feel like they’re just another faceless person in a crowd – and that includes your clients. We all want to feel special and we all want to be communicated with in a way that’s personal.

Gone are the days when a letter or email addressed to “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” will cut it. These days we expect to see our name (spelt correctly!) and we expect the message to be personalised. We expect the businesses we deal with to understand our needs and provide desirable information, products, services and solutions. And we don’t pay attention if there’s no effort to communicate with us in a meaningful and pleasing way.

While providing the personal touch may seem time consuming, it doesn’t have to be. Technology can save you time by making your communications more efficient and personal.

Thanks to the sheer amount of data that’s generated every day by digital processes and social media exchanges, you can develop insights into individual client interests and needs – and, using this data, you can generate a personalised communication experience in a bulk, automated way.

Take PropertyTree. You can easily tailor and personalise the statement you provide to landlords, so every client is receiving the information they want, in the way they want it. And you can create clear lines of communication by automating tasks such as late payment reminders and more.

“Technology can save you time by making your communications more efficient and personal.”

  1. Controlling the online experience

Let’s face it, we all like to be in control. And we’ve been conditioned by the online tools we use to expect this control in our everyday lives. Consider social media. When we set up our social media profiles, we select our preferences – what type of posts do I want to see, what kind of alerts do I want to receive and who do I want to be connected with. It’s all about ‘me’.

It should be no different when it comes to business. You don’t need to control every bit of information that flows to your clients. They shouldn’t need to call or email you every time they want the answer to a simple question.

Implementing the right technology can ensure your clients have access to the information they’re after whenever they need it. From online knowledge bases and training videos to self-serve preferences and user portals, the options are endless. And every time a client engages with one of these tools, it saves you time because they’re not dialling your number or filling your inbox.

PropertyTree’s Landlord & Tenant portal is the perfect example. Landlords and tenants always have lots of little questions. Whether it’s a question from a landlord about the status of a repair or a tenant asking when their rent is next due, it all takes time. With PropertyTree, all they need to do is log into the portal and find the information they need. It allows landlords and tenants to take control of their online experience and, in the process, saves you time.

“Landlords and tenants shouldn’t need to call or email you every time they want the answer to a simple question.”

  1. Maximising every minute

These days, we live 24/7 lives. Whether it’s business or personal, we’re always ‘on’.

Out of the office, out on the road and out of business hours, we all need the right technology solutions at our fingertips to get the job done. You want on-the-spot access to the information and data you need, no matter where you are. You can’t afford to be chained to a desk. That’s why it’s essential for your business to implement cloud-based technology tools.

PropertyTree is a cloud-based property management solution that helps property managers make the most of every minute of their day. You can access everything you need whenever and wherever you are. Think about it. If you’re out and about and a client asks a question, you don’t need to wait until you’re back in the office to provide the answer. All you need to do is pick up your mobile device and everything is at your fingertips. No down time. No time wasted.

“You can’t afford to be chained to a desk. That’s why it’s essential for your business to implement cloud-based technology tools.”

Time to build relationships

Think of technology as your helpful sidekick. It’s an important tool you can use, but on its own it isn’t the answer to everything.

Why? Because real estate is a people business.

Real estate has been and always will be about relationships. People want to deal with people, and property managers are dealing with what is often one of their clients’ biggest investments. While technology can help facilitate a transaction it will never be able to completely replace people.

The value of technology lies in its ability to save you time. Good agents need to be able to give good advice and positively influence interactions with clients. By letting technology do what technology does best – which is a lot of the more routine and mundane tasks – you can get back to building stronger relationships with your clients.

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