Multifamily property owners rely on their property management teams to keep the rents paid, occupancy high, and residents happy. These are important standards, but proper property management (PPM) goes the distance to get these standards met. The following six bases cover what is needed to reach PPM status.
First, PPM must have resident portals. It’s software that allows the tenants to do everything related to renting, and directly from their smartphone, tablet, or computer. It connects the renters to the PPM team by enabling them to pay rent, requests service, renews their lease, and more.
Second, security is a major factor in obtaining new residents and keeping existing. To reach PPM, the property should have gated entrances, new durable locks for every move in, monitored security, and for applicable areas, on-site security. The best of the best security would also include incorporation of security devices directly into the resident’s home automation feature. This security monitoring through home automation includes alarm systems, smoke detectors, and thermostats. Having the units wired with home automation, in general, is a perk, but an entirely separate entity for discussion.
Although we won’t get into home automation, let’s move onto the third base for reaching PPM. That is obtaining a strong social media presence, updating it, and monitoring it to keep the property positive and popular. Potential renters are always researching the reputation of the property via social media. It’s the property management team’s job to be all over it. It’s invaluable to keep on the top list for the search engines, have a positive presence on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and keeping high ratings on the apartment renter websites.
Fourth, putting the “Proper” in PPM is earned by having a good maintenance team. Maintenance teams are key to a functioning property; they handle bulbs, switches, faucets, toilets, locks, gates, garages, and more. For what they don’t handle there should be a go-to top vendor list held by the management team to do the outside repair such as wifi, pool maintenance, large water leaks, pipe repairs, roof repairs, etc.
The best way for monitoring maintenance is to have an automated system in place that provides remote access to the jobs. The residents should be putting the request in via their smartphone, tablet, or computer. The request should, in turn, be passed on directly to the maintenance team. The jobs put into the system can then be tracked by the renter, maintenance, and management team. This keeps the work honest and complete.
There is no such thing as a perfect multifamily property. There is a lot that the PPM has to handle, which leads us to the fifth base, having a strict protocol for handling resident conflict. It’s standard, but necessary for every property management team to follow guidelines for every situation. The following from Mary Gwynat aptdynamics.com, are points that are simple and applicable:
- Listen/Repeat the concern
- Solve the problem
- Agree/thank the customer
- Take care of it fast
- Say you are sorry, not taking fault, just being empathetic
- Follow up
The sixth and final base to cover to achieve PPM goes hand in hand with handling resident conflict, and that is, going the extra step. Training the staff to be professional is a must. It’s not just the site manager that does it all. Training the PPM team to greet residents in passing and by name when they can, is a small step that provides large rewards.
A PPM team doesn’t just get the lease signed either. They send a welcome gift to move in! The best one to give is a gift card for local take out. Then after their 90 days, the PPM gives the tenant a call, checking in, making sure that all is going well. Recognizing the tenant’s moments is also key. This is done by providing a birthday card, get well card, happy one year, five years, ten years, 15 years, or 20 years of the occupancy greeting card. These kind gestures maintain resident retention.
PPM teams should always go above and beyond by putting on events for the tenants. Not too many, just enough, and they must be timed appropriately. The type of events that always draw the crowd are children focused, dog-focused, food-focused, or charitable cause focused. Events are bound to get positive feedback on social media and keep the residents happy.
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Blue Pine Construction Corp. specializes in new construction, renovation and insurance claim services for multi-family housing.