During my 13 years living in Southern California, I have lived in 17 different properties. Don’t judge me; I like new experiences. During these 13 years of moving chaos, I had all sorts of experiences with property management. Whether it’s moving in, moving out, trying to leave before my lease is up, maintenance requests or someone’s crazy girlfriend stealing my bed sheets out of the washing machine, I have a pretty good beat on the property rental experience.
Here are my 3 biggest complaints. And since I’m an adult now, I’ve included a solution to each. (Why can’t people do that when they write online reviews?!)
I’m paying for the place, something is broken and I can’t get in touch with you.
There are few things more frustrating than seeing a check I write for 20-40 percent of my monthly income quickly deposited while my garbage disposal isn’t working, my window won’t close and I’m only getting five minutes of hot water and I can’t reach the property manager or maintenance team.
According to 30 Lines, “Lead follow up isn’t exactly the industry’s strong suit. In fact, 40 to 50 percent of incoming calls to any given property go unanswered—and that’s during business hours. Every one of those calls is a missed opportunity.”
I know, I know. First world problems. But I can’t be the only one frustrated by not getting what I’m paying for and no one explaining why.
Automated text and email campaigns. Set up text message campaigns for missed calls or after-hours calls or automated email replies. The content of these replies should let the tenant know you received their call or email and the next course of action.
“The maintenance office is open from 6 a.m.– 6 p.m. We appreciate your patience. We logged your phone call and will contact you by 9 a.m. tomorrow to get your unit back in stellar condition!”
I’m living in a building full of strangers. It doesn’t feel like home.
I hate getting in the elevator with a complete stranger, standing in awkward silence and then getting off on the same floor. It’s so uncomfortable for everyone, and reminds me that I’m basically living in a long-term hotel (only I have to furnish it myself and pay the bills).
Build a community. Use social media, flyers in elevators, reminders on doors or any other way you can think of to get the word out about community events. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Many tenants would love an excuse to get to know or at least see their neighbors. It makes a rental feel more like home.
One building I lived in hosted an outdoor movie each summer in the courtyard. Local restaurants even catered the event for free as a way of getting their name and food in front of nearby potential customers.
My friends can’t find my place and neither can the pizza guy.
The days of giving directions such as, “Turn left by the grocery store and then make your second right” should be long gone, but I’ve found myself giving directions like that to various apartments over the years. It’s a bummer when friends can’t find my place, but it’s no comparison to when the pizza guy can’t find me. Friends are great, but they’re nothing compared to pizza.
Make sure your property’s online listings are accurate everywhere possible. This means that anyone using a navigation system in their car or phone as well as anyone looking up directions online is directed to the correct place.
Check your Google My Business profile and Facebook page to be sure your URL, name, address and phone number information is accurate.
Anyone need a roommate?
Josh is Connectivity’s Content Marketing Manager