Overseeing a portfolio of properties requires effective communication with all relevant stakeholders, including tenants, landlords, and external contractors. Remaining efficient with this yields a variety of benefits for your business.
Providing an excellent standard of communication helps you maintain stakeholder satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of winning new landlords and tenant satisfaction as well as improving your service offering.
However, disorganised management of communication can result in frustration from your stakeholders, and other issues down the line including high tenant turnover, increased void periods and losing landlords. Remaining clear and prompt with stakeholders is therefore extremely important.
Availability and responses times
Handling consistent communication with tenants, landlords, and other important stakeholders can put a strain on property managers and agents. Busy schedules leave minimal time for quick responses and constant availability so it is important to ensure your communication is efficient.
Landlords want to know they can depend on you to be available when they request information about their property, which they have trusted you to manage. Clients want consistent updates on their properties. If communication becomes a more difficult task than it’s worth, then there is a danger that clients may take their properties elsewhere.
Constantly updating your property owners can become increasingly difficult to manage and drain your resources. To avoid frustrating clients with a lack of or slow communication, an effective solution may be sending them a regular monthly report of key information regarding their properties. Another solution could be a property owner dashboard where key information about their property is easily accessible.
Tenants expect the same in terms of being able to get in contact quickly and easily should they need to. For example, should an emergency occur, it is vital that tenants know their issue will be recognised, responded to and dealt with quickly. Tenants left with a slow or no response may feel ignored, which may end with them also leaving. An increased tenant loss leads to an increase in void periods, leading to financial impacts and dissatisfied property owners.
Dealing with maintenance requests effectively is vital for business success, but it can take up a great deal of a property managers’ time. In order to manage maintenance requests well, effective communication is key.
It is important to keep contractors happy in order to ensure you have a reliable team to deal with maintenance requests. Contractors as stakeholders expect proper communication so they can be fully equipped to complete work orders efficiently.
It is vital that important details about the maintenance issue, the property, or other significant details are sent to the contractor at the first contact to avoid costly mistakes. By ensuring all of the important details are sent to the contractor initially, they will be better prepared to fix the issue properly, helping to cut down the time it takes to fix the issue. .
Tenants who raise the issue expect these issues to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. If they are left with no communication about the status of the work order or when it will be completed, it can become frustrating. This can lead to tenants feeling ignored and even cause them to leave, increasing your tenant turnover and void periods.
It is therefore important to provide status updates, especially as tenants are usually unaware of how complicated an issue can be to fix.
A significant part of effective communication is ensuring important information is sent to the relevant stakeholders and in advance. This can include rent payment deadlines, maintenance appointments, changes to the tenancy, and much more. Busy schedules means this can be difficult to execute on a larger scale.
Rent reminders are useful to reduce rent arrears, but sending these out manually can be time-consuming. An automated method of contacting stakeholders in advance regarding these issues can help avoid frustration from missed deadlines, subsequent follow ups, and more.
Other information of even higher importance, for example, changes to rent prices or tenancy agreements absolutely must be forwarded to the right stakeholder in advance. The consequences of not doing so properly may be severe.
Using an effective method of communicating this, such as a direct phone call or scheduled appointment/reminder will help avoid issues or disputes. This minimises the risk of information being missed, and enables stakeholders to have time to prepare and get organised.
Keeping track of all stakeholder communication is extremely useful for a variety of reasons.
Should an issue occur, it is vital you are able to track past communications that may be important. This can help keep you covered in the event of disputes with stakeholders. For example, recalling rent reminders in the event of a dispute over rent arrears can be extremely useful to help ensure you’re protected.
Previous communications can also be useful to compile data and information together to create reports. These can range from financial reports tracking income against expenses, or even smaller reports regarding complete work orders. These reports can later be sent across to landlords or other relevant stakeholders where needed.
If all records of communication are kept on one centralised platform, records would be easier to track. This would allow all staff members easy access to communication logs with different stakeholders, meaning tasks could be completed quicker, and reduces the risk of tasks being missed, thus helping maintain an efficient workflow.