Business is Never Good Until the Customer is Happy
Have you treated your tenants in a professional, businesslike way, and thought everything was fine, but it wasn’t? Did they make complaints and eventually vacate the unit?
Even very successful business people forget that business is about people. And when people feel good, they might stay customers. You can’t change people’s lives however you can do more to take care of your customer.
And what do people want? They want to feel good. That’s the foundation for everything they do everyday, so if all you do is accept payments or get things fixed cordially, you’re missing out on a key part of the experience they want. Job number one is making tenants feel good, from first apartment showing to lease renewal.
Even One Good Act Can Erase a Lot of Grief
I know you’re thinking “this is all high maintenance stuff that I don’t have time for. I’ve got 250 doors to manage.” Yet, when you take care of people, you help avoid a lot of those micromanagement tasks you hate. Angry, alienated tenants are the ones who cost you the most time and friction, and create vacancies.
You should review what tenants want. Yet these are typically things. We’re talking about their relationship with themselves, the community, other tenants, and you. That’s an emotional realm and tenants make decisions based on emotions, not based on things.
Top 9 Emotions Your Tenants Should Experience
People who know how to make others feel good, know all about these positive emotions:
Tenant decisions are based on emotions, not on phone calls, spreadsheet calculations, or resolved tickets.
Everyone Wants a Positive Experience
Happiness is all about positive experiences. Tenants want to know they made a good choice to live in your rental unit. If they turn sour, they want to break the lease and leave.
They want it to be more than a rental unit — as a source of rejuvenation and a place that’s relevant to their work, family life and social life. That’s why knowing a little about what they do and who they socialize with can help. How else can you evoke positive emotions about them being your tenant?
Good tenants will welcome that you’re caring and have good intent. And there’s some good ways to warm them up further below.
Create the Ideal Customer Experience
The feeling of sympatico is key. The apartment/condo is a shared experience and that makes you relevant to them. Without this warm, fuzzy feeling of shared values and experience, you’re just a commodity or a thing. Never be a commodity.
And customer service is often just part of the professional, cordial thing which will lose its meaning over time to where it might even become a problem (e.g., robo customer service calls).
Happy tenants might be active in many different things, but it’s what they feel about what they’re doing that makes them happy. Regardless of how nice their condo is, you need to make them feel it’s helping them live better. Otherwise, they begin to feel resentment about the rent price.
6 Smart Ways to Make your Tenants Happy
- take care with onboarding, and discuss how the apartment/condo/building benefits feel to them, what they didn’t like about their last rental, and about what they’ll be doing locally. In discussion you can learn about their interests, what they like and don’t like, and this info will be helpful in keeping them satisfied and a loyal renter.
- do something special, such as give them a bottle of wine and basket of cheeses, or a Starbucks or Amazon gift card when they move in, to inexpensive birthday gifts to free tickets to a local entertainment event. How about a contest? Such generosity and thoughtfulness goes beyond business to touch them personally. It makes them feel that where they are now is as good as it gets.
- check in with them every couple of months and ask if everything is okay. It likely is, so it’s just a phone call for a couple of minutes and you will have maintained the personal connection with them. In a cold world, these acts of kindness are appreciated and are the stuff of civility and community.
- listen patiently and compassionately to their concerns or complaints, but don’t let them dwell on them. They can hear your attitude toward them in your voice. Tell them sincerely how and when you’ll resolve the matter. Follow up to ensure they are in fact satisfied, and tell them they can contact you anytime.
- adopt online property management software that offers online payment, maintenance ticket management, and application and lease management. Millennials and most other renters now want an online experience.
- be smartphone friendly so that you’re reachable fast via email or text or your property management software. Some advise using sms since it makes fast, direct contact in real time. They can take pictures of issues and text them to you right away.
Find Relevant and Fun Ways to Connect
Depending on what neighborhood and city you live in, there are likely many different ways you can connect with tenants and be part of their happy experience. Delivering customer service via software and smartphones is how it’s done today. Yet to win the customer for life, you have to touch them on a personal level.
Follow through with all these tips, and you’ll be establishing yourself as the best property manager around.
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