I’m reading a very interesting book on marketing called “Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen.” In it, the author discusses the critical need to make your client the hero of the story to capture their interest and get them emotionally invested in your message. Too often, Saint Petersburg Property Management Companies tell the same old, trite story about how they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have XYZ designations or licenses, and customer service is their number one priority. Blah, Blah, Blah, right?
Saint Petersburg Property Management clients are looking for solutions for a happy ending to their story. They are not interested in how great my company is and all the technical features that make us look brilliant. I’m the first to admit that I sometimes lose track of this concept and wallow in all the details of property management that my client probably could care less about.
I’ve started giving serious thought to every aspect of my client experience. How can I make my clients the hero and myself as just the guide, or the Obie Wan to their Luke Skywalker?
My first efforts have been
As a Clearwater Property Manager, I’ve found it critical to have a system for dealing with tenant requests and concerns rapidly while staying off the phone as much as possible. I just had a tenant who was charged a non-refundable pet fee. He had already been living in the unit for a few months and my maintenance man reported a dog when he went by to do a repair. No pet was listed on the lease. The tenant claims he removed the dog and was just house sitting for the animal for a family member. Since we gave him the option of either removing the dog or paying the pet fee and he choose removal, why were we charging him a pet fee, he asked?
He had emailed our Clearwater Property Management Company three times today (Friday) asking this. It was close to closing time, and I double checked with a staff member to see if we had replied. We had not. Evidently the person who had charged the pet fee was off today. So, I shot an email to the tenant letting him know this and made a reminder task to make
As an owner of a Tampa Property Management Company, we used to file the occasional eviction paperwork for our clients. We thought we were providing a good service. We were dead wrong!
It took me a couple of years to notice what the judges were doing in dealing with evictions cases that we filed instead of using an attorney. First off, I notice the cases would take longer. Normally in Florida, a typical eviction case takes about 30 days from filing to getting the property back. As a Tampa Property Manager, our cases were stretching 60 and 90 days. I thought at first it was just an anomaly, but it kept happening.
Then I noticed, the judges would allow a tenant to contest our eviction and have a court date to argue, without first putting all the past due money into the court registry. In Florida, it is a state law that tenants cannot request a court date to argue an eviction, unless they pay the past due money into the courts (of course there are exemptions for extremely bad behavior by the landlord). The reasoning for this law I’m sure is to prevent tenants from causing expensive delays to landlord, when they have no intention of paying the rent.
Well, what I found is that the judges would routinely give the tenant a court date to argue the eviction, without having paid the past due rent.
What finally clicked for me...
I used to have a receptionist at my office who never stood up when clients walked in the door. Just a simple decision made without any negative intent, but it sent a message subconsciously to every tenant: “You’re Not Welcome.” This message seemed to escalate the emotion of a tenants if they are coming into our office upset for some reason. In their mind, we at fault because their refrigerator broken on a Saturday night. The receptionist wasn’t thinking about the perception of her remaining seated behind the desk. Fortunately, I eventually noticed and got it corrected.
The point is as an owner of a Tampa Property Management Company, I discovered it was critical to keep some line of instant communication open between my clients and myself. Currently, I do this by putting on my website that they can contact us immediately by Facebook posting. The only person who monitors the Facebook page is me. Do I get bombarded with emails at all hours of the day and night? No, typically I get less than one message a day.
The importance of having a direct feedback loop to you (as the owner) is to prevent little decisions by you or your staff from causing
Most landlords or Brandon Property Management companies put up their ads for an available rental on the Internet and wait for the phones to ring. STOP…there is a better way! The problem with answering your phone is often you find yourself answering the same basic questions over and over again. This is mentally draining and a big waste of time. It took me many years to figure out a better way. Now I set up a funnel system as a Brandon property manager.
First off, I try and make my rental ads far more descriptive and include a detailed YouTube Video of the rental.
My website has my qualifying criteria and is referenced in each ad.
The phone number is given in the ad, but I request them to email or text me instead, because I can answer far more quickly. This allows me to shoot them standard answers and details, without getting involved in a lengthy conversation of the application process, their life story, or why something bad on their credit, is not such a big deal after all. This is the hidden gem of my funnel system.
We still respond 7 days a week to prospective tenants but were able to get people answers or provide direction, while sidestepping time consuming conversations with prospects that haven’t even seen the property.