How can letting agents boost engagement to reduce complaints?Topic: Marketing
Tenants and property buyers are the latest victims of poor communication according to the Property Ombudsman. It has been revealed that in 2016, estate agents were forced to pay out a record £1.2 million to buyers, sellers and tenants after resolving more than 3,500 complaints, the majority of which were a result of poor communication.
Pair that with almost 50% of consumers of OnePoll’s 2013 survey who felt poor communication was central to delays in the sale or purchase of a property, and the indications are clear: communication between all parties within the property sector must become customer centric in order to speed up and streamline processes.
In fact, 37% of renters agreed that good communications with their property manager was the most important factor when renting. This was rated even higher than everyday practicalities such as parking and proximity to work and transport.
Tenants and homeowners, like all customers, have a requirement for good levels of service, and when a good relationship is built, it could help to improve tenants’ happiness and loyalty as they will be more likely to commit to longer tenancies.
Give tenants an easier option for contact.
Relying on phone calls to communicate requires both the client and agent to be free at the same time. According to LSR, for those renting, an online portal is considered to be the preferred method to receive information – a platform accessible by mobile, an appealing extra – especially for younger tenants. The most important functions of a mobile optimised online portal would be to report maintenance issues and for general contact with the property manager or landlord.
Setting up a system that reduces the burdens upon time and resource, while solving issues associated with the provision of support, enables you to serve your tenants better. It’s a relationship that can work both ways.
A simple solution to collect rent.
Collecting debt is an issue that challenges businesses in a variety of industries and the property market is no exception. Rent arrears and council tax debts are on the up (source: The Comet) and these ‘priority’ debts can have serious ramifications.
SMS reminders can be the beginning of a system to help increase the likelihood of rent payments on time – but reminders are just the beginning.
Once communication channels have been firmly established, property managers can implement an electronic payment system to collect deposits or rent using a mobile web app.
This is especially suitable for shared housing tenants who can use mobile payments as a convenient way to split housing costs and was cited by Barclays as one of the most popular uses of their mobile payment platform.
If you would like to improve communication channels within your business, contact a member of our team on 0345 356 5758.