Customer management is the process used to manage and cater to the needs of customers through strategies such as skillful interaction and administration.
In real estate, customer management entails how landlords/property managers deal with existing customers -tenants- and also, how they get prospective tenants.
The journey does not end with leasing out an apartment; it goes on to include ensuring that the apartment is conducive, all complaints are well-received and attended to promptly, and customer considerations are made before any actions are taken.
Relevance of Customer Management in Real Estate
Customer management is very important for the customer-based aspect of real estate, which includes the leasing of properties.
It has to do with the ability to identify prospective tenants, develop a working strategy at getting them and grow a relationship that is focused on customer satisfaction and trust to keep them.
The following are results of great customer management:
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Practicing customer management strategies such as prompt response to complaints about damages, constant electrical and plumbing maintenance, amongst other things increases your tenant’s level of satisfaction.
This satisfaction makes your relations with them less complicated.
Ensures Customer Loyalty
If a tenant gets a considerable amount of satisfaction from your services, they gradually begin to build loyalty to and trust in you.
This trust ultimately increases the chances of their renewing rent with you over and over.
Customer loyalty also ensures you have a solid customer base, which of course, ensures that you never run out of customers.
For a property manager, there is nothing better than a good referral from a satisfied and loyal tenant.
The ultimate result of building trust and loyalty in your tenants is that not only do they keep coming back to lease the same property or if needed, more properties, but they could also act as unpaid brand advocates and refer you to other potential tenants, thereby increasing your profit.
Also, if potential tenants identify you as a good property manager, they would be more inclined to pay higher rental rates to secure your property.
Better Customer Relationship Skills
Consistently engaging yourself in healthy customer management practices, in the long run, equips you with vital knowledge on how to keep your existing tenants and gain new ones.
The more knowledge you gain, the better you are at it, and the better you are at it, the happier you can get your tenants to be, which is vital.
Tips on Better Customer Management in Real Estate
Effective customer management does not come as easy as it might seem. To ensure efficiency, your customer management practice has to be intentional and focused on one goal; creating a better relationship between yourself and your tenants.
Here are a few tips that would help you develop excellent customer management skills:
Understanding Your Tenants’ Need
To be able to satisfy your tenants, you have to first have a good knowledge of what they need and when they need it.
Understanding the needs of your tenants keeps you one step ahead of them, in other words, it helps you to get things in place for your tenants before they even realize that they need it.
This, of course, comes with experience. However, for people new to the property management business, this knowledge can be gained through a thorough study of the real estate market and tenants’ choices in your area.
Finding the time to reach out to your customers regularly might go a long way in building a good relationship.
Grow an active interest in knowing and helping them with their challenges, seek feedback, and be responsive to their needs. All of these go a long way in the development of trust and loyalty.
Take note of tenants who have shown their loyalty by constant rent renewal or introducing you to new tenants, and make it a point of duty to reward them for their support.
Doing this will buy you more goodwill and support from them, and could also serve as a prompt to other tenants to become loyal.
Things you could do to show your appreciation include:
- Giving them firsthand information about new developments
- Giving them unique offers such as discounts on rents. However, ensure that your Real Estate Accountant is aware of these offers to avoid any mixups.
- Inviting them to special or family events
Conducting Background Checks
Conducting background checks on your tenants helps give you in-depth knowledge on who they used to be/who they are right now, and how effectively you can fit into their picture. Equipping yourself with information like this will go a long way in helping you relate with them accordingly.
Proper Real Estate Bookkeeping
One way to ensure that you have an excellent customer management scheme running is through proper recording of all information about your tenants, such as information obtained from background checks, as well as the terms of their lease agreement.
Accurate documentation prevents the occurrence of any mixups in tenant information.
Getting A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Perhaps, at the early stages of your property management, you were to keep good records of all your tenants easily.
However, as time went on, you secured more tenants, and now, keeping track is beginning to prove a bit difficult.
Getting CRM software that is specifically built for real estate could go a long way in making your customer management easier and less time-consuming.
Developing an excellent customer management process gives you an edge over other landlords and property managers in the industry.
The tips mentioned above, if practiced, would go a long way in helping you manage your customers more efficiently.