My customer service pet peeves:
- When you walk into a business establishment (other than a big box store) and no one from that business acknowledges you.
- When you call the business and only get a phone system in which you must leave a message.
- If you leave a voice mail message with a business, and it takes days for the business to get back to you.
It’s maddening when you are trying to spend your money for a product or service…but they don’t seem to care or want it.
Nothing could be more true for OKC property management companies, either.
If you call a number of these businesses on any given day, you will get mostly voice mail.
And I understand why this is so. It costs money to have someone answer the phone.
But when you are a prospective tenant who decides they want to leave a property that company has listed for rent, they are looking for fast answer about what they need to do. All of the information might be on the website, but there is always a question or two the leasing office heeds to answer.
Or, if there is a maintenance issue at a property such a clogged toilet. The tenant doesn’t want to be without the use of their toilet. Who would?
That’s why a property management company needs to be responsive.
They should answer the phones during the week. They should have an emergency maintenance line set up for the weekends.
Is there a bigger problem?
An unresponsive OKC property manager may be a symptom of a problem you don’t want. If you are having trouble getting a call back from a property management company probably means they are unresponsive to tenant requests.
And if tenants think you are being unresponsive to their requests, they will pitch a fit. And they may move out, which is a big expense for the owner.
Studies show that 19 out of 20 dissatisfied customers will become loyal customers again if their complaints are handled well and quickly. When you handle tenant complaints well and quickly, it almost always means that tenants will stay longer. Less turn over for you means you have a more profitable property.
If the property management company is a one-man bands, the property manager gets too busy. They’ve got to get everything done by themselves, from paying the bills to overseeing projects and everything else that needs to get done.
They have to wear the book-keeper’s hat, the receptionist’s hat, the construction supervisor’s hat, the leasing agent’s hat, the office manager’s hat…woe! I’m getting worn out just thinking about it. They get into a cycle of going from one fire to the next.
Many times, this results in a lack of responsiveness to everyone’s requests. So overall, you are usually better off hiring a management company that takes a team approach rather than one individual who does it all.
What should you expect?
When you have a question, your property manager should reply to you within 24 hours by phone or email.
They shouldn’t leave you in the dark wondering what is going on with their property.
You should have the cell phone number of someone at that company you can call right away, not just their main office number.
The property management company should keep you in the loop by providing more than just monthly financial statements.
They should let you know if their tenant is moving out.
They should let you know about maintenance items that are going to be expensive, and get authorization to spend your money on those projects in advance.
Not all property management companies answer their phones during the day. I get that. But they should.
What if you have an unresponsive OKC Property Management Company right now?
The first part of fixing any communication problem is make sure everybody is on the same page.
If you have an issue with the communication, you need to reach out to the property management company.
You should clearly communicate with the manager that you are disappointed with their communication, and how they could improve. This shouldn’t be an email communication. It needs to be either in person or on the phone.
Whenever you have a problem with someone, it’s best to talk with them rather than email because the conversation will convey exactly what you mean.
That can get lost in an email very easily.
If they owe you something, such as a statement or money, get an agreement on when the manager will get those items to you.
When it’s an issue with mistakes they have made on statements or some other paperwork, refer to this article about ensuring your property management company doesn’t overcharge you.
If there is something about your properties status you want to know, like the progress of a make ready or what is going on with leasing the property, let the property management company know.
Be very specific in your feedback.
Give them a fair chance to fix the problem.
But if their is no desire to meet reasonable expectation, you need to do something different.
If you don’t sense they are meeting your expectations once they have been clearly stated, you should terminate them and look for another service provider.