During the pandemic there’s been a massive increase in the demand for more timely information about what’s going on. This is true for us as individuals, citizens, employees and tenants.
From the built environment perspective property owners and managers have been forced to raise their game to keep tenants informed. Unfortunately most property managers still trust old school systems when it comes to communicating with tenants. Even if you have long-term leases with most tenants, the power has shifted from property owners to tenants. Social media and clickbait media amplify the problems experienced by tenants, thus creating unnecessary reputation risks.
The solution is not about fighting back to this shift of power, but to embrace it. In order to keep tenants happy they must be listened to actively, informed about any and all changes in the building, and even the small problems and requests should be solved as swiftly as possible.
Inform tenants frequently
Updating tenants whenever there are changes in the building is the first starting point towards better tenant experience and more vibrant tenant community. Renovations are the most obvious changes that increase the demand for information. During renovations landlords should make announcements at least weekly but preferably even more often.
Tenants also want to know if there’s been any changes in services, building automation or anything else that has or might have an impact on their experience as users of the building. The forerunners in tenant experience have also moved towards making announcements not only about what has changed in building but what are in the plans to be changed. This way of engaging tenants to give feedback on the future improvement commits them on whole new level and increases loyalty.
Besides renovations and smaller updates in the building, there’s the obvious fact that COVID-19 has massively increased the need for communication.
"54% of customers share bad experiences with more than five people, while only 33% share their good experiences."
Enable two-way communication and tenant feedback
Tenants are people and people have an inner desire to be heard. By enabling open channel(s) to send feedback, wishes and questions to property management both privately and publicly, you can send a big message to tenants that you care about them.
It’s good to understand that even if tenants don’t have ways to contact property managers easily, they will always find a way to express their feelings through other means. It might just be that instead of reporting a problem privately to property managers, they’ll go directly to Facebook or Twitter in their frustration of nothing happening. Tenants also talk to each other and it’s in human nature to spread bad experiences rather than good news: 54% of customers share bad experiences with more than five people, while only 33% share their good experiences.
Even though email is an okay beginning for this, we have also talked about not trusting email as the only channel for communication. A good system between property management and tenants takes into account the difference between private and public feedback. Private feedback is good for asking questions and any other low threshold information needs whereas public feedback is better for raising ideas and wishes so that other tenants can comment on them too.
For optimal tenant experience, property managers should always respond to the feedback actively and timely. Even if you can’t deliver all the changes tenants keep requesting, they will appreciate the quick response and even no for an answer more than having to wait for days.
Optimise information flow to the right stakeholders
Modern commercial buildings consist of multiple stakeholders, many responsible for just small areas. Getting the right information to the right stakeholders without information holding gatekeepers is the requirement for fixing many service requests swiftly without impacting tenant experience negatively. If small tasks like key orders, renovation permits, work orders or just simple questions take days or even weeks to handle and respond, tenants will remember that.
For effective information flow without gatekeepers, a good communication platform has clearly defined workflows for each type of work orders, tickets, questions and tasks. When a tenant is ordering new keys to be created for their new staff member, it should be automated to the party responsible for keys.
In today’s busy world, everybody hates to be waiting. If your current processes are not putting a stop to those frustrating waiting times, you are most likely hindering tenant experience.
To rephrase an old saying: it takes years to build customer loyalty, but seconds to lose it. Open and swift two-way communication is the first stepping stone for great tenant experience.
The power has shifted to tenants whether property managers and investors accept the fact or not. Empower your tenants with modern ways to be in touch with property management, lower the threshold for communication and see the results in tenant loyalty.
If you're looking for a tenant communication platform that is easy-to-use, boosts two-way communication, has customisable workflows, vast integration possibilities and more, have a look at our incy.io product and contact us for more information.
We are also offering a 30-day trial of incy.io so you can take your time testing it out for FREE. If you are interested, click the button below and fill in the required information to get started:
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io