EPMEPM: Customer Service

How to make the property manager switch seamless this Christmas: Danelle Hunter

Danelle Hunter of Biggin & Scott Knox shares 4 top tips to help guide landlords through the change of property manager transition this Christmas.

To landlords, changing property managers can seem like a lot of effort, and it is often perceived as something that requires painful amounts of paperwork and rep tape. In fact, I have known customers who have chosen to stay with sub-par property managers far longer than they should have – simply to avoid the headache!

However, with Christmas just around the corner, there’s no better time for landlords to take another look at who will be managing their investment property into the New Year, and a good property manager should be able to guarantee their future client a smooth transition even in their busiest periods.

It’s my opinion that the true value of a real estate business lies within its rent roll, and it’s important to continuously strive to take on new business. In my time as Managing Director of Biggin & Scott, I have managed to double our rent roll and increase our revenue by 700%, and I attribute a big part of this to my ability to ensure landlords a smooth transition experience.

Here are my four top tips to help guide landlords through the change of property manager transition this Christmas.

Take care of the finer details

One of the simplest ways to ensure the transition runs smoothly is to take care of the finer details yourself. As in industry professional, you’re likely to have a far greater understanding of the process, whereas your landlord might not have the first idea of where to start. When this is the case, mistakes can be made and important steps can be missed. Interruptions like this can further draw out the duration of the transfer and make for an overall tiresome experience – the last thing we need at Christmas!

When taking on new clients of my own, I always offer to handle the entire process on their behalf. As part of my service, I volunteer to complete the required paperwork and documentation, collect all files from their previous agent, notify tenants of the change, process payments and set up any direct debits.

Familiarise yourself with the property

While it’s without a doubt one of the busiest periods of the year, it’s important to make the time to visit the property and introduce yourself to the tenants. Organise and conduct a thorough inspection to familiarise yourself with the property, and offer the tenants the opportunity to voice any concerns.

Getting off on the right foot with the tenants is vital, and it helps to solidify a positive professional relationship later down the track. The landlord will be pleased to see that you made the time to visit the property so soon, you also have the chance to address any tenant issues before they can evolve.

Understand their rights

As the property manager, I believe it’s your duty to understand the tenant and landlord’s rights inside out. The landlord is entrusting you to act in their best interest and make informed decisions on their behalf, so it’s important you have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

Prior to signing on to my service, many new customers had been under the assumption that they needed to see out their lease with the current agency, however the law states that landlords may change property managers at any time. The fact that I could articulate this not only allowed me to secure their business, but also demonstrated my deep knowledge of the rental property legislation.

Encourage open communication

If you want to ensure a smooth transition, as well as an excellent long-term working relationship, open communication is key. Let the landlord know that you are willing to accommodate their needs, and that you are happy to communicate in a way that best suits them.

It’s important that your landlord feels comfortable in communicating their requirements from the very beginning so that you can in turn deliver a service that meets their satisfaction. In fact, I have implemented a same day communication policy which means that if a landlord reaches out to any of our property management team, we are to respond on the same day with an answer to their query or concern.

In my experience, customers will always recognise and appreciated a superior service, and it only takes a small amount of effort to go the extra mile and in turn, this helps to secure their business on an ongoing basis and will also result in many referrals from satisfied customers, which has been an effective strategy in doubling our rent roll in the last two years.

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Danelle Hunter

Danelle Hunter is the Managing Director of Biggin & Scott Knox, an Award winning Property Manager and Real Estate Entrepreneur