According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “National vacancy rates in the third quarter 2018 were 7.1 percent for rental housing.” This low vacancy rate is great for property managers since it helps make their properties more valuable. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a new renter right away if your tenants start moving out. Being able to keep tenants is essential for keeping up revenues and for avoiding paying to maintain properties that aren’t generating income.
Tenants moving out is a fact of life for many property managers. The reasons for tenants moving out are numerous and some are beyond your control, such as:
- Changing jobs and needing to move;
- Finding that they need more (or less) space; and
- Simply not getting along with their neighbors.
So, some tenants moving out every now and again is to be expected. But, there are several aspects of the tenant experience that you can control which might make the difference between keeping tenants and seeing tenants moving out in droves.
What are these property management tenant experience factors and how can you tweak them to improve your occupancy rates?
Here’s a list of tenant experience factors that may contribute to tenants deciding to leave:
Slow Tenant Customer Service Response
In today’s increasingly digital world, where consumers are accustomed to near-immediate response times to service requests, slow tenant customer service can be a deal-breaker. So, when a renter puts in a property maintenance request and doesn’t hear anything for two or more days, that can motivate them to leave.
Here, using a smartphone app to enhance your tenant customer service can prove enormously helpful.
For example, HOMEE’s “Homee On Demand” mobile solution allows tenants and property owners alike to put in a request for property maintenance services through the app and get a response in minutes. This helps keep tenants happy by improving their tenant experience.
Property Maintenance Tasks Aren’t Being Fully Completed
According to data cited in a report by Zillow Rentals, “Over 60% of customer turnover is controllable, with staff performance [being] the largest determining factor in why a tenant moves out” and that “tenants satisfied with property management are more than 3x’s as likely to renew.” One critical aspect of “staff performance” for property management is whether maintenance tasks are being fully completed.
If in-house property maintenance technicians aren’t adequately addressing tenant maintenance requests, tenants will quickly become dissatisfied. For example, if a leaky pipe is “repaired,” but starts leaking again soon after it was fixed, the tenant may feel like their time was wasted. This, in turn, leads to tenants moving out.
A common reason that property maintenance isn’t completed properly is that the in-house tech making the repairs doesn’t have the right expertise. One easy way to address this problem and provide superior tenant customer service is to draw on a large pool of experts to provide specialized property maintenance services. The Homee On Demand mobile solution can be very helpful for this.
With the app, tenants and property owners/managers can put in a request for specialized maintenance services that draw on an enormous pool of licensed, background-checked experts known as “Homees.” Users can sort their requests by trade, such as asking for handymen, plumbers, or electricians specifically. This helps ensure that tenants get service from the right experts, so their maintenance requests are completed the right way.
Poor Communication Between Tenants and the Property Manager/Maintenance Team
Modern consumers are accustomed to having up-to-the-minute tracking information for key services. For example, when they buy an item online, they can track the package’s journey from the distribution center to their home whenever they wish. A lack of such communication creates a negative tenant experience.
Regular progress updates help keep tenants in the loop regarding their property maintenance requests. This helps provide reassurance and creates a positive tenant experience.
Using the Homee On Demand app can help improve communications between tenants, maintenance providers, and property managers in several ways:
- GPS monitoring allows a renter to watch a Homee’s progress to the jobsite in real time.
- Down-to-the-minute job tracking lets a renter know precisely how long a Homee is onsite, and a property owner/manager only gets billed for the time a Homee is actually working.
- A job request approval system lets a property manager approve or deny service requests as well as request more information. This helps them stay abreast of issues and demonstrate their involvement in the renter’s requests.
- A post-job review allows a renter to see a statement of work done and the costs involved.
Need help improving your renters’ tenant experience so you can improve retention for the properties you manage? Get in touch with a property maintenance expert to learn more about how the Homee On Demand mobile solution can help!
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