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To optimize their success, property management companies must provide around-the-clock availability to their tenants, potential renters, and other stakeholders. Yet they also want to keep the demands on their employees reasonable.
Since it’s not cost-effective for property management companies to staff someone in their office for three-shifts-a-day, seven-days-a-week, they seek other options to provide 24/7 phone support. Some have tried various types of automation, including answering machines, hotlines, and voicemail. But these solutions usually don’t work well and leave everyone frustrated.
A better solution is to tap the professional staff at an answering service. They can address callers anytime of the day or night, any day of the week, including holidays.
Here’s what a professional answering service can do for your property management company:
After Hours Emergencies: Top on the list of property management concerns is effectively handling afterhours emergency situations. This includes plumbing issues, heating or air-conditioning problems, and electrical malfunctions. Other issues include smoke or carbon dioxide alarms, as well as lockouts. A leading answering service can answer all these calls and reach the appropriate emergency personnel, according to your specifications.
Complaint Calls: Similar concerns arise from complaint calls. This might be one tenant who is frustrated with the actions of a neighbor. It can also come from adjoining properties who have concerns about one of your tenants. To maintain goodwill and avoid problem escalation, it’s critical to address these issues as quickly as possible and before things spiral out of control.
Rental Availability: On the positive side is perspective tenants calling about availability. Information about these interested parties needs to be captured quickly before they lose interest in your property and move on to someone else’s. While it seems these calls should come in during regular business hours, they seldom do. Often people call anytime of the day or night, whenever they have a spare moment. If you miss these calls, they’ll call someone else, likely renting from them and not you. Let your answering service know your inventory of available spaces and they can give out information to callers.
Showing Scheduling: Relating to rental availability is scheduling showings. Again, interested parties will call whenever they have time. And often this is when you and your staff aren’t in the office. Let your answering service know your schedule. Then they can book showings for you. Again, this increases the chances of a future tenant renting from you and not someone else.
Routine Calls: Of course, regular phone calls come in, too. These don’t fit any of the urgent criteria listed above, but they are important nonetheless. Instead of hoping these people will call back during regular business hours—they may forget or move on to something else—let your answering service handle these calls too. They can take messages for your attention when you return to the office.
When properly configured, a professional answering service can become a property management company’s best friend. Without an answering service you will not be at your best, but with an answering service you have the opportunity to excel.
Richard L. Hutcherson is the director of operations for Answering Service One, a new kind of answering service that wants to become your number one resource to handle your communication needs. Contact Richard at 865-505-0456. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Check out Answering Service One to see if they’re the right answering service solution for your business.