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What does a property management answering service do?

Property management companies are an ideal solution for owners of rental properties worn out and haggard from the around-the-clock demands of tenets. However, what happens when the property management company becomes worn out and haggard for the same reasons?

As someone in the property management business, you know this dilemma all too well. There are maintenance calls, complaints about the property and other tenets, plus the ongoing effort to keep all the properties at full occupancy. It’s a demanding 24/7 job that’s not going to get any easier. Ignore this problem and you risk burn out. Hire additional staff and your costs skyrocket, cutting into already thin margins.

Property Management Case Study

Sarah Davenport knows this all too well. She started her property management business to meet a need felt by owners of income property who didn’t want to deal with demanding tenants or be stuck with finding tenants for open units. She did her job well, in the word got out. Soon she had as many clients as she could handle and was managing numerous properties throughout the city.

On a good day she would go home feeling satisfied but exhausted; on a bad day she would go home frustrated and overwhelmed. She could mostly deal with the work during the day, but those afterhours calls at night and on the weekends were cutting into her sleep and leaving her agitated and irritable.

Her best friend suggested she hire someone and even offered to help. But when Sarah ran the numbers it wouldn’t work out. She couldn’t afford to add a second person to the payroll.

When she started her business, she simply forwarded her business line to her cell phone whenever she left the office. That was okay when she only had a couple clients and limited properties, but now the calls were just too much. She tried an answering machine, but that only lasted for two days before she unplugged it and threw it into the trash. She also tried a sophisticated, powerful voicemail system that could direct maintenance calls to the right subcontractor, take messages for showings, and put urgent calls through to her cell phone. But her maintenance costs shot up and her showings dropped.

After one particularly harrowing week, she even considered shutting the whole thing down. But she had worked too hard to build up her business to walk away. That weekend she set down in front of her computer searching for a solution that she could afford and would be effective.

The Solution

That’s when she stumbled upon Answering Service One, a premier answering service that specializes in taking phone calls for property management firms. They could screen calls, take messages, and set appointments for showings. They could remind tenants of the afterhours maintenance policy and contact the appropriate subcontractor once they verified the situation warranted it. And the cost was very affordable, a small fraction of what it would cost to hire another employee.

Sarah called the answering service, hoping they could meet her expectations and keep her from shutting down her property management business. She was out of options. They were her last hope.

To Sarah’s delight, Answering Service One could indeed handle her phone calls after hours and even during the day if she was on the phone, out showing a unit, or in a meeting with a tenet or sub. Her excitement grew as she realized that having Answering Service One handle her phone calls was the exact solution she so desperately needed.

Around-the-Clock Availability

Answering Service One is available 24/7 to take Sarah’s property management calls.

If she’s in her office she can usually answer calls herself, but if she’s busy and can’t get the phone in time, the calls automatically route to the answering service. There they act as an extension of her business, and callers don’t know the difference. They just think Sarah hired an assistant. The answering service can respond to basic questions, get key information from perspective tenants, and even schedule showings— accessing the same scheduling application that Sarah uses from her desktop computer and smart phone. And, of course, they can take messages, too.

When Sarah heads home for the day, she forwards her office phone to her answering service. They handle all her calls according to the protocol she established. This includes dispatching maintenance calls, answering questions, and scheduling showings, as well as taking messages for her when she returns to the office.

Afterhours Maintenance Dispatching

Statistically, more maintenance requests come in per hour on the evenings and weekends than during the business day when Sarah and her subs are available. Answering Service One follows Sarah’s instructions to determine if they should contact a maintenance person. This allows them to dispatch help when it’s warranted and defer to a later time for non-urgent situations. This keeps Sarah from being personally involved with every after-hour’s maintenance request.

Give Out Listing Information

Many people call about rental availability and pricing in the evenings and weekends. Though Sarah keeps listings posted online and up-to-date, many people prefer to call. Answering Service One has Sarah’s leasing data at their fingertips and can pass it on to perspective tenants and answer basic questions about the property, leasing parameters, and pricing.

Capture Prospective Tenant Information

Of course, giving out leasing information is just half the challenge. Equally important is obtaining callers’ contact info so Sarah can follow up with them. Without this important data, she would lose many leads. But when Sarah can connect with them, she has a very good closing ratio.

Schedule Showings 24/7

Some callers are anxious to move forward and want to view a unit as soon as possible. The answering service can securely access Sarah’s schedule. Then they can see her availability and schedule appointments to fill slots she has reserved to show properties. This allows her to be more productive and goes a long way to help her reduce vacancies.

Take Messages for Routine Calls

Sometimes callers don’t need immediate attention and simply want to leave a message for Sarah. Since their call isn’t urgent, the answering service takes a message for Sarah. She can call them back when she returns to the office the next business day. And when she gets there, an email from her answering service is awaiting her with a list of anyone she needs to call back.

Screen Calls

Though Answering Service One can handle most of Sarah’s calls based on her instructions, sometimes the caller needs to talk to Sarah right away. Once the answering service has verified this falls outside of Sarah’s normal protocols and is also urgent, they put the call through to Sarah’s cellphone. Fortunately for Sarah, this only happens a couple times a week and is something she can accept quite easily.

The Outcome

Answering Service One can set up a new client quite quickly in urgent situations, but Sarah wanted to take her time and think through all the different types of call scenarios so that she could provide them with specific information. Even so, within two business days the answering service was taking her calls.

The first evening she thought something was wrong because the answering service handled every call without needing to reach her. But after checking for the second time that everything was working, she sat down and was able to relax for the first time in months.

After a week and a half of using Answering Service One, she felt her old self starting to reemerge. It felt good. And after a month, her best friend noticed the difference, too. They’re now spending more time together, just like they used to, and Sarah knows she’s now able to be a much better friend.

Let Answering Service One Handle Your Property Management Company’s Calls

Just as Sarah used Answering Service One to help her manage her business better and protect her time away from the office, you, too, can benefit from their premier service designed specifically for property management companies.

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