As a property manager, your clients are your first priority (albeit not your only one!). Keeping your clients happy and maintaining a great relationship will reap benefits for your property management business. Happy clients keep business coming; additionally, they build your reputation and can lead to excellent referrals and references.
A good client relationship is equivalent to customer success. For this reason, you should put reasonable effort into forging relationships to build trust and ensure clients are satisfied with the services you provide.
What are the essential client relations skills needed for effective property management?
Communication is one of the most essential client relations skills you must establish for your property management business. Indeed, communication overlaps with all other essential management skills. Good communication is hard to find and if you have this skill, your clients will be very pleased with you.
Communication skills can range from having proper phone etiquette to sending out regular emails to inform clients of any activity or development concerning their rentals. Good communication always involves keeping your client updated. This shows that you’re on top of things and your communication is up to par. Finding a property manager that communicates well isn’t easy—put yourself at the top of the list with this client management skill.
When interacting with clients, always think of the five C’s of communication. Anything you communicate, whether written of verbal, must be clear, correct, concise, complete, and compassionate.
Nothing says honesty quite like, well, honesty. This irreplaceable skill may be the most important thing clients seek out in a property manager. Honesty beats anything you try to replace it with—lying, avoiding the truth, just not saying anything. Being honest and upfront with your client is another way to communicate effectively. Your clients will appreciate your honesty, maybe even more than your performance.
Honesty every time helps build a great reputation for you, even if you’ve done something you’re not proud of. No matter the situation or circumstances, honesty wins every time. Add this skill to your customer service portfolio and watch your reputation grow solid and your business seen as dependable.
Anticipating your clients’ needs is a skill that can require years of experience in the property management business. But as long as you pay attention and learn from everything that transpires in the business, this skill will get easier and easier over time. Client relation skills that involve anticipating clients’ needs are bound to be successful—after all, who knows what the client needs better than you, the experienced property manager?
Many clients, especially the newer ones, aren’t sure of what they need or what they want when it comes to property management. But you do. Your long years of managing investment properties for their owners have taught you what can come up at the most unexpected moments.
Anticipating the needs of your clients is a practice that will keep giving back. Your clients will appreciate you for your efforts in always being two steps forward and thinking outside the box. When they know their needs are anticipated and met even before they can even think of these, they’ll keep you on board for a long time.
Delivering on Your Promises
This is a no-brainer skill, but delivering on what you promise can make all the difference between your client relationship taking off or going south. If you say you’re going to do x, y, and z within the next two weeks, do it! Doing what you said you were going to do builds credibility, dependability, and your reputation.
If for some reason you can’t deliver on what you initially committed to, update your client via a phone call or e-mail and let them know what’s going on. This is where other client relation skills such as honesty and communication come into play.
With your property management business, delivering on your work is huge, and your promises must not fall on deaf ears. Let your clients know what’s up with your property management—deliver on what they want within the time period they ask for. If it’s not reasonable, discuss it with them (communicate!) and work on an amicable and mutually beneficial solution.
Listening—it seems so easy. Next time you hear someone talk, pay attention to how much you actually hear of what they’re saying. You’re probably not actually hearing them; you’re hearing a version of what they said that aligns with your understanding and perception of what was said.
Listening to your clients is another essential client relations skill. Hearing their needs and wants is paramount because those needs and wants become items on your to-do list and invariably end up going on your paycheck at the end of the month. Clients may have complaints or ideas for improvements, and it’s important that you listen to these, too. How well you listen to your clients reflects how much you care about their investments. So even if you think you’re listening, really tune in next time they’re talking. This client relations skill will help you anticipate their needs as well!
Client relations skills are not always easy to attain as some of them require experience, time, and attention to acquire. For your property management business, keep these essential skills on your radar—you’ll be surprised how well they can help you build wonderful and long-lasting client relationships!