Before selecting a property manager for your rental, there are many factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to hire a property manager that’s committed to providing exceptional customer service to you and your tenants. This article will show you how to do just that. So how do you get started evaluating the level of customer service a property manager can deliver? The simple answer is: Do your due diligence.
“Doing your due diligence when selecting a property manager is just as important as doing your due diligence when selecting a rental property to acquire,” says Doug Brien, CEO and co-founder of MYND Property Management. Doug is also a seasoned real estate investor, and former founder of REIT Waypoint Homes. Under his direction, Waypoint amassed a portfolio of over 17,000 homes valued at $3 billion.
This article will outline the three most important steps to take when selecting a qualified property management firm. Here they are:
- Request internal customer service scores
- Be cautious with online third-party reviewal
- Ask for a referral
Here's your how-to guide when it comes to assessing the level of service a property manager provides.
1) Request internal customer service scores
What is one of the best ways to measure customer service? Request two metrics: a company’s Customer Satisfaction () Score and its Net Promoter Score (). The Score gives you insight into the level of service a firm provides over time. A good property manager will send a survey after a resident has completed the on-boarding process to see how efficient it is, and if any improvements are necessary. If a property manager does not have their own internal service tracking and reporting, they are likely not committed to identifying issues and constantly improving their service.
NPS provides similar insight, but it also measures the willingness of a customer to recommend a company’s product or service. In other words, NPS shows how likely your clients are to recommend your service to another person. And over the course of time, MYND’s NPS increased to approximately 19, compared to the property management industry average of 7.
Here’s how MYND’s Net Promoter Score compares to the property management industry as a whole:
2) Be cautious with online third-party reviews
Online reviews for a service-intensive industry like property management tend to be highly subjective, and polarizing. Certain industries will often skew towards either the negative or positive side. In the property management sector, residents often use third-party review sites to post public complaints as a means to negotiate with an owner. As a result, these reviews often skew to the negative side. In addition, residents comprise majority of the reviewers using third-party sites. However, these experiences and reviews do not reflect the overall experience of a property owner.
It’s also very important to note that each third-party review site uses a different set of metrics, and their algorithms change constantly. For example, Yelp recently changed their algorithm to remove any reviews from users who have been inactive on their site. Even though some of those reviews were submitted by real customers with valid opinions, they may not “count." Therefore, they may not be prominently displayed on their website, or they may "fall off" their website entirely. With an ever-changing algorithm, metrics are not tracked consistently. Therefore, these reviews don’t provide an accurate assessment of a company’s service over time.
Online third-party reviews only tell part of the story when it comes to customer satisfaction. Due to this fact, they should always be cautiously factored into your decision to hire a property manager.
3) Ask for a referral
Tap into your network of property owner friends, acquaintances and associates to get an insider’s opinion. An honest referral from another owner who has worked with the management team you are assessing is critical. Place a call to an associate in the real estate industry who owns similarly sized portfolios of rentals to get their recommendation. You can ask them to provide specific details about the property manager’s level of service, their responsiveness to tenants and the quality of repairs and maintenance they provide.
“There are many customer service-related metrics to assess when evaluating a property manager that’s right for you,” concludes Brien. "You can't improve what you don't measure. So, make sure your property management company has effective measurement tools in place."