There is one thing that will impact the performance of your investments more than anything else. It’s even more important than the price you buy in at, ability to find and manage construction crews well, and even location.
It’s all about customer service.
Poor customer service can destroy the best investments, and rapidly deplete their cash flow and value. Great customer service can unlock incredible value that you won’t get any other way.
Of all the leading indicators of where a company or property is going, customer satisfaction is probably right at the top.
If you’ve ever had a really bad customer service experience, where the corporate office is clearly detached from what’s happening on the frontlines, the reps just don’t care and can’t help, and the processes don’t make sense, it’s probably a huge red flag to sell any stock you have in that company.
Companies live based on winning and keeping customers. Bad experiences are the biggest turnoff and will ensure customers are burned and churned faster than anything else. That’s definitely true when it comes to property management and leasing departments dealing with residents and prospective tenants too.
A poorly run apartment building can offer great value for new owners, who can use this one factor to quickly turn around performance and add cash flow and equity.
Six Ways to Master Customer Service in Income Property Investments
- Go through the process of applying and being a tenant yourself. What’s good or terrible?
- Read the online reviews, and have a plan to manage them
- Be careful of AI and ‘smart’ tools, and how smart they really are
- Incentivize customer service agents to go beyond satisfaction to customer happiness
- Survey customers regularly, and actually read the feedback
- Do the math and use common sense on adjustments to keep good tenants
There’s nothing worse than new ‘standard’ policies that haven’t been thought through from a user’s view and ignore common sense — for example, demanding a new piece of documentation from all of your renters. Then being willing to kick out great tenants who have been with you for years, and may have ten friends and family members in your other units and complexes, because they are too busy to comply. Do the math.
The same may be applied to rent hikes, new community rules, and how renters are worked with when they are late.
How are you ensuring your teams are delivering customer happiness?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Zahller is the President of Park Capital Properties and resides in Asheville, NC. As a Multifamily Real Estate Investor and Syndicator, he founded Park Capital Properties in 2016 after 14 years involvement in real estate investment. He works with accredited investors and professionals who are interested in real estate investment, diversification, and financial freedom.
Bill has been flying since high school. His father was a Naval Aviator and Captain for TWA. Bill has been flying professionally for over 25 years, 23 of those at his current company. He has accumulated over 12,000 hours and 7 Jet type ratings. He has also held Instructor, IOE Instructor and NRFO pilot positions with a large fractional flight company. He is currently flying the Global 6000 in a long range mission capacity. This keeps it interesting – one week its Beijing or Sydney; the next Rio or Rome.
Bill is also the founder of the Asheville Multifamily Investor Club. Visit www.ParkCapitalProperties.com for more information.