If you’re leasing corporate office space, you already know how damaging it is when you have a high rate of turnover. The hit on profits goes beyond lost revenue. You’ll also incur losses due to leasing commissions, making improvements for new tenants in areas like office design and promotional offers to attract new tenants.
Successful commercial property investors all know about the importance of ensuring commercial tenants are satisfied. After all, commercial income property follows the same rules of any successful business: higher customer satisfaction results in higher profits.
When commercial tenants are satisfied, they’re much less likely to change locations. Therefore, tenant satisfaction is a critical component of increasing profits.
Tips for Improving Tenant Satisfaction
- Streamline service with online systems
Once a tenant is in place, customer service is key to long-term satisfaction. A well-designed online system will allow you to automate everyday tasks, leaving your staff time to focus on more complex customer service issues.
Providing online access to such things as initiating maintenance requests, paying bills and downloading forms and information will save tenants time and frustration.
Nielson reports show that Americans spend more than 11 hours per day online, with the majority of that time spent on smartphones. In fact, adults spent more time online than they did sleeping.
A good online software platform can allow you to maintain a web presence, while allowing you to minimize the amount of staff needed to manage your income property. Instead of waiting for a busy staff member to be free, this software allows you to automate routine tasks, as well as give staff members essential information about property management or maintenance.
The same software can act as a virtual marketer. By uploading pictures of the property along with floor plans and a brochure with relevant details, prospects can view a property, it’s layout, and decide whether or not the price is right for their budget, at any hour, and all from the comfort of their own home. There are even programs that allow prospects to experience a 3D walkthrough of the property.
- Promote goodwill with effective communications
Prove that you and your tenants are on the same team with good communications. When all parties feel like they are working toward the same goal, it’s much easier to establish the type of working relationship that will result in higher tenant satisfaction.
Social media is an excellent way to foster communications. Establishing communities on Twitter and Facebook, for example, gives you an easy way to make announcements, get tenant feedback and resolve problems. Social media can also act as a sales tool when prospective tenants see a great relationship with existing tenants.
- Collect feedback about customer expectations
Soliciting regular feedback is an essential part of maintaining an effective working relationship with occupants, and technology can help streamline this process. Online and mobile tools and file-sharing platforms make it possible to send surveys to tenants, asking them to assess a just-completed job or grade overall performance over a set time period. The information can be used to adjust service practices to deliver better value to occupants, repair damaged relationships, or align services to help companies achieve long-term goals. Without regular feedback, key service factors can be missed.
- Develop an open dialogue with tenants
One-on-one communication also plays an essential role in improving customer service by enabling both parties to convey complex thoughts quickly and get everyone moving forward together. Even with the efficiency of email, mobile devices and other electronic communication, 69 percent of people still prefer sharing information face to face, according to a TrackVia survey.
By combining technology with personal interactions, building managers can gain a deeper understanding of customer expectations and design service plans that are relevant to tenants. Use your property management system to schedule and document these customer interactions.
Additionally, when tenants are actively engaged, they see the direct benefits of working with property managers and are more likely have a stronger positive feeling about the property. Managers looking to improve customer retention should focus on delivering meaningful and relevant services to boost engagement among building occupants.
Besides taking advantage of specific tools and approaches, the best thing you can do is establish an overall goal of exceeding tenant expectations. It will eliminate the cycle of high turnover and improve your property’s long-term financial outlook.