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Bad news is good news for PMs

28 February 2013 Brendan Wong

Property management businesses need to embrace negative feedback instead of avoiding it, according to an award-winning Tasmanian principal.

Michelle Williams, director of @home Property Management Solutions in Launceston, said it was the fear of complaints that stops many companies conducting customer surveys.

“If you change your mindset and realise that these surveys are designed to help you grow and improve your business, you will realise it is the negative response that you need, not the positive,” she told Residential Property Manager.

“Customer surveys are not about inflating the ego of staff or rewarding people for a job well done.

“They are designed to open your eyes to the flaws within your organisation and allow you to make positive changes within your business and your people.”

Ms Williams’ views echo that of Rentwest Solutions director Suzanne Brown who recently told Residential Property Manager that there was a lack of customer feedback within the industry.

Since its establishment in 2009, @home has engaged the services of an independent company to conduct external surveys every year. The most recent survey was carried out last April via an email to current tenants and clients.

Ms Williams said the surveys were improved every year to offer more valuable data to allow her business to develop and stand out amongst their competitors.

“@home has always understood business to be an organic process, one in which we must continuously examine, consider and adapt to the changing needs of our customers and the economy.”

The latest survey also included the internationally recognised Net Promoter Score, which measured the current status of a company’s customer base and predicted future revenue growth.

@home received a score of +60.2 and +48.7 for their clients and tenants, respectively.

“While the results were pleasing for @home, the focus was not on the positive,” Ms Williams said.

“What we needed from this information was the 22.4 per cent of people who were potentially detracting from our business. We drill down on the negative to identify our weaknesses.”

From the survey, communication and having maintenance attended to promptly were found to be the two major areas tenants wanted from property managers.

Since the release of the results, Ms Williams said the business had adopted new procedures to meet the needs of its customers.

“Customer satisfaction and continuous improvement continues to drive all aspects of @home’s operations.

“@home’s customer service strategy is simple: to ensure that every aspect of our business has the customer as its focus.”

Bad news is good news for PMs
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