LJ Hooker chief executive Grant Harrod has said the views of tenants are critical when measuring the customer experience.
The franchise launched a customer voice platform to welcome customer feedback from all aspects of the business after conducting significant amount of research in 2015 and gathering feedback from almost 16,000 customers.
“We hadn’t been giving our customers the opportunity to appraise our performance at every transaction,” Mr Harrod said. “They now can – whether it’s a sale, purchase or a rental.”
Mr Harrod noted that while property management is often overlooked in the real estate business, particularly in favour of big sales volumes, tenants are a vital voice in customer satisfaction.
“I don’t think the industry looks at satisfaction levels from a tenant’s perspective. Interestingly, almost 70 per cent of tenants begin their property journey in a rental, and that is when they start forming their views about brands,” he said.
“Those views will often live with them for a lifetime.”
LJ Hooker is now inviting tenants to rate the group's performance and whether or not it has delivered.
Hermione Gardiner from Real Plus said tenant care is important because many tenants don’t differentiate between the property manager and the agency.
“I have sat down very recently at a lunch and had people talk about their bad experiences as tenants, and name and shame agencies,” she told RPM.
Ms Gardiner said property managers should be looking after tenants’ needs all the way through to vacate because most base their opinion on their final experience.
“I've actually won management from a tenant who exited the property because I dealt with him professionally the whole time and I didn't make him feel like a villain, even though I took a lot of his bond,” she said.
“He said there was no one else he would rather have looking after his investment property because he knows that I'm going to have his best interests at heart.”
According to Ms Gardiner, the moving process can be stressful, so it’s important that property managers help with the vacate and provide positive reinforcement.
“Instead of saying, ‘If you don't return the property clean, you're not going to get your bond back’, we should be saying, ‘We want to help you get your bond back as fast as possible, so here are three things you need to do to ensure that’.”
[Related: When was your last survey?]