Existing tenants are your best source of repeat business at your building. Consistent and attentive communication is the key to tenant satisfaction and retention. Communication must go beyond a building newsletter or regular memos. It’s important to use the most effective methods of communication for each tenant. Whatever method you use, it requires a human, personal touch. One way RiverRock successfully is renewing and attracting new tenants is by listening to them and focusing on what makes a building meet their needs better like installing WiFi in public spaces, conference rooms, gyms, and social installations like bocce ball courts or bikes for tenant use.
Here are some tips for communicating like a RockStar:
• Engage with your tenants and proactively ask what they think about their space and the building.
• Show care, concern and interest in their business.
• Be sure to respond quickly to their complaints or concerns.
• Follow up to check whether reported problems were solved and if they are satisfied with the solution.
• Adapt to your tenant’s preferred methods of communication whether it’s by email, office phone, cell phone, or in person.
1. Follow-up: the most common tenant complaint
The most common cause of tenant frustration is lack of follow-up from –“No one ever got back to us.” It’s not enough to just listen to complaints. If problems are not resolved to your tenant’s satisfaction, they will likely assume that you don’t really care. Follow-up is essential—even if it’s an apology and explanation of why you cannot resolve their issue quickly and/or completely.
2. Getting personal
The most effective way to keep your tenants happy is consistent, prompt responses with a personal touch. Studies have shown that the average amount of time a person is willing to wait for a response is about 15 minutes. Make sure that you don’t always hide behind email or voicemail. Calling a tenant or having a face-to-face meeting can help build or increase a personal relationship.
Show your top tenants that RiverRock cares about them on a companywide level. For example, you can set up a tenant call with an executive team member to review and discuss the landlord, property management, and tenant relationships.
3. Means of communication are evolving
Millennials in particular are conditioned to expect immediate communication in various forms. Some may prefer email; others may want to be reached by cellphone only. Today, most people don’t like to linger on the phone—the office phones don’t ring nearly as much anymore. Once you determine your tenant’s preferred method of communication, do your best to accommodate their preferences as much as possible.
Say no to long surveys. No one has the time to complete 15 questions. Use a net promoter survey with three questions at most! Then benchmark your results and focus on where you can improve.
It requires some extra effort to provide first class service to tenants, but the effort is rewarded with satisfied tenants who are often easier to work with and will want to renew their leases.