By Angela Fee, head of mattering (marketing) & impact at AnswerConnect
LANDLORDS and letting agencies have weathered a tough twelve months. Tightening regulations, unfavourable tax conditions and costly mortgages have posed significant challenges. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. High rental demand, combined with a fall in property prices, has the potential to provide opportunities for savvy landlords in 2023. Forming the foundations for solid tenant relationships will help landlords to thrive in the coming year.
Tenants are facing their own challenges, with the cost-of-living crisis leaving many struggling to pay rent and bills. Anxiety amongst tenants will lead to an increased demand on landlords’ time. While forces outside their control may make circumstances challenging for landlords, one thing is certain: turbulent times make clear and effective communication with tenants all the more important.
Customer service remains key for brand loyalty
A recent independent survey demonstrates that quality customer service is key to nurturing positive relationships with tenants and inspiring loyalty. A third of respondents claimed that a negative first experience with a landlord would spur them to seek an alternative solution. Good communication is clearly not to be neglected; it plays an indispensable role in retaining tenants and keeping them happy.
False appeal of chatbots
However, managing the administrative side of a business is time and resource-intensive. Chatbots and artificial intelligence may seem a tempting alternative as businesses seek to free up valuable resources. Yet automation is no replacement for genuine human contact; 84% of tenants surveyed said they would prefer to speak to a real person over an automated bot. Landlords and letting agencies recognise the value of authentic connection but they also need to maximise their time. This leaves many looking for a new way to maintain the balance.
While automated services have proven unpopular with tenants, technology can nonetheless offer an advantage. Virtual receptionist services can combine the sought-after human element brought by real-life phone contact with the benefits of a sophisticated platform. The features of this provides services such as appointment scheduling and live chat.
Safeguarding tenant relationships
With a team of virtual receptionists handling their customer service, landlords can dedicate their time and energy to other concerns. That includes maintaining their properties to a high standard, which is also key to strong customer relationships.
Those in the property industry will be keen to both safeguard their relationships with tenants and build on them to expand their businesses. Virtual receptionist services are primed to help both those managing rental properties and those living in them to prosper, whatever the coming year brings.