It is not difficult to pick up the phone and hire a property management answering service, but selecting the right one for both your tenants and yourself can be tricky. Here are a few tips to make sure you make the most of the service, making everyone happy in the process.
In many cases the answering service will have a pre-defined script that the operators follow, it is better that you develop a script that suits your business as you know your tenants best. It does not have to be complicated, it can be as simple as changing the introductory message to include the name of the apartment complex and to identify to the caller that they have reached the after-hours maintenance hotline. It is a very small difference but your tenants will be impressed that they have reached a dedicated service.
What constitutes an emergency?
It is very important that your property management answering service and your tenants are on the same page. You will give the answering service a list of what constitutes an emergency and they will follow it. Give the same list to all your tenants; this will eliminate any disputes because everyone thinks their issue is of paramount importance but as the manager, you know different.
Either stay in the office or make other arrangements:
A good answering service will be flexible; if you have to leave the office during the day then you are faced with two things; miss incoming calls or not. Although your answering service may be fully responsible for after hours work, they can also customize their arrangement with you so that they pick up calls during the day when you can’t. What is important is that the tenants expect service and they have every right to, but as the manager you also have other responsibilities that may take you off site.
In many cases simply taking the message and passing it on is all that is required, however, you should work with a property management answering service that can help you take your service to a new high. With the technology that is available today, your answering service can arrange and schedule property viewing, process payments including rent and by integrating with your data bases, provide tenants and management with information which takes the stress off the office.
When you select a reputable answering service you can be assured that you will provide your tenants with the service they need by giving you, the manager, the help you need.