April 4, 2011
I had dinner recently with Howard Morgan of Realservice, a firm that was set up in the late ’90’s with a focus on customer service in the property industry. Howard and I share similar views on the importance of good service.
Of course it is an overused cliché but business is about people. Establ ishing good relationships is key, and it is also fun that this is all part of good customer service.
It is for this reason that on Thursday night our letting agency, Young London, hosted one of our drinks evenings for our tenants.
It was in The Goldsmith Pub in Southwark, near our office and where many of the properties we manage are situated. Tenants from the area were invited. We are very keen to build good relationships with those we deal with, whether they are landlords, tenants, maintenance companies, etc.
Infact we also invited one of the Concierges (recent winner of UK Concierge of the year!), as the tenants really value good concierge.
For the sake of a tab at the bar you build up so much goodwill and also learn a lot. Most of our staff attended, and it is great for everyone to put a face to a name.
It is also useful to obtain feedback.
We do questionnaires, but there is nothing like face to face conversations.
There was such feedback as:
“No other agency has ever invited us to an event – such a good idea”
“Can you introduce me to others who live in the same development, would be great to know more people”
“I have been waiting for a spare entrance fob could you follow up please?”
Of course the last comment could make you think this is not such a good idea! However, I followed it up in the morning, the managing agent dealt with it, and the tenant was contacted on Friday with an update.
It was an enjoyable evening, and one tenant took the time to tell me that if he had received a similar invitation from any other agency he had rented through previously he never would have turned up.
A drunk tenant who wanted to bend my ear was not my favourite part of the evening, but overall I gained a lot from the discussions I had with tenants and left feeling very proud.
The more we can all do to show those who deal with property companies that we are keen to engage with them the better in my view.
It is very easy in business to think that your customers do not understand you/your business and how difficult it can be – it is quite a different matter to be proactive and try to engage with your customers.