Providing Applicants with an ‘Amazing Service’

"There’s no pressure on us to let a property at any cost, just the drive to get the right person in the property."

“There’s no pressure on us to let a property at any cost, just the drive to get the right person in the property.”

Young London’s focus has always been on providing the best possible customer service experience. As the Senior Property Consultant I know that providing a great experience – from the first moment we’re contacted by an applicant up until the time we pass them on to our colleagues in Contracts and Property Management – not only benefits the customer but also our landlords.

Making a lasting positive impression on an applicant can mean the difference between them staying with us for many years and moving on at the first opportunity.

In this blog I will talk about how my team goes about forging a great relationship with the applicant and thus fulfilling our all-important ‘Amazing Service’ mantra.

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Customer Service 2014: A Year End Review

Samantha Richardson,General Manager - Resident Services, Young London

Samantha Richardson, General Manager – Resident Services, Young London

In November 2013 the International Property Awards crowned Young London as the Best Lettings Agency UK 2013/14. This accolade instilled a lot of pride in the team – who work hard all year round – but it also meant that we entered 2014 with a challenge; to deliver a level of service that lived up to this honour.

To help us measure our success Young London continued to take the unique approach of encouraging our residents and landlords to provide detailed feedback on how the team is performing. This is undertaken at key points during the relationship (check-in, renewal and check-out) where they are contacted by the independent customer service specialists, RealService, and asked to rate our performance in key areas.

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Property Management Guide: Winter Tips

Property Management Guide: Winter Tips

Property Management Guide: Winter Tips

As the mercury begins to drop, signalling the start of Winter proper, it’s a perfect opportunity to remind renters that the cold weather can cause all manner of issues in your home, especially if no action is taken to counter the effects of the adverse weather.

To provide a lending hand the Young London Property Management team put our heads together and came up with some top tips that can help renters protect their home as the cold winter months close in.

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Extolling the Benefits of Living Closer to Work

Live closer to work and avoid crowded public transport

Live closer to work and avoid crowded public transport

With working days getting longer, continual transport issues and the ever increasing cost of commuting I know that many people (including myself) have asked, “Wouldn’t it be nicer to live closer to work?”.

There’d be no overcrowded buses or tubes, no delays, no traffic jams and (possibly) no travel costs. Just a delightfully slow amble or bike ride to the office each morning, as the rest of the country battles their way in.

It seems I am not the only one who thinks like this, as Young London has recently seen a jump in the number of requests for rental properties within an easy commute (walk or bike ride) of the main employment areas in London’s Zones 1 & 2. As these are the areas we specialise in we’ve been more than happy to help people in their search.

But moving closer to work is not just about decreasing travel stress! There are also a raft of other benefits that this move can provide.

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The Importance of an Inventory

The Importance of an Inventory

The Importance of an Inventory

As an award-winning property management agency we realise how important it is to compile a comprehensive and clear inventory at the start of every tenancy.

A detailed inventory will make sure the resident is aware of the condition that the property is expected to be in when they vacate (after taking into account fair wear and tear incurred during the tenancy).

What goes in to an inventory?

An inventory is a full and detailed report which outlines the contents of a property including all furniture, fixtures and fittings, crockery and kitchenware. There will also be a record of the condition of each room that will detail the location and extent of any visible knocks, marks, chips, stains, scratches or damage.

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10 Golden Rules for Dealing with a Disappointed Customer

10 golden rules for dealing with a disappointed customer

10 golden rules for dealing with a disappointed customer

No matter the size of your business it’s likely you will have to deal with a disappointed customer at some point.

While the old adage “you can’t please all of the people all the time” springs to mind when dealing with an issue this should never be used as a reason to shy away from the issue at hand. What many fail to grasp is that for every issue raised there could be 100 people who have faced the same problem but decided to stay quiet and to simply take their business elsewhere.

While it’s easy to play the blame game the best course of action is to remain professional and have a proactive approach to problem solving. Dealing with an issue should be seen as a great opportunity to learn and in doing so; save a deteriorating relationship, protect existing customer relationships and maybe even generate some new referrals too.

As the Head of Service Delivery I have complied these 10 golden rules on how to handle an issue raised by customer:

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8 Simple Rules for Providing Amazing Customer Service

Samantha Richardson, Head of Service Delivery & Training, Young London

Samantha Richardson, Head of Service Delivery & Training, Young London

Good customer service should be the lifeblood of any business as getting it right is what will keep people coming back to you time and again.

At Young London we have taken this to heart and customer service is central to everything we do. Feedback from our residents and landlords forms the basis of how we measure our success and reward the team.

But how do you go about providing amazing customer service?

Well it might be surprising to hear but providing good customer service isn’t as difficult as many would think! At Young London we have our 8 simple rules for providing ‘Amazing Customer Service':

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My Favourite Property: Jillian Hampton

Jillian Hampton

Jillian Hampton, Property Consultant

In this special series I will talk to each of Young London’s frontline team to discover which property they fell in love with the moment they entered.

To kick off this new series I asked Jillian Hampton, Young London’s veteran Property Consultant, to tell me about her favourite property.

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Young London’s tips for a perfect spring clean

Young London’s tips for a perfect spring clean

Young London’s tips for a perfect spring clean

Spring has sprung and that means it is time to get the cleaning equipment out.

The Young London Property Management team have gathered some of the top tips we provide to our residents throughout the year to help them in their obligation to look after their home.

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Customer Experience in the Private Rented Sector

Winning Customers' Hearts and Minds

Winning Customers’ Hearts and Minds

On Tuesday, I was in the audience at the BPF Residential Conference and was particularly struck by the post-session feedback and comment prompted by the panel session entitled “Winning Customers’ Hearts and Minds”. The session certainly seemed to capture the attention – and imagination – of the delegates that I caught up with in the programme breaks.  So I thought it worth penning a précis…

Michela Hancock of Bozzuto brought a US perspective to the panel highlighting the base level services which are commonplace in North America and which should be firmly embedded into our own Private Rented Sector (PRS) – as well as the opportunities that PRS owners and operators can create through enhanced services.

CEO of Young Group, Neil Young, was quick to point out that some PRS operators in the UK, such as Young London and Get Living London, are already investing heavily in understanding their customers and delivering an experience that precisely matches their specific needs.

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Boohoo; Bad Communication

Customer Service

Customer Service

Following on from my ‘Wow Moment’ with DPD post I’m going to use delivery service (as provided by all online retailers and some high street ones) as a handy example of how communication is paramount to keeping a customer happy.

Sadly, the focus of this post is on a business that has failed to communicate appropriately with a customer.

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Instructing contractors

How to deal with contractors

How to deal with contractors

Contractors, and any supplier who provides services on your behalf, will be seen as a representative of your company in the eyes of your customers. As such it is very important to make sure that they have been appropriately vetted and fully understand what is expected of them.

When instructing a contractor it is always best that they:

  • Have a clear idea of your company vision, standards and ethos
  • Have clear service-level agreements, turnaround times and a feedback processes
  • Have internal methods for checking quality of the works/services carried out
  • Know the penalties for non-delivery or substandard work
  • Attend regular meetings with you to review the relationship
  • Have established a robust payment procedure

A contractor should be willing to meet the above criteria as, after all, it’s not good business to employ someone who is unable or unwilling to meet the needs and standards of your business.

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How to avoid a festive fallout

How to avoid festive fallout

How to avoid festive fallout

With many renters planning to host some festive get-togethers over the Christmas and New Year period, it is paramount they make sure they remember their responsibilities.

Renters need to make sure they do their neighbourly duty as they could face the wrath of more than just some angry neighbours if their landlord is informed that they have been turning up the volume up too loud.

To help renters avoid the pitfalls of this festive period ARLA has  released some top advice.

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The importance of a professional inventory & check-in report

Some landlords feel that the cost of instructing a professional inventory provider, to compile an inventory and check-in report, is not worth the cost. Some feel that they are better off drawing up a list of items in the property themselves and leaving it at that.

It is to these landlords that I urge to rethink as the benefits of having a professional inventory and check-in far outweigh the nominal cost involved.

Inventory

This itemises and details the property (fixtures, fittings, furnishings, etc.) and therefore, the inventory should not change much from tenancy to tenancy, unless the property has been refurbished/re-decorated.

Check-in report

This details the condition of the property, fixtures, fittings and furnishing on the date that a tenancy starts. It will include a schedule of condition that provides the landlord with a general overview of the property i.e. cleanliness, decorative condition etc.
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Customer Service with a ‘Wow’ from DPD

DPD Parcel Tracking (Click to enlarge)

DPD Parcel Tracking (Click to enlarge)

How often do you hear courier companies getting slammed for their poor customer service?  In fact, it’s a topic that we’ve written about previously, when Yodel was in the firing line.

But today I experienced a real ‘wow’ moment when dealing with Dynamic Parcel Distribution (better known as DPD) and I’d like to share it with you as part of our drive to highlight the positive impact that providing great customer service can have.
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