As the owner of a property management business, you want your incoming calls that really matter right now to be handled instantly…and you want your less-urgent calls handled properly, too. As the leader of your organization, you want your business to grow and you want a life that does not include being contacted repeatedly and unexpectedly 24/7!
Am I right?
The concept is simple enough. It’s basic prioritization put into action. A property management company that carefully manages the call screening protocol is far better equipped to handle the wide range of unpredictable requests that incessantly come in.
And property managers who take the time to carefully perfect their call screening processes lead companies that will thrive…and those managers who have personal lives that include uninterrupted sleep through the night.
Yes, it’s about precisely creating order and consistency.
So what can be done to improve your call screening practices so YOU can sleep better at night?
Develop a Standardized Process for Screening Calls
Of course, your property management company must deal with a never ending influx of calls, 24/7/365. There is zero downtime. What is the key to superb service to your clients and sanity for yourself? It begins with establishing a written protocol to determine what calls are most critical, and to whom those call-details should be referred. THIS is paramount to maintaining order and consistency! So, start by asking these questions;
- What calls are urgent and MUST have immediate attention?
- What types of repairs require immediate attention?
- For what after-hours issues will you tell the tenant their request will be answered the following business day…and how do you do that in an empathetic and professional way?
Writing down clear and concise answers to questions like these will drive you to create clear and concise processes that will get your life under control…and drive growth for your business.
So, to get started, carefully make a list of questions, and start this documentation by prioritizing call inquiries into categories of:
- urgent, and
Once the categorization is complete, outline precisely how you want the calls to be handled. Include who should be contacted, when they should be contacted, and whether certain circumstances warrant additional information and follow-up. Write out instructions in such a way that even a new employee can follow them. Once complete, this document will serve as a roadmap for how to handle virtually every incoming call.
Over time your call screening protocols will become more defined, and will eventually expand to encompass all likely and unlikely scenarios. Your written protocols will be ever-improving as you apply them daily.
Do the above and I promise your customers and tenants will be delighted, and you personally will have more free time…and less anxiety. I promise!
Hire a Specialized Property Management Answering Service
To precisely screen after-hours calls, hire a property management answering service.
Outsourcing your calls to a highly specialized service, means your call screening protocols will be followed like clockwork.
By providing rock-solid procedures that you and your answering service representative will develop together, thoroughly trained, tenured, and highly-paid career telephone agents will be able to process your client and tenant calls accurately and efficiently 100% of the time. Your answering service telephone representatives will perform as if they are part of your regular staff. The learning curve will be minimal!
Beginning your new answering service will be painless and fast (and in the process you’ll learn new ways to make your in-office operation more efficient and orderly.)
Oh. You already use an answering service but there are problems? My guess is that your service is having organizational problems.*
From rental inquiries, to client requests, to tenant-generated repair and maintenance/fix-it demands, each call that a property management team receives represents either an opportunity or a problem. Start today by establishing best-practices protocols for call screening. And, we’re happy to help you with this!
Call Centratel today…and get ready for that good nights’ sleep!
Founder and owner of Centratel, and author of the just-released fourth edition of Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.
*Note that 95% of Centratel’s property management answering service customers used another answering service previously.