Blog Article

Coral Sea Property Services: How AI took tenants from panicked to self-sufficient 

Friday 11 November 2022

Regan Leatch - Director at Coral Sea Property

The property management industry doesn’t sleep – tenants require emergency support around the clock, and the best managers in the field need to be able to respond to the call for help.

Needless to say, it can be difficult to stay on top of your game when it requires a 24/7 commitment.

Ensuring a balance between customer needs and staff needs can prove tricky. Given the expectations, it isn’t surprising to learn that in 2019 the real estate industry recorded the second-highest turnover of staff of all Australian industries. Fast forward to today and mobility rates are still relatively high.

For Townsville-based Coral Sea Property Services, retaining professional staff while maintaining its strong commitment to clients was a challenge. The property management provider is a cut above its competitors and the team prides itself on being reactive when responding to urgent tenant complaints and requirements.

Team members base each decision they make on one simple question: “What would I do if I owned this property?”. Simple yet effective, it has ensured each property is managed with professionalism and in keeping with the high standard ethos of the organisation. 

However, given the associated time constraints and hours needed to retain these standards, the team knew they needed a solution to manage staff burnout and not only maintain, but improve the problem-solving response for tenants. That was when they discovered ‘Alex’.

Coral Sea Property Services is a smart workplace and the team is accustomed to using residential proptech. Utilising virtual assistant ‘Alex’ was a natural fit. Adopting a property management software solution has enabled Coral Sea Property Services to exceed customer expectations, free up time and resolve tenants’ issues without staff intervention. Better yet, ‘Alex’ has boosted tenants’ confidence in the business, and helped shape them into self-sufficient and understanding clients.  

Dealing with burnout within the property management team and being overwhelmed with tenant concerns 

Burnout is on the rise in Australia. The Australian Psychology Society describes burnout as a result of stress accumulated over long-term involvement in situations that are emotionally demanding, while Psychology Today reports that physical and mental exhaustion, a sense of dread about work, and frequent feelings of cynicism, anger, or irritability are key signs.

Some 77 per cent of workers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) experienced burnout in 2020, highlighting concerns about mental health in today’s work. An extensive workload and its associated pressures are common in the property management world.

The Voice of the Property Manager 2021 report (released in February 2022) says 60 per cent of property managers find dealing with conflict the biggest challenge of the job, while 53 per cent struggle with mental health and switching off after work.

Coral Sea property managers used to spend most of their time fielding common tenant concerns, ranging from noisy children to landscaping and maintenance needs, right through to lack of privacy. This undoubtedly took up a lot of time and resources and can add pressure to already stressed employees. Add to this the fact that the number one concern for tenants is not being able to reach their property manager, Coral Sea owner and principal Regan Leatch knew it was vital to find an all-around solution. 

As he explains, tenants need answers fast. “Everyone wants to get an answer and they want to know it straight away,” Regan says. “Once the tenant has moved in and the little questions have been addressed, inspections and maintenance are some of the main concerns that require quick correspondence from us.”

Finding the right proptech solution for Coral Sea Property Management

According to the Voice of the Property Manager 2021 report, 52 per cent of property management offices have changed software during the past two years but only 34 per cent of managers believe they have the right tech tools to do the job properly.

For Coral Sea Property Services, finding the right proptech solution was a must. “We were looking for ways tenants could interact with us more efficiently,” Regan says.

The 24/7 tenant and maintenance troubleshooting support that ‘Alex’ provides was what attracted Regan to the virtual assistant program. Simple, and quick to learn and use, it takes less than 90 seconds for issues to be logged and provides instant responses and automated updates.

“We liked how ‘Alex’ operated because of its features,” Regan says. “And because the Rental Heroes team were supportive, we knew we could go to them if we needed extra help.”

Supporting residents with more confidence and energy

Taking care of tenant needs while supporting owners is the key role of any property manager. Balancing these two requirements and continuing to do a top job in both areas can be challenging at times. Being bogged down in repetitive tasks can take valuable time away from more urgent or pressing tasks, such as managing the rent roll.

This is where ‘Alex’ steps in to communicate with tenants about their rental property and provide fast and succinct answers about minor repairs and other similar concerns. From logging a request to providing an after-hours emergency contact number, ‘Alex’ can provide immediate help. 

Having this support solution in place allows managers to triage repairs and requests accordingly. Clients take comfort in knowing that their concerns will be addressed promptly. Furthermore, residents are now more confident in utilising a self-service experience.

Digital self-service is the program that acts as the meet-and-greet figure, or, in this case, is positioned in a virtual property management office, where tenants can obtain information or support about their current or prospective property.

It enables tenants to get answers almost immediately and gives them access to information outside of office operating hours.

“We have a dedicated staff member taking inquiries and supplying our landlords and tenants with answers constantly,” Regan says. “Since using ‘Alex’, we've been able to delegate less urgent issues to him and free up our team member's time to focus on more high-level tasks.”

In a fast-paced world where a solution is quite often at our fingertips, there is now an increase of digitally native consumers who are looking for tech solutions that can make their lives simpler. People want businesses to deliver efficient, reputable and successful platforms that provide an almost immediate response. Time and money are precious – for both clients and businesses.

Giving tenants a self-service solution not only empowers them to have confidence in finding a solution but confidence in your business’ functionality and operations. As an added benefit, this can also lead to client referral marketing.  

If you are ready to boost your tenants’ problem-solving skills and you’re your property managers with time to focus on the rent roll, it is definitely worth investigating relevant solutions. Book a demo with us today and we can provide a proptech solution that can support your property managers.

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