Blog Article

Self-service experience is standard in many industries: Why not property management?

Monday 2 May 2022


Imagine going back to a time where you had to wait in line behind many others with overloaded shopping trolleys just to buy a loaf of bread and milk. Likewise, how long did you wait on hold after calling a bank to check your balance?

Both situations were impractical, took too much time and caused frustration. But with the advent of self-service check-outs and mobile banking apps, these inconveniences have largely been eradicated. Why? Because businesses that thrive understand what their consumers want and make excellent customer experience a priority. Unfortunately, property management is lagging behind grocery stores and the finance industry in adopting digital solutions to improve customer outcomes. But that doesn’t have to be the case. 

What is digital self-service?

Digital self-service is the program that stands at the “front door” of a business and 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.

A fully equipped self-service experience includes intelligent chatbots that provide detailed answers to commonly asked questions in a conversational way.

This enables tenants to get answers quickly, without waiting for a property manager to be available to take their call, as well as giving them access to information outside office operating hours. For property management companies, it frees up staff and enables them to focus on bigger work priorities and prevents the constant interruption of having to answer common questions over and over, or waste time on data input (sometimes having to enter the same data into multiple platforms). 

Fortunately, there has been a gradual shift in the property management sector to use digital tools through proptech. Proptech (or property technology) are digital interventions that have been specifically created for and tailored to serve the property industry.

Even though real estate and property laws change considerably from region to region and country to country, proptech is considered a global technology suitable for regional markets. For example, a program developed in the U.S. is easy to implement in Singapore or Australia. 

Why is digital self-service experience important for landlords and tenants?

Many tenants are tech-savvy and want answers straight away, however, immediate answers might not be available. Unless a property management company already has a chatbot running or an available customer service agent, tenants will be left to navigate an online form alone, making the process clunky both for the tenant and the person checking the information at the other end.

Of course, when it comes to property sales, there will always need to be a hands-on approach and personal guidance, but that shouldn’t extend to property management. People want to go online so that they can find solutions to their problems themselves and work at their own pace, it’s not always necessary to talk to a representative. 

Customer service is such a pivotal part of any successful company and these independent individuals need specific support and service. What better way to provide it than through the value of customer self-service, offering a digital self-service experience that contains updated property information relevant to that property management branch as well as frequently asked questions.

3 ways digital self-service makes property management easier

Here are three ways that digital self-service can improve your property management processes and boost tenant satisfaction. 

24/7 troubleshooting and maintenance resolution  

The majority of property inquiries come in after business hours, when tenants are at home after work. Usually, tenant-initiated chats are of a self-service nature, and their inquiries are about:

  • Lease expiry

  • Rent due dates

  • Troubleshooting help

  • Maintenance issues

Quality digital self-service can handle questions as well as maintenance requests and resolve tenant concerns such as water leaks and aircon issues as well as log everything for when staff are back at work.

Tenants can turn to the digital self-service experience for all their information needs, especially when it comes to non-immediate maintenance concerns.  

By providing 24/7 customer support, your property managers and team members can have troubleshooting completed without picking up a phone. 

Implementing digital self-service that aligns with your company values and requirements is a great way to get the jump on upcoming changes within the property management industry and prepare for the digital future.

Accurate insights available in real-time 

A digital self-service experience can support the sales aspect of real estate by helping salespeople organise what types of data to organise and monitor and how they can create digital experiences for customers.

A self-service experience that collates data can determine the most common questions and problems customers have. This enables managers to take action and accomplish their deliverables based on the corresponding information provided by earlier digital interaction. 

Delivering what is needed before someone asks for it is the pinnacle of superior customer experience and enables each self-service adopter to continually improve on the services they offer. 

Below is a shortlist of the top 10 request topics handled by our self-service chatbot. You can see that the majority of inquiries come through involving rental properties, significantly reducing the burden on property management staff.

  1. Rent questions

  2. Listings questions

  3. Toilet issues (like blockages) 

  4. Hot water system issues

  5. Dishwasher issues

  6. Taps issues

  7. Water leak issues

  8. Blocked drain issues

  9. Pests and rodents issues

  10. Lights issues

Removes the need for team members to answer frequently asked questions (constantly) 

The workload on office teams is significantly reduced because human interaction is really only required when things go materially wrong. 

There will be cases when the intelligent chat receives a more complex job, or too much information is missing for it to be able to retrieve the right assistance. In these cases, a customer service representative will step in and ask the tenant for more information or handle the issues personally. Your digital chatbot should provide seamless customer service support included in the subscription package.

A tenant may be struggling with finishing a digital request, in this case, the chat will stop, and a human agent will step-in, once a photo of the problem has been uploaded. There may also be issues with onboarding failure if a phone number can’t be authenticated. Intelligent digital security measures also make sure only tenants have access to their information. If the technology can’t be sure an enquiry is genuine, then a human agent will be called on to ascertain ID.

Customer support can then be prioritised for intricate cases that combine multiple concerns or require more clarifications; rather than stop starting work constantly to handle every little thing that tenants require.

Sick of dealing with the same property management issues on repeat? It’s time to chat with us about implementing digital self-service to boost customer outcomes.

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