As independent consultants to the real estate industry we visit a variety of businesses and brands every week. Whilst these businesses vary greatly in size and location, one thing we have noticed they all share is a tendency to not use their programs and systems to capacity.
All too often we see businesses who are paying for a fantastic program but using less than 60% of its capability. We liken this to finally buying a Ferrari but then only driving it to the end of the street and back once a month! CRAZY.
With this in mind we thought we would share some tips on some on the most common issues we come across. As affiliated training partners with Propertyme we have a lot of exposure to this fantastic program, so we will start with one of the main ones we find with this program: the client portals.
An amazing resource that allows clients to check information, access copies of relevant documents and statements and basically be a lot more self-sufficient and stop calling and emailing the office and the property managers quite so much!
Some businesses are afraid to turn it on, others have it on but continue to lose hours every week to clients on the phone and give us excuses like “oh my clients don’t like it”, “my clients won’t use it”.
To this we say “nonsense” – you simply have not tried hard enough! Years ago there were people who ‘didn’t know how’ or ‘refused’ to log into online banking, yet look at us now!
So – how do we change the perception of our clients and get them using the system?
Well firstly we need to change the perception of our team! It will require a firm direction from the business leaders and commitment to the change from everyone.
- Educate your team members as to what is available in the portal!! The biggest issue we find is that they simply don’t know.
- Ensure your data is clean and that everyone understands the document saving process (visibility) and all is set correctly.
- Team members are instructed that it is a non-negotiable – they must direct all clients to the portal. (Distressed clients / complaints are the exception of course).
- If you use the maintenance (jobs) section built into PMe – Team members are instructed that it is a non-negotiable that ALL jobs must be lodged via the portal. (Emergency items are the exception of course).
- Provide some easy to use examples and scripts to your reception and PM teams.
” Sorry Mr Smith, your property manager isn’t available currently, however are you aware that you can access this information from your phone or computer anytime”.
“Sorry Mr Smith, I am actually at an appointment and unable to send that to you right now, I could get this to you tomorrow, or did you know you can access what you need anytime via your phone or computer”.
“All maintenance must be lodged via the portal, this guarantees it will be recorded correctly and actioned efficiently, along with having complete records maintained.”
- Take the time to explain to the client properly – if necessary, re send the email link for access immediately during or directly after the call. (this takes 3 seconds in PMe)
- MAKE IT EASY with instruction templates easily accessible by your team and ready to go at any time.
- Ensure your portal access emails are easy to locate and that all the team know how to send them.
- Make a quick video tutorial on how to access the portal and send this to clients who are having trouble. Ensure it includes how to bookmark for easy future access.
- Be less available – every time you quickly just send them the statement, send their invoice, or lodge their job for them, rather than directing them to the portal, it is one more client who has not learnt and more lost time for the future when they call again, and again.
Put up signs at reception and PM desks reminding them of the focus on directing clients to the portal.
It may take a little extra time initially, but this is far outweighed by the time you win back eventually when your clients are more self-sufficient and calling less!
Don’t believe us? Try keeping a tally of EVERY SINGLE call or email you receive in a week for things that could be accessed in the portal. Add that time up, imagine reducing that by even half!!!
You have this amazing program at your fingertips – Use it as it is intended and you will be blown away by the support it can give you in your role and the levels of productivity you can reach