It’s always fun to work with industries that still have a lot of room to become more relevant and visible by harnessing web tools.
Last week I delivered a social media training day for property managers.
Even though it was just an overview, there were certain platforms that generated a very positive impact.
I’ll share four with you today:
Sales and Marketing
By now, many of us would fall into the assumption that QR codes are being used massively. That’s far from right. I realised, after my research, that the property industry could hugely benefit from them. Think about people walking by a house that has your estate agency sign with the “Sale” or “Let” printed on it, or maybe walking by your very office with loads of properties showcased through the window.
What would you like people to do? (Big question). You want them to “take action”. We know prospects will not buy straight away but we want them to “learn more”, make it easy to access relevant information about a specific property.
Wouldn’t it be great to scan the QR code straight from the window, save the property I’m interested in along with all pictures, price, exact location and other details?
In my recent training, most of the property managers in the room were involved in “community management” at a higher or lower level. It’s very important to listen to the conversations from tenants and find out how you can help them while building a better reputation for you and your company. Let’s also keep in mind that a visible record of interactions could be crucial to reflect a job well done and help a property or facility manager renew contracts and win new business. The idea is that you proactively create an online space to host and facilitate those conversations.
The first example is a “Closed” (private) Facebook Group. Many people have Facebook accounts so using this platform could be a good way to spark the conversation straight away without any learning curve or adaptation period. Good and bad feedback will be provided in the threads but if you could be there to answer questions, take some of them offline, avoid escalations, set expectations and try to make that property a better place you would be achieving a great goal.
If you don’t want to use Facebook, you may create (also for free) a private hub with a solution like Yammer. This internal communications platform is being used by all types of companies around the world. It does look 99% like Facebook so it would be easier for users to adapt and you can conduct the same level of community management discussed above.
You can measure success by tracking numbers of questions asked, number of replies provided by your property management company, number of positive versus negative comments, etc.
Finally, a tool that had big impact during the training was Zendesk.com, an online support platform where you can organise all your customer queries through “tickets” and ensure you respond in a timely manner, improving customer satisfaction. Many property and facility managers told me that situations like tenants calling numbers for help or asking many questions can turn chaotic. Zendesk will facilitate team work and allow you to channel all queries through one dedicated email (e.g. email@example.com). It’s also easier this way to visualise that there are no problems (tickets) pending.
What makes it even better is that this platform released their “voice” service so you can log and track the same aspects but through telephone calls. It will be available in Europe very soon.
What other web tools would you suggest to professionals in the property management business?