Episode 4: Providing a Seamless Customer Experience

Posted on:
December 7, 2021

In the fourth episode we chat with Claire Flewelling-Wyatt CEO of Pemberton Holmes. Today we discuss how to provide a seamless resident experience, maintain good communication with owners and tenants as well as some of the misconceptions about property management.

What are some key takeaways that you learned working in property management for all these years and with your role as CEO of PM Division?

"The business has really changed over the past 17 years. I mean, when I started with Pemberton, homes, we were still listing our rentals. We had a website, but it was a pretty basic website, we didn't have any photographs of the properties we were renting. So we' wee doing a lot more showings because people need to come to the actual home in order to see it. And then the demographic has changed, and there's so many more people who are renting in British Columbia, the Residential Tenancy Act is also changed along with that. It's gone from having hearings in person to now everything being online. Through the arbitration process. There's lots and lots of different laws and regulation with respect to tenants. Everything from how you can show a property, when you can show a property, how you notice your tenants, and there's a lot of misconceptions that some of the private landlords have on on what their role is and what rules, regulations and rights their tenants have. So we've really seen a shift over the years, it's changed a lot."

what does Pemberton’s lead to lease cycle look like? What are the stages involved in converting a renter lead into a paying tenant?

"it really depends on the person because there's no specific formula. We've actually really tried a bunch of different ways to be successful in doing this to ensure that we're getting the best qualified tenant for our properties. But at the end of the day, it really depends on the tenant. Sometimes the tenants are coming to us and they're really commutative. They're providing all the information we need. And other times, tenants can be very busy people too, and we're going after them for information. So we've come up with a system where essentially, we've listed all our properties online, each of our property managers has a designated portfolio.

So they're responsible for that portfolio and to their clients as well. Then if somebody is interested in a property, they can fill out an online application, those online applications are pushed over to the property manager who is in charge of the portfolio, then the property manager can sort of screen vet those people and advise that showing coordinator that we have these qualified tenants ready to go. And then the showings can be set up so they can see the property in person.

We've tried doing some virtual tours, but I think at the end of the day, if you're moving into your home, and you plan on being there for a minimum of a year, you really want to see it in person. So the conversion rate I would say is from actually online to converting a lead to a tenancy agreement, I would say it's probably about five days. If all the timing is right, we can get them signed up and ready to go in five days."

Once the rental leads have converted, how do you ensure a positive resident experience throughout especially maintenance issues?

" When I originally started in this career I was a property manager myself, I knew a lot about managing properties, and some of the pitfalls that I came up against. Some of them were doing the inspections on time to satisfy the your client's needs to make sure the property is being well taken care of, dealing with the maintenance, and dealing with the showing.

So traditionally, the property manager would do all of that, which is a lot. And as I grew into my role, I wanted to create something where the property manager had a lot of back backup, and a bit of more of an infrastructure, which actually directly translates to a better tenant experience. So if they're contacting the property manager and saying, there's a couple issues at the property, the manager isn't physically having to make all those calls, they can call our maintenance coordinator, and the maintenance coordinator can take it from there.

There are a lot of different maintenance issues that come up, everything from water tanks that are starting to expire, gutters that need to be cleaned, racks that are falling out, gate latches that are not secure, a trim that's missing, a dishwasher that's leaking, so there's a 1000 different things. If one person is dealing with their client, tenant maintenance, showing it's way too much, and there's no way you could do a good job. So what we've tried to do is streamline that. There's a lot more infrastructure, so that the property manager is dealing directly with the client, the tenant and then relying on the rest of the support helped me get some experience."

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