Customer Service Standards

Bob Walters True PM

An article by Bob Walters

In the past, there have been perceptions by both landlords and tenants that the quality of service delivery in Property Management has been substandard or inconsistent.

The best way to overcome this perception is through the development of a detailed set of customer service “standards” or benchmarks.

The purpose in the development of customer service standards is twofold:

  1. To establish a set of minimum service delivery levels. In other words, everyone in the Property Management Team agrees to, and is required to provide a level of service not less than the established service standards.
  2. To provide agencies that use and abide by these service standards, with an opportunity to attract more new business compared with agencies that have no established service standards.

I have put a set of sample Customer Service Standards below.

In considering whether to implement these service standards, it is important for you to take note of the following:

  1. The standards need to carefully examined and decisions made regarding the need for any customisation to the agency culture, size and structure, and the willingness of all Property Management Team members to take “ownership” of them and abide by them.
  2. The Standards relate to NSW residential tenancies legislation, so if you are from another State you may need to customise them to your own State laws.
  3. A reference is made to the provision of a “3 month money back guarantee”. You should carefully consider whether they wish to make this sort of guarantee to landlord clients.  

Property Management Service Excellence Standards and Guarantee

Marketing your Property for Lease

  • We will erect a ‘For Lease’ sign on your property within 2 working days of listing (if signs are permitted).
  • We will place a listing for your property on all the real estate websites that we subscribe to and each listing will include at least 3 photographic images of the property.
  • We will conduct an unlimited number of private viewings of your property and at least 1 ‘Open for Inspection’ each week until the property is leased (subject to access provided to us by any current occupant).
  • All property viewings will be carried out by one of our representatives (we do not give out keys to prospective tenants).
  • We will update you on the status of your available property at least twice each week and provide you with a weekly marketing report until such time as the property is leased.

Leasing your Property

  • All information and references provided by tenancy applicants will be verified by us within 1 working day of receipt.
  • All tenancy applicants will be screened on the national tenancy databases that we subscribe to.
  • Unless you instruct otherwise, all potentially suitable tenancy applications will be referred to you for a decision.
  • We will lease your property for the rental amount nominated in the Management Agency Agreement between us (or higher if the market justifies it) and the property will not be leased for a lower amount without your prior approval.
  • Subject to the tenancy commencement date and the tenant’s availability, we will prepare the tenancy documentation within 2 working days of tenancy approval.

Rent Collection

  • We have a zero tolerance rent arrears policy.
  • We will follow up all rent payments in accordance with our fully documented arrears process, and the requirements of the relevant legislation.
  • Should your tenant get to 11 days in arrears, we will contact you to seek your instructions regarding possible termination of the tenancy.

Rent Monies

  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • All non urgent repair requests from tenants will be attended to within 2 working days of receipt.
  • We will not arrange any repairs to your property without your knowledge and approval (unless the repair is defined as “urgent” under the Residential Tenancies Act).
  • We will attend to any “urgent” repair requests within 4 hours of receipt.
  • All reasonable steps will be taken to obtain the best pricing for your repairs and maintenance.
  • We will only use appropriately licensed and insured tradespeople for any repairs or maintenance work to your property.
  • We will provide you with a copy of invoices for all work arranged on your behalf for the property.

Tenancy Agreement Renewals

  • We will review the tenancy agreement for your property 90 days prior to it’s expiry.
  • Unless you instruct otherwise, we will offer the tenant a renewal of tenancy agreement for the same period as the initial agreement at the same rent (or a higher rent if the market justifies it).
  • You will be advised if the tenant does not want to renew their tenancy agreement.

Periodic Inspections

  • We will carry out at least 1 periodic inspection of your property each year and provide with a detailed report each time.

Vacating

  • On receipt of vacating notice, we will:

          - advise you by phone, fax or email

          - confirm the details in writing to both you and the tenant

          - list the property on our website & put the agreed advertising plan into effect within 1 working day

          - prepare all necessary vacating documentation

          - arrange access for viewings by prospective tenants.

  • A pre-vacating inspection will be carried out to check for any potential problems with the property.
  • After the tenant vacates the property:

         - process the tenant’s rental bond refund within 4 working days

         - if deductions from the rental bond are considered necessary, full details will be provided to both you and the tenant

         - complete all necessary documentation to finalise the rental bond within a further 2 working days.

Property Outgoings & Rent Statements

  • All agreed property outgoings will be paid on your behalf prior to the due date (subject to the availability of funds).
  • Your Rent Statement will be sent to you within 2 working days of our monthly close off date.
  • Your Rent Statement will be personally checked by your Property Manager prior to being forwarded to you.
  • We will provide you with a accurate Annual Income and Expenditure Statement within 30 days of the end of the Financial Year.

General Communication

  •  Our office hours are 8.00am – 6.00pm 7 days per week.
  • We will respond to:

         - telephone messages  within 4 business hours

         - email within 24 hours

         - fax within 24 hours

         - mail within 48 hours

  • We will promptly advise you of any pertinent matters affecting your property or the tenancy.

Complaints

  • Tenant’s complaints received in writing (i.e. fax, letter, email) will be acknowledged within 1 working day
  • All complaints will be formally recorded and responded to within 2 working days.

Documentation

  • We will provide all documentation in clear and concise English.
  • We will ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete.
  • All property condition reports will be comprehensively and accurately completed.
  • Copies of all documents that we sign on your behalf as agent will be forwarded to you (unless you instruct otherwise).

Personal Information

  • All personal information will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be released to a third party without written authorisation.
  • All updates and corrections advised to us will be recorded in our system within 1 working day.

Professional Standards

The highest standards of honesty, integrity and professional practice will be conducted in compliance with the Code of Practice of the Leading Property Managers of Australia.

Guarantee

  • If we fail to meet any of these standards the next 3 month’s management of your property will be provided to you, free of charge.
  • This Guarantee does not apply when:

         - We are requested to carry out non-standard duties.

         - Matters are outside our control. For example, a natural disaster or accident.

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