The rental market can be a crowded one, which means that property managers have to work harder to attract tenants and keep them happy. In recent years, many properties have created a competitive edge by introducing a host of amenities to woo prospects: fitness centers, cinema rooms, on-site pet areas, co-working spaces, communal lounges, and car charging stations.
And while these add-ons are enticing, it’s also critical that you shine when performing core services—including package management. Consider these potential problem scenarios if you fall down on this job:
- Jane is hosting a dinner party, but she’s short a few dishes to entertain a party of eight. She orders matching dishes to complete her set. They’re due in today, but the package gets lost in the apartment mailroom, and she’s left traipsing store to store to find a match while she needs to be home making other preparations for the party—all the while steaming about how property management can’t get their act together.
- It’s finals week for Luke, who is wrapping up his freshman year of college. Mom and Dad have created the perfect care package to get him through the week. (Shhh! It’s a surprise.) The package arrives just as planned, but the mailroom attendant forgets to notify Luke, so the homemade cookies go to waste, and Luke misses out on that extra boost from family at a stressful time.
- Anne orders her husband an expensive watch for their anniversary. It’s a bit of a splurge, but she’s been working overtime to afford it so she can mark their fifth anniversary with something special. The attendant is sure it was delivered to the mailroom, but what happened from there is a mystery. There had been a lot of traffic in and out, and she wonders if it could have been stolen. Now Anne is empty-handed for her big day and potentially out hundreds of hard-earned dollars.
Sloppy package management sends a strong message. It can portray your management team as careless and disorganized and also convey that you don’t really care about the community that you serve. It can cost you and your residents money and time—and even cost you tenants if people get fed up and decide to move elsewhere when their lease is up.
And remember that unhappy tenants are like snowballs barreling down a mountain—they tell their friends…and those friends tell their friends…and the negative word of mouth just keeps growing.
Let’s turn the tables, though, and focus on how you can make package management a shining star in your service portfolio. If done well, package management can do far more than just avert disaster. It’s a forum for communicating regularly with tenants and letting them know just how much you value their time, money, comfort, and convenience.
Need more reasons to streamline and improve your package management services? Consider these three:
- Eliminates miscommunications
An internal package tracking system can monitor the lifecycle of package delivery and notify recipients all along the way. At Package X, we take the guesswork out of the process with a simple photo at delivery. It gives concrete evidence that the package ended up where it should and also eliminates “he said, she said” miscommunications between management and residents that erode harmony and trust.
- The power of presence
“Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t necessarily a good mantra for a property manager. In the last paragraph, we discussed how good package management software can minimize miscommunications, but it can also facilitate frequent, positive communications. Tenants can hear from you regularly through mailroom emails that can be customized for your company.
There are different set-ups depending on what company you go with, but if you choose our Package X system, you can send tenants an email with four simple action buttons, indicating whether they would rather forward, hold, discard or snap/email their documents and packages.
A simple email may not sound like much, but it goes a long way in letting renters know that property management cares about the little details of their lives, including the safe and timely delivery of their mail.
- Inspires trust
When tenants know that a property operates like a well-oiled machine, they’ll feel better about living there. A strong internal mail system can automate clumsy mail-tracking tasks, speeding up the process and eliminating human error. Features like optical character recognition can read and interpret information on package labels (even handwritten labels). When information is obscured or missing, artificial intelligence features can generate smart suggestions to fill in the gaps.
These features not only make your mail staff far more efficient, they also facilitate fast and accurate service that your customers will love. And as an added bonus, during this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, they open up many opportunities for contactless delivery that tenants will sincerely appreciate.
As you look to improve your customer service, don’t forget the mailroom. The technology is here. If you’re still using error-prone scanners or clunky manual processes, it may be time for an update. Your tenants will thank you—and when happy tenants sign another lease and sing your praises to others—your bottom line will thank you as well.