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Welcome to the property managemnet blog, where we look at issues that impact rental property ownership and management groups.
We all wonder about customer churn. How do we get more of them? How do we keep more of them?
I got one heck of a sweet Father’s Day present. I am famous for driving older cars that were paid for many years ago. I just love not having a car payment and not caring if I get dinged in a parking lot. Well my wife decided if I am determined to drive an old “junker”, I should at least drive one we can look cool in. So she stumbled upon a 1970 Chevy Impala convertible that a guy in town was tired of having in his garage. It is in relatively nice condition, but I am sure it will become a project. It is very cool.
I called our insurance agent, Terry Critten, to tell him we have a new car to add to the policy. He was friends with my wife’s parents and did all of their auto and home policies. When my wife and I married, I switched all my policies over to Terry. She already had hers with him. When my kids get big enough to start driving, we will get them started as Terry’s customers, too.
When I called Terry, he took the time to visit with me about personal matters and he took the time to ask some extra questions to make sure he could get me the best coverage for my situation at the best rates available to him. He does this for all his customers. I know this because I have been in his office and heard him on the phone with other clients. And I know other people who use him.
I get offers all the time…in the mail, by email and through media advertising to save money by switching my auto and home insurance policies. I would not switch to save 10%. I would not switch to save 20%. If someone offerred me to save more than 20%, I would be afraid that the service and the coverage would be so sub-standard, that I would be very angry with myself. And if I switched to save a few dollars, I would feel as if I would be telling Terry that all his help and friednship was worthless. That would be very disrespectful and rude of me to do. I don’t think you get get me to switch from Terry for any reason. How is that for a testimonial?
Isn’t it interesting that I did not mention the company he works for. He works for one of the biggest ones. But he also works for me. I even have to look at my statements or my insurance cards to remember which company he works for, because there are two big ones with State in their names and I have a hard time keeping them apart in my mind. Terry is with State Farm. State Farm and others have managed to instill the value of personal customer service and great customer relations into their sales force, while offering top notch support to ther agents. They have the best of both worlds. You get a local person who you think is working for you. He gets the support and leverage of a large, well-oiled machine. The thing is that Terry works for State Farm and not for the others. So State Farm gets my money.
How is it in your company? Do your site managers and leasing agents have great personal relationships with your tenants? Do your tenants feel as if they are renting from a faceless, heartless entity, or do they feel as if they are renting from your property managers? Give your people the tools and skills and support needed so they can build up the level of personal interaction and service needed to create three generations of cusotmer loyalty. The payoff is big. And the payoff is very long term.
bye for now,
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