The past two years, we have seen big changes at Drexel Properties. The recession and real estate market crash changed the lives of many people – homeowners and renters alike. Multifamily property owners were hit equally hard. Fortunately, Drexel Properties made good investment strategies and operating decisions prior to the hard times that helped us navigate the rough years. Things really started to turn a corner in 2013 and by 2015 the real estate market has made a big comeback. But the fundamentals remain the same. For multifamily properties, it is crucial to provide great apartments and the best landlord customer service to your tenants. I believe that consistent and quality customer service distinguishes the best landlords.
Customers have a choice where to spend their money. Customers are finicky, and if not treated right, they will go elsewhere. Customers are not only looking for a good deal, they are also looking for quality service as well as personal attention. We interact with our tenants every day and we act as if they always have a choice. While they may have a lease that doesn’t end for months and therefore will pay their rent, if they are unhappy with the quality of their apartment or the service they receive, they will move. The cost of finding a new tenant is far greater than retaining existing ones. Retaining existing tenants by keeping them happy does not only reduce turnover, it generates referrals. We follow a philosophy that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. By this I mean that great tenants most often refer other great tenants. For an owner, this means that the cost of attracting new tenants is reduced and the risk associated with leasing to bad tenants is also reduced. In the end, this leads to better tenants, better communities and improved financial performance.
At Drexel Properties, customer service is at the forefront of what we offer. From the first time a prospective tenant inquires about an apartment throughout their residency and even after they move out, we promptly follow with a returned phone call, email or even knock on their door. Our tenants always know we have their back. Sometimes we can’t provide the answer they want or we can’t address a need as quickly as they want it, but they know we are there to satisfy them. This is why many tenants who are up sizing or downsizing stay with us asking for a larger or smaller apartment. We are proud when this happens because it is a testament to the quality of our housing and services.
Last year, we implemented a new property management software platform. Not only has the new system made operating our business much easier, it has provided numerous benefits to our tenants. Our Tenant Portal provides many benefits, the two most important are online rent payment and maintenance requests. Tenants are able to pay their rent online, with an electronic check without any added fees saving them time and money. Our online maintenance request allows tenants to communicate repairs or other needs. We are then able to easily assign requests to our staff and even outside vendors. But the real value is that this makes us more organized and fully accountable to follow up and make the repair. Whether a burnt out light bulb in a hallway or a broken front door lock in an apartment – big or small – it doesn’t fall through the cracks and not get resolved.
Drexel Properties is once again going through explosive growth. As we grow, we will continue to focus on our goal of having the best apartments as well as the best customer service in the industry.