11 Jul 2013 |
Posted by comvibe-admin | 2 Comments.
After recently watching a fireside interview of Bill Campbell (Chairman of the Board at Intuit) by Brad Smith (CEO of Intuit), I found myself reflecting on how managing high performance teams in tech companies could apply to the property management industry. Bill was explicit about the integral role that engineers play in the creation of products that wow customers in organizations such as Intuit and Apple. If we were to apply his thought leadership to property management, the question we should be asking is how can we wow renters through rich rental experiences after they sign a lease. There are a number of things we can do as property managers to create a richer rental experience. In the interest of keeping this post brief and succinct, we will focus on the property management teams who have a direct responsibility in managing our rental experience – the maintenance technicians – who would be the equivalent of the engineers in a software company.
We are all familiar with the old adage that what gets measured gets improved. However, how many property managers actually apply this to measuring the quality of service being completed by their teams? If you still have portions within your operations that involve faxing and filing paper, then it is quite likely that you are having a hard time gleaming any insights regarding your property management processes or team performance. Hence, it begs the question as to how you can truly guarantee 24 hour service satisfaction if you cannot objectively measure your service.
Therefore, the first step to creating a high performance service team involves empowering your product engineers (a.k.a. maintenance technicians) with tools that help them organize and complete their work while providing the management team with valuable, actionable data regarding the business’ service experience. Tools for empowering service technicians can range from smartphones to tablet accessible software that can both track and flag patterns affecting your portfolio in real-time. Software of this kind does not need to be difficult to implement given the proliferation of touch enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets in the consumer space, lest we forget that maintenance technicians are very much consumers of technology as the rest of the organization.
One argument we have heard against providing maintenance teams with technology solutions is that it would be a waste of time to outfit them with technology since they are perceived as non-tech savvy. Our experience is quite the contrary given that some of our strongest champions for the use of technology by maintenance technicians are those that had limited computer experience prior to using our software. Hence, the notion that certain team members are not tech savvy becomes more a reflection of poorly designed software as opposed to an indication of our employees’ ability to adopt new solutions. Included is a revealing interview of the power of well designed software and how one of our teams took an innovative approach towards improving their maintenance processes.
In conclusion, as property managers search for ways to wow renters, it is important to begin the process by empowering and managing the individuals who have a powerful impact on the quality of your core product experience – the maintenance technicians. This can be accomplished through providing them with tools through which they can get their work done faster while making it possible to yield insights regarding opportunities for improvement. This is important since the only true way of addressing the #1 cause of avoidable rental turnover is by addressing the root cause of the negative sentiment you have received regarding your product, poor service.
Given the exploratory nature of this blog post, we would like to hear from you as to how you plan to evolve your rental experience? Share your insights and hopefully we can continue to learn from each other and in turn improve the experiences created for our customers.
For more information on the interview that started this conversation, feel free to watch it below.
Written by Kariithi Kilemi, a technologist and Human Computer Interaction nerd who believes that one of the ways to make a difference in this world is through building beautiful software.
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