Since 2010 the percentage of landlords owning more than one property has increased from 17% to 30%.
While a growing portfolio is always a good sign, as a portfolio gets larger you need to put more processes in place to help manage it.
Everything from viewings and arranging maintenance and upkeep, to providing proper support for your tenants must be kept on top of to ensure you’re maximising your investments, and to prevent you from becoming in breach of contract to the bank, your insurance or your tenants.
As your portfolio expands, or if you’re already a group with a large number of properties, outsourcing certain aspects of your administrative processes can help to ensure you are operating at maximum efficiency.
Call Answering To Manage Your Diary
As you become busier it will become increasingly important to manage your diary effectively.
People will typically look for new properties outside of work, which means you need to be able to take their calls and arrange appointments outside of standard office hours. This can be managed in a variety of ways from appointment booking and diary management software to having a phoneline that operates outside of office hours.
Similarly, if you have a number of properties you will need to manage the maintenance of them all as and when the demand arises.
This might not sound like much, but if you have several properties, they all have gardens that need managing, windows that need cleaning and occasional repairs then you could see yourself regularly having to arrange appointments with service companies.
Making mistakes with these appointments can be a costly error as many services providers could still charge you if they arrive for an appointment but there is no one available to let them in to the property.
By having an outsourced diary management service, you can make sure that any appointments made between yourself and service providers run smoothly.
Call Answering For Incident Handling
As a responsible landlord, you should have processes in place that allow tenants to contact you in case of an emergency. In fact, many larger property management groups will have Service Level Agreements built into their contracts that state tenants must be able to contact someone in the event of an emergency regardless of the time of day.
The issue this creates for the landlord is how to define an emergency. There are obvious things like burst pipes and smashed windows that will need immediate attention to ensure the safety of the tenant, but there could be many issues that arise that the tenant feels are an emergency that a landlord thinks can wait till the morning.
The solution to this challenge is to find a method of qualifying the calls to help distinguish what is and what isn’t an emergency, through an incident handling line.
This sounds like something that can be managed yourself, but the reality is that such conversations between tenant and landlords can easily become heated discussions about responsibility, which are only heightened when they’re taking place at 3 o’clock in the morning.
As such it can be beneficial to use an impartial service to help handle the customer service and incident handling side of managing a property portfolio.
Outsourced Telephone Answering
One service that has proved to be effective for a number of landlords and property management firms has been outsourced telephone answering.
With a dedicated outsourced call handling service you can provide tenants with a phone number they can call 24 hours a day to report incidents and arrange a call out from an engineer. The call answering firm will qualify the call and arrange for maintenance to be performed immediately or at the next available opportunity if the problem is not considered to be an emergency.
A telephone answering service can also be used to help manage diaries as an appointment booking line for organising anything from flat showings to arranging a gardening service on one of your properties.
At CALLCARE we specialise in providing outsourced call handling services that support landlords and property management businesses. Find out more about how we can assist you in managing your portfolio by getting in touch with us today.