Speaking at a recent property management conference, I tackled a question posed by principals and business owners: How do you modify others’ behavior to get the results you need? This is about creating positive relationships with your clients – the cornerstone to building a successful business.
Quite simply, to create positive relationships with your clients, principals and business owners must write, implement, and manage effective policies and procedures so your clients get what they need from you and you get what you need from your clients.
But what makes policies and procedures effective? When they cover legislation, agency culture, agency standards, processes, and relevant codes of conduct.
Write legislative requirements into your policy so your agency operates compliantly and its brand and reputation are protected. For example, legislation might state that certain communication, such as breach notices, must be in writing and on the prescribed form, so into your policies and procedures it goes!
Agency culture is about your business’ values, beliefs, vision, and personality. Don’t fall into the trap of copying other agencies’ cultures — this doesn’t give clients a reason to choose you over your competitors. Determine what points of difference your agency offers and create your unique culture around these points of difference…then uphold them by way of your policies and procedures.
Agency standards are your customer service and operational standards. A customer service standard could be that your all clients must be greeted in the same manner. An operational standard could be the quality of the property your agency is prepared to manage. When you create these agency standards and write them into your policies and procedures, you get consistency. This means that your clients know exactly what to expect — and that you and your team know exactly what to deliver!
Processes are the way tasks are carried out through to completion. Processes streamline tasks, allow them to be shared between your team, and provide the means to manage, monitor, and measure them. An example of a process is arrears management (e.g., sending a 3-day SMS, 5-day SMS, 7-day phone call, 8-day breach and then, if the client still fails to pay the rent, issuing a notice to leave). Basically, every task needs a process, and that process should be in your written policy so it is effectively implemented and managed to get the results you need from your clients, and your clients get the results they need from you.
Code of conduct
Your policy must refer to the code of conducts you are obliged to follow. If you belong to a franchise group, you normally have a code of conduct to follow. If you are licensed to any other organizations, you usually have a code of conduct to follow. My point is that all relevant codes of conduct must be embedded in your policies and procedures.
So there you have it: the key ingredients to writing effective policies and procedures for your agency. Do this and you are on your way to creating positive relationships with your clients. They get what they need from you, and you get what you need from them: loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.Read more on Team