Looking for a cost effective way to provide 24 hour availability, a residential property management company turned to CMS.

Client Overview

West Coast based company providing full-service property management services to residential property owners. Services include advertising, tenant screening, inspections, rent collection, property repairs, and financial services.

The Problem

Offering a 24 hour hotline for tenants was a key selling point and important for landing new business. Property owners like to know that their properties are in good hands and that tenants can easily reach someone to report problems. 

Furthermore, it was important that every call made to the office during the day was answered live. Having calls go to voicemail during office hours ran the risk of losing new business or neglecting current tenants.  

Only two of the client’s employees were routinely in the office, and their other duties often kept them too busy to answer the phone. This made daytime phone coverage sporadic.

After hours, all calls were being sent to voicemail, which meant urgent maintenance calls would hold until the office returned.

The Solution

In order to maintain 24 hour coverage, the company enlisted CMS to act as their answering service. As a 24-7 property management call center, CMS had the constant availability they were looking for. Together, the companies were able to implement new telephone answering procedures for office hours and overnight.

Office Hours

In an effort to provide residential tenants and potential customers a consistent customer service experience, CMS was chosen to answer all calls live during office hours. This ensured that calls were always answered by a human being and that the sporadic availability of office staff did not impact callers’ ability to reach someone immediately.

During office hours, all property management sales inquiries, apartment inquiries, non-maintenance related tenant calls, and general office matters were patched to the client’s primary office administrator. If the administrator was unavailable, CMS took a message and informed the caller that they would receive a return call as soon as the person who would be handling the matter was available.

Because many office hour calls would be for someone specific within the office, CMS also attempted to reach individuals directly whenever they were requested. If the call was of a personal nature and the individual was unavailable, a message was taken and emailed directly to the person requested. For calls of a general nature that someone else may be able to assist with, the message would email to the entire office.

Maintenance requests were classified based on urgency and the client’s ability to assist. For example, calls from tenants without electricity were important, but they were referred to the electric company first to ensure they weren’t responsible. 

For non-urgent maintenance concerns, all calls resulted in a message and callers were informed that maintenance would be notified of the problem.

For urgent maintenance concerns and others regarding immediate attention, CMS attempted to patch the call to the office employee responsible for maintenance. If that person was unavailable, a message was taken and the caller was informed that maintenance would be notified immediately. The call was then dispatched according to an escalation procedure that ensured someone who could assist would be reached within 30 minutes.

After Hours

After regular business hours, CMS took on the role of after-hours answering service, taking messages for all calls not related to maintenance. 

For maintenance calls, CMS followed the same procedure as during office hours. Certain calls were referred elsewhere, others were patched to the on-call maintenance staff member, and the rest resulted in a message.

Calls that resulted in a message for the office were held until the next business day. Within 30 minutes of the office opening, messages were emailed to all staff members. Calls for someone specific were sent only to the individual requested.

Conclusion

By partnering with CMS, the client was able to provide 24 hour call center coverage to better assist residential tenants and improve their value to property owners. 

To learn how CMS can help your property management company, review our services or request a free quote online.