Table of Contents
- 9 Ways an After-Hours Answering Service Will Transform Your Property
- 1) Every Call Is Answered
- 2) No Late Nights
- 3) Emergency Support for Tenants
- 4) No Recordings, No Waiting
- 5) Keeping Tenants Happy
- 6) Customized System
- 7) Potential Tenants Are Never Move On
- 8) Staff Can Put Their Focus Elsewhere
- 9) Service Is Never Down
One of the best ways to cut down on this problem, is to set up an after hours answering service that can handle all incoming inquiries. It’s almost like having a gatekeeper to the gatekeeper, so only the real problems get through. It’s the same way an owner operated rental property owner, would never tell tenants he’s the owner… just the “manager.” Once tenants find out you’ll succumb to their every request no matter how minuscule, they’ll be calling you at 11pm every night of the week, just because they can!
Well, with pre-trained live answer call specialists, that handle these type of calls according to your customized script request, you can eliminate over 70% of this nonsense from even bothering you at all. For a couple hundred bucks a month, you get a real estate trained virtual receptionist, that handles these types of calls day in and day out. And I hate to say it, often times, better than we can handle them ourselves, since they are emotionally removed from the process, angry tenants don’t bother them in the same way as it does you or I.
Whether you want an after hours emergency number for your property management company, or you’re an apartment owner looking for a maintenance answering service to handle your repair and complaint calls, I have the perfect alternative solution to a high priced call center for you: PatLive
PatLive is the #1 recommended live answering service by Bigger Pockets for landlords, property management companies, real estate investors, apartment owners, mail drop marketers, and more. They do everything you would do, exactly as you specify. You get to customize how calls are handled, the script they use, how they answer questions, and most importantly, you can set specific criteria to allow certain calls through… to be forwarded directly to your cell phone, if they’re regarding a true emergency that requires your attention (but only if you choose).
9 Ways an After-Hours Answering Service Will Transform Your Property
Managing a property can be a tiring and thankless job. At times, it can feel like it involves little more than putting out fires, one after the other. Of course, the caveat is that while you’re putting out one (hopefully metaphorical) fire, three more pop up. It can be almost impossible to get anything done, leaving you feeling like you’re always running behind while also running yourself ragged.
Fortunately, there’s at least one place where you can turn for a little extra support, and that’s an after-hours answering service. Having a call center handle all of your incoming calls—either 24/7/365 or simply outside of regular working hours—can make a massive difference, whether for you, your staff, and even your bottom line. More often than not, it’s all of the above.
Here are 9 ways having an after-hours answering service will transform how you manage your properties.
1) Every Call Is Answered
One of your biggest worries as a property manager is having a phone call go unanswered. With a call service that functions 24/7, that’s no longer a concern. If your office is closed for the day, your tenants can simply call the service to talk to someone about any number of potential issues that could arise. If it’s one of those nights when everything goes wrong and nearly every tenant has a complaint, an answering service will be equipped to handle overflow in a way that your office might not be.
The best part? You won’t have angry voicemails to listen to or missed calls to return the next morning. For some building managers, the very idea of having the freedom to take an official day off, not one where you’re still on call, is a luxury in and of itself. Isn’t the future grand?
Some Think A Property Management After Hours Emergency Call Service Is A Waste Of Money (but why?)
A lot of slumlords that like to run lean and mean operations, think that services like this are a complete waste of money. But the truth is, if you own an apartment complex, a water leak from an upstairs unit, is going to cause WAAAAAAY more hassle, than a $300/mo answering service ever will.
Most property managers get this, but a lot of owners don’t. I’m sure you’ve seen this time and time again though right? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it…
2) No Late Nights
No one likes working late. We all have families and personal lives that we’re eager to get to when the workday ends. But when the phone keeps ringing ten minutes before quitting time, you know that you’re not going to be able to get out of the office at a reasonable hour. That’s not to mention those moments of getting home, getting your shoes off, sitting down for dinner, and getting another phone call that sends you right back in before you can take a bite.
Imagine Having Your Very Own Property Management Maintenance Call Center!
However, if you know you have an after-hours answering service, it’s easier to go home at the end of the day, knowing that the service will be able to handle any phone call that comes in after you’ve clocked out, at least any that are nonurgent. But they can handle urgent calls too.
3) Emergency Support for Tenants
The ability of an answering service to handle emergency calls at all hours of the night can be invaluable. Let’s face it, when a tenant has a problem with their home, it’s probably going to come at a time that’s inconvenient for everyone involved. Fortunately, call-center workers will be able to forward emergency calls to your maintenance team so they can deal with the problem right away. Meanwhile, calls that may not qualify as an emergency can be returned later. Of course, sometimes the trained professionals at the answering service can give your tenants whatever information they need to put the issue to bed so you and your staff don’t have to get involved at all. And that happens more often than you might think.
Does Every Property Warrant An Apartment Answering Service?
Even though I’m a huge proponent of being as hands off as possible, you have to run the numbers and gut check this stuff too!
For instance, if your portfolio consists of a couple single family homes in the midwest, and rents are only $800/mo or so, it may not be wise to mitigate a few hours of your time for a couple hundreds bucks a month in service costs.
But that the same time, what is your time worth? For me personally, the more I can work ON my business instead of IN it, the better off I am in the long run.
4) No Recordings, No Waiting
Nothing agitates your tenants more than when they call with a question or problem only to end up on hold for an hour. Being forced to leave a message in the hopes of getting a call back the next day isn’t great either. With an answering service, neither is going to be the case. When your tenants call in the middle of the night, they’ll be talking to a real person who has been well-trained to speak with people and solve whatever problem they may have. The calls will also be recorded, so you can review them if you’d like to double check that the tenant got what they wanted out of the call. This is also a crucial way to stay on top of your answering service of choice, as it will essentially become an extension of your business.
5) Keeping Tenants Happy
We all know that it can sometimes be difficult to keep tenants happy, but an answering service ensures that you at least have a fighting chance. People typically want personalized service so that they know their complaints have been heard and are being taken seriously. An all-night answering service guarantees a real-life human being answers your tenant’s call and responds in an appropriate manner, which should help keep them happy, at least more so than without it. If nothing else, you know that your tenant won’t be angry about waiting to be called back, as a call service will answer their call and work to resolve their problem as quickly as possible.
Using A Custom Live Answering Service For Landlords Alone Can Make Tenants Feel Well Cared For
Remember the last time you needed something, and you couldn’t get someone to answer the phone? Or they transferred you to some call center in India with someone who could barely speak English? It’s infuriating isn’t it?
The same applies to your tenant situation as well… a lot of times, if people feel like they’re “heard” and you’re working on a solution, they’ll back off and leave you be. Having a live virtual receptionist accomplishes this very well, all without disrupting your day. WIN WIN!
6) Customized System
One of the best benefits of an after-hours answering service is their ability to customize everything. For instance, you can dictate what qualifies as an emergency for each property and who should be called to address specific problems. The scripts used by the call-center workers can be customized, so they know all the pertinent details about the property when one of your tenants calls. This helps to ensure that a problem will be handled the same way you would have handled it if you had taken the call personally. You can also dictate what issues require you and your staff to be notified immediately and what issues can be handled the following day.
7) Potential Tenants Are Never Move On
An answering service doesn’t just deal with your current tenants, but it will handle calls from potential tenants as well. Call-center workers will be trained to pick up after-hours calls from prospective tenants and answer any questions they may have. The answering service can even schedule viewings with people looking for a new home and then send them a reminder via phone call, text, or email so they don’t forget the appointment. It’s important to note that if a future tenant calls and nobody’s around to answer, they will likely move onto the next place. But this won’t happen with a call service, which can play an important role in helping you fill any vacancies.
8) Staff Can Put Their Focus Elsewhere
It’s actually hard to calculate the amount of time and energy a call service can save you and your staff, but it will not go unnoticed. As mentioned, there won’t be angry voicemails or missed calls waiting to be returned when you get to work in the morning. In fact, the service will probably be able to answer most of the questions tenants call about, so there’ll be no need to return a call at all. This leaves you and your staff with additional free time during the day to work on more pressing matters rather than spending the first part of the day taking care of all the tiny issues that popped up overnight.
On the other hand, the cost of an after-hours answering service is nothing compared to what you would have to pay to have an administrative assistant working overtime to field phone calls late into the night. With a call service, you pay a flat monthly rate, and in the long run, that ends up being a particularly cost-efficient option, especially if you’re in control of a lot of units.
9) Service Is Never Down
The beauty of an after-hours call service is that they have the numbers than guarantee they’re always available. The service is 24/7 with no exception, as a professional call service will have a protocol in place to handle any issue they face, such as a power outage at their facility or the Internet being down temporarily, both extremely rare potential problems that are still considered by the high-quality services.
Bottom line, when you hire an after-hours call service, you’ll have less to worry about, all while freeing up additional time and resources.