After almost a decade in Property Management I can confidently say the three most common complaints I’ve heard from residents have been about parking, pets and the pool. The 3 P’s if you will. As a property director, I was always diligent in ensuring welcome packets, shadow boxes and bulletin boards were jam-packed with information regarding the community/building rules and regulations. I would even have the new residents sign papers when they moved in confirming that they’d read the rules and regulations and agreed to abide by them.
But low and behold, a month later at 9:15 pm Saturday night I would receive angry voicemails from residents because the guy next door parked in their spot or someone stepped in dog poop! I have even had people call and demand that I leave my home to pick it up immediately. How frustrating it is as a Property Manager to not have your weekend to yourself after working your tail off all week. Even more frustrating to explain to someone that there is little you can do to ease their aggravation. These residents are usually hostile and sometimes even aggressive when they call. You try to explain how difficult it is to figure out which resident’s dog is the offender and that not all residents have registered their canine with management yet. You promise to send a general letter or email blast reminding everyone of the pet rules, but half the residents either don’t open their mail or even supply their email address.
How about the threats I’ve received because so and so failed to pay their rent and had their pool privileges revoked? I never knew summer could be so scary. If only there were a way to combat these issues or at least lessen the occurrence of them… because let’s face it there will always be someone who is unwilling to follow the rules.
Over time I have learned several ways to shrink the number of complaints you receive:
1. Frequent Education
One way is to educate your residents, often and consistently. Be sure the rules are posted not just in the entryway but in the laundry rooms and on the mail kiosks as well (if your property has them.) Even if you don’t have everyone’s email address continue sending those reminder blasts out on a regular basis because repetition makes good habits.
2. Update your Resident Information
Everybody wants a pool badge, people you haven’t heard from for the past 9 months will be reaching out to you for their pool badges. This is the best time to collect outstanding information and distribute copies of the rules. It may take two Saturdays out of your schedule, but the results are worth it. Print up packets with the rules and information form. Make a list of your renters and do not mail pool passes, instead find a place to set up onsite. Be sure to advertise the days for a month in advance with weekly email blasts and a mailer.
As each person shows up review the rules one-on-one, ensure they fill out the renter information form completely and supply their car info, email address, phone number, and pet info. You may get a few resistors, but overall it will be worth it and by the time autumn rolls in you will have noticed a significant decrease in complaints. Good luck!
What Common Problems Have Encountered?
Let us know in the comments!