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Interesting article. I completely agree that the "customer" is key and they are absolutely the core focus of the new breed of managers and large scale institutional investors. In providing this new level of customer service, company's have the potential to develop a brand quality/standard which can attract customers between properties in different cities or even countries. This is perhaps even more important in the Co-Living space, in which customers share more communal spaces; where it's about living in the building, with all it's facilities, rather than just in your own flat / room.
As a Landlord myself, the ease of using an app to communicate with my customer, and to store key documents is a very attractive simplification and time saver. I guess the trickiest element is the extent to which reported issues can be resolved autonomously / automatically; perhaps through a direct communication with a pre-registered / agreed contractor and communicated back to the tenant. I would be interested to hear how you deal with this?
Thanks for your comment. You are absolutely correct, the development of our mobile platform is really only just the beginning. The reality is that in order to deliver exceptional customer service in this instance, we need to actually get someone on site to fix the problem whilst ensuring the housemate / customer remains 'in the loop'.
We are looking at ways of streamlining this process, including bringing our team of contractors onto the platform and allowing them to liaise directly with housemates. We are also looking at ways of automating some of the simpler requests we receive.
The reality however is the property management is an area with exceptionally tight margins and a significant supply shortage of quality, affordable contractors. We are under no illusions that our mission is going to be easy, but believe we are definitely taking the right steps, the first of which was to declare that one of our company goals is the deliver an exceptional customer experience.