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reputational risk

Mitigating Reputational Risk in Multifamily Property Management

In the competitive world of multifamily property management, your reputation is everything. A positive reputation not only attracts prospective residents, but enhances the value of your asset.

On the other hand, a damaged reputation can destroy even the most well-run properties. It’s the kind of thing that keeps your property managers up at night. As more and more residents turn to the Internet to offer up opinions about the places they live, uncensored and often unflattering content about multifamily properties is increasingly showing up online. A quick Google search of your own properties might yield some unexpected results.

Keeping all of your residents happy is the goal of every operator, but this is realistically impossible. No matter how much you prepare, chances are at least one of your residents will end up going through a negative experience at some point.

Understanding the nuances of reputational risk, particularly as it relates to your facilities and maintenance is key to thriving in this increasingly competitive market.

Why is Reputational Risk Important?

Reputational risk is any sort of threat that can damage the good standing of your business and negatively impact your reputation with residents. Reputational risks negatively impact all areas of your operations, including the trust of your employees and residents, resident retention, and decreased rent.

According to the National Apartment Association, 89 percent of renters rely on online review sites when searching for an apartment, and the reviews play a critical role in helping them narrow down their options. Furthermore, according to data from the 2022 NMHC/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report, 79 percent of respondents said the content of online ratings and reviews stopped them from visiting specific properties.

How Operations and Maintenace can Impact Reputational Risk

It may not seem obvious, but your facilities and maintenance department can have a big impact on the reputation of your property.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Routine maintenance – Ever had a boiler in one of your buildings overheat and catch fire, resulting in your residents losing hot water, and you having to give rent credit to over 300 people (our CEO has)? While this is just one example, it’s proof that preventive maintenance can harm your property’s reputation.
  • Slow response times – Making residents wait longer than expected to complete work orders can also cause resident dissatisfaction.  In today’s digital world, the expectation of a quick response is higher than ever.
  • Employee issues – Property managers or maintenance technicians who are experiencing job dissatisfaction can have a detrimental impact on your company’s image. These are the people your residents interact with on a day-to-day basis. They’re the face of your company, and a bad attitude can lead to unhappy residents.
  • Code Compliance – Adhering to policies and regulations is a cornerstone of building a positive reputation in multifamily management. A company known for its commitment to compliance is perceived as responsible and trustworthy.

How to Mitigate Operations and Maintenance Impact on Reputational Risk

  • Preventive maintenance – Implement preventive measures to minimize potential issues with your capital by performing all recommended maintenance on capital equipment
  • Inspections –  Taking daily walks around the property and conducting quarterly inspections make it more likely you’ll catch and be able to fix any issues early – it also shows your residents you care, which leads to greater resident satisfaction.
  • Transparency – Provide clear and timely updates to residents, addressing any concerns. Building strong relationships with your residents can help in resolving disputes, handling feedback, and preventing negative reviews.
  • Responsiveness – Understand the expectations from your residents on response time, and then implement a software platform that delivers the work order request right to the mobile device of the maintenance team so they can take action as soon as possible.
  • Curb appeal – A clean and well-maintained property not only creates a positive impression but also helps the resident feel comfortable about their safety. Implementing workflows around curb appeal can help hold the onsite team accountable for the property’s appearance. This includes landscaping, lighting, and painting, which contribute to the overall attractiveness and perceived quality of the property.
  • Employee Training and Accountability – With the high turnover in the industry, it’s critical to take the time to train staff on expectations. Properly trained staff can play a significant role in maintaining a positive reputation. Training programs should focus on customer service, compliance with regulations, and crisis management.

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The Role of Technology in Managing Risk

How are you keeping track of your portfolio’s day-to-day operations? What steps are our on-site teams taking to proactively address their property’s reputation?

Given the lack of widely adopted best practices, incorporating technology into your property management strategy becomes crucial. Your maintenance team benefits significantly from technology, allowing them to complete tasks faster and reduce stress, enabling them to spend more time building positive rapport with residents.

At Leonardo247, we make sure you’re doing the right things, at the right time, with the right person, in the right way. While unforeseen events can still occur, demonstrating proactive risk management with Leonardo247 helps safeguard against events that may harm your reputation. Request a demo today!

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