Customer Service Importance & Tips

IMG_5074Excellent customer service is vital when it comes to operating a successful association management company. Why? Because our customers are ultimately the people who are keeping the business going, if they are not content then business will suffer. Customers are natural word-of-mouth marketers.

Supporting customers goes beyond having an email or phone number with people on the other end to respond. It is a mentality of how we want customers to experience our customer-centric product and services. We always want to ensure that we are guiding our customers every step of the way. Therefore, we want to make sure that all our interactions are always polite and cordial.

Creating an amazing customer experience is imperative to fostering an excellent reputation.  Here are some steps that can help increase customer satisfaction.

Be Clear with Rules

If there is something you want your residents to know, be sure to lay it out for them. Have a handbook available for everyone to access so they can reference it at all times. We do a great job of that here at Leland Management being able to provide all needed documents to the customers through what we call a resident portal. If you are straightforward from the beginning, there will be less chance for confusion, and less confusion means happier customers.

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Ensure Effective Communication with your Customer

It’s important your customers feel that if they need you, you are easy to reach and communicate with. Always respond to any outreach in a reasonable amount of time (preferably as soon as possible), no matter how big or small the concern. The response time should be within a few hours on a normal basis and if you know that it is taking longer to respond, you should make sure your customers are aware. Show your customers that you keep them in mind by letting them know when you’ll be out of town. Often customers need contact information for how to reach you in case of an emergency. At Leland, we ensure that we can be reached in normal business hours as well as have an emergency 24/7 hotline. We answer on average 5000+ calls per month and about 2500 emails and voicemails reach our resident support line.

Spend Time Building Relationships.

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Treat all of your customers as you would like to be treated.  Having a congenial business relationship with every customer is an integral part of successful association management. Be firm and fair, and don’t compromise on your responsibilities for the sake of avoiding unpleasantness. If you’re attentive, responsible and congenial in your customer relations, you’re set to build lasting relationships that will be valuable. Leland Management has been in business for over 20 years; building of relationships with all of our communities, treating all residents equally and fairly.

When it comes down to it, the best way to keep your customer satisfied is by maintaining a sense of order and organization. At Leland, we strive always offer the highest quality customer service to all of the board members and residents we serve.  We are continuously reviewing our standard and training so that we are able to develop our customer service program to be the best in the industry.
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Community Halloween Decorating Ideas

When we think of Halloween, a few things come to mind, and one of those is the traditional haunted house! Hosting your own frightening funhouse may be a lot to under-take, but making it a block party or community event lends to plenty of helping hands, and Halloween fun!

Haunted houses have no rules so you can have free range to be as elaborate or modest as you like! Hosting one in a garage is a great idea; using inexpensive black drape and faux cobwebs to cover the walls, and playing eerie music can make a huge impact! Getting the whole neighborhood involved can make this a freakishly fun activity that can become an annual celebration to look forward to.

There are many ways to decorate for the Halloween season that can be very easy and won’t haunt your wallet.

Start by decorating your front door with a fun yet spooky mummy. It is super easy and cheap to make all you have to do is take white streamers and wrap them all the way around the door. Cut out big eyeballs from construction paper and voila we have a mummified door.

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This Halloween decoration may not cost you a dime! We all have empty milk jugs hanging around waiting to be thrown out, so why not use the milk jugs to spook up the outside of the house. Turn your milk just into Casper the friendly ghost! Draw faces on empty, clean gallon milk jugs and fill them with a ghostly glow lights.

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You will get a kick out of this, literally! Spice up your porch or living room with a pair of witch legs. All you need is a pool noodle and shoes, you put them in a flower pot or stick them in your bushes and BOOM you have pool noodle witch legs.

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Fill your trees or front porch with free-flying ghosts. Made inexpensively from balloons,  gauze fabric, and black tape these little Caspers catch the wind to add movement to your outdoor decor.

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Another way to get the whole community involved in the Halloween fun is a holding a classic pumpkin carving contest.  Have everyone in the community grab their pumpkins, and give them a few hours to create their Halloween masterpiece. In the end, select a panel of judges to pick the winners based on the criteria of your choosing.  Then, display the pumpkins for all of the night’s trick-or-treaters to see!

We LOVE candy and sweets on Halloween so what better way to round up the spirit than to have a community spooky bake sale. Come up with your best treats and set up a stand in your neighborhood.

Lets have a spooky Halloween together!

Qualities of an Effective Association Management Company

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Community Association management is an industry that involves many different disciplines such as accounting, marketing, information technology, legal, and insurance. As a result, board members often face challenges when finding a good management company that meets all of their association’s needs.

When looking for a management company, the specific needs of the community must always be considered to ensure a good fit.  Additionally, there are certain qualities that every management company should possess such as transparency, experience, and commitment to ongoing education.

 Transparency

Transparency is the cornerstone of trust. Residents place extensive amounts of trust in their association management company when hiring them. The two most common complaints in the industry are lack of communication and transparency regarding financial information. At Leland Management, we set ourselves apart by addressing these complaints head-on through the structure and culture of this company. From the systems used to track tasks, to the web portal we provide for our board members and residents, communication and transparency are at the forefront of our service.

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Experience

When looking for a management company experience is paramount. Hiring an experienced management company offers many benefits to both the board and the entire community association.   For example, when recruiting, the company can rely on their experience during the interview and selection process to find the best candidates and perfect fit for the community. Without a good team to assist in everyday activities, a management company could not survive, as the company is truly only as good at the team.

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Education

At Leland, we have dedicated the past 20 years striving to continuously advance our field through education.  By offering educational courses to not only our employees but also association boards, we are able to assist board members in understanding their roles and responsibilities. Continuing our industry education and enhancing our knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of Association Management is critical and we are always in search of opportunities to learn more and become more effective. With education comes skills, knowledge, competence, growth, and the ability to get things done.

Conclusion

When deciding on a management company make sure to keep an eye out not only for the services the company can provide but the qualities that make up the structure of the company.  Ask questions that will speak to the company’s overall transparency, experience and commitment to education. These qualities will help ensure that you are picking the best management company and add significant value to your community. Having an effective property management will bring many benefits like less stress, more freedom, ultimately giving you back more of your time. What are you waiting for? At Leland, we are ready to serve your community.

 

5 Ways to Save Money this Holiday Season

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While the holidays certainly bring thoughts of love and joy to the mind, they can still be incredibly stressful. If you want to be generous with your giving but mindful of your spending, you need to start saving up now. Finding ways to save money each month gives you more money to pay off debt, save for a vacation, prepare for retirement, save for a new house and get all those wonderful gifts you are wanting  to give everyone. Here are some creative ways to keep your spending under control this holiday season.

1. Make a Budget

                 There are a couple different ways to set a holiday budget. First you’d want to determine what your overall spending cap will be. Once you know how much you can spend total, allocate a specific amount to each person on your gift list.

2. Track your spending

                 Your budget does no good if you don’t effectively track what you are spending. A good idea is opening up a Christmas fund bank account, where throughout the year you throw in $10 every week, you’d have about $450 to spend with this method and then with these saving tips you will be able to throw more into the fund. This will make it easier for you to separate holiday spending from regular, day-to-day expenses. Also  download your bank’s app on your phone, which will allow you to check your balance and track your spending anytime and anywhere.

3. Cut Back on Extras

  1. Turn your AC down
  2. Make your own pumpkin spice lattes
  3. Choose free weekend activities
  4. Do your dry cleaning at home
  5. Cook at home instead of eating out
  6. Pack work and kids lunches
  7. Avoid impulse buys at the cash register
  8. Buy a programmable thermostat to save on energy bills.

4. Choose Cheaper Traditions

While traditions are important and admirable, they don’t have to be expensive to be memorable. In fact, you might find that your kids prefer the cheap stuff to the grander gestures. So many activities and traditions are inexpensive, or even free – you just have to know where to look. By making cheaper events and traditions part of your celebration, you can save money without skimping on the festivities and memories.

Here are some cheap holiday activities:

  1. Touring neighborhood Christmas lights
  2. Watching a movie with hot chocolate at home
  3. Seeing Santa at the mall
  4. Making Gingerbread house
  5. Make paper snowflakes

5. Cut Monthly Bills

Monthly expenses can bite us if we aren’t careful. Cable is no exception! With the average cable bill being about $99.10, according to Liechtman Research Group, cable and other monthly expenses can really add up over time. See what you can do without , these next few months to have extra to spend on your love ones.

Final word

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays. Marketing campaigns are geared toward making you open your wallet in the spirit of Christmas, so it’s hard not to fall prey. However, if you’ve got a plan in place and know how to stretch each holiday dollar, you don’t have to fear your bank account statement on December 26th. Cheaper entertainment, a focus on family, and a sensible spending plan put you firmly in the driver’s seat of your own sleigh.

Happy Holidays!

 

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