The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) issues vast amounts of violations citywide (and we’ve got the numbers here in our latest violations report). With such high violation counts, it’s important for your property management team to check in with residents regarding HPD issues. If you notice a pattern with a particular resident/unit reaching out to HPD with complaints, it’s helpful for you, as the property manager, to connect with the resident to identify where the issues stem from and how you can resolve the problem.
One of our Customer Success Managers, Shaquoya, put together a list of tips on taking a proactive approach to frequent HPD complaints. Not only is she a compliance expert, but she also has a decade of experience in property management and can speak firsthand of the importance of strong resident relationships. Here are her top five tips:
Reach out to the resident, by phone, email or hand delivered correspondence, asking to meet to discuss the ongoing issues.
If the resident states they don’t have a good relationship with staff in your office or hasn’t had a good experience to date, make attempts to establish a new start with them. This will protect your business’ existing relationship with them and improve your personal relationship with the tenant going forward.
Either the Property Manager or Maintenance Director, not support staff, should make a unit visit (if the resident is open to it) to see the issues firsthand.
While you may have to make time out of an already busy schedule to make a unit visit, this is a great way to demonstrate your involvement in the process to the residents. Making this commitment to them will build their trust in your team.
Make every attempt to correct issues that are within your abilities. If additional time is needed, keep the resident updated on the status of repairs.
Show residents you are invested in getting their issues resolved. If there are issues that require residents to cover the cost under their Occupancy Agreement/Lease, be sure to explain why they are required to pay and show proof. Not only are you building credibility, but you’re teaching them to prevent unnecessary costs in the future.
Ask the resident to give you a courtesy call when issues arise and give you the opportunity to address them before reaching out to the agency.
When the resident reaches out, make this issue a priority, no matter how minor you may think it is. This gives you a chance to step in, fix the problem, and build that bridge with the residents instead of them reaching out to a third party.
Check in with the resident monthly or every other month to see how things are going in their units and how you can assist if there are issues.
Again, this is another way to provide value and be a helping hand to the resident.
The above steps are great ways to strengthen current relationships and build rapport with your residents – all of which generate respect and trust towards your staff, team, and your business. Stay tuned for more property operations tips from our experts like Shaquoya, and don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!