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Paul Taylor, Associate Director - Property Management, on the importance of resident engagement

Posted Monday, December 7, 2020


Paul

Resident engagement and community building have become ever more important for effective property management

In line with the overarching goals of the group, Remus Management lays considerable priority on both client and resident engagement across its entire portfolio. In accordance with this priority, we have been actively laying down systems and infrastructure which support more frequent communication with stakeholders. This includes everything from an increased level of face-to-face interaction with clients and customers over the years, (obviously via online platforms for most of this year), through to increased accessibility to important documentation and information online through web portals and regular digital communication. This constant flow of two-way communication with residents ensures that issues can quickly be identified and resolved in a customer-centric manner.

We asked Remus's Associate Director of Property Management - Paul Taylor for his views on the matter:

Engagement is something we’re trying to push at the moment so that property managers engage with the residents more than they ever have before. We are also launching a new customer portal and, although we’ve had one previously, this will be much more streamlined and quicker to use. We can send out text messages and updates so, if there’s a water issue on-site, we can keep the residents up to date. It’s something we’re trying to do so that we can have that two-way engagement with residents across the board, wherever we can. In this case study, we set up and organised a yearly whistle-blowing event to celebrate the site's history.

We’ve implemented quarterly newsletters to keep residents up to date with things that have happened in the last quarter, things that will be happening in the next quarter, and essentially keeping that engagement going. It becomes very personal because the residents are dealing essentially with the staff, the property manager, and assistant property managers. We do like our staff to get out into the real world and meet people face-to-face, which is difficult at the moment, but we’re now offering Zoom contact for people still wanting virtual face-to-face contact also. Our digital resident surgeries are becoming ever more important, and we also have regular meetings with RMCs to ensure everything everyone is kept in the loop, and we can pre-empt any issues that need to be addressed - often before they happen.

To support the standard of service that both Remus and the wider Fexco Property Service group are proud of, a clear emphasis is placed on Remus’ team. Initially benefiting from the HR arm of the wider group, Remus then works tirelessly to provide its property managers with all the tools, infrastructure, and support they require to provide a high standard of service for all customers. Training is vital for all of the property teams, and we now have an in-house Training Manager on board who is ensuring that all staff undertakes the training required for their role. The approach we take here is far more holistic than the industry norm, we not only provide our teams with regional support on-duty but we also take the time to make those additional touches which can motivate our teams to go the extra mile for customers. Naturally, this has proven very successful in maintaining a positive and engaged team.

The way we’re set up with our regional offices means that each area is handled very differently. Central London is very different from Plymouth and so there will be slight deviations. The teams participate in social events (currently online due to COVID) to help build that relationship within the team, but we also strive for a work-life balance because we are aware the life of a property manager does involve evening meetings. We like to give that time back, which is not particularly common in the industry, to compensate for that. Generally, in more normal times, a property manager will go out for a meeting with their assistant in the evening, and we’ll even say that they can leave a little earlier, get something to eat, and put that on the expenses so that we can pay for that.

It’s the little things that our property managers help with that make a big difference to our customers, and that sort of team culture is something we are heavily invested in and will continue to do so.

 


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