In order to keep your potential and current residents satisfied, it is imperative that all calls to your office are managed in a timely and efficient manner. You may ask, what is the best strategy to manage call volume?

During these challenging economic times, it is important to consider what type of call service management system is best for your property. Is your automated voicemail service catching each and every call? Is your maintenance staff being overwhelmed with non emergency calls? Is your answering service providing value to your property? The ultimate question is which choice meets your business needs by tending to both your prospective tenants and current residents. The most common strategies chosen by property managers and owners to manage after hours calls are: having an automated voicemail service, assigning a staff member to take all after hour calls, or hiring an answering service.

Automated voicemail service is a low cost option. However, there are some important things to consider if you choose this route. For example, how quickly will you be able to respond to emergencies? Your voicemail box cannot fully screen emergency calls. This issue is often resolved by assigning the burden of screening out non-emergency calls to an on-call maintenance person.

Although use of an on-call maintenance person after business hours may seem convenient for the caller, the call may not require immediate attention; furthermore, the on-call maintenance person may not be the appropriate person for the caller to speak with about non-emergency issues. Additionally, valuable information is lost if prospective tenant does not leave a message.

The best option is to hire a professional answering service who can manage your calls with a live receptionist 24/7. By improving the way in which calls are answered and managed, an answering service can help improve residents’ satisfaction, increase maintenance response time, and handle prospective tenant calls.

There are many professional answering services to choose from and you want a service that has an excellent reputation, high standards and is technologically advanced. In conjunction with the live service, you may consider an automated greeting; basic office information and voicemail options would be available for vendors and other types of calls while still routing urgent requests and leasing calls to live agents 24/7.

A quality professional answering service will manage your calls with a script and protocols that have been customized to suit your business needs. You will want to provide the service with information and protocol that will help you achieve your goals. Providing an up to date list of maintenance and leasing staff and contact information along with clear instructions for how to handle every type of calls such as urgent resident requests, non-urgent requests, and leasing calls, helps to ensure that your calls are managed as effectively after hours as they are during business hours.

You may also want to receive reports to track your maintenance efforts. Maintenance reports provide valuable information that can help you retain happier residents and a healthier property. For leasing calls, you’ll want reports that include all the prospect-related data and referral source information in order to track your marketing efforts.

It’s time to think about what is best for your property. A professional answering service offers benefits that go beyond simply answering the call. A professional answering service can manage your calls in a timely and efficient manner, deliver messages as needed, collect important data, and generate reports. Remember that not all answering services are the same. You’ll want a professional and reputable service that employs skilled and friendly staff to represent your property. A professional answering service will add value to your property, help build loyalty with your residents, and ensure that you never miss out on a new leasing opportunity.