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7 reasons to implement a tenant self-service portal

Looking to increase customer engagement? Here are seven top reasons why landlords and property managers should implement self-service tools like a tenant portal.

Couple sitting down in their home accessing the tenant self-service portal

The buzzword to know about serving tenants these days is “self-service.” All about empowering people to help themselves, self-service involves providing tools that allow tenants to do just that — rather than requiring them to contact your support team. This can look like everything from knowledge bases and forums to chatbots and web tenant portals, but the bottom line is that self-service lets people solve problems on their own, and on their own time. 

And it’s not just a buzzword; self-service should be an integral part of your customer engagement strategy. Modern customers demand transparency, ease, clear communication, speed, and high-quality support from businesses in every industry — and landlords and property managers are no exception. 

When tenants experience obstacles around making and keeping appointments, they may stop trying to get things fixed, complain to the housing ombudsman, or not renew their leases. And with the new Renters Reform Bill, “decent home” standards, and updated Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code, it’s more necessary than ever for property managers to meet tenant expectations.

It should be simple and painless for your tenants to set, confirm, and leave feedback about appointments, and offering tenants self-service options like portals can help you achieve that — without adding more to your staff’s plate. (In fact, it can reduce your staff’s workload. More on that later.)

So what does self-service look like, and why should you implement tools like a tenant self-service portal?

Here, we’ll discuss seven key reasons to invest in self-service options for residents.

 

Why should you offer tenants self-service options?

You should offer tenants self-service options for a number of reasons, not least because it’s good business practice to deliver exceptional customer service. A resident portal allows them the autonomy and control they desire over service appointments, while also providing customer engagement and lightening your operational workload.

Here are the top reasons to implement a self-service portal.

 

  • It aligns with tenant desires. Most people want to try to solve problems themselves before reaching out for help. In fact, tenants are often frustrated when they have no other option but to call your office for assistance with an issue or to schedule an appointment. Waiting for the office to open may not align with their daily routine, and sending an email or using a physical piece of paper that may get lost isn’t the most secure way to get an appointment on the books. It also puts the burden on your office staff to relay the message or respond to a phone call or voicemail.

    Portals allow tenants to make, modify, confirm, or cancel appointments at their leisure, while automatically updating staff schedules and rosters. It’s convenient for everyone involved: No one has to wait for the message to get conveyed to the right parties, and it increases first-time access while boosting customer satisfaction.


  • It’s easy to set up and keep up. Depending on your web tenant portal, it can easily bolt onto your existing tech stack rather than requiring an entire rebuild from the ground up. This saves you both money and time on training and, ultimately, reduces the load on your workforce.

  • It saves time for tenants and property managers. When your staff doesn’t have to field calls about setting up, rescheduling, cancelling, or providing details about appointments, they can focus on more pressing issues. Likewise, portals mean that tenants don’t need to wait for answers, and property managers won’t get as many requests for their time. And beyond the monetary savings, this time back in your day can increase efficiency in other areas of your business.

  • It offers analytics for making data-informed decisions. Using self-service portals is a great way to gather insight. Portals can offer analytics such as engagement rates, the status of jobs, and how many appointments are missed, rescheduled, or cancelled. Not only will tenants have access to their service history, but so will you: That means everyone feels empowered, and all the data is in one place.

  • It gives tenants 24/7 access. Office hours are typically similar to traditional working hours. So if the only way to request a service appointment is to go to the office in person or make a phone call, that can be a hardship for your tenants. A self-service portal empowers them to request an appointment, make updates to the information about the task at hand, change the time, confirm an appointment window, and even cancel if needed. And they can do it all on their own time — at any time — without the stress of a mandated time window.

  • It reduces calls to the office. When tenants can answer their own questions or make changes to their appointment requests, they won’t need to call your office. This reduced call volume frees up time for your workforce to dedicate to other pressing matters (and means tenants don’t have to listen to hold muzak to resolve an urgent issue).

  • It’s more efficient than other methods. Sure, you could use methods like paper, phone, or email for communication around service appointments. But these methods are not going to offer good customer service and support. They’re disconnected from one another and tend to require manual input into a system, taking up time and increasing the odds of human error (or dissuading someone from putting in a request in at all).  These methods are also harder to track, especially over time, and have a tendency to cause conflict and a lack of a paper trail to see what really happened. Self-service portals are the most efficient, transparent way to store information in one place.

 

Localz makes implementing a tenants portal simple and easy

Tenant satisfaction isn’t unobtainable — and implementing customer engagement strategies like a self-service portal isn’t as hard as you think. 

Empowering tenants with the right tools will save you, your team, and your tenants time while reducing stress and creating more positive experiences for everyone. Self-service portals can be a quick add-on that create a big impact on your proceeds and profit.

And Localz can help — no overhaul of your tech stack required. Featuring pre-built integrations with the top property management platforms, our tenant engagement software helps you easily communicate with renters, create customer portals, collect feedback, and implement data tracking for future optimisations. Our customisable solutions allow residents to manage their appointments, track technician ETAs in real time, communicate via two-way chat, and rate their experiences. We also empower office-based staff to optimise the day of service with operational statistics, dispatch and job management, multiparty chat, and real-time feedback for service recovery. 

Download the free checklist for housing tenant communications around repairs and visits

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