It might be the most wonderful time of the year but for those operating small businesses Christmas can also be one of the most stressful. Because Christmas is synonymous with holidays, smaller agencies find themselves frantically trying to organise staff cover and make sure that all their clients’ needs are still being met. While we can’t guarantee that the turkey won’t be overcooked and the brussel sprouts burnt, our experts have put together their top festive tips to make sure that when it comes to managing your property, Christmas will be a winter wonderland this year.
1) While sending a Christmas card might be a bit over the top, it is important that you stay in touch with your tenants and landlords at this time of year. Clients need to know who to contact in an emergency and agents will make their own jobs significantly easier if they know the comings and goings of the tenants over the Christmas holidays. You don’t need to know if getting lucky under the mistletoe means they’re not going home alone, but you do need to know if they’re not going home at all.
2) On the same note, this time of year’s all about ‘Elf and safety. With many tenants heading home to visit their family over the festive period, there could be many properties lying empty this December. An effective agent or wise man will take the time to brief tenants on the importance of protecting the property against theft (alarms, double locks etc) and taking the time to tend to the utilities, secure the boiler and turn off the heating for longer periods of absence.
3) Your mum used to have an emergency present drawer in case she was caught by surprise with an unexpected gift. Sadly in the property world, things that catch us by surprise at this time of year don’t tend to be gifts so make sure you’ve got your metaphorical top drawer stuffed with contacts of who to call in case of any issues.
4) Make sure the whole team’s singing from the same songsheet – it’s inevitable that staff will want time off over Christmas and that’s OK. What’s not OK is if they don’t brief their cover properly or leave their client files in good order. Insist on detailed staff handovers to make sure that everybody’s singing from the same song-sheet this year.
5) Don’t forget your Christmas presence – Christmas can be a lonely time of year, especially when problems occur. But Fixflo’s automated software means that at the first sign of a problem, tenants can report their issue, knowing that immediately it will be received, registered and responded to. In many cases (16 per cent to be precise), the integrated system will guide the tenant through the steps necessary to resolve the issue on their own. How’s that for a Christmas presence?
Once you’ve got these issues wrapped up, there’s nothing for it but to have yourself a merry little Christmas. We’ll see you in the New Year!