Membership in the Certified Rental Building Program (CRBP) is an effective means of maintaining a high standard of quality when managing your building and working with residents (tenants). When prospective or existing tenants see the familiar green CRBP logo and check mark on your property, they will immediately know that they can Rent With Confidence.
The CRB Program is North America’s only multi-residential certification program. It was founded under six disciplines which all affiliated property managers must comply with in order to receive official certification for their buildings. In this six-part series, we will examine each of the disciplines in detail and explain their importance to the program.
Discipline 3: Resident Operations
In Part 2, we discussed effective human resources management and how the importance of having educated and professional frontline employees is critical to maintaining your company’s reputation and image. Knowledgeable employees not only ensure that resident’s immediate needs are being addressed promptly, but also accurately, thus eliminating the chance for misunderstanding and/or miscommunication.
One of the primary drivers of resident satisfaction is how residents view the quality of service provided by building management staff and their employees. It probably goes without saying, but highly satisfied residents make for easier-to-manage apartment communities and can be an excellent source of referral business. As a result, a critical aspect of any professional property manager’s job is to ensure that caring and effective customer service is being provided to residents on an ongoing and consistent basis.
CRBP Resident Operations discipline was designed to promote providing good quality of service to residents, and to ensure respectful communications with them at all times. As with all CRBP disciplines, Resident Operations contain a number of best practice benchmark requirements that were designed to ensure front-line building staff can apply professional and caring service in meeting the service needs of their residents. They include the following standards and much more:
- Ensuring renter leasing practices are being carried out in a manner consistent with the Human Rights Code, and as established within the confines of Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). Additionally, that a standard lease is in use that it is consistent with the requirements set out in the RTA.
- Ensuring residents have 24/7 access to a company representative for emergency contact purposes.
- Ensuring that list of all residents who may require assistance in case of an emergency is being maintained and updated for first-responder personnel.
- Resident information is maintained in accordance with principles, rules and guidelines set out in The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
- Ensuring that all new residents are provided with a satisfactory “move-in” inspection prior to taking possession of their new rental home.
- Ensuring resident maintenance requests and resident inquiries/complains are properly documented and acknowledged with two business days or less.
- Ensuring there is a “one-up” process for residents to use if they not satisfied with any maintenance work that has been carried out on their behalf, or if an inquiry or complaint is not being dealt with in professional and courteous manner.
- All staff have successfully undertaken the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) training and the Integrated Accessibility Standards & Requirements (IASR) training.
- All staff have taken CRBP’s Technical and/or Ambassador’s Educational programs.
Managing Your Company’s Public Image
Providing professional quality service and caring for residents is a vital component in how a property management company is publicly viewed in the marketplace. Too often than not, we hear stories in the media about landlords who own multifamily buildings and fail to deliver an acceptable level of service or product to their residents. Their properties and units are often in dire need of repair, and tenant`s complaints or inquiries are left unresolved for long periods of time. This results in an atmosphere of negativity and uncertainty. Left unchecked, government regulators soon jump in and impose costly regulatory administrative requirements that the whole industry must adapt to.
This is why FRPO’s CRBP uses a designation of professional property management, and seldom ever refers to its members as simply landlords. It seeks to differentiate those professionals in the industry that care about their residents (customers) from those landlords who simply cannot nor ever will ever, meet the quality benchmark set-out in CRBP.
The multi-res industry is in the business of providing apartment homes for rental-housing consumers. For many apartment renters, paying their monthly rent represents their single biggest monthly expense. They have a right to expect courteous, caring and professional service. CRBP seeks to assure that living in a CRB-approved apartment community provides them with a quality-assurance, peace-of-mind mindset. Consistently residents, living in CRB-approved buildings, rate the quality of service provided by staff with an eight out of 10 average score. This speaks highly to the commitment of CRBP members and their staff to provide their customers with positive level of quality of service
Maintaining a high rating of resident satisfaction with their rental home, and with the quality service provided by front-line staff, is paramount to ensuring any property management company is judicially carrying out effective corporate governance measures. FRPO’s CRBP is an excellent cost-effective manner to benchmark your service quality standards while offering a strong comfort level for investors and shareholders alike. Equally important, it helps to build strong and positive relationship with your residents. Existing resident referrals are still one of the main sources of new business across our industry. Your residents will always recommend a CRB-approved building because they know you can always rely on Renting with Confidence.
For further information about the CRBP and how to apply for the certification, please contact the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) or visit our website today at www.frpo.org.