Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mystery Shopping Beneficial to Property Management

     It is difficult to make improvements to the customer service provided by your property managers and leasing agents without knowing where improvements are needed. Whether intentional or not, people behave differently when the boss is watching so getting an accurate picture can be a problem. Mystery shops provide a way for you to get the needed information.

     The trick to using mystery shops successfully is to use them to develop and offer training to make improvements. Mystery shops have a bad reputation as a tool used to catch employees doing something wrong, or worse, as a tool to fire them. That’s not the best use of the service. When you compare the cost of employee turnover to the cost of additional training you can quickly see the value in this approach.

     There are many companies that provide this service. The best choice is one that has experience in serving the property management industry. Instant-Replays is a nationally recognized mystery shopping company that has worked with a wide array of industries including home builders and property management.
You will have options in the type of shop or shops that you want performed. The most commonly performed types are:
  • Onsite shop – This involves an on-site visit to your location that is usually preceded by a telephone shop. An in-depth evaluation is written by the shopper.
  • Recorded telephone shop – The shopper calls, participates in and records the call to your office.
  • Internet shop – The shopper completes the online form on your site and tracks the response by your leasing professional.
  • Video shop – The shopper carries a hidden camera and records the leasing professional’s performance. It offers the best view of the job done as well allowing you to see the property through their eyes. It also gives you the opportunity to show the employee their performance.
When used correctly, mystery shops can be a tool for recognizing excellence, improving performance and helping your property managers and leasing agents provide outstanding customer service.  When introducing mystery shopping to your employees your mindset is important. If you view it as a positive training tool it will go a long way towards influencing their view. Help them to see it as a way to increase closings, retain tenants and create a better team and everyone will benefit.