To create positive relationships with your clients, you must write, implement and manage ‘effective’ policy. This is how your clients get what they need from you, and you get what you need from your clients. What makes policy ‘effective’? Policy that covers legislation, agency culture, agency standards, processes and relevant code of conducts.
Write legislative requirements into your policy so your agency operates compliantly and its brand and reputation are protected. For example, legislation might state certain communication, such as breach notices, must be in writing and on the prescribed form, so into your policy it goes!
Agency culture is about your business’ values, beliefs, vision and personality. Don’t fall into the trap of copying other agencies’ cultures; this does not give clients a reason to choose you over competitors. Determine what points of difference your agency offers and create your unique culture around these points of difference…then uphold them by way of your policy.
Agency standards are your customer service and operational standards. A customer service standard could be your clients must be greeted in the same manner. An operational standard could be the quality of property your agency is prepared to manage. When you create these agency standards and write them into your policy you get consistency. This means your clients know exactly what to expect as you and your team know exactly what to deliver!
Processes are the way tasks are carried out through to completion. Processes streamline tasks, allow them to be shared between your team and provide the means to manage, monitor and measure them. An example of a process is arrears management i.e. sending a 3 day SMS, 5 day SMS, 7 day phone call, 8 day breach and then, if the client still fails to pay the rent, issuing a notice to leave. Basically, every task needs a process and that process should be in your written policy so it is effectively implemented and managed to get the results you need from your clients and your clients get the results they need from you.
Code of conduct
Your policy must refer to the code of conducts you are obliged to follow. If you belong to a franchise group you normally have a Code of Conduct to follow. If you are licensed to any other organisations you usually have a Code of Conduct to follow. The point is, all relevant code of conducts must be embedded into your policy.
So there you have it, the key ingredients to writing effective policy for your agency. Do this and you are on your way to creating positive relationships with your clients – they get what they need from you and you get what you need from them – loyalty, repeat business and referral. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.