As the Country’s cultural demographics shift to an ever increasing percentage of Americans that speak Spanish as their first language, their impact can be felt in the workforce, as consumers as well as in their need for quality housing and business locations. While this growing opportunity for real estate and property management firms can be tapped with the additional support that a real estate or property management answering service can deliver, it only becomes possible when they can provide bilingual services.
The most recent Pew Research Center report data available shows that the New Census Bureau data estimate that the U.S. Hispanic population topped 54 million as of July 1, 2013, an increase of 2.1 percent over 2012. This growth has been largely fueled by births here in the U.S. The Census Bureau estimates that natural increase (births minus deaths) accounted for 78 percent of the total change in the U.S. Hispanic population from 2012 to 2013.
As the largest non-white group in the U.S. at 17 percent, the Hispanic population will continue to grow and be a deciding factor in the future majority-minority makeup of the country. This represents a sizable percentage of growth in the rental and sales market across the U.S. It is only by providing bilingual outreach to this population that real estate and property management firms can tap into the potential.
When it comes to a real estate answering service, the ability to engage Hispanic clients in their first language goes beyond general communication. The best of these services employ agents that are culturally sensitive as well so that they can avoid any faux pas or cultural miscommunication that can derail the initial trust as well as the close of deal.
Regardless of whether a property management firm handles several or thousands of units across different cities and even states, the need for a centralized property management answering service has been proven to be highly effective. This is in terms of tenant repairs/challenge resolution as well as rental communication. Both go to the bottom line of greater occupancy and tenant retention.
Once again, these services must be staffed by call agents that know more than the status of availability and location of rental units, the preferred personnel contact list/numbers, and the emergency/non-emergency repair protocol list. For many, it is imperative that they also be fluent in Spanish as well as have an understanding of cultural differences that regularly come into play with the broader Hispanic community.
The Hispanic community is far from a monolith and is made up of many different cultures that speak Spanish. Having cultural sensitivity and understanding of the largest sub-group such as those clients that originally came from Mexico or have extended roots going back to Mexico is often the best place to start. While there are certainly enclaves throughout the country, the choice of location for a home, rental unit or commercial property for Hispanic clients is as infinitely varied as the Spanish-speaking regions of origin or where they have familial ties.
The most prepared and progressive real estate answering service as well as property management answering service has considered these needs based on the areas and states that they serve in order to provide a diverse bench of call agents. Consequently, they not only employ a suitable contingent of agents that speak Spanish, but they also have varied sub-group cultural understandings that can impact the interactions with clients.
This will ultimately allow these firms to better serve their clients, thereby increasing retention and expanding the client base. The truth is that cultural sensitivity is about more than good business; it is about good communities—both commercial and residential. The leaders in real estate and property management will be defined by these precepts as the country continues to grow and change to become even more diverse.