December 2009: The Personal Touch When Communicating

Monday, November 30, 2009

The 2009 year definitely has mixed reviews – interest rates are still low, the stock market is working toward recovery, and many throughout the country have been working tirelessly to help furnish jobs, feed the hungry, and aid disaster victims. However, it has been particularly difficult year for many people in 2009. There is very high unemployment, record home foreclosures, battles on the health care issues, N1H1 virus, and devastating losses due to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see how history will view this tumultuous year. Because many people are suffering emotionally and financially during this season, others increase their efforts to help others those in need.

This extra personal touch is what can make the difference in the lives of many. Sometimes a person can be having a terrible day and some small thing, a special consideration, a smile, or a little understanding, changes their entire outlook. This certainly holds true in the world of property management.

Renting a property
Sometimes offering an additional incentive can sway a prospective tenant to rent the property over the competition. It could be a ceiling fan, a free cable connection, a gift certificate for a grocery store, or the promise of a turkey during the holiday season. When competition is high, there are many incentives to offer to show an applicant that the property owner is willing to go the extra mile and provide the personal touch.

Extending courtesy, understanding, and a smile when people are tedious, demanding, and angry will also make a difference with applicants, especially if they become tenants.

Working with the tenant
Facing an angry tenant challenges any property manager to remain calm and offer that human touch. We often have to remind ourselves that there is most likely an underlying problem. Expressing compassion and demonstrating a willingness to find a solution goes a long way. It can also help the tenant’s disposition the next time a problem occurs.

It is very easy after a tenant moves in to forget that they could use some “extra motivation.” Small things can make difference during the tenancy and particularly, when the lease is ending. Tenants are mobile – if they decide to move, the holiday season will not be a deterrent. If they feel the rental is not worth the hassle, then they will seriously consider moving. Did the owner authorize the repairs requested? Is the owner reluctant to do the little maintenance items but waits for them to become a major problem? Tenants consciously or subconsciously make judgments and if motivated enough, will move.

Do you have good tenants? If so, offer them something when they least expect it. It could be a gift certificate for a restaurant or local gym, winter yard clean up, turkey for the holidays, or a complimentary winter carpet cleaning.

Working with the owner
We appreciate your patience with our staff when phones are ringing, tenants are being difficult, winter weather is causing problems, and everyone is too busy. Perhaps we have not always extended enough of the personal touch when we are having a bad hair day. Have we given you enough understanding and consideration? If not, please let us know. If there is something we can do to improve our property management services, we will strive to do it. Oh, and by the way, have we thanked you lately for your business? If not, thank you for placing your property investment in our hands. We sincerely appreciate your business.