EPMEPM: Case Studies

Be a Customer Service Specialist

Enjoying her new role at Harcourts Beachside in WA, Janine Scrivener is all about customer service and the importance of kindness in dealing with other people’s problems.

Janine ScrivenerTell us a bit about yourself and your current role.
My current title is Property Administration and Business Development Manager and I do love the business development management side of real estate.

I’m currently completing my full Real Estate Licence with the aim of being a Licensee by October 2016.

I’m not sure there is such a job title, but I’d like to be known as a Customer Service Specialist as I really do feel that is my strongest attribute. I get my job satisfaction by always treating all our clients – yes, even the difficult ones! – with good manners and respect. I like to make time to listen and be heard, combined with problem solving and conflict resolution. If I’m able to make people happy then I feel that I have succeeded. It’s a very tricky balance, though, to do this and also have time management skills!

What sets your team apart?
Our property management team at Harcourts is very strong; there are four qualified property managers who are all competent, confident, flexible within our jobs and passionate about what we do. I truly believe that this is what gives our office the edge over other companies within the industry. You can’t fake commitment or passion.

What motivated you to get into real estate?
I was offered an opportunity with on-the-job training at a local real estate office. I took it and have never looked back.

I love my job, the people I meet, tenants, owners, trades, building companies, the walk-ins, people in the industry. I’m really fortunate to have found what I think is my dream job and with Harcourts’ support I’m taking it to highest level I can.

How is the market in your local area right now?
We are currently experiencing a slight downturn in the rental market for the first time in 10 or 11 years, with a large number of available investment rentals in the area. There are so many reasons for that, including the fact that many tenants are now able to afford their own homes. I think that to get through this, property managers must work their properties and their existing and potential tenants, so that they want to sign up or stay with us.

Who or what inspires you?
There are many people that inspire me; and everyday life inspires me. Tara Bradbury is the first person who inspired me within the industry; she is so well known and I’m a BDM novice from a small town, and I truly won’t forget her kindness in taking the time to advise me.

Harcourts CEO Mike Green’s views on customer service are inspiring. Knowledgeable, kind, strong women within our industry also inspire me, like Donna Whitehead and Marianne Smith. Most importantly, my mum has always inspired me to be the best I can be; always be mindful of what you say and how you say it, and always be kind.

In your briefcase right now is…?
Do I really have to say? There’s too much – I’m a handbag hoarder! Makeup bag, sunglasses, mints, water bottle, free car wash and coffee vouchers, chocolate, my study notes, assessment questions, pens, business cards, calculator, current rental listing, booklet-sized management brochure (you never know when an opportunity will pop up), diary, hairbrush… phew!

What apps do you currently use on your iPhone or iPad?
Not as many as I would like to. Inspection Manager is a new routine app that I’ve had the opportunity to use in my current job and like.

Is there something you couldn’t live without (in business or life)?
My family. I know everyone says this but it is so true!

What is one top tip for good client communication?
Always be clear and honest. Always think before you speak, as there are consequences to words said in haste. In difficult situations listen to what clients are saying and let them say it without interrupting.

I think a lot of people have the misunderstanding that if you are kind you are a pushover; however, I believe you can be kind, firm and still work within our industry’s legislation and regulations. Everyone’s problems and the situations they find themselves in are important to them and should always be respected.

Best lesson you have learned so far?
When you find the company that resonates with your core values everything will fall into place.

Words to live by?
Goodness, there are so many! My one thing I think I really try to say and live by is to be kind; it’s only a little word but powerful if you use it.

Photo credit: Michael Zero Mayer via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

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