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The number one mistake that property managers make is communicate via email or in writing with their clients and customers because of the fear. The fear of conflict and the fear of the reaction that they might get from some of those conversations.
I think the best advice I can give is that, even though you might not have the answers and you have that fear of conflict, remembering when you pick up that phone that you’re not there to report or take orders. You’re there to have a conversation.
I think if you’re going with that mindset that, “You know what? I’m just having a conversation with this person. I’m the same individual. I’m not here and they’re here. We’re on the same level. I just want to have a conversation about the solution.”
Communication is a big thing. If you can learn to communicate with people, you’re going to cut off a whole lot of that anxiety that you feel when you’re having to make those calls and save a lot of time, because I can tell you the email ping-pong thing? That is the biggest time waster in this industry. That’s why we see property managers just sitting at their desks at 7 o’clock at night because they’re not resolving. They’re just playing a game of backwards and forwards, and the more we do that, the worse it gets.
Number one tip: property managers, start thinking about your portfolio like it’s your own business. You have to create relationships in order for your business to thrive and you cannot do that with words. You can only do that with emotion and with relationships. That’s what builds trust and once you have trust, everything changes. Clients trust you. Tenants trust you. Your colleagues trust you and you can just make decisions. You don’t have to take orders. You start giving direction and you don’t have to ask for permission.
I think that’s a really key point. Whilst I say picking up the phone, that doesn’t work for everyone. I think the key there is understanding what your clients’ preferences are, and your customers’, your tenants’ preferences, because if you’re communicating with them in a way that works for them, it’s going to have the same result at the end of the day.
But some people say, they’ll tell you that they prefer email. “Great, I’m just going to email you everything.” They say that because a lot of the times you haven’t built that relationship yet. So, don’t just figure, “Well, you said you wanted email, and now you’re leaving me and going to another agent over fees.” It’s because you haven’t built that relationship.
So, you’ve got to work out the right times to communicate via email and the right times to communicate via phone. The right time to communicate via phone is when you’ve got good news. They’re the times when you do that, or you’ve got challenging, complex situations that involve giving your clients some advice on. They’re the sort of conversations that you should be having with your clients.