Mastering Communication: The Key to Effective Property Management
December 21, 2023
Elliot Coleman, Director at Metrus has years of managing both residential and commercial properties on behalf of a wide variety of clients. Elliot considers a fundamental key to achieving successful property management is customer service. This means effective communication with clear updates, adapting styles, fostering teamwork, proactive solutions, feedback gathering, and professional networking for continual improvement. Elliot details the tools he utilises to enhance his role in serving his clients optimally.
I’ve said it so often that it’s become my mantra – we manage people, not buildings. It sounds a little jarring but it’s true. Buildings don’t care if they leak or not. Buildings aren’t concerned with expensive upcoming repairs. It’s the people within them that we hear from and we can communicate effectively, building trust through transparent information flow, that elevates a good managing agent from the rest.
Over my 25-year career, I’ve developed a few communication tools that have served me well. I probably bore my colleagues going on about them, but I firmly believe good communication is the foundation from which everything builds.
My three key principles are:-
Everyone is a customer
This is vital. It is a simple message that should extend to all aspects of business life. Obviously one must focus on key clients for the good of the business, but once you start treating everyone, both internal and external stakeholders, as clients you can start to prioritise your communications effectively. I guess this boils down to treating everyone with the respect you would want in return.
Less is more
The art of good comms is taking a complex subject and making it simple. I tire of reading emails from people who seem intent on showing off their expertise by tying the reader up in complex terminology and endless acronyms. It is important to remember that what may be a simple part of our day to day job is often the reader’s first encounter with the subject. I try to put my point across using as few words as possible and keep thinking of ways to simplify.
Something is better than nothing
Is there anything more frustrating than emailing someone and not hearing back for days/weeks? It may be that the recipient has picked up your email straight away and is busy dealing with it, but hadn’t thought to let you know. I may be a victim of our technological age, where too much importance is placed on immediacy, but my view is a simple ‘thanks for your email, please let me look into it and I’ll come back to you ASAP’ is all that’s required to keep everyone happy.
These principles are key in our business and help in managing complex issues and relationships.