It’s no secret that many of us are finding that in the digital age, our clients and customers are becoming more educated and demanding than ever before. The skills required of a property manager now need to extend to far beyond a collector of rent or a coordinator of repairs. Added to the 24 hour news cycle and social media, where anyone is able to post whatever they feel like, they are able to express their experiences both positive and negative in a fast and effective way.
As consultants, one of the more common requests that we receive through when it comes to training topics is on communication and conflict resolution. Often we find that even the most experienced property managers are not always equipped with the communication and conflict resolution skills needed to cope with these increased demands, expectations and knowledge.
The most successful agencies we work with have ongoing training plans into place to grow and develop their teams and business to not only educate themselves, but also find ways to educate their clients, therefore becoming the expert in their field.
Ongoing training also enables them to add an array of communication techniques and training to place to assist their teams with avoiding conflict and turn potential complaints into compliments.
Some tips for ensuring you are staying one step ahead may include:
- Be informed – Ensure that you are well informed about the property and relevant legislation so that you can proactively tackle any potential issues
- Keep training – Undertake regular, ongoing internal and external training so that your skills are continually being developed to deal with ever increasing client needs and demands
- Take a look outside this industry – Other industries such as retail and hospitality can bring some great communication, conflict resolution and customer service skills to the table. Take a look at your own experiences and interactions when you are dealing with other industries and see if there are tips that you can take away.
- Look to improve – don’t assume that because it’s been done a certain way for a long time that it’s the best way to do it. Some of the most dangerous words in business are “because it’s the way that it has always been done”. Are there improvements that can be made to improve your service levels to your clients?
- Listen– the best advice to anyone working in property management is to listen and actively listen. Switch on those brain receptors and actually pay attention to what someone is telling you. You may surprise yourself how quickly you can overcome a communication obstacle when you understand the real cause of the concern.