In the age of information, we can often find that when it comes to dealing with others including our Landlords, Tenants and Tradespeople, as well as each other, we all want things yesterday and demands can be greater when it comes to the expectation of service levels.
The 24 hour news cycle and social media sites, where anyone is able to post whatever they feel like, allows for the consumer to express their experiences both positive and negative almost instantaneously.
As consultants, one of the more common training topic requests we receive is 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.
Most successful agencies have ongoing training plans in place to grow and develop their teams and business to not only educate the team, but also find ways to educate their clients and position them as an expert in their field. In implementing ongoing training, it assists in equipping the team with communication techniques and training to help manage conflict and turn potential complaints into compliments.
Some tips to being proactive and avoid that conflict may include:
- Be educated about the property and legislation so you can proactively tackle any potential issues
- Undertake regular, ongoing internal and external training so that your skills are continually being developed to deal with ever increasing client needs and demands
- 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.
- Don’t assume that because something has been carried out a particular way, that it’s the best way to do it. Some of the most dangerous words 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?
- The best advice to anyone working in property management is to actively listen. Switch those brain receptors into the ‘on’ position 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.