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Effective Communication is Key

Keys to the communication kingdom are sometimes hard to grasp.  Nothing in business is more important than communication.  You can have the best plans, the greatest ideas, but if you don’t have effective communication, your results won’t be stellar. 

I recently received an email from a property manager sharing with me her response to a resident about an issue where the resident wasn’t clearly informed, and I quote, “I let her know (the resident) that we have a web site and a face book fan page, I also let her know we send out newsletters every month on top of crime watch meetings. She does not want a computer at home, she said that the newsletters are a waste of good paper and she doesn’t have time to attend any kind of meeting. Aside from staying after work and waiting for her to get home, I do not know how she would like us to communicate with her”.

This is definitely a tough nut to crack, so, how is a property manager supposed to communicate with someone who doesn’t utilize technology? How about going low tech, a notice laminated and posted at the mail box kiosk, everyone gets mail and has to pick it up at some point, and of course there is the laundry area, there is usually always a bulletin board for postings there.  Did we ever ask the resident how she would like to be communicated with? I think in this age of new technology, we forget about talking with one other, it’s important to speak to your residents each time you engage with them. Know your audience, understand how they listen, and remember, not everyone has a Face Book page, email, or smart phone, nor do they want them.  Do you know anyone over 65 or 70 that doesn’t have a smart phone?  I do, and we have to find ways to communicate that doesn’t involve technology.

Communications  are never ending, vital to getting our business done, and it’s important to know who you’re communicating with, be it a 20 something, savvy college student that communicates via texting and email, or a 70 year old senior that doesn’t want all the bells and whistles that technology brings.  Just because you post the community meeting on your Face Book page, or the Crime Watch meeting schedule in the newsletter, you may be losing your effectiveness in getting your message out there.  Work every angle with your communications and your events will be more attended and your messages will be better received.  Sometimes the best way to communicate isn’t always high tech, be creative, find other ways to communicate to those struggling with technology or not using it at all.

Communication really is key to the clarity of your message, and how you go about that communications can be the difference between getting your message out there, or not.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You know what? Even when you post Notices in the Laundry Rooms and other common areas of your community, even if you MAIL the Notice, someone will always say they did not know about an event, activity, or that the Office was closed or that the rent was due on the first.

  Mindy Sharp
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Of course Mindy, you are right, there are always going to be those who claim they didn't get the memo, sometimes because it's convenient for them, right? My point is if you have covered all those areas, low tech and high tech modes of communication, then you really have done all you can do. As property management specialists, it's still our responsibility to try to communicate to all, and it's always important to try. Thanks for your comment.

  Alison Voyvodich
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I do adore technology, but realize it is not for everyone. I am a big fan of face to face communication, as I feel that even the "floating heads" of Face Time cannot compare to the observation of body language...Thank you for the reminder!!:)

  Caprice Stokes, MBA
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You are welcome Caprice. I do know one thing for sure, technology has changed the way we communicate and the way we do business no matter what the industry, and as much as we embrace technology, simple observations such as body language is important to consider. Great point!

  Alison K Voyvodich
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You make very valid points Alison. Technology is great but you have to know your audience (recipients). It's one of the reasons our service, One Call Now, appeals to all demographics. You can get messages out to your residents in the manner they are most comfortable with: voice, email, SMS text.

We give you unlimited service at a low cost, so you can eliminate the environmental burden of paper and ink and eventual trash. This also cuts down on man-hours of creating, printing and distribution of usually overlooked flyers.

We document each each message for you and how it was received so you have confirmation and record of how a message was received, was feedback was given if asked for, and you can save those reports if needed. You now know not if, but how someone received your message and when.

When resident retention and satisfaction is so closely tied to communication, it is worth investigating a technology that is so simple to use people don't think of it as such. One Call Now is effective, reliable and so easy to implement. It is why 1 in 5 Americans rely on us to deliver messages that matter.

Contact me and test our service to see for yourself. [email protected]

  Debbie Char
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The best way to communicate with people is the way they want to be communicated with. Poll your residents and use services like CallMax to replace the traditional flyers on doors etc. Communication is the key to success, Pass it on!

  Becky Currie
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Debbie Char and Becky Currie, thanks so much for the information I will pass it along to our marketing team to take a look. You are both so right, you do have to know your audience and the way they want to be communicated with, probably one of the most basic and important tools. Thanks again for your comments.

  Alison Voyvodich
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In a training meeting years ago, I was told that a good salesman is basically insecure. One could apply that to a property manager. The point is that you can never feel you have taken the last step to get your message out, just as back then, I could never allow myself to feel that I had done everything I needed to do to properly and effectively communicate with a customer. Strangely, that doesn't foster neurosis, but rather eventually it fosters a very high degree of self-confidence and organization.
The points about communicating with residents in the manner that is easiest for them are so well-taken. I used to ask my clients and prospects: "How do you like to be covered?" (I was a bond salesman.) Do you want a call first thing, a call only when I have an appropriate idea, or a call at midday just to check in? The point I am trying to drive home is that the extra work to prepare for all the various needs, foibles, and idiosyncracies of your residents will pay off in the long run as you earn a reputation for incredible customer service.

  Charles Fiori
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Yes, yes, yes Charles Fiori, you hit a home run there. You can never do too much. And incredible customer service pays huge dividends with our customers or clients in any industry. I had an incredible frustrating morning today. I needed to drop off a car for service. The service area of the dealership is undergoing construction, I was late getting there, and their signs were missing for sales and/or service. By the time I drove up to the right place, I was extremely upset and wanted to grab someone by the throat. The service technician saw my face as it probably reflected many others trying to find them, he came right up to me and directed me where to park, and where to go and who to ask for all in one sentence. He understood the need for excellent customer service in the heat of the moment. Communication is key and providing that communication in whatever way is the best will provide dividends and success in property management or any industry. Thanks for your comments.

  Alison Voyvodich

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