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Can you hear me now? Will you hear me later?

So often, we take for granted the very people who pay our paycheck.  Truth is, it’s not the owner of the company or the head of your payroll department you should be brown-nosing, it’s your customer.  Without them you would have no paycheck.  It is important to take time for yourself so I’m not saying you should become a workaholic robot, but you should consider taking your level of customer service up a notch.

Jen Piccotti’s recent blog got me thinking.  As a paying resident, what do I expect?

Some people believe that having emergency maintenance is enough.  I don’t think that’s the case.  Instant gratification is no longer a luxury, it’s an expectation.  When I have a question, I want an answer!

On site professionals know that being available isn’t always the bees knees.  Residents know where you live and some don’t hesitate to impose.  What if they could just send you an e-mail knowing you’ll respond?  They would probably rather do that anyway, but they have been trained to believe that office hours and email responses end simultaneously so they seek out other methods for a faster response.

If your community has a Facebook page, you may have noticed this already.  Residents don’t get an instant response from sending you an e-mail so they make their complaint public.  The Apartment Expert - Lisa Trosien posed the question "Do you think people use Facebook while browsing and shopping for an apartment?"  -  Probably not intentionally, but word of mouth marketing is huge. People retain what their friends say about everything including their living situation. Comments by friends can cause them to migrate towards or pass over your community due to something they heard months before. It's important to make sure your current residents are praising you not bashing you.

Making yourself available doesn’t mean that you will be inundated with silly requests or questions all the time, but it will instill a sense of confidence in your residents that I can almost guarantee, your competition does not offer.

~ Angela

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages. -Henry Ford

Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement. - James Cash Penney

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What a great reminder about who really does pay our paychecks, Angela! As a culture, we really do expect instant access and instant response. And while that doesn't mean you need to be responding to your residents at 1 a.m., it is a critical practice to ensure responses happen same day, or at least by 10 a.m. if received after office hours. Great post!

  Jen Piccotti
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Thanks Jen! If our expectations are so high already, can you imagine how demanding the next generation will be? It's important to prepare now. If we don't, we're bound to be left behind.

  Angela Irizarry

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