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Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

I Got Called Something Offensive on a Ratings and Review Site!

I Got Called Something Offensive on a Ratings and Review Site!

Have you ever been called something offensive on a ratings and reviews site? I have! The one that stands out the most to me is the time when a resident's complaint was triggered because I said he needed to pay his rent by the deadline or I would initiate the legal process. If I remember correctly he felt meant that he didn't need to pay his rent by the deadline because of a specific personal situation that he felt negated his requirement to do so. 

I was the assistant manager at the time, so I had this resident's situation forwarded up the chain of command to get reviewed. As I initially thought, this person's situation did not enable him to pay his rent when he felt he should be able to and I communicated this to the resident. Well, the resident wasn't happy with this and went on a ratings and reviews site and called me a "Nazi" and criticized all of us too. 

What the heck?

When I first read the review I was equal parts upset and it also made me laugh. It upset me, I think for obvious reasons, as I felt that I was very reasonable with the resident, had his situation reviewed (even when I knew that he was not going to get what he asked for), and I hated being called a "Nazi." And I also had to laugh because his comment was so nonsensical, so over-the-top, so ridiculous that I didn't know what else to do, but laugh. Eventually this resident paid his rent and life returned to normal. I seem to think he moved out not long after that-probably thinking that I was the most unreasonable person in the world because I thought he should pay his rent. 

Before I just go off on a tirade about how residents can say the worst things at times, I want to bring their perspective into view...which I think will help you!

The Resident's Point of View

Today I tried to find that old review on the ratings site and I think I found it! The offensive words have been removed, so I can't be sure, but I do think I found it! It was interesting was to read this resident's comments again being detached from the situation for many years now. As I read his negative review there were some things that were complaints about valid issues and others that weren't. I then read other reviews from my era and noticed the same pattern-some reviews I understood and other's left me perplexed!

The main thing is that when you get a particularly explosive review, someone calls you an expletive, or says something offensive (and yes, you can ask for those things to be removed on many platforms) try and see the large picture. The resident is unhappy. Therefore s/he will say what s/he needs to do justify that unhappiness. 

Does this mean that I think that upset residents are intentionally lying and saying things just to make you sound tremendously awful? No! I don't think most of them think that is what they're doing. (And yes, some do. I know.)

When something goes wrong their emotions are at play-they are mad, upset, frustrated maybe scared and then they don't get what they want from you human nature takes over and becomes their interpretive grid in which they'll view (and re-view) everything to justify their actions. Now all of those little things they just "let go" or were "okay with" and never told you about now become massive problems. Those things they thought but never said now come out. They'll start to look around for things they're not happy with-even things they were okay with before. 

What you can do

This is all a part of typical human behavior. I know it doesn't make out fun and it certainly doesn't make it right. But I do think it is helpful for you to remember this because what you don't want to do is ignite the issue even more by responding to their emotions with negative emotions. That just gets ugly! I also don't want you to allow negative words to completely take you out and ruin your day. 

So, if someone has said something negative about you:

  1. You're in good company!
  2. Don't get derailed by the specific words used (especially the inflammatory and offensive ones) and try to focus on the big picture of what the customer is trying to say. 
  3. Where there is validity in what was said (even if how it was said was awful) address those things and find solutions or offer an apology. 
  4. If you do respond, do so with empathy, not venom. 
  5. Don't make it worse.
  6. Remember, some day you'll read it again and laugh...just like I did!




This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

When I was onsite in the early 70s, a resident said to me "I don't have to take your word because you're a damn woman. Let me speak to the man in charge." Does that qualify for being called something offensive? ;-)

  Anne Sadovsky
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

What an ignorant person...everyone knows women are in charge! (You're just nice enough to let us feel like we have the wheel for awhile!) (=

  Rommel Anacan

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