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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

The First Date Principle


If you’re reading this article I know that you know the importance of seeing things from a customer’s or resident's point of view. But have you ever found yourself frustrated with the people on your team who don’t ever seem to “get it?”

During my property management career I tried a lot of different ways to help the people that I managed and trained to see things from the customer’s point of view. Using what I call the “First Date Principle” has been the most effective method I’ve found to do this.

The First Date

Aren't first dates stressful? We’ve all been there right? You try outfits until you find the perfect one. You experiment with different hairstyles, make up and accessories to look your best. Perhaps you’ve made reservations at a restaurant whose name you can’t pronounce and whose appetizers alone cost more than your monthly car payment.

 During the date don’t you find that you try to avoid anything that could make you look bad, or be taken the wrong way? If you can’t afford what your date ordered for dinner, you don’t say a word. If you think the waiter is really cute you resist the temptation to take another look. If you feel like you need to burp, or anything else, you make sure that you are far away from the table before it happens, right?

Why do you do this? Because you know that the person sitting across from you is watching everything you do! The mindset that everything that you are doing is being viewed, judged and analyzed will not only help you get through a first date, but will also help you when interacting with your customers.

Your customers and your residents are paying attention to everything you say and do. And they are always drawing conclusions about you, whether their conclusions are accurate or not.

Is it fair?

Not long after I started my property management career, I went apartment hunting. I walked into a community where no one said a word to me. The leasing agent was with a client, but the other on-site staff just peeked out of their offices without acknowledging me for a few minutes.

I figured they didn’t want to help me since they were trying to act like they didn’t see me! Was this what they were really trying to do? Were they really trying to avoid me? I don’t know…but it doesn’t really matter does it, because that is what it looked like to me. And I chose not to live there.

Was it fair that I jumped to the conclusion that they didn't care about me? Probably not.  Yet, whether it’s fair or not, people make judgments and conclusions all of the time, especially in business!

If you want to keep customers satisfied you need to keep their point of view in mind with the things that you say and do. Your customers can’t read your mind, so make sure that your actions clearly communicate what you want to.

The good news is this - if being mindful of your image can help you have a second date…it will also help you find new customers and keep your existing ones as well!

What kinds of things have you tried to help your team members see the customer's point of view?

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