I have worked in the property service industry for twenty years and, in my opinion, the expectations placed on us have never been higher. This is undoubtedly a result of increased rents and government mandated regulations, meaning that costs have increased for both tenants and landlords. And whenever you pay more, you expect more.
In Property Management, our clients rely on us to protect their investments. We have to ensure that the highest standards are set, to avoid that investment being negatively affected.
How have we been able to meet these increasing demands?
First of all, you need the best people. They need to be dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about providing the highest levels of customer service. This ethos has to be shared throughout the company for it to be able to succeed.
I am proud to say that we have these amazing people throughout the sales and support teams at Douglas & Gordon. Every department is reliant on those around them and there is no ‘us and them’ attitude. Everyone is working towards the same goal.
Knowledge is key. We are the experts in our field and our clients rely on us to be so. How can you inspire confidence if your advice and recommendations are flawed?
In Property Management, we are often presented with problems that need lateral thought. We have to take information from many different sources, from tenants and landlords to neighbours, contractors and building managers, and find the best possible outcome for our clients. This requires plenty of knowledge and experience, which is something we have in spades.
You live and die by the quality of your partnerships. We tread a very fine line between making sure matters are resolved as quickly as possible, but also cost effectively. This means that we rely heavily on the quality of the contractors we use. We would not be able to match people’s expectations unless we had contractors who were able to meet these demands. Finding trustworthy plumbers and electricians who can attend immediately and provide clear and concise reports and recommendations is something that can only be achieved through years of relationship building.
Tolerance & Empathy
It is very easy for someone in a stressful situation to seem ‘difficult’, but can’t anyone seem difficult when trying to understand something that someone else assumes is common knowledge? We deal with situations that affect people’s investments and the homes they live in. These circumstances can make people anxious, and when people are anxious, they can become fractious. The best way to avoid this is with exceptional communication.
All communication needs to be clear and frequent. You might be incredibly busy trying to resolve a problem, but if you don’t communicate with the person you are doing this for, then they will assume that you are doing nothing. Always update people, even if that update is just to say that you don’t have one yet. You should also be clear and realistic on timeframes and stick to them.
If the Covid-19 lockdown has taught us anything, it is the value of a good Estate Agent. Where others were shutting up shop, we made sure our people had the ability to work from home the minute the lockdown was announced. This has meant that there has been no interruption to our ability to service our clients’ needs at a time when we are needed most.