How to be the apple of the property management industry

Jo-Anne Oliveri
Jo-Anne Oliveri | 3 min. read
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Published on September 12, 2013

Most operate their property management company through reactive management. If this sounds like you, I suggest you take a page or two out of Apple’s book. As one of the most highly respected and highly loved companies in the world, their employees love their jobs and their consumers love their products and services. How has it achieved this status?

Apple designs and proactively manages all organizational areas, in particular its brand, touchpoints, and reputation. But don’t be green with envy – you can become the Apple of the property management industry if you also take control of your company.

Designing your company’s brand

Designing your property management company’s brand means designing your identity and proactively managing your image. Your brand identity is essentially your organizational culture. Your brand image is how your stakeholders perceive your company.

The key to designing your brand so it is highly respected and highly loved like Apple’s is to consistently confirm that you do what you say. If your core values are mutual respect and trust, but your clients feel frustrated by your broken promises, a ‘legitimacy gap’ forms in their minds. And, thanks to word of mouth, you can be sure these bad experiences will spread until everyone knows that your agency delivers a service of broken promises. Wouldn’t you rather design what your stakeholders think of your company and proactively manage anything that may damage this perception?

Managing your company’s touchpoints

To proactively manage your brand image, you must proactively manage your company’s touchpoints like Apple does. Touchpoints are everything your stakeholders come into contact with, whether tangible or intangible, in your company.

Touchpoints include your physical agency, clothing, website, business cards, team members, coffee cups, and so on. Yes, most touchpoints you don’t even notice are communicating something about your company! Unfortunately, this area usually goes unplanned and unmanaged.

To design your company’ touchpoints, list everything your stakeholders currently see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with your company. Then, write down everything you want your stakeholders to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with your company. Now implement! Teach your team the new standards and apply measures that maintain these standards. If one team member wears green when everyone else wears purple, your stakeholders become confused and ‘legitimacy gaps’ emerge that put your company’s reputation on the line!

Building your company’s reputation

Your company’s reputation is your most valuable intangible asset – nothing affects your bottom line more. So why would you leave this organizational area to its own devices? Instead, why not be like Apple and proactively build, maintain, and improve your reputation within your workplace, market area, and industry.

To do this, you must ask yourself: How do I want our team, partners, current and prospective clients — effectively anyone that has a stake in the company — to perceive us?

This must link to your business goals and align with all organizational areas – culture, brand, touchpoints, etc. If you want to be known as the number one agency for service, then you must design tactics for that goal to unfold from your organizational culture through to your touchpoints.

Ultimately, if you want to be the Apple of the property management industry, my suggestion is to take a page or two out of their book. Take control of your company by designing and proactively managing all organizational areas, and watch the respect and love for your company grow.

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Jo-Anne Oliveri

Jo-Anne Oliveri is Managing Director of ireviloution intelligence in East Brisbane, Australia, which empowers principals and property management teams creating and operating business by design.

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