Property management with a smile!

Salvatore J. Friscia

Published on May 17, 2012

I recently read somewhere that property managers are slowly spiraling down the trust ladder towards the likes of lawyers and used car salesmen. I know this is a strong statement and no disrespect to lawyers and used car salesman, both honorable and needed professions, but once the public brands a group in that fashion it’s hard to shake the stereotype. So, has it really gotten that bad for us property managers?

Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration and I personally don’t believe it’s accurate. But if you ask a room full of real estate investors if they’ve had bad experiences with property managers in the past, unfortunately you will be bombarded with stories that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. So how can it be that an industry so reliant upon good management be saddled with so many poor property management experiences? I would like to think it’s just a love/hate relationship but honestly, in my opinion, it comes down to the business basics.

As a widely considered expert in the field, and owner of SDPmanagement, a San Diego based residential property management firm, I’ve had the opportunity over the last decade to witness numerous property management offices that consistently underachieve. As a consultant I will review systems and procedures that lead to less than positive feedback from clientele, and make subtle but effective suggestions that can alter the overall experience in a positive fashion. With social media becoming the new unfiltered Better Business Bureau for the public, a negative experience is just a few keystrokes away from Internet infamy and branding your business as less than stellar. This is not rocket science but unfortunately many property managers are overworked and underappreciated to the point that basic customer service skills sometimes take a back seat when dealing with clients, applicants, and tenants.

Nevertheless, all excuses aside, please understand it is virtually impossible regardless of your business acumen to please all the people all the time, and unfortunately negative reviews will be posted. The point is that any opportunities to self-evaluate your business and make improvements are always warranted. In an attempt to stay away from stereotypes and bolster a strong trustworthy image I ask you to consider the following; are your phones answered by the 3rd ring and your company name used in the greeting? Are your showings scheduled with rental managers who are on time for the showings? Do company representatives wear company branded logo shirts to show unity and cohesion? Is your office tidy and clean presenting a professional atmosphere? Do you handle adversity and problems professionally? And last but not “lease” do you offer property management with a smile?

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Salvatore J. Friscia

Salvatore J. Friscia is the Managing Broker at San Diego Premier Property Management in California.

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