One of a property manager’s most important jobs is communicating effectively with building owners. These seven tips will help you up your game.
- Choose the right format
- Always be professional
- Respond right away
- Be a great listener
- Provide regular feedback
- Give educational materials
- Stay flexible
As a property manager, you make sure that buildings and communities operate smoothly. One task that should be at the top of your priority list is communication with the property owner.
Owners have to stay knowledgeable about the condition of their buildings and surrounding areas, and it’s your job to keep them informed. Ensuring excellent owner communication is a must to maintain positive, efficient relationships.
How do you do it? Here are seven tips for keeping in touch effectively and professionally.
1. Choose the right format
First, make sure you and the owner are using the most effective, convenient option for communicating. Your options are phone calls, texting, emailing, instant chat, and in-person meetings. Some property managers find that a mix of all is best, depending on their current needs and the urgency of an issue. You should pick a go-to method that works for both of you.
To choose the right one, simply ask the owner what their preference is. Think about your own needs and how you’d like to be reached. Perhaps you can schedule weekly in-person meetings or video conference check-ins, and if anything else comes up throughout the week, you can send an email.
Just make sure you’re both on the same page and that the way you communicate is timely and effective.
2. Always be professional
When managing communities or buildings, it’s easy to become stressed when something goes wrong. In these moments, we are not always our most patient and understanding selves. It happens!
Remember that you have been hired to do a job, though, and that you need to represent yourself professionally. This means handling delicate subjects with care and being accommodating to the owners’ requests.
Every property owner will be different in the way they communicate and handle issues, so it may take time to mold your style to each person’s needs. Just remember that you are representing your business in all owner communications, so keep things friendly, light, and professional, even if interactions are not always completely formal.
3. Respond right away
You don’t work on properties 24/7. You need time away from work just like anyone. Make it clear to the property owner that during certain periods of the day or week you may be slow to respond. Give them your set work hours and make sure you are available.
Whether it is a voicemail, text, or email, respond promptly, even if you don’t have the answer to a question yet. Let them know that you received the message and that you’re working on a response. This shows the owner that you’re paying attention to them and are prioritizing their concerns.
4. Be a great listener
Great property managers are great listeners. When you’re interacting with the building owner, make sure you are hearing what they are saying and repeat back their main points to confirm you have absorbed everything as they intended. Incorporate non-verbal skills that also indicate you are listening, like nodding, body language, and eye contact.
Pay close attention to details during your conversations and write down anything you need to remember. You may quickly be pulled in another direction and you don’t want to forget what was discussed. Note-taking is a great habit to build and supports better listening skills.
5. Provide regular feedback
For property owners to know what’s going on, you have to tell them. Make sure you are letting them know immediately of any updates or problems occurring in the building. It is totally acceptable to provide your opinion and feedback in many cases, especially if they ask for it, so don’t be afraid to offer guidance if you have experience with an issue or topic.
Always remember that you are not the owner and defer to them when necessary.
6. Provide educational materials
After you’ve worked with a few owners, you’ll be able to compile a list of common questions. Create educational materials, like resource videos or packets, where owners can turn immediately if they have a question. It’s also helpful to outline your management process and approach so they know what they can expect while working with you.
7. Stay flexible
Finally, another crucial characteristic for property managers to develop is flexibility. You never know what is going to be most important to a building owner. Everyone will have different personalities and priorities. Keep an open mind and fulfill the owners’ requests.
Keeping an open mind is thus a crucial component of your job. Stay adaptable and you will continue to excel when communicating with clients.
How VendorSmart helps property managers
Property managers have a lot on their plate. In addition to communicating with the property owner regularly, they have to manage residents, vendors, financials, and so much more.
Streamline your daily processes using VendorSmart, a platform that helps you manage vendor vetting and compliance. You can easily post a job on the web-based marketplace and find qualified, certified vendors near you with side-by-side comparisons.
Contact the VendorSmart team to learn more or to request a platform demo.