Just like the monarch butterflies return to Monterey, CA annually I have an annual trip of my own to Kauai, Hawaii each May. What is it about Hawaii that keeps me returning? For me it is the Ohana, the family, which is central to Hawaiian culture. So, what does this have to do with property management? Property management is a relationship driven business and if nurtured is the secret sauce to success. Here are some of the benefits to creating Ohana in your business.

  1. Building a Cohesive Team

We have our personal family, and we have our work family. What sets the word “family” apart from “friend” or “coworker”?

  • Family is there through thick and thin.
  • Unconditional love and caring.
  • Proactively lending a helping hand.
  • Traditions, celebrations, vacations. Time spent together in fun.
  • Open and honest communication.

When your team feels like a family, they work together to make things happen, to support each other, and to even disagree at times for the betterment of everyone. It is a safe environment to express ideas and try new things. When you have a cohesive team that works together selflessly sky is the limit.  I often think of the military and their approach to taking an individual and turning them into an integral part of a team to the point that your life depends upon your team member.

  1. Creating Happy & Loyal Customers

When you treat customers as “family” you will make decisions in their best interest, provide exceptional and consistent service, and have a vested interest in caring for them and their real estate. When people are happy with your professionalism even if they don’t like the answer, you are creating trust and loyalty for the long run. Your customer churn will decrease, and your referral business will increase. There is a saying, “People won’t remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” We all want to feel special, heard and valued. I used to say to my staff when they were getting frazzled, or short with customers, “Is this how you would treat your family member or long-lost friend?” No, of course not. We treat those we care about with warmth, time, and attention. We listen, we try to help, we fix the problem if possible, and we follow up to keep them in the loop. It really is as simple as, “Treat others as you want to be treated.” The easiest way to do that is to slow down, be intentional and walk in your customers shoes. Treating your customers like family is the first step to creating a lifelong customer. We all want to feel connected to community. The beauty is that you get to create the community.

  1. Developing Fortitude & Fun

Being part of a family isn’t always easy, but we know they will be there for us through thick and thin. This gives us the fortitude to keep going when the going gets tough and it will.  Being a business owner or a property manager overseeing a portfolio is not easy. We are managing expectations, acting as negotiators, facilitators of information, and problem solvers. But when we have family that has our back life gets easier. We don’t feel alone. The saying, “the family that plays together stays together,” is just as important. Creating memories and having fun helps to fill our energy banks for when we need to draw on them. Whether our business is a true family business or a family by choice there is much to be gained by creating your Ohana throughout the different aspects of your business. It binds everyone together into a cohesive team that supports each other and allows for the mindset of service to shine through to customers. Happy customers become loyal customers who in turn refer business. Knowing you have a family who cares about your success can create the fortitude necessary to deal with the trials and tribulations of owning a business. Family makes time for fun, new memories, and the shared experiences support us in the work ahead.

Create a business that sees and treats everyone as Ohana, and you will have found the secret to not only a successful business but a happy life.