I recently returned from a lovely trip floating from Ft. Lauderdale through the Panama Canal to San Diego. It was perfect timing, the weather was great, and it was nice to be out of the cold winter weather. This particular cruise was on a Holland America (HAL) cruise ship, the Statendam. I normally choose this cruise line because HAL promotes and encourages “service above and beyond.”
Not only is HAL’s service excellent, but going through the locks is an extremely fascinating experience; there is an amazing history and they are currently widening the Panama Canal. In Costa Rica, an exciting jungle cruise led me very close to a great many crocodiles, ranging from 3 to 20 feet. They do have the biggest teeth, appearing deceptively slow and lazy – talk about survival of the fittest!
One sea day, I was enjoying my lunch and I began to reflect on the great service I was receiving. My thoughts were that professional property management companies have a lot in common with HAL.
I continually interacted with so many crew members that were so cheerful and pleasant, assisting me in any way they could. They never grumble despite the long hours and long stretches of time away from their homes and families. They are interesting and delightful people to interact with, coming from all over the world.
HAL does charge a daily set amount for this service. Technically, you are not obligated to pay but I do because of what I receive. In fact, I give extra tips to those who give the “extra” care. All crewmembers contribute their additional tips to a collective pot, because they all contribute to the enjoyment of the passengers and then they all receive compensation.
Let’s face it – great service is simply a recipe for success. Just like HAL, we charge fees for our service. In fact, there is now a variety of fees to compensate companies for the many tasks required to manage investment property. Professional property management is definitely a challenging business, deserving good compensation.
It’s easy to collect a property management service fee. However, it is important to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I giving good service?
- Do I want to give “service above and beyond”?
- Are my clients getting the service they deserve for the fees paid?
- Am I going to retain my clients because our company gives great service?
- Will my clients refer me to someone else because they feel they are getting good value for their money?
Well, needless to say, I enjoyed my recent trip, I would use HAL again, and I would refer this cruise line to others. From personal experience, I know that giving service above and beyond is not always easy to accomplish, taking hard work and perseverance.
Remember – if you give poor service, that deceptive crocodile (your competition) may strike.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
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