Years ago when people referred to a footprint, they only meant the impressions or images left behind by a person actively walking or running. Now you hear a lot about carbon footprints, digital footprints, social media footprints, and more. Generally, a positive or negative behavior or action determines what type of footprint forms.
Have you ever stopped to think about what people perceive as your property management footprint?
If not, perhaps the following exercise will help you see why you should consider what that is. Start by thinking how you conduct yourself professionally. Ask yourself these key questions.
- Do you give “service” to your clientele?
- Are you “proactive” in your service to your property owners/investors?
- Do you “act” or react to situations?
- Do you “confront” or avoid a problem?
- Do you do what you “say” you will do?
Every action or inaction has an impact or effect of those around you. How you handle and conduct your business will have some effect on personnel, owners, tenants, vendors, and the public. Naturally, you want this to be a positive result, not a negative one.
A very big word in creating a positive property management footprint is service. As a professional property manager, you work for the owner. Therefore, a good footprint is giving good service to them. However, this also means giving the same to everyone else. If you only think of the property owner, you will fail them miserably because you have to give good service to everyone to achieve positive results, particularly the owner’s tenants. In addition, if you fail to train your personnel and vendors on the concepts of good service, your failure will extend beyond you.
You must be proactive to be a professional and to promote a positive footprint. This means you cannot ignore all the warning signs of poor tenancy, neglect maintenance, fail to follow Fair Housing rules, and more. Good property managers know what is happening in their industry and strive to maintain good standards in their business.
When there are difficult situations, it is important to act, not react. When you only react to situations, the tendency is to be emotional and make poor decisions. If you have the attitude that emergencies, difficult tenant situations, and more will not happen, you are definitely in the wrong business and you should consider changing to another profession. Take positive action when difficulties occur to reduce problems.
It is important to confront a problem instead of avoiding it. There is nothing realized by running away from a situation, such as avoiding property owner or tenant calls, ignoring maintenance issues, or facing challenges while screening tenants. Avoiding difficulties generally make them worse, even to the point where you lose a valuable account or incur legal liability. This is not always easy to do but it is the mark of a true property management professional.
If you do what you say, you will succeed. Be honest and above board with everyone. If you say you are going to inspect the property yearly, do it. If you promise good screening, make it happen. If you tell the tenants, you are ordering repairs, get them done. Just do not make promises you cannot keep or deliver, which is a definite way to leave a negative footprint in the property management business.
The bottom line is to be an honest property management professional. By doing so, you will create a positive footprint, which is what you want to leave as your legacy to the property management profession. As we enter 2016, perhaps a good resolution would be to create a positive property management footprint.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.