How to make a small property management problem worse in 1 easy step!

Managing Real Estate Broker with Full Circle Property Management

Easy enough to accomplish. Here is how: You start with any easy request for a easy issue, such as "Have you received my payment this month?" So all you have to do is ignore them, not a 30 second call that indicates yes or no, nor a quick email that says I will check on it, not an easy text that says I will get back to you. Just that easy.

Now the fun part is tommorrow that issue is no longer about the payment received, but is now a larger issue about why you are ignoring me? Why do I never hear back from you? Is my business not worth it to you and your firm? Are you too big to handle my business? Maybe I should look for someone who returns calls!

See how easy that was? And almost no one understands this little secret to poor customer service, and when the business dwindles they say its a bad market. Even my own staff doesn't get it and I work there!

So that's my tip for the day! Easy, quick, and effortless!


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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Dennis, my number 1 complaint in this business is agents to who don't answer their phones, return calls, respond to emails or texts, etc.  It makes the whole business come to a halt until they do.  

Sep 13, 2013 10:12 PM #1
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
Try to respond to all questions within a 24 hour period.
Sep 13, 2013 10:38 PM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTORĀ® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I am always amazed how many property managers in Oklahoma City do not communicate well or sometimes at all. As State President I put together a task force to explore proptery management education as well as a state designation and license. Often REALTORS® who are not doing well decide to augment their income with property management, and now the top complaint at the real estate commission is property management issues. Top notch property managers are worth their weight in gold and are also worth the cost because they do communicate well and immediately.

Sep 13, 2013 11:01 PM #3
Rebecca Howard
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Orland Park, IL
Recognized | Respected | Recommended

Dennis I agree 100%. Its funny how that works when in reverse. Appreciate the reminder. Good advice.

Sep 13, 2013 11:30 PM #4
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Good Morning and yes I do agree!!     Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Sep 13, 2013 11:33 PM #5
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco
As I read your post I acknowledge that responding in a timely manner is wise and important. I encounter this standard more often than not in my interactions.
Sep 13, 2013 11:53 PM #6
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Amazing how easy something can be with the ego removed and the work ethic triggered...Yes to this post

Sep 14, 2013 12:16 AM #7
Matt Kombrink
RE/MAX All Pro - Saint Charles, IL
Your #1 Source For Real Estate
It all boils down to customer service. In this industry, with so many "professionals" out there, you better treat the client right or someone else will.
Sep 14, 2013 01:05 AM #8
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I completely agree with you about the simple phone call. How about this scenario? Technician gets to the home to fix the kitchen leak but tenant is not home at agreed time. Technician waits 30 minutes. I get a call from the tenant why the technician never came. Really?

Sep 14, 2013 01:19 AM #9
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Communication is key in almost every business.  Even the tough calls are better to just complete and get off your list.  Dragging it out doesn't make it less tough.  

All the best, Michelle

Sep 14, 2013 01:33 AM #10
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I remote scan rent checks the DAY they are received so it clears their bank IMMEDIATELY if they track it online...I NEVER respond to this question because 1) they need to REcheck their bank online; OR 2) they have a 5-day notice in the mail or attached to my e-mail with $50 late fee and $100 notice fee PER person on the lease....I do respond to e-mail maintenance requests within 24 hours with the potential remedy AND the name of the service person who will be calling them.....

Sep 14, 2013 02:00 AM #11
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker

My father was a successful business man and he knew how to treat his customers. Treat your customers well, and they will return the favor. Treat them poorly and well, you know the rest. Good post and thanks to Dad!  

Sep 14, 2013 02:08 AM #12
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Responding to voice mail messages and emails promptly is a key component of being successful in any business.  I couldn't agree more.

Sep 14, 2013 03:09 AM #13
Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate
RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties

Dennis, That is the number one complaint aboutany service business. That seems to me to be the easiest thing to do. Go figure!

Sep 14, 2013 05:25 AM #14
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

It does seem the easier the task the easier to put off.  Why is it that way ?

Sep 14, 2013 02:38 PM #15
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Dennis - This is a common complaint in so many different areas.
Sep 14, 2013 02:42 PM #16
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Thanks to all for the coments as it appears you guys agre with me.

Joe-I have to agree with you, and I often wonder if they returned calls in their real estate business maybe they wouldn't need to be a property manager on the side.

Wallace-its great that you scan the checks right away and I wish we did, but sometimes we get checks lost in the mail or they address them wrong.

Harry-We get that same issue as well. We always door hanger them but then the second time they do this we follow up with a service call bill. Always makes them happy!

To the rest- Yep, customer service is key in our business and most everyone else's business and a common complaint.


Sep 14, 2013 09:21 PM #17
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dennis- well done.  Just answer the phone or return calls in a prompt manner.  Most people are willing to forgive or overlook a mistake but not if you don't return their calls and messages. 

Sep 15, 2013 02:56 AM #18
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Kathy-you are exactly right!

Sep 20, 2013 11:25 PM #19
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Dennis Swartz

MBA, GRI...experience counts!
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