Steven M. R. Covey published a book entitled “The Speed of Trust” which explains how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.
When I read this book, I understood that it was imperative for our company to establish trust with our landlords at the very beginning of our business relationship.
Since most of our landlords plan to sell their rental properties once the market reaches a break-even or profitable level, our property management relationships typically last 4-6 years. During most of that time frame, our direct interaction with landlords will be minimal. We will collect rents, react to minor maintenance concerns, renew leases, or procure new tenants. Rarely, but possibly, we may need to contact a landlord in the midst of an emergency situation that requires a prompt decision and/or a significant and unexpected expense.
For instance, if a gas hot water heater leaks on a Friday night, a decision needs to be made whether to replace it immediately to allow tenants to have hot water over the weekend. Or if it is nearly 100 degrees on a hot August day and the landlord’s home warranty company can not get a vendor out to the house for 5 days, a decision needs to be made as to whether an alternative HVAC vendor should be dispatched outside of the warranty in order to keep the tenant cool…. literally and figuratively.
It is in these situations that we want to make sure that our landlords already have a significant level of trust in our staff, our vendors, our processes, our polices, our recommendations and our judgment. We strive to build this trust from the beginning of our relationship by keeping landlords informed of all work orders, providing monthly statements, promptly responding to requests, sharing our knowledge, and answering any questions that landlords have about anything related to the management of their rental properties. We welcome questions, as we want to make sure that landlords are not wondering what is going on with one of their most valuable investments.
We understand that asking landlords to make a quick decision on a high dollar maintenance item requires that we provide well-researched options and full explanations. We strive daily to take actions and provide customer service in a way that leads to our landlords developing trust in our input, our recommendations and our experience. That’s why they hire us, that’s what we’re committed to provide!