Change seems to be a dirty word in so many industries and organizations. It seems that the Property Management industry leads the charge on this front. In this day and age of do more with less, the Property Management industry needs to start making some big changes in how it provides infrastructure to its staff. As leaders in this movement we want to probe this powerful human condition and find out how we can motivate people to understand that change is their friend. Remind the folks you work with that in order to have progress there must be change.
For instance, customer service. Yes, that is what I said, customer service, you know tenants, or lessees or occupants or residents or whatever your customer type, they are the customers. The other customer is the building owner, often referred to as the client. It becomes crystal clear, however, pleasing the customer, may not please the client. If you hear from your customers that they have various needs to be fulfilled or cannot understand why certain things are the way they are, it is usually attributed to a mandate or philosophy of ownership.
How do you explain a property not having a website and a domain name registered in the name of the property? Is it the PM or FM not having a website or is the building owner not wanting to pay for a website? Is the PM or FM just afraid of the additional burden of more work to do with less time? It can be a variety of reasons, but no property should be without a website. It is not a website for the sake of having a website, it is a customer service portal, for goodness sake. It can save the PM or FM time and money, which in turn can make the client happy. Will it cost something, yes, but it will remain with the property and should in fact, make the property more valuable. The customers that occupy the building can communicate or make contact with the building via the website. It can serve as the social hub of the property and the central source of information. By making the website the one-stop place for all things, you are freeing up your staff and yourself from the mundane and routine tasks that just take up the most valuable commodity, time.
Look at the fact that time can be put towards a well written owner report, contribution to the property’s leasing effort, attention paid to the maintenance department and their efficiency. How about time to shop prices and get bids to make further building improvements? To me, the website can free you up. Will it take time and effort to set it up. Yes. Is it worth it, absolutely.
There are a multitude of features that the website can have, but below we have listed the key areas that can help your operation and provide the most bang for the buck.
Important Telephone Numbers – Fire, police, paramedics, management office, security desk, maintenance, etc.
Building Profile – basic information that you would consider putting in your Customer Handbook/Tenant Manual. Hours of Operation, Neighborhood Information, Elevator Procedures, Oversize Trash, Recycling, Security, Emergency Procedures, History of the property, in other words FAQ or frequently asked questions, etc.
Location – directions to the property, maps, site plan, legal address, etc.
Announcements – calendar of events, holidays, planned building project schedules, etc.
Leasing Information – contact information
Why is change so difficult? Do companies shoot themselves in the foot when they prevent change or innovation? What frustrates those who attempt to bring new ideas or technologies to the property and facility management industry? We want to hear from you. Please share your comments about what you find yourself up against when you think there is a better or faster or more efficient way to do things, but no one wants to listen to you.