Avoiding Vacancies By Caring Enough to Lead

2014-07-19

Avoiding Vacancies By Caring Enough to Lead

This Is Why Everyone Always Told You To Do Something You Love Doing

A car with a broken window.Leadership isn’t a rank you achieve — it’s a choice you make. Anyone can be a leader, because the thing that defines a leader is the decision to look out for the people around you and do what needs to be done for them. It’s called “sacrificial care,” and it can mean that you sacrifice money, time, or even dignity depending on the circumstances.

What does this have to do with property management? Simple: when you lead and you have your employees’ and tenants’ backs, they return your loyalty with their own. For a rental property, where vacancies equal lost income, that loyalty pays dividends. Avoiding vacancies means more money in your pocket, plain and simple.

Proving Your Leadership by Considering Safety
When you walk your property, you should constantly be on the lookout for dangers to your tenants. The parking lots, paths, stairs, landscaping, and of course the units themselves should be inspected for safety purposes. When you find a safety threat, you should have a consistent plan to deal with it. Put up a sign advising people of the problem, get a crew out to fix the problem, and then communicate guidelines to the tenants to prevent the problem from recurring.

Proving Your Leadership by Considering Health
You might not think that as a property manager, it’s your place to be concerned with the health of your tenants — but consider it. A healthy tenant misses less work, so they’re more easily able to pay rent. They carry fewer diseases, so you have fewer breakouts in your buildings. They keep their health expenses down, so there’s less competition over their paycheck and your rent wins more easily. How do you promote health among your tenants? Use whatever channels of communication you have: direct mail, email lists, your blog, your monthly newsletter — whatever you use — and include short articles about eating, sleeping, exercising, and de-stressing.

Proving Your Leadership by Considering Requests
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? We’re all familiar with the notion, but when it comes to leadership, sometimes what you see as unbroken, your tenants might see as dysfunctional. More importantly, taking tenants’ requests into account and acting on them is a huge way to prove to them that you have their best interests in mind. So actually run the numbers on adding that Wi-Fi in your exercise room, that shared garden, or those heat-reflective window treatments, and ask yourself: is the gain in tenant loyalty worth the cost in money?

Proving Your Leadership with the Broken Windows Theory
The Broken Windows theory comes from a simple experiment: leave a car alone on an inner-city road for a few days, and no one will mess with it. Break a window on that car and walk away, and not 24 hours later, it will be vandalized, stripped, and possibly stolen. The idea is that small signs of disrepair act as indicators that no one cares, and so they justify abuse. So walk your property and look for small signs of disrepair. Do your buildings need new paint? Are several tenants missing window screens? Have roots made rubble out of part of your baths? Resolve those issues, keep everything looking cared-for and respected, and you can keep your tenants respecting your property — and you.

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