Have you ever read an email and completely missed the tone it was meant to convey? Or, perhaps you’ve received a text message and thought, “Wow, that person must be having a bad day.” Oftentimes, there is more to uncover.
As a property manager, with logistics real estate assets and management activities across the country, there are a variety of puzzles being pieced together on any given day with numerous nuances to consider. Oftentimes, those nuances can be found, or lost, in translation. And, while today’s environment has made remote connectivity easier than ever, there is one thing that continues to drive customer loyalty and satisfaction at Dermody Properties — in-person client interactions.
Our customers have a wide variety of complex needs so making the time to get to know the people behind the emails or thread of text messages is an essential part of what we do. Simply put, relationships matter. I believe in meeting people where they are and seeing things from their perspective. In logistics real estate, that means walking the site (inside and out) with your customer/tenant, talking one-on-one and bearing witness to their experiences firsthand. It means discussions around the lease and the financial aspects that are correlated to managing what’s needed at the property. Regardless of your position or your title in your company, everyone should be talking and interacting with the customer.
As the economy shifts, some customers will be scrutinizing the value of the services they receive even more. This is only natural. It is when a property manager’s job gets even busier and when my team becomes even more methodical in ensuring we’re in contact with customers. The aim is to talk with customers in person whenever possible. Sure, it is not always convenient and sometimes those conversations can be tough but, I always love having them. They allow us to ask questions, to listen, and to have dialogue about what can be improved upon, in addition to what’s going well. It’s problem solving at its finest and it is one of my favorite aspects of this job.
Being there for a customer through adverse situations or ongoing challenges can develop strong relationships, especially when you can be nimble and help solve what’s troubling them. In this industry, customer relationships can sometimes last for five to 10 years — sometimes even longer — with the ultimate goal always being to build upon that loyalty. Knowing someone’s disposition and turns of phrase makes those inevitable, hard-to-read emails and text messages easier to navigate. It also makes it easier to know when you should pick up the phone or hop on a flight and have a meaningful conversation.
Property management is a lot broader than it used to be, with property asset management and development now an integral part of the role. If we get back to the basics, being willing to listen and meet customers where they are (both literally and figuratively), we might even surprise them by showing just how far we’re willing to go to show we care and value their business.
Customers know when they have someone who is willing to listen to their issues. Being solution-oriented is a skill I developed and nurtured throughout my career, and it is one I work to foster among my team. It is also part of the fabric of Dermody Properties, with an entire company of people committed to leading customer service, always aware of how the little things matter. Whether in the Silver State or across the country, promises aren’t simply made in an office or from a Zoom room; they are preserved through steadfast interactions and meaningful relationships. At Dermody Properties, this is our customer commitment and where promises are kept.
Elizabeth Teske is the Senior Vice President of Property Management at Dermody Properties, where she is responsible for overseeing both indirect and direct property management activities across the country.