We are taught to be friendly and inviting when talking with residents, but is there a line? Mark and Jonathan take us through the top ten expressions you should never say to a resident. Some will definitely make you chuckle, but they all show the importance of being careful to keep our feet out of our mouths.
We reached out to community members to help us create this list. Some are no-brainers, while others could use a little more tact. Either way, this highlights how careful property management professionals need to be when interacting with residents.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
Top 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Resident
- How did you end up in a wheelchair?
- How far along are you?
- Our policy says…
- Did you see that guy from apartment 134 get arrested last night?
- Your lease says that it’s not our fault.
- Are you single?
- I heard from Marsha in D5 that you have a new boy toy.
- It smells a little like Mary Jane in here.
- What’s up with all the loud banging coming from your apartment?
- Night, night, don’t let the bedbugs bite.
As we said earlier, some of these are no-brainers. Go ahead and ask a resident if they are single and watch the sexual harassment claim ensue. And why would you ever risk a possibly very uncomfortable conversation by asking a woman when her baby is due? Others though, require a little more thought and a whole lot of finesse.
For instance, when discussing your policy with a resident who is probably already not in the greatest of moods, remember to tone down the corporate speech and follow up with a human explanation. This should also be the case when discussing a conflict over a lease. Remember, there isn’t a person alive that actually reads the fine print. Being careful with how we word things can go a long way to avoiding complaints.
Another point to keep in mind is that while we, of course, want to be friendly to residents, they are not our friends; they are our customers. We need to be careful about the type of conversations we have with them and avoid gossip, especially about other residents.
Teaching Takeaway Points
We are sure you have heard many other foot-in-mouth comments. Use this to get a conversation started with your team. Ask them what they would add to our list or make your own top ten for your community. Whatever you choose, just get out there and start listening and working with your team to avoid these conversation failures.
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