Magazine article Journal of Property Management

One Question, Two IREM Members

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

One Question, Two IREM Members

Article excerpt

GIVING OUT YOUR PERSONAL CELL PHONE NUMBER TO TENANTS: DO YOU THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA OR CAN IT BACKFIRE? WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE BETWEEN BUSINESS AND PERSONAL?

STEVEN REA, CPM

VICE PRESIDENT, ADMINISTRATION ROSCOE PROPERTIES, INC.

AUSTIN, TEXAS.

yes

The core principle that shapes every decision I make when running a community is customer service. I ask myself each day if I am doing everything in my power to ensure my residents are receiving an exceptional living experience at my community. My commitment to exceptional service led me to start sharing my personal cell phone contact information with my residents.

Initially I only provided my cell phone information to residents in times of crisis. Then I started providing it when dealing with major maintenance issues so they would have the ability to let me know immediately if the problem returned or got worse. The majority of the time I would never hear from residents; however, they always expressed how much they appreciated having the ability to contact me directly if necessary. Due to the positive feedback I started to receive, I began sharing my number with all of my residents.

Like many people who have taken this step or have considered it, initially I was very concerned about the frequency, timing and volume of phone calls I would be receiving from residents. Over time, my concerns were addressed in two ways:

1. The majority of residents are very considerate and mindful of my time and do not call at inappropriate hours of the day.

2. Voicemail is a wonderful thing. I have a choice about when and where I answer my phone, and voicemail captures the rest.

The benefits I have found from sharing my cell phone number with my residents have significantly outweighed the occasional phone call I receive at 9:00 p.m. When residents call me, I am able to address their concerns immediately. …

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