One of my favorite Barbra Streisand songs contains the lyrics “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world”. This applies as much to property managers as to anyone today. Let’s begin this discussion by focusing on our clients, the owners of the properties we manage. Where would we be without them and which of them have “fallen through the cracks” of our daily awareness?
This moment is the best time to reflect on your list of clients. Have you stayed in close touch with all of them? If so, how can you cultivate a closer relationship with each of them? What about our employees, partners and contractors. These are the folks we depend on and who depend on us. Have you done everything possible to earn their trust, loyalty and good will?
Good will is an undervalued commodity. It defines the quality of the connections we’ve created between our employees, partners and the contractors who we call upon for help and services. That’s why I’d like to encourage you to find a copy of a classic book on the very topic of this article. It was written in the early 20th century by Dale Carnegie, one of the greatest communicators and authors.
How to Win Friends and Influence People isn’t just a book you buy, read it and give away. It’s a seminal reference book that you’ll want to dust off from time to time and read one chapter at a time. Yes, it’s dated and some might say anachronistic. Yet the principles, ideas, and examples it delivers will fertilize your imagination every time. You’ll be amazed at the poignant suggestions and how relevant they still are in today’s world.
Take the subject of friendship. You may not want to become friends with your residents or your employees, but wouldn’t you like all your clients to consider you a trusted friend and advisor? The main point here involves two questions I ask all property managers every chance I have.
Do you know which group of clients produces 80% of your gross income?
Have you identified the other 20%, and why aren’t they part of the group in question one?
I’ve written about these two questions before and how they embody a powerful business principle. You may have heard of The Pareto Principle, also known as “The 80/20 Principle.”
In essence, it suggests that 20% of our time is employed producing 80% of our accomplishments. There are many variations of this principle, but the main idea implies that on average we’re only using 20% of our time to create 80% of our results in life.
As this principle relates to our people skills, how can we focus our time and attention on the people we interact with who bring us 80% of our success? What can we do differently to win over the other 20%?
One thing we know for sure. If your people skills aren’t “broken” then don’t try to fix them. If they are, or even if they’re in need of a fine tuning, begin today to discover better ways to win friends, clients and influence people more effectively.
The results will amaze you. You’ll be one of the lucky ones, one of “the luckiest people in the world”.