NO. 9 Dispute Resolution Property management can at times be a conflict-lad - en business. It is never comfortable having to deliver bad news to a customer, but it is your moral obligation to do so when such a situation presents itself. In some cases, bad news can lead to criticism, blame, or even a dispute from your customer. Such situations can be anxiety pro- voking but can also be amazing opportunities to do the right thing and show your stuff. Some of our most loyal customers are those with whom we had a previous con- flict. Always remember that working together with your customer through a challenge toward a mutually accept- able solution can be a powerful relationship- building experience. NO. 10 Staying Ahead of the Curve As members of NARPM, one of our greatest benefits is staying up to date on new approaches, solutions, and technologies to solve age-old property management problems. This is what I call “staying ahead of the curve.” What is better for your relationship management, being considered a creative and innovative company in touch with new trends in the industry, or being considered old school and stuck in your ways? Change can be scary and at times paralyzing. However, customer needs are con- stantly changing, and our property management busi- nesses must also change to reflect these demands. If you recognize the need for change, get ahead of the curve, and embrace the steps to make it happen, it will result in positive impact to your relationship management. Relationship management is not always about your company’s bottom line. Do not focus so much on compa- ny financial performance that you forget other values in forming good relationships. You never know when a per - son you were good to a couple of years ago refers a friend who then becomes a customer. Above all else, create a company culture to be genuine, treat others with respect, and welcome feedback. By doing so you will instill a great program for relationship management and maybe even get new customers in the process!

approach to let customers know that they make a differ- ence in your company and that you are grateful for their business. Any small gesture can go a long way to showing you appreciate your relationship: a hand-written birthday or holiday card, a goodie bag or gift basket delivered to their doorstep, or a copy of your favorite book to say thank you! Show them you care, and your relationship will be strengthened! NO. 8 Give Back Showing your customers that you are a socially respon- sible company and give back to your community can go a long way toward indirectly improving customer relation- ships. Community service, charitable giving, and acts of generosity not only improve your business reputation but will strengthen customer loyalty. Prior to the 2020 election, North County Property Group joined a movement of 1,500+ companies known as Time to Vote. It was a pledge to our staff to make election day “meeting free” and provided up to four hours of paid time off to get out and vote. The word got out and we received hundreds of positive comments online, by phone, and email from our customers applaud- ing this one simple gesture of social responsibility.

Bob Preston, RMP is the Broker/Owner of North County Property Group in Del Mar, California. He is an active member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers® (NARPM). Members of NARPM® receive information like this article every month through its news magazine, Residential Resource. To join NARPM or to learn more, visit Bob can be reached through his company website, www. or by email

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