The Blasted Apartment Doormat

Our guest post today comes to us from Lisa Zagoren, property manager at Oak Park Apartments – managed by Mills Properties in St. Louis Missouri. Lisa also serves as a blogger at Real Life STL, a blog focused around über cool neighborhood-centric conversation.

In my travels as a property manager, I’ve come across some really crazy, bizarre, funny, sad (you get the picture) things. I read a blog post the other day that reminded me of how $5 could cost you a resident, which in turn costs you thousands in vacancy, make ready expense, advertising, etc., which brings me to this post….The Apartments Doormat.

I have a crazy, over-the-top, insane property consisting of 756 units. My resident services side team deals with a lot of negativity on a daily basis. As you can imagine, it’s hard to keep them positive at times, when everyone around them is so negative. They get called names (really bad names that I can’t put in this post). They get threatened. They get spat at.

Do You Care

I had a resident give the resident services team her notice to vacate last week. During the resident’s tenancy, her doormat was stolen not once, but three times. When she came to the office to inform us, we were apparently not that empathetic to her situation. We basically stated, sorry, there is nothing we can do.

According to my resident, there were things we could have done. We could have been empathetic; “I am so sorry that this happened to you Ms. Jones. Is there anything you can think of that we can do to try to prevent this from happening again”? My resident also stated in her letter, why did we not put a notice in the hallway stating someone is stealing doormats and to call management if they know who is doing this or just keep an eye out for each other in the building, because we put notices in the hallway for everything else. Everything that’s important to management, but not necessarily important to the residents.

Lesson learned. Had I known of my residents situation, I probably would have bought her a new door mat ($10), apologized empathetically, and would have saved a notice to vacate that I had no idea I would get over stolen doormats.

I know my resident services team deals with a lot of negativity and stress on a daily basis. I get that. I just need to constantly remind them of the “one” resident that is not like that and they need to be treated with respect and be empathetic when they have an issue that is serious to them.

We all need to be cognitive of how the day-to-day stressors can affect us. This one notice will cost me thousands in vacancy, turn over expense, advertising, etc.

Your property manager point of view for the day….

Author: Mike Brewer

Out to put a dent in the multifamily universe. Love compelling conversation...