First Impressions

Bob Walters True PM cropped

An article by Bob Walters

There is an old cliché which says “you dont get a second chance to create a first impression”. 

Research shows that people have often made their minds up about you and your product or service within thirty seconds of first meeting.  It is therefore vital that the impression which you make during that brief window of opportunity is the right one.

Most property managers present themselves well as a matter of course.  As with any service business, we simply cannot afford to have an off day in terms of energy level, dress or skill level.  Most of us are obviously well aware of that.

However, if you are visiting a client or potential client in their home for the first time, the very first impression you make is with the car in which you arrive.  The make and model may not be relevant, but its state of cleanliness both inside and outside, certainly are.  It is therefore, most important that your car be clean and tidy and in a good state of repair. 

Not too long ago I had the experience of visiting an office where I was told, proudly “we do have an office car”.

 “Yes” I replied “you do, I saw it when I arrived”. 

Taking the team over to the window, I pointed out to them the abject condition of this vehicle and asked them how they would feel as a landlord client if the person they wanted to manage their substantial investment arrived in that vehicle.

Finally, and most important is the state of your personal office or desk area. 

If you have clients coming to meet you, the impression you create can be decisive.  A sound practice is to take a quiet time, perhaps first thing in the morning or on a weekend to walk into your office area and sit where your client sits. 

From that point act as a client would, taking in the overall impression of the office and in particular your personal area.  You may be shocked with what you see. 

Perhaps it will even help you change your personal habits in terms of the way in which you manage your working environment.

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