If you’re a reactive principal you should take a leaf or two out of one of the biggest companies in the world; Apple, writes Jo-Anne Oliveri
Blogger: Jo-Anne Oliveri (CIPS, TRC) ireviloution intelligence Managing Director
Most Principals operate their property management business through reactive management. If this sounds like you, I suggest you take a leaf or two out of Apple’s book. As one of the most highly respected and highly loved organisations in the world their employees love their jobs and their consumers love their products and services. How has it achieved this status? Apple designs and proactively manages all organisational areas, in particular its brand, touch points and reputation. But, don’t be green with envy – you can become the Apple of the property management industry if you also take control of your business.
Brand by design
Designing your business’ brand means designing your identity and proactively managing your image. Your brand identity is essentially your organisational culture. Your brand image is how your stakeholders perceive your business.
The key to designing your brand so it is highly respected and highly loved like Apple’s is to consistently confirm that you do what you say. If your core values are mutual respect and trust then delivering a service where clients feel frustrated by your property managers’ broken promises only confirms that you do not do what you say and what we call a ‘legitimacy gap’ forms in clients’ minds. And, thanks to word-of-mouth, you can be sure these bad experiences will spread until it is a confirmed belief that your agency delivers a service of broken promises. Wouldn’t you rather design what your stakeholders think of your business and proactively manage anything which may damage this perception?
Touch points by design
To proactively manage your brand image you must proactively manage your business’ touch points like Apple does. Touch points are everything your stakeholders come into contact with, whether tangible or intangible, in your business.
Touch points include your physical agency, uniforms, website, business cards, team members, coffee cups, and stationary and so on. Yes, most touch points you don’t even notice are communicating something about your business! Therefore, this area usually goes unplanned and unmanaged.
To design your business’ touch points list off everything your stakeholders currently see, hear, smell, taste and feel with your business. Then, write down everything you want your stakeholders to see, hear, smell, taste and feel with your business. Now implement! Teach your team the new standards and apply measures that maintain these standards. If one team member wears green when everyone else wears purple, your stakeholders become confused and legitimacy gaps emerge which put your business’ reputation on the line!
Reputation by design
Your business’ reputation is your most valuable intangible asset – nothing affects your bottom-line more. So, why would you leave this organisational area to its own devices? Instead, why not be like Apple and proactively build, maintain and improve your reputation within your workplace, market area and industry.
To do this you must ask yourself, how do you want your team, partners, current and prospective clients, effectively anyone that has a stake in your business, to perceive you? This must link to your business goals and align with all organisational areas – culture, brand, touch points etc. If you want to be known as the number one agency for service then you must design tactics for that goal to unfold from your organisational culture through to your touch points.
Ultimately, if you want to be the Apple of the property management industry my suggestion is to take a leaf or two out of their book. Take control of your business by designing and proactively managing all organisational areas, in particular your brand, touch points and reputation and watch the respect and love for your business grow.
Jo-Anne Oliveri (CIPS, TRC) ireviloution intelligence Managing Director
As a former member of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland Property Management Chapter and Property Chapter Committee for the Leading Agents of Australia, Jo-Anne Oliveri (CIPS, TRC) is often called ‘the property management guru’. After nearly 20 years real estate experience, Jo-Anne established ireviloution intelligence to lead positive change in this industry. ireviloution provides property management systems (training and resources), consulting, mentoring, workshops, due diligence and prognosis services to principals and their property management teams. This innovative service offers a world-first – online training that measures competency, monitors progress and teaches systems which streamline, systemise and simplify all property management processes.