Having worked in quite a few different real estate offices I have come across my fair share of systems and procedures implemented (or a lack of implementation) by offices.
One of the most vital habits that I implore each and every property manager to form is a simple but affective one: diary notes!
“Diarise, diarise, diarise”… I’ve had those words drilled into my head so often that I think I dream of them.
I’ve always listened when people said, “Make sure you diary note everything” but it wasn’t until a few years ago I realised just how vital they are when it comes to potential law suits against the office you are working in – or worse, yourself as the agent.
A tenant called me complaining of a flat smoke alarm battery and when I let her know that she is responsible for replacing that battery herself her response was, “Who is going to pay the hospital bill if I fall and hurt myself?”
Being quite efficient with my dairy notes (still improving though!), I recorded what the tenant had said to me. I then offered to get someone out to the property for her, at her expense, and she quickly declined and said that she would get someone to do it herself. A few days later we got a complaint through the reception that the tenant had fallen off a chair and hurt herself. As soon as this was brought to my attention I reported it to my director along with the diary notes I had taken in the days leading up to this incident. He sent those diary notes to the tenant and naturally, nothing ever eventuated.
FYI - our solicitor and insurance company was also informed.
What would have happened if I hadn’t recorded that conversation? Could we be in the middle of a messy litigation?
There are numerous other advantages to having a record of conversations and events regarding your tenancies and properties. I urge you to write them all down. No matter how big or small you think the situation is. You never know when those diary notes could save you.