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Do you rely too much on email?

22 January 2016 Heidi Walkinshaw

Technology is a wonderful tool that has allowed us to become smarter about how we work and saves us more time than ever before.

No longer do we have to use carrier pigeons, snail mail and telegrams to communicate once we moved into the age of technology and were blessed in the last 20 years with the wondrous invention of email.

While this technology has rapidly developed, so too has our reliance upon it and the question has to be asked: ‘Have we become a little too reliant on it?’ One of the single biggest complaints that rings true is that of communication, or lack thereof. It could be that a call hasn’t been returned, an email is too short or a message has been misconstrued.

We are seeing a generation flowing into the workforce who, in many instances, has no idea how to address an envelope or type an actual letter? A generation that has learnt to communicate via mediums such as text messages and social media and, where it is socially acceptable, sends messages to their peers that read something like ‘R U OK bae?'


As a species we are highly social and should never underestimate the power of physical or emotional contact. So how can we encourage our teams to incorporate more effective communication into their roles as Property Managers? Simply:

  • Encourage them to pick up the phone and make a call rather than email.

    While email is fantastic, not all of our client base are of the techno generation, and even those who are still have the ability to misconstrue what is written in an email. It is often much easier to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to emails and try and ignore it. Not to mention that it’s so very easy to become lazy and send back a one line answer to a question that may require further detail.
  • In many cases, one email can turn into twenty as both the sender and receiver try to get their point across, which can sometimes result in having to pick up the phone and make the call anyway.
  • Have your team ask themselves or even document how much time they are wasting playing email ping pong when the matter could potentially have been resolved in one ten minute phone call
  • Encourage teams to also talk to each other or bring up issues in meetings rather than emailing the whole team for trivial matters. This can sometimes see the same email with replies bouncing around for days on end and reducing productivity levels. You might also like to use programs like Asana which allow for projects and team conversations.
  • Make sure that they are recording the comments from the conversation in your software. This one is a must! This call can then be followed up with an email to confirm to the client what was discussed

So the next time you are about to hit send on that email, think again. Could a quick phone call save you or your team some time?

Do you rely too much on email?
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Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi has been immersed in property management for over 14 years’ dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. Adding to the mix with 5 years as a Trainer and Consultant, Heidi has worked with small and medium-sized rent rolls in implementing systems and procedures to increase efficiency, growth and profitability within agencies. 

Heidi brings enthusiasm and energy to Real Plus and is passionate about system implementation; procedures and staff training that can assist in reducing stress and saving time while helping clients have a more profitable property management business. 


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