First Impressions: Tips From A Property Manager
Monday, January 9, 2017
by: Annette Ahumada, PMB Real Estate Services

Section: Member News

Most people can remember purchasing their first vehicle, normally as a teenager. Picture if you will, a 17 year old girl entering a car dealership, father in tow and seeing the new shiny mustangs that seem to be calling her name. She walks up to it directly and says “I want this one!” Not knowing if she can afford it, or if it is even practical for a 17 year old. Didn’t matter, it looked good and that was enough of a sale pitch for her. Has anyone noticed that the moment you approach a vehicle you always seem to have about 5 car salesmen circling? In this example, you would hear the car salesmen saying, “great goes really fast...I'm sure you can afford it”. What would a 17 year old know about gas mileage, monthly rate, insurance cost, maintenance cost, interest rate and loans? You are Correct, absolutely nothing! Father approaches the vultures (as most fathers would call car salesmen), no introductions made, he just announces that they are looking for something in a lower price range that is economical and safe. You bet, all left, and then one approached, an older gentleman. Introduced himself and shook hands to both of his customers, showed them a vehicle that hit every request. He was personal and not pushy, listened and explained the details of the agreement to not only the father, but the daughter as well. At the end of the sale and before the contract was signed, the father informed the 17 year old to stand up and shake the gentlemen hand, and agree to the terms. Father taught this 17 year old that introductions, being heard and personal trust between two individuals mean something even when  those contracts would be signed.
We live in a society that personal human connection is now considered a luxury, not due to the fact that it is hard to come by, but by human effort is very scarce. Decades ago a firm hand shake and verbal agreement held a strong enough impact to proceed with business. Most people knew on a personal level their realtor, contractor, handyman and janitorial provider.  Plus, they built a personal connection with them that regain loyalty. As decades past, we learned that documentation is vital to not have solid business partner, but to hold those responsible accountable. The personal connection and trust between individuals is lost and the motivation is the bottom line or how quickly can you close the deal.
It doesn’t have to be, most Property Managers, APM or Asset Managers are constantly approached by vendors at luncheons, meetings, conferences and constant cold calls. The first BOMA luncheon I attended I was introduced to so many vendors, keep in mind at this time I was just an Administrative Assistant. I noticed several of them, not all but some treated me differently due to my title, and once they realized my role they would leave me their card and ask that I give it to my boss. First impression goes along way, are you personal? Eye contact made? Hand shake firm? Are you speaking to me or my title? The most important final question….Do you drive right into  to your pitch (how can we do business together? This is what I can offer.) Or, do you try that personal connection? I would have to say in my experience, the first 6 minutes of introductions sets the tone of a promising business connection or an opportunity loss. In this industry I would rather have a loyal vendor with great service that can join my tiger team then the cheapest price. First impressions…how’s yours?