Friday, June 4, 2010

Take the time to be personal

Last month Chris and I raced in the Ironman. We both had a great race, but I was a little ill afterwards. I spent sometime in the Netcare Hospitals in PE and Sunninghill. The Sunninghill Hospital doctors are amazing.

The doctor asked me where I was sore. I had already self diagnosed pneumonia and told him my chest and tummy hurt. Thankfully doctors take the time to actually examine their patients; some poking and prodding, a dozen blood tests, ultra sound and a CT scan later the doctor diagnosed a liver infection and fluid in my pelvic region. A strong course of antibiotics and I am as good as new.

But back to tenant, landlord and property manager relationships. Our crazy busy business lives sometimes mean we do not communicate properly with each other. And emails can sometimes have a way of hindering quality correspondence where we do not actually hear each other.

Think about an email thrashed out by an upset tenant or landlord or an email which has been summarised or maybe even slightly ambiguous. Sometimes it just makes more sense to pick up the phone and talk to the writer of the terse email. Or sometimes, as with my pneumonia self diagnosis where the doctor took the time for an examination, it might also be appropriate to take the time to call the writer, ask probing questions, hear the answer and respond to the “actual” issue.

Tonight I was involved in some terse email tennis. One of our suppliers got our order horribly wrong. After a week of curt emails, I was one email away from cancelling the contract. Before pulling the deal, as a last resort, I called the supplier. 15 minutes of actual talking and hearing each other’s perspective an entire week of frustration was resolved.

This is not a new lesson, but I am humble enough to re-learn.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle

    I agree more with you, good advice! I am actually sitting and thinking deeply about a horrible situation my sister is going through. She's been living in a terrible condition, all her rooms in the flat are flooded with water and until today they are sleeping in the dining room with a her 4 weeks old baby. After months of reporting this to Permanent Trust they only sent a clueless, disorganized and incompetent 'Bakkie Brigade Plumber' to fix the problem. The guy rocked up there on the 22nd last month, he removed Floor Rugs and left the unit just like that today is the 15th and he's still looking for Tiles. The problems is still not fixed! and its just sad. The poor girl is taking off-days at work and this guy just never pitched. I am afraid am going to take this personal although am trying level best not to.

    I've taken your advice

    Thank you
    Siyabonga

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  2. I live in a block "managed" by Permanent Trust and have outstanding maintenance issues, from 13 years ago.....

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