How We Communicate Matters. Always.


Your rent is late.

Your rent is late.

A good friend of mine lives at a local apartment community that is managed by a well respected management company that prides themselves on customer service.  They have a great reputation and they always make a strong effort to pay attention to the details.  As a matter of fact, they even have a resident satisfaction award posted on their website for this particular community.   That is why I had to take a picture of this note they have posted by their rent drop box.  According to my friend this note is always up and it ticks him off every time he sees it.  I asked him why.  He said it bothers him because it does not have the word “If” at the very beginning of the message.  Reread the note starting with the word “If” and you will see how much more polite this message could be.

This picture was taken March 1.  Nobody’s rent was late on March 1, but everyone who stopped by the drop box was “accused of being late with their rent”, at least according to this message.  Unfortunately,  this message has been taped up above the drop box for several months. 

So what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that a simple note such as this can completely undermine a mangement company’s entire approach to customer service in the eyes of a resident.  The grounds can be clean, the grass mowed and service requests done in a timely manner, and yet the absence of a subordinating conjunction at the beggining of a message can tick off your residents.  What you say matters to some.  How you say it matters to most.


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