Today, I wanted to share some coaching of one of our engineering staff, who is hoping to get one of those “one-of-a-kind” / head-scratching property management problems solved for an owner. Excerpt below:
I was thinking about this boiler issue on the way to work today and I would like to offer a little coaching on presenting these types of e-mails to ownership. While this is not an everyday occurrence, you will be called on to make these communications when you are doing something that is outside the approved budget. Here is a suggestion on how to present a solution:
- Start with a recommendation. Forwarding on a quote from a vendor does not give an owner confidence that a proposal has been adequately vetted. Remember, owners are typically busy people and they are trusting our professional judgement in many cases.
- Try to anticipate questions that the owner may have and address them in your recommendation. While you can’t know everything going on in an owners head, some common questions they may have:
- How does this impact my budget?
- How can we be confident that this will solve the problem that we have?
- Why did you choose this vendor?
- Should we bid this out?
- How will my tenants be impacted (positively or negatively) by the repair process and/or the repair?
- Will the resulting fix be aesthetically pleasing or at least neutral?
- Will the repair comply with applicable codes / zoning / etc?
- End with a “call to action”. An example might be, if we approve this proposal by noon tomorrow, the vendor says they can start by December 20th and be complete by December 28th.
I promise you that if you follow this formula, it will cut down on the calls and e-mails and get decisions made faster. More importantly, this type of thorough communication develops trust with the client, which will get you more responsibility and discretion in the future.