Management of HMO properties comes with endless lists and lists of serious responsibilities and regulations. The industry is so highly regulated that if anything goes wrong because of your error, you can end up in an imprisonment.
By nature I am a serious and collected person and running a serious business highlights this characteristic even more.
Just recently I have been reminded that to truly succeed in anything we do, we´ve got to remember to have fun. I can certainly admit that when I was creating and building Prime Property Care team, remembering to have fun was not at the forefront of my mind. Yes, we meet with the team for a coffee or a lunch and we laugh and joke, but that’s not exactly the same as having fun in your company environment.
How can you manage to combine such different aspects of your work environment-follow strict guidelines and have some fun in the process?
The most important thing you need to have is to a positive attitude, combined with a friendly, empathetic yet professional tone – this makes all the difference.
Our Operations Manager Lana who has joined our team in December is an amazing example of that. Lana jokes with the tenants that she interacts with, whilst still getting the problem solved. She shares some funny stories from our day to day work, connects through laughter, but still gets the important work done.
The conversation may start by tenant being upset and angry about something, however by taking the tenant seriously and empathetically and sometimes, if appropriate, having a laugh in the process, not only makes a tenant feel listened and cared about, but also relieves tension and creates a professional bond between both parties.
There are many ways to have fun during your day to day HMO management responsibilities.
For a serious, business focused person like me, I have to constantly remind myself to have some fun too, and I plan on doing so until it becomes as a habit.
So when an email comes in, and I see pictures of overflowing bins, tenants complaining about each other, and no one taking responsibility for it, instead of getting upset and start reminding them that they are responsible adults and instead of complaining about each other, they should simply empty the bin. I take a deep breath, remind myself to take it easy and reply to the email with something that will make me and the tenant smile and as a result defuse the situation.
“Hi Ben, thank you for sending the email with pictures and raising your concerns.
It can certainly become annoying to see the bins overflowing on regular basis.
I know that you all have such a busy lifestyle with many commitments which doesn’t make the whole situation easier.
Have you tried talking to your housemates? How about if you all agree on one evening when everyone is free for a quick chat and a snack, maybe just after your favorite TV show. You could lead the meeting and express your concerns and discuss solutions and I am happy to chip in and order a pizza for everyone on that evening. Just remember to bring out the pizza boxes straight after you all finished. 🙂
Let me know what you think.
With Gratitude, Ilva
P. S Since Lana has joined our team and has been overseeing the let out process of our rooms, within a month we have managed to let 85% of all our rooms. Even the ones that will be become available in 2 months time are already let out and I am pretty sure it certainly has something to do with her having fun in the whole process.
So yes! Let’s make sure all of our HMO properties are up to scratch, all checks are done regularly and all safety measures are in place, but let’s do it with a smile on our faces and gratitude in our hearts.