Apartment People: The Best Kind

Apartment People: The Best Kind


One of my favorite things about our industry and specifically our business is the people. And while I’ve written countless articles, blogs and columns about our customers, our employees and our leaders, I have failed to recognize the sales and support persons who make our business work. I’m referring, of course, to our vendors. They support our trade groups, provide insight and advocacy for our cause, makes our lives easier, save us when our in-house crews get into a pickle and help to fight the battles we face on a daily basis.

Some of my most valued relationships and trusted advise comes not from fellow investment or management professionals, but from the vendors who share insight and best practices from their product and service exposure and also their experiences with some of the companies who they feel do it best. One of the pitfalls or roadblocks I have encountered in this business is that many owners/operators are resistant to change or believe that they are superior to or smarter than their competition. In some cases, this is accurate. But most of the time, we can learn a lot by listening, asking questions and doing.

And a good salesperson does so much more than sell. At least twice a week, I get Linkedin requests and subsequent messages from new contacts that “they can help solve occupancy problems at my portfolio” or they can “help with X issue”. This is the wrong way to do things. The right way to do things is to focus on the introduction, the relationship and adding value to the relationship. This way, it’s much more than a quick sell, instead it’s a long-term relationship that will go from company to company, solution to solution. After all, it’s just as much about the people as it is about the product.