What You Say To Turn a Complainer Into a Loyal Friend

Property Manager Turns Upset Neighbor Into Watchdog
By Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Daryl Parrish is a real estate agent and property manager in Smyrna, Georgia, a few miles north of Atlanta.

Not long ago I asked Parrish to manage an investment property while it was being renovated. A maintenance crew went out to the property, cut down bushes, trimmed shrubs, and piled them at curbside where they could be picked up by the city.  A neighbor did not like that, and let Daryl know. That pile of trash was an unsightly nuisance, she told Daryl.  Put it somewhere else.

Now, she had no grounds, certainly no legal grounds, to make that kind of demand.  The trash was on my property, not hers. Somebody needed to tell her that.

But Daryl didn’t tell her that. Instead, he thanked her.  Told her he appreciated people like her who cared about the neighborhood.   Promised her he would swing by every day and make sure the stuff got hauled off.  If that didn’t happen right away, why he would do it himself. That’s awfully nice of you, but you don’t have to do that, she said.  Glad to do it, ma’am.

In a matter of a couple of days, the trash was gone, the woman was happy, and that was that.

Well, not really.

Daryl stopped by the woman’s house a few days later, thanked her, gave her his card, told her to call him if she ever noticed anything suspicious going on at my property.  Daryl followed up with a thank-you note.

I didn’t know all that until I got an email from Daryl.  But now that I know, it makes total sense. What Daryl does is convert critics into supporters…friends.  And  it’s good for business. Here’s an excerpt from his email.

“…I try to make friends of the people around my rentals and tell them if they ever have a problem to call and I will take care of it.

I have a watchdog for almost all of my property. It’s the best insurance I can get.

Sometimes it is aggravating, but it pays because I always know first if there is trouble. I always go by and thank them personallly for the complaint, even if it is stupid, or send them a note. It saves ;me lots of money in the long run. The neighbor was nice and I thanked her for wanting to keep the neighborhood looking good.”

“A soft answer turneth away wrath,” the Bible tells us.  Daryl Parrish has learned that a soft answer can also be good for business.


Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com

 

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