“Publicness” is a word coined by Jeff Jarvis, a new media columnist for The Guardian in London. In addition to being one of the top 100 worldwide media leaders, Jarvis serves as an associate professor at New York’s School of Journalism and mans a highly popular blog – Buzzmachine.com.
Now, all the credentials in place, we can assume that Mr. Jarvis knows what he is talking about in his latest book “Public Parts”.
It turns out, he does!
The short of it is this: Privacy is bad and Publicness is good.
Let’s examine this from a perspective of a property management company. How can privacy hurt?
Before we go there, let’s define privacy in the property management world. Privacy in our realm means:
– No phone number on the public website
– No email address on the public website
– No human contact information on the public website
– 3rd party 24 hour answering service
– No Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter
– Business owner’s name is obscured
If being private would’ve been plausible and perhaps even beneficial in the 90s, these days, privacy will result in eventual business degradation and slow death. Bold statement, I know. Bear with me.
Property management is becoming quite a hot ticket. Years of dismal real estate performance drove many real estate companies to seek a stable source of revenue – enter property management!
Meanwhile, for a private property manager, it is business as usual. It is 2012 and unhappy customers of the private property manager, unable to have their issues heard, have plenty of outlets to express their frustration – Yelp, Apartment Ratings, Google Reviews, Twitter and many more. A private property manager will likely learn of the issue when it becomes public property – like a snarling 1 star review on Yelp.
What is a homeowner to do, when she is ready to rent her house or apartment building? Google property management companies, of course. After all, 90% of us use the Internet daily. The homeowner will come across all this negativity and get turned off very fast. Worst of all, if the private property manager seeds Yelp and the like with fake reviews to “combat the negativity,” their competitors will be fast to point that out. This is a very quick way to loose face.
Hence, our private property manager makes it very hard for the homeowner to choose them, don’t they? She is better off with a new shining web front of newly minted real estate turned property management company. Perception is reality.
In our hearts, we know that there will always be customers (tenants and owners) that will be unreasonable, yet, 80%-90% of all bad reviews can be avoided, while many more authentic 5 star reviews added tip the scales.
To learn how, stay tuned for the adventures of the Public Property Manager.