Reading Between the Lines


Do you ever feel like you are courting your residents? Or maybe even married to them? When you ask for reviews and feedback, do you feel like the annoying girlfriend that asks, “Does this dress make me look chubby?” when you know fully well that it does. Yet, you still ask the question because are not quite ready to face the cold hard truth.

Mmm-hmmm. Yes, that dress does make you look chubby. And while your asking questions, your hallways are smelly. Much smellier than they should be. You should work on that along with the 50 other things wrong with your property.

Women have this ability to speak in code, and that is exactly what we do with coworkers. We unintentionally turn a blind eye to our flaws and are so tactful when giving feedback to each other that we often times don’t even realize we have major opportunities we are missing.

Our very honest residents are often like the boyfriend that never lasted more than a month because he couldn’t learn to read between the lines. Reading between the lines, learning to bridge the gap between what we want to hear and what we need to hear is crucial to growth and success as a community.

How do you bridge the gap? Learn to communicate better. Don’t wait for the occasional survey or the angry complaint on a review site. Constantly ask residents questions, check-in with them, and show interest in learning more about their experience and who they are. But don’t be a naggy girlfriend. If he wants to keep the conversation going, he will call/text/email you back. Sounds a lot like dating, right?

When you do get a response, be happy your residents are taking the initiative to give you feedback. They are giving you their time, which is invaluable. And, isn’t it better than being dumped without an explanation?