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The Tenant as Client

July 14, 1996

As a property management professional with more than 15 years of experience, I found the answer to an apartment resident's question ("There Are Some Complaints That a Manager Can't Resolve," June 9) unfair to both residents and managers. If the facts of the resident's complaints are accurate, neither the manager or management company seem concerned about resident retention.

No one is asking the manager to work more than lawful hours, and the chain of command and procedures need to be followed. However, on-call response for emergencies and a non-retaliatory attitude from management are the cornerstones of good management.

Your response basically said, "If you don't like it, move or call the police or health department." In Los Angeles, with 5% to 10% vacancies, one should focus on the fact that customer service (resident retention) is simpler, more productive and definitely more cost-effective than vacancies.

The fact that it may not be "uncommon" for owners and mangers to refuse to listen to complaints makes it nonetheless inappropriate and counterproductive.

Our resident is our most important client. The days of managers acting as order-takers are over, and a little customer service goes a long way.


Regional Vice President

Insignia Management Group


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