Eight Ways to AVOID Handing out Your Mobile Number

Eight Ways to AVOID Handing out Your Mobile Number

Property managers should not be on call 24/7 (although many take this as normal), so, having your mobile phone ringing incessantly (especially when you are supposed to be having some well-deserved downtime) is a sure-fire way to speed up that road trip to burnout!

Nuts and Bolts

Sadly, most property managers do not know how to cut this number down by minimising the people they give their mobile number to.A large majority of property managers have people who will try to contact them on the weekend.

Here are eight responses provided by property managers who have effectively avoided giving out their mobile (personal or work) number:

1. Explaining why the answer is ‘no’

“I explain that I'm sure they can appreciate when I am with a client, at appointments, completing routine inspections and ingoing and outgoing reports, that I am unable to be interrupted, as I do not want to compromise the work I am doing. I also explain that more often than not, the question that they require an answer for would require me to be infront of my computer. For example; looking up ‘paid to’ dates.

I do however, let them know they are welcome to email me as I check my emails in between appointments and I can either call them (ensuring that my caller id is set to private) or redirect their email for another staff member to address in the office. I have only had one owner jump up and down and he surprised me even asking for it, as he never returns my calls when I call him anyway.” – Linda Gulabovska

2. Honest opinion

“I think I'm a little more blunt. I just say no! Sorry, but my hours of work are 8:30am to 5:30pm. I am contactable on the office phone. If I'm out please leave a message and I will call you back when I'm next in the office. I have never had a problem. The majority of people do realise that I too have a life and a family.” – Rachael Johnson

3. Tenants – No, Landlords – Yes

“We advise tenants at lease sign up that our preferred method of contact is email. If they ask for our mobile number they are told that we can't always answer so perhaps they could send an email, or leave a message with our receptionist who can pass it on. Our landline is switched over to the boss after hours for emergencies, so no need for tenants to have our mobile number. All owners have my mobile number however, as regular contact and updates (vacant properties) during business hours reduces the need for after-hours calls. Flexibility for shift workers and/or owners unable to take calls during office hours makes for happy clients. Property Management is NOT a 9 to 5 job, that's part of the fun!” – Lynne Cassidy

4. Setting a standard from the start

I believe it is all about educating and setting the standard right from the very start for your clients (owners and tenants). We have never advertised the PM's mobile numbers and never had any issues. Setting these standards and clients’ expectations at the time of the new management or tenant sign up is important.

We have a tenant pack and explain our after-hours processes for emergency maintenance (no we don't have an after-hours mobile number). We provide our preferred contractors list for tenants to use and contact (only for emergency maintenance) and also report the issue to us via email with photos were possible.

Setting these procedures from the very start is important and it then becomes all the client is aware of and expects. We find it very important that our property managers can switch off after hours and weekends to enjoy their time and relax.” – Dion Brown

5. Work mobile phone

“I have a separate mobile phone for work. The voicemail message asks the caller to leave a detailed message. In the evenings and weekends I check it regularly in case of emergencies. Just because clients call my mobile after hours doesn't mean I have to answer it.” – D’nes Eden

6. Letting technology do the talking

“We use an app on our mobile called ShoreTel which connects to our personal office phone. When I call from this app, the landlord or tenant will not see my mobile and will only see my office number. This is great, as property managers are on the road a lot and need to make calls to their landlords and tenants. It is all about having the right ‘out of offices messages’ on your phone to advise our landlord and tenants if we are available or not. To make this work we must do what we say. If we say we will return their call on Monday once we return, then we must.” – Clare Nasio

7. Differentiating work and personal

“I've never had a tenant ask for my mobile. Our tenant induction is quite thorough, detailing what they should do in the event of an after-hours emergency and other than that if it’s during business hours to call the office/send an email. In regards to landlords, about 5% of mine have my mobile. Two I knew outside of work (it's how I got the business) and unfortunately when referring me to friends they passed on my mobile.

A handful have specifically asked for it and when I give it to them I explain quite clearly that this is not a work phone, it is my personal mobile. I generally do not answer it during business hours as it’s in the bottom of my bag, so if it's urgent they should contact my office or send me an email. I do check my emails on this phone regularly when I am out of the office and if it's urgent I will return a call. After hours contact will be answered only if I am not busy with my family or other personal life matters (which is unlikely) but I will return the call the next day during business hours.” – Deborah Daken

8. Knowing when to draw the line

If I’m out of the office I’m either driving or with a client, neither are appropriate times for answering a phone call - and even if I could, I most likely need my computer to answer their questions or send a job sheet. I just say my mobile number is my personal number. I get plenty of people asking for my mobile, but not many push to get it. We once had someone say 'you should be available to me 24/7' and my boss told her politely to find another agent. I take a work phone home on public holidays and over Christmas. Our leases have tradesperson’s details for emergencies.” – Melly Lynda

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