WHO YOU GONNA CALL?!
Remember when Ray Parker Jr. posed this question? It was 1984, he was sporting that awesome mustache and singing into a neon microphone? Come on, you remember! The answer everyone knew was of course, say it with me now, “Ghostbusters!”. But this question actually got us thinking about our properties too. Crazy freaky things happen there all the time. And when they do, who gets the call? Well, the management team does. When tenants are seeing strange things or something isn’t quite right, that’s who they’re gonna call. And when the call comes in, what do we do? And are we ready?
We may not be Proton Pack toting ghost fighters like our friends Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore and our favorite spore collector, Egon Spengler. But we surely can borrow from their tactics. Studying this squad a little closer, we discovered some methodologies that can help property managers deal with tenants’ needs effectively and with very little slime.
1. Teamwork – When we take a closer look at that cast of characters, the role each plays in the success of the group becomes clear. Venkman is the leader, Ray is the heart, Egon is the brains and Winston is the voice of reason. Now take a look at your own team. You’ll probably notice that each person plays a significant role in its make-up that is separate from the title they may carry. Your AGM might be the heart or your Chief Engineer might be the voice of reason, for example. One of the hallmarks of any group’s success is its ability to function as a unit, with each member bringing to it their own personality, perspective and contribution. Spend some time highlighting each of these characteristics for your own team and you’ll find you are working together more seamlessly than ever to solve building issues.
2. Collaboration – It may have been Egon who first warned the crew on the dangers of crossing the streams. But it was a collaborative effort that allowed them to use this very approach in defeating Gozer at the end. In fact, every time the Ghostbusters needed to secure a nasty spirit in the Muon Trap, they had to collaborate on a plan to get it done. Remember the scene in the ballroom? You may not need to catch ghosts and release them back into the grid, but there are always ample opportunities to collaborate with your team to solve problems.
3. Customer Service – Here’s where our crew gives us the example of what NOT to do. Remember Janine? “Ghostbusters. Whaddya want?” Not the best way to be greeting customers. The first impression of your office should be friendly and welcoming, of course. But that’s not all. It should be knowledgeable and professional too. Even in the face of a psychomagnotheric slimeflow, a smiling face on the other end of the line that sounds confident and ready to help will instantly make tenants feel more at ease. And loyal customers always start out as happy customers!
4. How to Be a First Mover – Busting ghosts as a business concept? Pretty out there. But the Ghostbusters believed in their mission and didn’t mind being the first ones to bring it mainstream. This is the essence of a first mover. And in today’s CRE industry, where tenants are demanding more and more new experiences, we could all use a little of this Ghostbusters inspiration to keep us ahead of the curve.
5. Being Prepared to Deal with Conflict – You may not have to save your girlfriend from Zuul or catch a floating green ball of ectoplasm, but property managers see their own dose of conflict on a daily basis. The moral of the story? Be ready for anything. And taking stock in all of the above will help you remain prepared for whatever comes your way. (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man need not apply.)
At the end of the day, no matter what Ray Parker Jr. says, we all know who the tenants are gonna call. Putting into practice the five Ghostbusters principles we’ve shared above can help you be better prepared to face anything your day might bring your way. And ok, maybe that includes being slimed everyone once in awhile. When it does, gather your crew, ready your equipment and go after it. (Just remember, don’t look directly into the trap.)
Laura DeRousse | Founder & President