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Apartment Phone Etiquette for the Text-Savvy

Property Management Phone Etiquette

We live and work in a text-savvy world. The images of people looking down at their phones, regardless of what’s going on around them, is one that is all too familiar to a great many of us. Yet, the average user doesn’t spend the bulk of his or her time talking on the phone. The mode of communication in today’s world is a cross somewhere between texting, instant messaging, social media booking, and emailing.

Here are some stats from Pew Research:

  • 90% of American adults have a cell phone
  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
  • 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating
  • 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss anything.
  • 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

Yet, when it comes to apartment management, the phone is still a critical asset. That is simply because the typical prospective renter is most likely going to pick up the phone and call properties he or she is interested in to learn more about special deals, availability, and more. Given this tendency, combined with the growing trend away from voice-to-voice phone calls, it might be time to give office staff a refresher course in phone etiquette.

1. Eliminate background noise. First things first: make your space conducive to phone calls. Turn the radio down, quiet office staff, and reduce any other background noise as much as possible. Some things are inevitable, so just remember that if there is noise you’re unable to help, you explain it to the caller. God forbid you have a tenant looking specifically for someplace quiet and they can automatically eliminate your property based on a phone call.

2. Tone is everything. The best tip I’ve ever received is to let people hear your smile through the phone. Whether you’re having a bad day or not, you must consider that phone call to be your first impression. If you want that prospect, it better be a good one. So, smile and keep a positive, courteous, and informative tone throughout the call.

3. Listen. For me, one of the most annoying things in the world is to get on the phone with someone who assumes they know your questions or concerns before you even state them. So, when you start asking, they jump ahead and provide an answer you weren’t seeking. It’s a time waster, not a time saver, and it’s rude. Listen fully. Show the prospect that you’re considerate and willing to take the time.

4. Be Positive. One of the worst things you can do as a manager or staff in the management office is to be short with prospects when you have no vacancy. If you get on the phone with the attitude of “Nope, all full,” You better believe you’ll alienate that prospect and they’ll tell others. Always assume that things can change in a flash. You want to leave the door of possibility open. Be positive, courteous, and ask them to check back soon because “there’s always the likelihood of an opening.” And, there’s nothing like having people on a wait list for your property.

How about hiring a management company that knows the importance of all-around good office etiquette and tenant relations? The professionals at Class A Management have been in the business for more than three decades and are here to help ensure your property maximizes its positive exposure to prospective tenants. Contact us today to learn more by calling 817-295-5959 or by emailing us at