What Is the Reflection in Your Apartment Community’s Mirror?

By: Shad Bookout

mirror 1When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Is the image staring back really you, or just a reflection of what others see? The same can be asked when we look at our apartment communities in a mirror. Is what we are viewing what is actually there, or just an illusion? The eyes in which we look at our apartment communities are different than those of our residents, prospects, or even team members. People who have been at the apartment community for a long time see a different reflection than those whose time is only just beginning. And the experiences we have can – at any given moment – change the view that we have and what we see looking back at us when we shine a mirror at our apartments.

You can further explore this concept by asking yourself, “What color is a mirror?”.  Silver? Clear? No! Mirrors are actually the color of “Whatever you point it at. If you look inside a mirror it becomes ‘you-colored’”, according to
Michael Stevens of Vsauce. So does this mean that the mirrors are showing us a more unbiased view than what we mirror 2can see ourselves? Often, we get caught up in the ins and outs of our day, in the small – sometimes big (but not as often) – challenges that distract us from our vision. We start seeing things as an illusion and not as they really are. This is when we need to pause to see what is really looking back at us, when we gaze in the mirror of our customer’s perspective.

Your customer views your apartment community with much more honest eyes than you. Annoyances such as the trash piled outside the compactor or the small dog that
endlessly barks – challenges that may seem small to you – are seen far more critically by mirror 3your residents. You may feel that your customers are just hard-wired for negativity. This is correct to some degree, according to this article from Psychology Today. You don’t have to look any further than your apartment community’s online reviews to see how impactful the negative reflections of your customers can be. So, how do you change your view so that, when you look in the mirror, the image that you see is that or your customer? It all starts with a pause.

mirror 4Robert Matthew Van Winkle – better known as Vanilla Ice – said it best: “Stop! Collaborate and listen.” In order to change what you see, you have to change the perspective from which you look into the mirror. Pause for a moment and let go of the mountain of distractions that plague you. Remember that you are there for your customers first. Take the time to listen – really listen – to what they have to say. To remain unbiased and to not let your own misconceptions take over, ask lots of questions Ensure that you both are seeing things from the right viewpoint. Then, all that is left is to change what is viewed as negative, so that the next time your customer looks in the mirror they like what they see. This also means that, the next time you look in your apartment community’s mirror, you see what others see and not just the illusion that is in your own mind.

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