Did you know your agency’s reputation is one of its most valuable assets? Practicing proactive reputation management should therefore be top of your list! If it isn’t, take note, this crash-course on reputation is our gift to you.
An understanding of ‘reputation’ is essential if you want your property management business to succeed because you then know how to build and maintain this asset.
Put simply, reputation is made up of two parts – identity and image.
Your ‘agency identity’ is the internal behaviour of your agency. This is determined by your organisational mission, vision and goals, which form the foundations of your organisational culture.
This organisational culture is then communicated to your clients, and other stakeholders, using tools such as your agency’s logo, tagline, headquarters, website, dress code, advertisements, and so on, which fuse together to create an identifiable brand personality.
This personality is then perceived by your clients and results in your ‘agency image’ – how your clients see your agency.
Reputation management is about controlling this identity and image. Your goal is to ensure they always match. As a general rule, how you perceive your agency is the same way you want your clients to perceive it. You can control how your clients see you simply by putting your money where your mouth is – deliver the promises you promise. Because, when your clients’ experiences with your agency constantly align with your agency’s identity, you get a solid agency reputation.
But beware, a solid agency reputation is not something you achieve and then cross off the list! As well as being one of your most valuable assets it is also one of your most volatile. A seemingly small mishap could cause a long-standing reputation to crumble.
Ongoing reputation management is therefore key to ensure this doesn’t happen and ‘legitimacy gaps’ do not occur – when you do not deliver on promises so clients lose faith in you. Failing to manage legitimacy gaps lead to reputation damage, which is more costly than you may be aware. You lose trust, loyalty and managements, and winning these back is no small task requiring extra resources and a committed effort.
A striking example of costly reputation damage from another industry is the Lance Armstrong brand. As you know, Lance finally admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and everything his brand represented and promised literally vanished overnight. With his reputation destroyed, he lost his consumers’ trust and loyalty and, in this case, can never win them back. His merchandise sales plummeted whilst his tales of victory now collect dust in the fiction section of libraries. This is reputation damage at its finest.
But, breathe a sigh of relief, whilst such reputation ‘destroying’ cases can and do occur, most of the time potentially harmful legitimacy gaps can be repaired before any major damage takes place. Good reputation management closes these gaps, but proactive reputation management ensures these gaps never occur in the first place. This is what all business owners and principals should aim for.
So, to wrap up this crash-course on reputation, we recommend you practice proactive reputation management by consistently and strategically allocating resources to maintain legitimacy in all areas of your agency, especially those areas that your reputation are built on. Delivering the promises you promise ensures your agency’s identity and clients’ image of your property management business are constantly aligned. This then reduces the likelihood of legitimacy gaps occurring and, as such, any costly reputation damage. Practicing proactive reputation management results in proactively building and maintaining a solid agency reputation to win you loyal clients and long-term success.
If you would like ireviloution to help you implement proactive reputation management in your property management business contact us today.