The Extra Mile: My window washer had a glitch, but communication saved the day!

Mar 7, 2024 by Priyanka Agarwal

Honest, transparent, and timely communication is the essential glue that binds a customer to a business. When dealing with people and everyday life, things are not always guaranteed to go as planned. It is how you communicate with your customers and residents when things go haywire or when there are unexpected delays that help earn and retain their trust.

“The greatest piece of advice we share with our teams regarding honest and transparent communication with residents is to communicate what you would need as a resident to make the best decision for yourself and feel informed from your apartment office,” said Tyler R. Marker, Director of Marketing and Professional Development, Zidan Management Group.

Marker explained that humans do two things: take information and make decisions. Therefore, “Helping our teams understand what level of information is needed for the resident to be able to decide on what we are communicating is a pillar of our onboarding and ongoing learning objectives.”

Tip #1: Be transparent when problems arise and follow through on your promises to deliver.

This month, I had my house windows cleaned and decided to hire a young contractor. Brendan Lyon (LyonsWashing) did an excellent job of cleaning my windows. Besides the quality of his work, what stood out was his exceptional and transparent communication. When Brendan started cleaning the windows from the outside, he informed me that his power washer had a clogged filter. He ordered a new filter immediately, told me that it should arrive in the next 2-3 business days, and promised to be in touch to schedule the follow-up appointment. Brendan did not ask for his payment and said I could pay him after the job was completely done. This was a Friday. On Monday morning, he messaged me that the part would arrive by Tuesday, and we scheduled a time for him to come back.

Also, Brendan even went “The Extra Mile” to remove nails around my front door left by a previous contractor who took down our Christmas decorations.

As Marker explained above, Brendan provided me with the information I needed to make an informed decision about the reliability of his business.

And guess what? LyonsWashing not only earned a recommendation and a five-star review, but I will also use him to clean my roof this summer.

This same level of transparency is critical when dealing with the inevitable hiccups of everyday life with your residents. Five-star feedback shows how much sharing information and communication matters in establishing trust and assuring residents that you are on top of their specific situation.

Tip #2: You may forget to respond to an email, apologize, and do whatever you can to assist a resident.

I was working with another member and communication was a little poor. It may be that she was super busy, but I informed them via email of when we would be arriving (from another state) and never received a response back. I assumed that meant we were good to go. When I called from an hour away, [Name] helped out exceptionally fast and apologized on behalf of their previous miscommunication and assisted me far beyond what she needed to. I appreciate her so very much!!! The place is gorgeous and I love the view and the amenities. I think we'll enjoy our time here!!

In this example, the team immediately took ownership of their communication misstep. They then reassured the new resident by offering a quick apology, taking their phone call, and doing all they could to provide the support the resident needed from that moment on.

Life is not perfect, but it can feel a lot better when you are equipped with information and a plan. By communicating transparently with your residents and making them aware of the roadmap and timelines to resolve their issues when things go awry, you will help put them at ease, retain their goodwill, and earn their continued business.

Sometimes, a simple act of communication, like returning a phone call, can earn you a stellar review.

“Definitely the best experience with finding a place to live. Both Kendra and Anna are very pleasant, kind, and patient. They always answer the phone respectfully, and if for some reason they miss you, they will call back to help. Thank you again Kendra, I appreciate you!” (Courtesy - Zidan Management)

About The Extra Mile

The Extra Mile is an online column serving the multifamily industry that features tips and testimonials for providing exceptional service for your residents. Reputation management expert Priyanka Agarwal will share exemplary customer service examples from inside and outside the industry which can enhance a property’s reputation and, ultimately, encourage new leases, referrals, and renewals. For questions and/or comments, contact

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