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Problems?…. Get the kettle on!

Thursday November 14, 2019

Most of us can be proud of our generation tag. Baby Boomers got to see all the good bands. Generation X raved the night away in a muddy field. Generation Y gave us much of our technology. So why does journalist India Knight describe Generation Z as “Generation Mummy’s Little Sausage”?

Harsh judgement on an entire generation and as ever, I suspect a small minority is responsible. Mostly Generation Z are perfectly sensible and self-assured. But it is the expectations of the minority that dominate discussion among those of us in the service and retail sectors.

Leaseholder and consumer rights are enshrined in law and like any responsible business we have a complaints structure. This comes in three phases. One, get the kettle on and we sit down with a cup of tea and resolve the issue. If that does not work, the matter is addressed at Director level (sit down with a cup of Lavazza coffee). The next level escalates the issue to the Property Ombudsman who will deliver impartial judgement.

We’re rightly proud of our ability to avoid escalation beyond the cup of tea stage. But we have found a change in the nature of complaints. We operate an extended hours service for emergencies. The smell of gas, a burst water pipe or structural damage to the property can all fairly be described as an emergency.

A lightbulb popping or the internet going on the blink is an issue we will address, but not at 3.00am. The 3.00am internet issue happened recently and when we advised we would be out the next day, led to a full-on footy stamp on social media. Apparently, we are Attila the Hun on a bad hair day.

The answer to this emerging issue is not to unfairly lambast an entire generation. The answer lies in communication and outlining precisely what our customer care package can reasonably be expected to offer. In that way, we can manage customer expectations and any issues can be resolved over a nice cup of tea. Common sense and the threat of good Italian coffee will usually be enough to ensure that both sides of a dispute can walk away satisfied.

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I wish to thank you for all the hard work you have been putting in with regards to the management of our block. Living here myself, I have found everything running vastly better. I have received warm and appreciative comments from my neighbours also, congratulating the promptness and professionalism with which you have addressed their issues.

Dr J Jones – Resident Leaseholder

Quite possibly the best decision we made was to involve HPBM in the early stages of our development. The knowledge they have has been invaluable in getting our new block up and running smoothly whilst ensuring the leaseholders are happy with how things are run.

Mr P Smithson – Developer & Freeholder

I think I speak for the large majority of property owners when I say HPBM’s solutions made perfect sense. They put the needs of our tenants and us, as property owners at the forefront of their proposals.

Mr D Humphrey – (Lease Appointed) Management Company Director

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