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The art of professional communication

22 June 2018

Good property managers know how to communicate effectively with various stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes.

In a recent REINSW webinar, experienced property managers Alexandra Haggarty, Suzie Reid and Kellie Eagles shared tips on the art of professional communication. 
In particular the panel discussed a number of issues related to email communication for property management departments, including:
Acceptable styles of email communication
How to create a level of professionalism through your email communication

How to write a good quality email
Getting the point across effectively
Using language to encourage action
How to address the question you need answering
Handling cultural differences appropriately
Email or pick up the phone – what is appropriate in the situation?

Writing professional emails

“Before you start writing an email, consider the purpose of the email and set a clear goal about what you would like the outcome to be,” Kellie advised.  
“Is the email about imparting some information? Is it a discussion? Is it something that needs be lengthy? If you’re writing a long email, it might be worth picking up the phone instead,” Suzie added.
The panel then outlined some specific tips for email best practice.

Good email habits

Slow down. Sending a series of emails at great speed can lead to mistakes and confusing sentences.
Stop and take the time to read what you’ve written and check it makes sense
Proofread out loud rather than in your head to avoid ‘seeing what you want to see’
Always make sure you attach the attachment before drafting the email
Use specific email subject lines for easy identification
Add the receiver’s email address last to avoid sending the email prematurely
Send important emails to a colleague to check the language and tone before sending to a client
Know your audience – be careful not to slip into a ‘comfortable and casual’ communication style if not appropriate
It’s okay to use a ‘smiley face’ to soften the tone of an abrupt statement or email, but as a general rule do not use other emojis frequently.

Effective email communication

The experts explained why effective email communication means more than simply typing out information and hitting ‘send’. 

Suzie said: “Sometimes you have to stop and think about who you’re writing to. You wouldn’t speak to a 75-year-old the same way you would speak to a 20-year-old, and the same applies to your email conversations.”
“There are a lot of strategies available for writing clear emails that people will actually read, but a very simple way to start is to use more sub-headings, tables and checklists,” Kellie said.
“We send an email to get a desired outcome, whether that’s to provide information so that we comply or to encourage an action, so you need to send the email in a way that makes it easy for the client to give you what you want,” Alexandra added.

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