I am hoping to get some input from all of you about my current job situation, if you would be so kind!
I am in what I consider to be a "people industry" -- apartment rentals. You are basically consulting with prospects about what could be their future homes, so I feel something that intensely personal calls for a warm, friendly and helpful nature--which is what I am and what I'm proud to bring to the job. I carry out my duties with a flourish, meaning, if someone asks a question, I find the answer and get back to them. If someone is due to sign a lease soon and hasn't yet provided the required documents (proof of renter's insurance and an electricity account), I send them a friendly reminder to do that. I like to check the renters' insurance policy for accuracy, because many times they are not. I like to get "all my ducks in a row" to ensure things go smoothly and without a bump. As it is, the lease signing can be tedious and time consuming and--if something is not there--the renter does not get to move in. I cannot hand him/her the keys. Talk about stressful!
I have spoken to my supervisor because I feel my duties realistically take much more time than she feels they should, and I'm trying to give her input from someone who is actually doing the job--field research, if you will. I do not dilly dally; I move things along, but not in such a manner that I actually have to be rude to meet the time requirements. Some people need a little help, and others have questions. They do not want to sign blindly (and I don't blame them).
My manager says I'm "too thorough" in my work and that I need to "lose the empathy" when dealing with prospects. I guess leasing is one of those high-volume, process-the-hell-of-out-people (get 'em in and get 'em out) businesses, but I don't believe people are pieces of paper, checks, or robots.
I guess my situation is my boss and I see things differently: I believe in giving the ultimate in great customer service (as I would in ANY industry), and the renters will stay with us longer than they would at a property that treats them like cattle. But she has the experience and I don't; I just go on instincts, common sense and the feeling I treat others the way I would want to be treated. But she leans toward being cold, efficient (her favorite word) and indifferent. She tells me to stop helping them and reminding them about details--if they fail to show up without all the requisite info, too bad about them. I should simply reschedule the lease signing. REALLY? Isn't THAT duplicating efforts and wasting my time, now that I have to do the thing twice?
I just feel that most of us do things at their own pace--and because almost everything in the leasing process constitutes some kind of legality--care should be taken, rather than rushing through important procedures. And the thing I am sure would REALLY bother her? I like to make it fun, rather than a grim process! I have a sense of humor and I use it. People love it (it relaxes them) -- and I think they love having ME as their Leasing Agent. But (sigh), they don't sign my paycheck.
BTW, I get paid the same amount each pay period no matter how long I take to carry out my responsibilities each day/week. In other words, if I'm "slower than the other Leasing Agents," it's not costing my boss a dime. It's actually costing ME (my time). I never have a backlog of people waiting. It doesn't even matter whether I'm busy or not busy. She just likes things done FAST. Does anyone have an opinion on this? I'd be grateful to hear some ideas/advice.
Sorry this went so long...
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