"I'd like to speak to your Supervisor!"

Curious as to how those with multi-property portfolios are handing the residents who are never satisfied with how the Community Manger’s handles their issues. The way I see it, if the CM hasn’t violated the lease, can point out the Community Guidelines and isn’t breaking any laws, it’s a waste of time to let these things keep escalating up the ladder. My Regional is spending all kinds of times on the minutia because residents keep wanting to “talk to your supervisor”. Of course, the Regional says the same thing the CM does so they want to talk to the next person etc… Or they get the Regionals email and never bother with their CM anymore.

At this point, we communicate in writing that the Regional Manager has the final say on these matters …but I’d really like to leave most of this stuff at the CM level, who are well trained, capable people - not a typical resident who is the CM just to get free rent.

Somehow with a bigger portfolio, residents feel they are owed a whole customer service department and should be able to talk to anyone they want.


I am experiencing a similar thing. When we only had one or two parks it was easy for me to personally address some of these issues. However, we now have 7 parks and I have a Regional Manager. I am still getting a few calls and my RM is also getting a few calls. Luckily, my RM (my brother with +20 years of experience) handled this very well.

Everyone in the park has both our emails and our cellphones. When a customer “Skips” the chain of command we simply respond directly to the CM and have the CM express what we would say to the Resident. This does two things. 1st it makes the resident aware that we received their issue. 2nd It reinforces the chain of command.

Now there are some exceptions to this, emergencies, lawsuits, and other Higher level problems, but for the most part, it works fine.

For VM/Telephone complaints, we have a simple reply. “We are happy to help you with your issue, please turn in a Resident Objection form to the CM and we will address the issue. We do not take voice complaints. If you are not happy with the outcome from the CM feel free to reach out to me directly.” 90% of the residents will not bother making a written complaint.
If the resident reaches out to us directly on the same issue we will respond in writing and have the CM communicate our position.

The best practice is to respond to all direct inquiries (low-level issues) via the CM.

Thanks for your thorough response @SDGuy

We’re trying to make sure the Regional is focusing on big issues and supporting the CM’s, - since the answers are going to be the same if the CM is doing their job. My take is if it’s low-level, and especially if the guidelines specifically address it, it should remain low-level no matter if they want it escalated - I’d like a CM to simply be able to say "I have reviewed this issue with my Regional Manager and am confident we are proceeding as we should.

Of course, then they don’t believe you unless they hear directly from the Regional, thus they cycle of time suck.

Thanks again - we’ll keep plugging :slight_smile:


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I’d really like to leave most of this stuff at the CM level, who are well trained, capable people

I spent over a decade in customer service, including at the GM level, and I take a slightly different view of the situation.

Your stated preference is, in my view, spot on. You want people to do their jobs. If the CMs cannot or will not handle their responsibilities you don’t need them. I challenge you to work with your team :

Empower your CMs to handle issues. Set clear guidelines and have everyone follow them. If a tenant escalates and the manager overrides the policy, your team is simply training tenants to escalate. Your team must all read from the same by book. Your managers must support the CMs. If tenants learn they get the same resolution from the manager as from their CM, that should cool their jets.

Make certain your CMs are as well trained and capable as you think they are. I’ve seen plenty of employees who are more than happy to kick problems upstairs. Make it clear their job is to deal with issues, not to delegate upward. If they need training, get it for them; this isn’t stuff folks are born knowing.

I wish you well in your endeavors.

Thanks for your advice @Dorothy

I actually ran a large hospitality (restaurant) group with over 1000 employees for a couple decades prior to working with this family-owned portfolio (beginning in 2020) so I’m right there with you on your approach to customer service, training and team member empowerment. I’m also aware from my HR experience that not having some outlet for escalation means your next call can be from an attorney and regardless of if the resident is right or wrong, this creates headaches and costs.

I’m very interested in what protocols, community guideline policies, etc… others have found effective to minimize the involvement of their Regionals in day to day matters low level matters, without somehow blockading residents so that high level or legal concerns aren’t getting past a corrupt or implicated CM.

In the restaurant world, it was up the ladder until the owner gave a bunch of free stuff, but that’s dealing with subjective stuff like “too much ketchup” versus something governed by a clear lease agreement.

Thanks again for the feedback. Best

I am an owner who presents himself as a regional manager. I’ve had this question several times. My boss is my wife (also my business partner, & I’d like to think I’m hers, but I’m not sure she sees it that way) I tell the tenants that my boss hired me to take care of the daily issues. I’ve been instructed to NEVER give out my bosses information. After barking (which is what they are doing) up the wrong tree and I stay resolute with the same message, they eventually get it and just deal with me. I train my Park Manager’s the same way.
I trust that helps,

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I agree there must be an escalation process and I understand you want residents to use it as little as possible!

As long as everything has been handled correctly, I give my managers the freedom to inform the residents that if they’re that unhappy they’re welcome to move their home out of our community. My managers then refer them to my moving company if they wish to move :slight_smile:

@Jake - Oh if it could always be that easy.

@grit - Thanks for the input.

Andy, When Frank covered this, he uses a 1800 number that tenants can call in case of an emergency. They can also use it to report on a bad CM. They can also use it to escalate an issue. It is a voice mail only that is listened to by the regional Mgr or you as the owner to keep a feel on the pulse of the park. Once you’ve listened to the message, then delegate down if it’s appropriate or take care of the issue if it needs your attention. It seems like the best answer.
I trust it helps,