“I was wrong. I put a tenant in a landlord’s house and they ended up trashing it and not paying the rent. There’s no way they’ll rehire me …” (Charlotte Property Manager)
“It was crazy, you see. I took off and then two hours later I landed in Charlotte. I guess technically you could say I did my job. But the guy who crashed into the river, no, he’s the hero. He’s weird. , truth? “ (Bitter Captain Roger Baines, played by Jason Sudeikis- Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday– 10/2/09)
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger rose to fame as the pilot who flew US Airways Flight 1549 on 1/15/09 from New York to Charlotte. Most people remember history; it became national news for weeks because the plane crashed into the Hudson River minutes after takeoff. You would think that if you were on that flight, you would be really upset! He paid money to be in Charlotte in about two hours, but instead, he was long delayed, soaked, his luggage was ruined, and his life flashed before his eyes. All the meetings he had that day had to be canceled. Your plans were triggered. Your life was in danger. You might have been thinking who you could sue. I would surely never fly US Air again!
I’d appreciate Captain Baines’ joke about the “good pilot” later in the Saturday Night Live skit:
Q: What did the good pilot do when he saw the flock of geese?
TO: He avoided them and continued on to Charlotte, where he landed seven minutes earlier.
However, Sully became a national hero. What ??? Although it saved the lives of its passengers, it still landed in a river that must be viewed as a failure. Was it a seasoned PR professional who told the story much later? Hardly. Sully gives the impression of being a soft-spoken guy. His “speech” to passengers before the accident was short and not very eloquent: “Prepare for impact.” Inexplicably, it didn’t matter. The passengers loved it. They were grateful and effusive in praise. No one said they would not fly with him again; in fact, most would Quite Let him be the captain of his flights in the future. Many Americans said the same. How could this have been?
The simplest answer is that the majority people know that things are going wrong. It is unavoidable. Sully could do little after crashing into the flock of geese that caused the engines to fail. As Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react.” Sully calmly got off the plane and rescued what he could from a difficult situation. His passengers knew that he was in control and would work to ensure their safety.
In property management, choosing tenants who will always pay and treat a rental home with respect is an inexact science. Try to mitigate the risk by conducting credit and criminal background checks, verifying income and employment, and calling previous owners. Collect the security deposits and stop by the houses to see if they look good. However, at the end of the day, you don’t live with them and you can’t force people to fulfill their obligations. It’s hard.
But when bad things happen (and they will happen at some point), it can also be positive. It creates an opportunity to show your clients that you care, allows you to learn more about them personally, and allows you to show that you have a plan to correct things. Most of our clients receive their monthly rent (deposited directly into their account) and we rarely have the opportunity to speak with them outside of our initial meeting. But when problems arise, we can build a bond with them as we work to get their properties back on track.
Paradoxically, the clients whose houses we have had a problem with tend to be clients for life, while those who receive their rent without problems every month are the ones I worry about losing. Relationships require give and take and are often formed out of adversity; Without this, you can become a faceless entity that has no emotional connection.
In the wake of a disaster, Sully built a bond in one day with his passengers that few, if any, pilots will have with their own, even frequent fliers. Think about it. Who was the pilot of your last flight? From your last ten?
So don’t be embarrassed when something goes wrong. It will give you a chance to get some of that lasting “Sully Love”.