Coming in to the office on Monday this week was rather a surreal experience – out of around 70, maybe seven desks were occupied. The other 63 teamsters were sharp enough to have ensured a five-day weekend. The silence was deafening. I decided to put a positive spin on my lack of sharpness and tried to convince myself I’d get tons of work done. Just the opposite happened …
I’m rather technically illiterate, you see, and there was no-one around to help with my beginner-level questions. On any “normal” day (and I use quote marks here because the Private Property office isn’t quite the benchmark-normal working environment) this hapless writer is surrounded by highly-qualified and über-experienced colleagues who patiently indulge her new-to-the-team ignorance. Even with my notoriously poor aim I can generally get the attention of the eight-or-so Wordpress whizzes, process pros and development divas who are unfortunate enough to sit within the reach of a tossed stress ball. I even had to drink instant brew as I haven’t yet mastered the larney coffee machine. It was a long, lonely day.
As I soldiered on, feeling less-loved by the minute, I started to think about how our clients must feel when they can’t access crucial information as they prepare to make some of the biggest decisions of their lives. Buying and selling a home isn’t for sissies – and consumer research that Columinate recently undertook for us reveals that very few respondents feel adequately informed about property. Which makes the process even scarier.
So here’s what I learned on Monday: the Private Property team is here for you. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, or looking for a place to rent or a tenant for your investment property, or whether you’re an estate agent who lists stock on our site, a dedicated, professional, experienced and eminently qualified team has your back. From industry-leading mobile app developers (who speak a language that only they understand) to a savvy social media expert (who ensures that you can talk to us at any time of day and night), and from our highly-trained call centre operators (who never seem to stop talking) to our numerically-literate (and often unthanked) admin organisers, our people work hard to make buying, selling and renting property easy for you.
Part of our WHY statement is that work should be fun – hence the table tennis table, Wii and big screens that seem to feature quite often in this column. But please don’t think that we play all day – we are very serious about re-imagining South Africa’s property landscape. But we can only do this with your feedback. So chat to someone in our call centre, browse our advice centre, interact with us on Facebook and Twitter and, if you’re in Durban, pop in at our HQ and toss a stress ball at someone … I guarantee that we can answer your questions and allay your fears over a cuppa good Java.
At the very least, we’ll let you win at table tennis. If I’m one of sorry seven there on a middle-of-a-long-weekend Monday, this is no empty promise – my ball co-ordination is as poor as my aim.