Can Millennials use the phone?

by Readers Question

13:02 PM, 1st August 2019
About 10 months ago

Can Millennials use the phone?

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Can Millennials use the phone?

Can Millenials use the phone? When we advertise a property through an online agent we are sent email addresses/phone numbers of those who express an interest.

We get many, and I need to qualify them before showing them the property. Otherwise it can be a waste of their time and mine.

The best and most efficient way to do this is by phone, so I email, asking them to phone me. But 80% never do.

I could send them a form, I suppose, but I can get a feel of them on the phone, and they can easily ask me questions. Have other people found a way round this?

Many thanks

J Clarkson



Comments

Old Mrs Landlord

23:13 PM, 2nd August 2019
About 10 months ago

We have had some who email and don't leave a phone number or sometimes a name or even both but I have always been able to make contact either by email or directly through the Openrent site and once contact is established you can ask for further info. What is sometimes a problem is getting them to understand that when at the property conducting viewings I cannot access the rental portal or emails on my laptop at home, because tenants all seem to have mobile phones which I can't afford. Later, when I follow up to ask why they did not turn up they get annoyed that I did not respond to their request to alter the viewing time or give further directions, send them a video of the property or whatever. Many appear to live their lives online and expect a video tour of a property before they decide whether to bother to leave the house, despite having made an appointment. When we are offering a desirable property of which few come to the market at a reasonable rent, and where we know we will have to choose between several suitable tenants, if they can't make the effort I'm afraid they simply miss out and have proved themselves not to be the sort of tenant we want anyway.

Ed Tuff

7:20 AM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 02/08/2019 - 23:13
Can't afford a mobile? Come off it.

Your profit margin must be tight; I have an iPhone 5 worth about £30, and my contract is £7 per month. I'm one of the thriftiest people you'll meet, but I am still happy to pay £7 for something as important as a mobile.

Old Mrs Landlord

8:19 AM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ed Tuff at 03/08/2019 - 07:20I have a mobile phone, it's a hand-me-down from my husband. It is not an i-phone. I could splash out on one of those by going without other things but would not get sufficient use from its features to make it worthwhile as I live my life in the real world and don't feel the need to send the world photos of everything I do for affirmation and approbation from others. The point being made was that these prospective tenants don't ring - they communicate on the website in the mistaken belief that emails will appear on my phone wherever I am. When they don't get a prompt reply they think I am snubbing them. By the evening when I get home exhausted with all my day-to-day work to start on I check the ad. for new messages and don't appreciate the reams of abuse that sometimes greets me then trying to get through to people that I have only just been able to read the message they sent hours previously. Fortunately, we don't have a frequent turnover of tenants. However, my experience of Open Rent is overall very positive and we get a much greater than the 20% of suitable applicants than the previous poster reported.

Ed Tuff

8:39 AM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

You've pointed out how awkward not having a smart phone is when dealing with tenants; surely a £50-£100 investment on a phone that can receive emails is therefore worth it?

Not everyone uses a smart phone for social media; the thing can receive emails and use internet wherever you are! If morally you're against that then carry on having a tough time with prospective tenants.

The world is changing; keep up or lose out.

Old Mrs Landlord

12:17 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ed Tuff at 03/08/2019 - 08:39
Thank you for your unsolicited advice. Obviously if it was a big or frequent problem for me I would do something about it, but it's a minor inconvenience and, in my judgment, not worth the hassle of getting used to a new phone and the ongoing expense. This thread is about the reluctance of millennials to communicate by speaking on the telephone or face to face.

Ed Tuff

12:42 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

....until you starting bringing up how you couldn't afford a mobile, and how you don't feel the need to send the world photos of everything you do for affirmation and approbation from others, and that prospective tenants abuse you when they get frustrated that you are incapable of replying for hours.

Old Mrs Landlord

14:45 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ed Tuff at 03/08/2019 - 12:42
On rereading my original comment I can see that it was ambiguous and may have given the impression that I had no mobile phone at all rather than what I had intended to convey, which was that I had no phone on which I could receive emails. I was confirming the experience of the original poster who found millennials avoid making phone calls and indicating that in my experience they find it incomprehensible that anyone is managing to live their life without one.

Luke P

0:19 AM, 4th August 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 03/08/2019 - 14:45The idea that ‘the world exists without smartphones/internet’ is becoming increasingly dated. It was a legitimate thing to say 10-15 years ago, but virtually every aspect of life has, not only appeared online, but almost wholesale shifted to virtual existence/interaction. Just look how much banks have pared down, airlines, utilities, cinema/restaurant/ticket bookings. There’s even talk of video-call GP appointments.
If I had booked/communicated with someone through an app or via a particular method, I would expect them to be available that same method all the time within a matter of minutes.
It’s funny how intrusive landlines were, yet folk would still answer them…everyone in the house heard the phone ringing, disrupting conversations/guests/dinner, whatever you were doing stopped immediately (and with no live-pause TV) to answer…without even knowing who it was first!
An alert on a phone with/without a sound or vibration telling you who it is, via what method and a brief outline of what they want is far better…and why younger people prefer it. It allows you to multitask with a quick glance, maybe even a quick reply, whilst still eating dinner and not interrupting the conversation your guest was having.

It’s simultaneously more immediate and less so.

Graham Bowcock

17:57 PM, 5th August 2019
About 10 months ago

The ability to use a telephone for it's intended purpose is rapidly becoming a dying art. I'm no luddite and use an iPhone all day, but the ability to actually speak with people is invaluable.

I often ask staff in the office if they've spoken to someone we are dealing with and they say "yes"; when I then ask "and what did they say?", the response is that they have actually just emailed them or sent a message. This often fails to reflect the nuances of one's meaning and sometimes the language can be (unintentionally) cold and misleading. A conversation is a two-way thing and, hopefully, useful for all involved. Much more progress can be made this way.

One bugbear I have is tenants reporting repairs using the various forms of messaging; the urgency is not always appreciated and messages can get (unintentionally) overlooked. If they phone me and explain that they have a gaping hole in the roof and there's a storm occurring, they'll get my attention quicker than a WhatsApp saying "we have a loose tile or two"!

Having said that, the ability to be contacted when it suits the tenants, and using their favoured form of messaging is part of running a business (which is what landlords are doing) and has to be embraced. No matter how prescriptive we try to be, there are always those do it their way.

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