Management Diaries: Essentials to Calm the Crisis and Reassure Residents

The Habitat Co.’s Steven St. Louis shares guidance on navigating the unexpected with confidence, compassion and clear communication.

Steven St. Louis
“Avoid hypotheticals—stick to facts during communication,” recommends The Habitat Co.’s Steven St. Louis.

As the regional manager of The Habitat Co.’s market-rate and condominium portfolio in Michigan, Steven St. Louis has maneuvered crises big and small. In this episode of Management Diaries, Denile Doyle chats with St. Louis about managing crises.

When unexpected situations arise, he prioritizes trust, transparency and timely communication with his residents. He says this is crucial to maintaining credibility, whether you’re addressing a dispute between two neighbors or something more jarring that impacts multiple residents. 

How can managers ensure that they are effectively managing a crisis? By monitoring their response in real time—during and after the crisis—and adjusting where needed. St. Louis says this approach helps managers make a positive immediate and long-term impact.

Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • Why it’s important to balance empathy and understanding while guiding residents through a crisis (6:20)
  • How timely communication helps property managers stay ahead of the curve (8:53)
  • Navigating social media’s public square and controlling the narrative (11:35)
  • His best advice for property managers to address any crisis (13:50)
  • How he handled a major, unexpected incident that had immediate and long-term community impact (15:52)
  • Key priorities for mitigating potential damage to reputation (20:03)
  • Why providing emotional support to residents is as crucial as managing high-level operations (26:57)

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