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Managing a Multi-Lingual Apartment Complex

By Carolina Wannatabi Subscribe to RSS | May 25th 2012 | Views:
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The world has certainly become a much smaller place in recent years, not only as far as the Internet is concerned but also as far as communities are concerned as well. In apartment communities, it is not unusual to find individuals who speak a variety of different languages, including Spanish, English, and Portuguese. That is why it is very important for you to staff the individuals who work in those apartment communities with people that are able to communicate with everyone who is in the area. This has obvious benefits, including being able to take care of any problems that arise without additional problems being included.

Of course, it is going to be impossible for you to be able to handle every situation that arises with in a multilingual apartment community. For some of the more commonly spoken languages, however, you will generally be able to hire maintenance staff or others who work within the apartment community that can do the translations. At other times, it may be necessary for a family member of those individuals to do the translating for you. This can be a little bit cumbersome, but generally speaking, you will be able to understand what is necessary so that you can get the work done that is needed to be done.

Another thing that you should consider is the fact that when you have a multilingual maintenance staff, they will be able to get the point across to the apartment owners more readily. For example, if you are going to be running a service order for individuals that are from Brazil, you will need to let them know that you are doing a ordem de serviço. That will generally alert them to the fact that you are at the apartment to do work that they have requested. If you are showing up periodically to do work that is needed for preventative maintenance, this is known as manutenção preditiva. Obviously, there are going to be times when additional conversation is necessary, but typically, letting them know why you are there will make it easier for you to continue with the job and get it done.

Something else that is generally of concern at apartment communities is making sure that everything is understood when the apartment is being rented. Typically, a tour of the apartment can be given so that they can see what is available, regardless of whether there is a translator available or not. When the time actually comes for the lease to be signed, however, that is when some issues can occur. If you do not have someone on staff who can do the translating for you, it may be necessary for you to bring in outside translators who can take care of the issues. Those individuals are available in many areas, and although they can be a little bit expensive, it is much better that everything is understood before any papers are signed. In some cases, it may also be possible that other individuals who speak their language are also in the community, and they may be able to assist in the translation as well.

Carolina Wannatabi - About Author:
Carolina Wannatabi is the author of this article about cultural boundaries. She has lived all over the world and even speak fluent Portuguese. There when speaking about facilities management she says words like manutenção preditiva and ordem de serviço.

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