The claim to the right way to do things

Leaders in the apartment business are faced with countless decisions on a daily basis. Everyone of them are important in some way shape of form to the direction of the organization.

We talked about the 10-10-10 principle a couple of posts ago and the role it plays in decision making. Another principle I think is important is not taking or making the claim that you know the right way to do things. In our business many times there is no exact right way to do things. The last thing anyone wants to hear is a page out of your autobiography. They don’t want to hear how you did it when you were a leasing consultant, how you did it when you were a assistant manager or how you did it when you were a manager.

Rather, what they want to know is how much you care about them as individuals first and professionals second.

My time in this industry has taught me that I don’t know even the half of it and everyday I learn something new.

Think about that the next time you are tempted to tell anyone the right way to do something.

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Property management leadership: 10-10-10 rule

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Here is a good thought/principle for the the day. Think about this next time you make a decision in your property management business.

There is a rule out there that suggests that you spend some time thinking through the consequence of your everyday decision making. In other words before making a decision consider the impact it will have 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years down the road.

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Apartment business as your stage to grow

Jim Rohn once quipped, "We can have more than we’ve got because we can become more than we are."

I contend the apartment business is just the place to do it.

We do have to get out of the mentality that we deserve more money and more recognition and get on board with the idea that business is there to serve as a place for your personal and professional development. Both of which no one can really place a price.

If you are in sales you are being taught everyday, through your experiences with customers, how to be a better presenter, influencer, articulator and closer. What kind of price can you place on that? What kind of value add does that give you in your personal and professional life? All that and companies pay you north of $10 to learn it. Not only that most companies pay you commission on top of your hourly wage to learn it. Not only that the better you get at those things the more the company pays you to push your learning.

I often cringe when I hear employees say I deserve more recognition, more money and more and more and more. That is not to suggest that those who really are at the top of their game consistently don’t deserve more. They do. My motivation to give is couched more in the character improvement of person and not the person with the best "give me more" speech.

You get more when you become more.

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Say what you need to say…

Have you heard the new John Mayer song; Say?

I love the message in this song or the least the message in the way I interpret it for myself.

In essence, say it now so that you don’t regret it later. Right, wrong or indifferent if its on your heart or on your mind, it needs to be said. Pick the moment and invest the energies to say what you need to say.

Now I am a big believer in preserving one’s dignity. Honor your audience but say what you need to say.

Do you have something you need to say today? Say it now. Do it with a heart wide open.

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Good to Great and employee reviews

Surely by now everyone has heard about this book. It was written sometime back in 2001 and gained a lot of attention in business circles.

I thought the book was just o.k., that is with the exception of one page. Page 56. I like to refer to it as page 56 thinking. The page speaks to the principle of having the right people on the bus and in the right seats in your organization. It speaks specifically to slackers and how allowing a slacker to exist on your team inevitably leads to low morale and superstars that leave for better environments. I really enjoyed what Mr. Collins had to say on the subject and would love to report that I have followed the wisdom without fail since. But, I have not.

I can say with great pain in those times I have not moved on an issue, the teams have suffered. Where I have done just the opposite they have flourished.

Pick up the book next time you are in the store and read page 56. Do it before you complete this years reviews. If nothing else it will validate both those feelings and those conversations you have with yourself when no one else is around.

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Property manager team meeting topic: What is your culture?

A good topic for an property manager team meeting is to discuss your culture. I was reminded recently of a book that I read some years ago. The book spoke to one man’s opinion of the principles of marriage. He started the book with an analogy of aroma. He suggested that one could quickly gauge the spiritual aroma of a home by spending just a little time inside. He went on to say that “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I must say the analogy fits.

I liken it to the aroma (culture) of our leasing offices and or maintenance team office. Can you tell what it is?

What if you called back of 5 of the last prospects that visited your apartment leasing center tomorrow? Ask them what they thought aroma was like. Call the prospects that visited while you were not in the office. What did they think?

Discuss the findings in your next team meeting. If you are lacking, brainstorm on ways to make it more inviting. If you are knocking a home run then take the time to celebrate.

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Property Management Blogs

I know of only four property management related blogs that post on a consistent bases, they are:

Property Management (the blog you are reading now)
Apartment Marketing Blog (Lisa Trosein)
Multi-housing News Blog (From the Multi-Housing contributors)
Multifamilypro Blog (From the Multifamily Pro contributors)

All are relevant to our industry and worth taking a look at on a daily basis.

Have a great Monday.

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Changing the name of maintenace supervisors, technicians and make ready guys

I hear the word apartment maintenance and I think of maintain. Not really the proactive environment I am looking for. I like the phrase preventive maintenance but it is just not sexy enough.

What about introducing our apartment service teams as our solution officers or proactive personnel? Or, our bias for action team. I mean if The Secret is true then the more we use this kind of language then eventually the biases will imbue on the minds and hearts of the team. The byproduct would be enhanced real time actions, right?

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Apartment Management Accountability

Subordinates need to be willing to be held accountable and managers need to be willing to hold them accountable.” –Mark Goulston

I ran across the above quote while reading this morning and it really got me thinking about employee reviews. I have seen this equation work both ways meaning that sometimes the “subordinate” is thirsty to be held accountable but the manager is unwilling or unable. Conversely I have seen managers who are great at holding people accountable yet the “subordinate” makes no effort to amend destructive behaviors.

It truly is when both are willing and able that teamwork manifests. And, when that happens the natural byproducts are more apartment leases and amplified retention.

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Thank You

I was thinking about the words “thank you” today. It made me think of the last time I said it to one of my associates. Luckily it didn’t take to long to think of an occasion and at the same time it gave cause for me to ask myself, “do I say it enough?”

That being said, I am making it a point to say it more often and for the right reasons. As we know the property management business is difficult and taxing at times and we often miss the little things like saying thank you. Think about it this week and find ways to say it to someone who deserves it.

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