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Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

Working Your Business Strategy

Working Your Business Strategy
In my blog post "What Is Your Business Strategy?" I mentioned that there are three basic elements of business: price, service and quality. In my experience businesses that succeed compete well in two of the three categories. You may be wondering, "Shouldn't successful businesses compete on all three?" While I think that would be great, it's often not economically sustainable to try and have the lowest pricing and high quality and amazing service.  How this worksOne of the communities I worked at was ultra high-end luxury apartments with stunning ocean views in a very affluent area. When I started at the community we offered great service (we had a lot of staff on-site to cater to our residents) but we were undergoing a massive renovation at the time which meant that the majority of our amenities (a huge reason to rent there) were not able to be used for a while and we were doing renovation work in our apartments as well. All of this work affected the quality of what we offered to our residents and made our community less attractive to potential renters and to our current residents. We marketed this community as ultra-luxury but that was not the reality of the experience during this season. However we did NOT compensate for the temporary drop in quality with a decrease in our overall pricing strategy. There was a disconnect between what we offered and what we delivered. We were only competing in one of the three main areas and we suffered......
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What Is Your Business Strategy?

What Is Your Business Strategy?
When it comes to jeans, Old Navy is my “go to” store. I shop at Old Navy because I like the fit of their jeans and I love the price! The negative is that the jeans don’t last as long, or keep their shape and color (for me) as more expensive jeans I’ve had in the past.    If you’ve shopped at Old Navy you know there is a difference in quality between their clothes and those found in their sister stores Gap and (especially) Banana Republic. Yet, Old Navy has recently been more successful financially than Banana Republic and especially Gap. Through Q2 2018 sales at Old Navy stores increased by 5%; sales increased at Banana Republic by 2%; while sales at Gap decreased by 5%.* The poor performance of Gap stores resulted in an 11% decrease in Gap Inc. stock   What is wrong at the Gap?   I think Gap stores have performed poorly because they don’t have a sustainable business strategy. Why is this important for you? Because for your company to succeed you need a sustainable business strategy and it requires you to make a choice. Let me explain further…   There are three basic elements of business: price, service and quality. In my experience for a business to succeed it needs to choose two of the three to compete in, but it cannot choose all three, or the business will not succeed in the long term. Why? Let’s look at the Old Navy/Gap example I began this post......
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Leadership Tip: Press "Pause"

Leadership Tip: Press "Pause"
When someone asks you, "How are you doing?" How do you respond? Is it, "Good" "Great" "I'm doing well" OR "I'm busy!!" If you're like many of us the default answer is "busy!" There is something in American culture that views busy-ness as the ultimate virtue; almost as if those who are busy are achievers and those who are not as busy are not! Many years ago I worked for a boss that required most of us to stay in the office until 8pm. The problem is much of our business shut down after 6pm. The theory was that if we remained in the office until 8pm we would use that time to "cold call" clients (I worked for a mortgage company) and develop new business. In reality the cold calls would probably last about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your list, leaving you with one and a half hours to do administrative work, push paper around, make copies and most importantly LOOK BUSY! Pressure? If you're a leader you have probably felt the pressure to be busy because of the things you need to accomplish in a day, because of the things you need to take care of tomorrow and the day after, the need to oversee the people you lead and manage, and sometimes you may feel the pressure to be busy (or to look busy) because you know everyone is watching you! (Admit it, you know it's true!) The unfortunate thing about our "busy, busy, busy"......
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Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?

Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?
Have you noticed that Cokes just taste DIFFERENT at McDonald’s? (Now for you more health conscious individuals I feel the need to mention that I don’t frequent McDonald’s much any more. Apparently the older I get the more my body tells me, “You can’t eat like a teenager anymore!”) Well, I did some research and it really is a thing that McDonald’s Cokes (and Diet Cokes) do taste different and there is a reason why. This excerpt is from the McDonald’s website: There are many reasons the Coca-Cola tastes so great at McDonald’s. We simply follow the guidelines set by Coca-Cola and take steps to ensure it tastes the same as when you buy it in a bottle.  The water and Coca-Cola syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt. We also keep our fountain beverage system cold so your drink can always be at the peak of refreshing. In order to ensure our drinks are always meeting a gold standard, we have proper filtration methods in place.  There’s also our straw – it’s slightly wider than a typical straw, so all that Coke taste can hit all your tastebuds.  ____ My first takeaway is how intentional McDonald’s is in making sure that a soda from their fountain tastes just as it would as if it came from a bottle. Stephen Covey famously described this strategy as, “Begin with the end in mind.” By knowing where they wanted to end (making sure a Coke in their ......
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Are You Prepared for a Crisis Situation?

Are You Prepared for a Crisis Situation?
When I'm not flying around the nation as a motivational speaker and consultant I spend some of my "free time" serving as a member of Civil Air Patrol (CAP). In case you didn't know Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and CAP supports the Air Force in several key areas including emergency services and disaster relief operations. Being in CAP has given me a greater awareness and appreciation for crisis awareness and preparedness-and has taught me lessons that have been valuable in my life and I think you'll find useful in your work environment too.  In the over three years that I've been a member of CAP I have logged some flight hours as a non-pilot aircrew member. Before we climb into the plane the crew has a pre-flight briefing where we identify alternate landing areas if we cannot make it back to the airport, discuss what we will do if we have to land at an alternate airport or if we have to do an "off-airport" landing, and we ensure that we all know what we will do in the event of an emergency. Part of this process for me also includes what uniform clothing I choose to wear (often a fire-resistant flight suit) and what other gear I bring including a flight jacket, first aid kit, survival knife, and extra water and snacks.  Be prepared! We make sure that we are prepared for whatever may happen! This is true for the members of CAP and......
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Is Technology Leaving You Behind?

Is Technology Leaving You Behind?
Groceries delivered to your door after ordering it on your phone? What?? Self-driving cars? (I'll admit, this scares me!)  I am blown away at the advance of technology today. It seems a new innovation comes in and changes the game every few months now instead of every few years. Technology is changing-what are you doing to change and grow with it? During this year's Apartmentalize (the National Apartment Association Conference) in San Diego  I was amazed at how much new technology is currently working its way into the multifamily housing industry! I met several new friends, some of whom worked for companies that are either entering the multifamily space, or are currently in the industry but branching out with new products and services that are utilizing the latest technologies to better reach today’s rental customer. Let me repeat...I was blown away at some of the things I’ve heard!  It’s certainly a long way from my era when my parents used the Yellow Pages to figure out where to eat. Remember this? They’d call (and then when I got old enough to call they’d make me or my brothers call!) and have to ask a LIVE PERSON questions about what they offered, pricing, information etc. Today you can find out almost anything at your fingertips about many of the companies you do business with. Websites will tell you the specific dealer cost of almost any car today. Many of these sites will even let you customize the vehicle you’re interested in so that you can find out just ho......
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Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Friends, I have been on a kick lately about asking why we do the things we do and why we don’t do the things we know we should do. For example, take a look at the video below. (Beware, it gets loud, so watch out if you’re watching in an office.) From what I could put together the Starbucks employee thought the customer was stealing an edible straw worth about a buck. Let me repeat that, a buck. One. Dollar. So she tells the customer that she (the customer) will not be served here and to “give me the straw!” Meanwhile, someone recorded the video, posted it to the Internet, millions of people watched it (including the employee’s bosses at Starbucks) and she lost her job. Interestingly when she was asked about it later, she felt she was justified in what she did; saying something to the effect of, “I was so tired of people taking advantage of us every day.” So this time, this customer was going to pay, even though, in the end, the barista was the one who paid with her job! Why? In watching the video I’m sure you asked the same question I asked…WHY??? I mean, what was she thinking? I’m pretty sure that 99.9% of the people who watched the video thought that what she did was NOT a good idea! Honestly, I bet if you asked her if it was worth it, away from the media spotlight, away from having to defend herself, away from the emotions of the......
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Career Advice: Don't Give Up Too Soon!

Career Advice: Don't Give Up Too Soon!
After about a little over a year in the multifamily housing industry I was done being a leasing consultant. Like, burned out, toasted, roasted, charred to a crisp done! It wasn't that I didn't enjoy my time as a front-line leasing consultant, I was just ready for a new phase of my career. (Okay, I might have also been done being on the front lines too!) Unfortunately the "powers that be" in my company had pegged me only as a leasing consultant and wouldn't have considered me for any type of promotion. I was stuck. I was facing a dead end. I was frustrated and angry and actively looking for another job since it was clear I wasn't going anywhere within the company.  Then one day I saw a job posting for the customer care manager position. I told my wife about it and she encouraged me to apply. I told her that the way the company worked, even though I was qualified for the role, I wouldn't even be considered for the position as it was a corporate-level job and I was still relatively new to the company. I figured that I shouldn't get my hopes up trying for something that was out of reach.  Before I had even tried, I had almost given up.  I decided that I would listen to my wife (always a good idea) and I submitted my request to apply for the customer care manager position. I closed my fingers and hoped for the best.......
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How to NOT Take Things Personally!

How to NOT Take Things Personally!
My guess is you’ve been told, “Don’t take it personally” many times in your life. The truth is it’s good advice and also incomplete advice. Here’s what I mean by that. It’s good advice in the sense that the ability to not take things personally is crucial to your emotional and relational well-being. It really is.    You do have to be able to let other people’s criticisms, angry words, negative emotions, bad attitudes and oppositional perspectives slide off of you like the proverbial “water off a duck’s back.” Have you ever thought about that phrase? If a duck’s feathers absorbed all of the water instead of repelling it, it would probably be too heavy to fly. The same thing is true for you. Allowing yourself to be weighed down by taking things personally or having “thin skin” can sap your energy, decrease your motivation, lead you to say or do things you’ll regret and will steal your joy.    The Incomplete Part Ducks have a gland that produces oil that ducks then run onto their feathers. Unfortunately people don’t have the same thing. (Last time I checked anyway!) So telling yourself to not take things personally, without knowing how to do so is often fruitless.  What You Can Do? Keep Your Reservoir Filled!  There is a saying I love that says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” In other words what is in your heart will come out in your words and actions. If you are filled with joy, happiness, rest an......
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Help! I Don't Like My Boss!

Help! I Don't Like My Boss!
Let's face it you will not always work for a boss that you like (respect, get along with, agree with, think is competent etc.). In your career you are bound to work for someone (or have someone in your chain of command) that you have issues with. Surveys tell us that approximately 70% of people who voluntarily leave their jobs do so because of their boss. Surveys also tell us that a high percentage of people would make either a lateral move or take a pay cut to work for a company with a better work culture and environment.  What do you do if you find yourself now working with someone that you don't like? Well, before you quit, or send passive-agreessive (or just downright aggressive) signals that you're unhappy, or try and change your boss to the way that you think s/he should be, or complain about your boss on social media for all of the world to see, I'd like to offer you some things to think about... The Golden Rule Mr. Barron, my high school history teacher often told our class his version of "The Golden Rule" and it went something like this, He who has the gold, makes the rules.  I have worked with an awful lot of people who've forgotten that they work for their boss and NOT the other way around. When you work with a boss you don't like, don't make the situation worse by forgetting that whatever your concerns, point of view, and......
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