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Accountability is Motivational

I’m serious. Accountability IS motivational. Yet in a recent program too many people shared that when they think of accountability the first thought was not supportive or encouraging.  Actually it was negative.  Too often accountability suffers due to a lack of knowledge - team members don’t know how or what direction to take.  The work place can feel like a maze in the unknown with people wondering aimlessly and guessing at what to do. Let’s change that.  I’ve found that people like to do a good job, like to grow and like to develop their abilities to be the best they can.  As Daniel Pink tells us in his book ‘Drive’, people are motivated in a work environment that offers autonomy, mastery and a bigger purpose.  A culture of accountability supports this.   Here’s why.  Accountability is all about setting people up for success in advance. It’s letting them know what’s expected, that there are resources, support is available along the way and there’s appreciation for a job well done.  There’s a simple 4-step process that when followed provides the clarity and infrastructure for everyone to thrive. With clarity of direction the internal motivation to excel is more than possible, it’s probable. Motivation is an inside job.  This cycle becomes self sustaining with consistent reinforcement.  The 4 Phases of Accountability include:    1. Sharing the Big Picture - the overall company focus and specific goals. This way everyone knows, ‘how what I do every day ties into the results that must be achieved.‘   ......
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NOI Value Creation

Let’s face it, your NOI was tremendously impacted over the past few years. And right now in 2013 you have a unique opportunity for income growth.  Engaging performance methodologies wisely - will pay you richly.  Enhancing your manager’s skills has a direct correlation to the bottom-line financial performance they deliver to you.   Let me give you undeniable, bottom-line proof.  There’s hard data that skill development really does determine your NOI!   The Facts:  An Indiana property management company with a focus on employee development from 1999-2007 (over a 9 year period) was able to realize noteworthy results throughout their 16,000 unit portfolio.  The results were quantifiable and impressive with a:  • 20% decrease in resident turnover  • 44% decrease in employee turnover • 21% increase in leasing consultant’s closing ratios • 41% decrease in lease cancellations    In 2007 specifically, they were able to compare and document the difference of about $400 per unit NOI …on two identical assets.  Yes… $400 per unit.  At a conservative 7% cap rate that’s a difference of $1.5 million in value!  Are you curious to know what the difference was?  One manager had additional performance and professional development.  She had her CAM…  Certified Apartment Manager designation.  Now we are talking about proof of performance through increased profitability.  All by increasing the skill levels of team members.  By developing the skills in your team....you really are developing your profitable results.   A CAM designation is one powerful way to grow your NOI.  There are other new performance methodo......
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Selling Yourself is Most Important

Selling yourself actually happens through your daily words and actions.  So, it’s essential to routinely put your best self forward. Steve called me on a Thursday afternoon in December after a disheartening conversation with Ali.  He shared that Ali has been with his property management company for five years and does the work of three people.  She’s the go-to person for policies and procedures.  So when Steve needed a new executive assistant Ali wanted the position and Steve had to let her know why she couldn’t be promoted.   Ali’s frustration with the property managers had reached an all time high.  As she shared, ‘I need to be more patient, more understanding and not so quick to become aggravated.’ Bottom line, her interaction skills had reached an all time low.   The truth is we no longer live in a transaction world (as if we ever did) where being a good technician in your job is good enough.  In our transparent world of ‘social‘ it’s how you relate and connect with others that’s now essential.   Whether you are in leasing, sales, service, management or leadership, at some point it’s your interpersonal skills determine how far your career goes.   It’s easy to see this in leasing or sales.  People really do rent from people they like. I love it when leasing consultants tell me, ‘I didn’t even have what the couple came in wanting and they rented anyway!’ Why? The first ‘sell’ is you.  They liked you and trusted you in making their $12,000 decision.......
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You Can Count on Me

Accountability is a hot topic right now as the economy has strengthened dramatically. No more crutches and excuses.  It goes right along with the thinking, ‘people most often know what to do but are just not doing it, or not doing it well’.  Does this sound familiar? So where does accountability come into play?  Accountability simply means I can count on me, you can count on me, I can count on you.   It’s a willingness to rise above ‘reasons and excuses’ and get done what needs doing so that revenue flows, margins hold and the business goes forward effectively. Only then can everyone in the organization have a shot at thriving.  Simply surviving is no longer an option.   People today will tell you they have: too much to do, too little time, too few resources. Accountability to themselves and the team often takes a back seat as a priority.  Why?  There‘s lack.  Lack of understanding, expectation, involvement and feedback.  So accountability gets a bad rap.  And too often gets abused.  Accountability really is positive and thrives by setting people up for success in advance. People want to know what’s expected to achieve the organizational goals.  Really. It’s not an extra activity, it’s doing things right.  For example, let’s take getting my 18 year olds to be accountable for their weekly responsibilities. I can: •tell them what to do (will they hear me?) •bribe them (will they do it more than once?) •force them (will they resist?) •or involve them (gaining mutual agreement f......
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Selling Secret for Success - I’m a happy loser!

Here’s the secret. What’s going on in your mind dramatically determines your sales success. It’s as simple and complicated as that.  G Clotaire Rapaille, a psychoanalyst who has been studying people for 34 years says the best salespeople are ‘Happy Losers’.  Sounds a little off-putting until further understanding.  Saying, “I’m a Happy Loser and proud of it” is sure intriguing. Really, Happy Losers are people who see rejection as a challenge.  If 75% of the time they are rejected, Happy Losers see the other 25% of the time as wins.  All those times they lose, they see as getting to the win.  It’s a mind game that sets them up to stay focused on the win.  The more no’s the faster they are getting to the win. Here’s what’s interesting and determines if you are predisposed to be a Happy Loser or not. Go back to your first experience with a selling situation. This experience alone has the emotional power to determine how you feel about selling today.  What was your first selling experience?  Perhaps getting your parents to say ‘yes’ to something?  A lemonade stand?  Negotiating with siblings? At that point in time your brain started producing neurotransmitters for mental connections regarding selling. There’s a very good chance these mental connections are still in play.  The first time you were rejected was powerful. Did the first ‘no’ stimulate you to persevere and find another way? Or did it make you want to give up? Consider how this shows up for you today. Whether you see yours......
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Yes, Words Matter!

There are still some industry buzz words, or jargon, that sound like finger nails on a chalk board. These words have such old-school, negative connotations that it’s amazing they are still around. But, they are and it’s good to know these words. This way you can become a change agent in assisting to elevate our industry in the minds of our owners, clients and residents.  I’ll start with with some words that really must go. And provide replacement options. Also included are descriptor words that all mean something slightly different and are currently in use by a variety of companies.  So you’ll have some options.   Remove these words from your vocabulary and replace with: 1.‘Landlord’ must go!  It’s out of date and has a very negative connotation left over from years past.  Ugh! Replace with:  ‘Property Owner’. This is an accurate description of the individual or company. 2.‘Complex’ must go!  Complex has a variety of definitions and often associated with abnormal pathological disorders. So an ‘Apartment Complex’ doesn’t sound very inviting.   Replace with:  ‘Apartment Community’. It really is a community of residents.  3.‘Project’ must go! Apartment Project surely has the reminiscence of a not-so-nice part of town from days gone by.  As in ‘the projects’.  Replace with:  ‘Apartment Community’.  4.‘Tenants’ must go!  We still reference office building lessors as ‘tenants’. It sounds so sterile and that’s sure not the feeling we want to create at our communities. Replace with:  ‘Residents’. It’s residents who reside at your community 5.‘Unit’ must go!  What the heck is a ‘unit’? It surely isn’t someone’s ......
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Life Is A Journey… And You Are Your Trusted Leader!

I recently had the honor of being asked to share "one" important lesson that I have learned in my +20 years in the multifamily industry…and what a challenge!  I was challenged to distill all that I wanted to share into one thought.  Then it occurred to me that there is an overall theme!  It’s this: You are the leader of your life and your life is more fulfilling when you ‘know that you have within you everything you need to succeed’!  What do I mean by this you might be thinking?  Well, when you trust within yourself your fears are quelled so your passion and your energetic enthusiasm can show up.  When you trust within yourself...right now in this very minute...you DO know the best choices to make and the best actions to take. Your confidence blossoms and making those decisions and taking risks becomes so much easier. You are able to be your BEST self and you often also inspire others their best! What a fulfilling way to work and live life. Never before has it been so important to regain the Trusted Leader within yourself!  To assist you on your journey, here you have Terri's Top "ABC's of Life" - ideas to assist you in being the Trusted Leader of your life so you can fully enjoy the journey! Let’s start....   AUTHENTICITY and a willingness to be vulnerable are essential for a meaningful life.  Determine what is important to you and who you want to become. Trust yourself and then ......
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Questions Help Get Greater Results!

I have a message written on the white board in my office. It reads, ‘ask a question before answering.’This is such an important action step that I want to remind myself everyday. Maybe you are like me in that your mind gets going so fast when you’re in a conversation. It’s a tough habit to break ... to not jump right in and offer solutions or make a quick contribution.Here’s an example of stellar results that happened when the leader asked a question before answering. He was teaching his team to think for themselves.John is the VP of a large portfolio with 35 years of experience. He knows the business inside and out. So when one of his properties was down to an abnormal 92% occupancy, instead of telling the site team what to do he emailed these questions:Where does our best traffic come from i.e. CraigsList or referrals? How much are we paying for referrals? Where have we had the best success?    That was all it took for the team to take responsibility in creating a high-impact, high-result campaign.  As their residents are a great source for referrals, they rolled out a $1000 referral program.  They kept the offer in place until they were at 96% occupancy...which was only a matter of weeks!  Try it today. When someone asks you a question, stop and ask a question first. A leader’s job is to get his/her team members to think and solve situations that arise. Questions do that. They empower and......
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Is Your Value Questionable?

We talk so often about the need to 'create value' in our apartments and community. This can also be called reinforcing the 'perception of value'. With the fluctuation in rental rates as wild as the stock market, it's essential that our residents see and understand the value they are getting.

If you haven't already, gather your team and brainstorm a list of all the reasons why your apartments and your community are the BEST choice!  And then share these valuable features and benefits with both your current residents and potential residents.  

If you need a reason to do this... take a look at this video.  Hopefully your residents already see and understand your value every time they write that monthly check!

 How have you created and shared the value of your community?  Please share!

 [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY 444x250]




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Social Media A Fad?

We know that as an industry, multifamily is in the slow adaptor category.  From a leadership perspective we’ve been talking about this for years. So it’s no surprise that many property management firms have yet to put much attention into the social media arena.    If you are reading this chances are excellent that you and your firm are in or at least experimenting with social media. Perhaps this is for marketing and/or connection with your residents.   Whether you have a strong pro/con opinion or strong evidence with results, consider these statistics.    ·      It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners ·      TV took 13 years to reach 50 million ·      Internet took 4 years to get to 50 million ·      Facebook…. in less than 9 months added 100 million users ·      If Facebook was a country it would be the world’s 4th largest ·      And… social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web (so good to know!)   There’s an intriguing video that gives more details at http://socialnomics.net/video.  Along with the book ‘Socialnomics’ by Eric Qualman.    What success stories do you have to share that may assist others in engaging with the executive team members about social media?  What cautions do you have? There is influence in knowledge and numbers. What are your thoughts?  ...
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