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Wonderful Career Advancement Tip From Apartment Hacker, Mike Brewer

I ran across a video from Mike Brewer who shared advice that he gives to all those who ask how to grow their career in the multifamily industry.  How can they improve their career path?  Take a moment to listen to Mike's great advice:  (Starts at 0:40)

Although both tips are fantastic, that first tip really perked my ears up.  The people who do an amazing job of advancing in this industry don't advance because they do a good job at handling the easiest properties - they advance because they know how to tackle the most difficult of challenges.  The skills you obtain by pushing yourself into a difficult property are so much more powerful compared to handling a property that runs without too many problems.  

Also, not only are you building your advanced skill set, but you are also making yourself known to the leaders in your company, showing that you are the type of person to take on any challenge.  The world is filled with employees who do just enough to get by - the ones who excel show they are determined to take on new responsibilities and excel.

I hope you enjoyed Mike's advice as much as I did!

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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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Do You Have the Courage to Lead Your Team With Learning?

Learning something new does not require enrolling in a certificate or a four-year degree program. Opportunities To Learn It can be a simple as: Learning a new app for a phone or mobile device.   Too often, we download a tool someone has recommended, but we don’t try to use it. A quick check of You Tube offers instructions showing how to use most new techniques. Reading a post on a blog that offers leasing, maintenance or marketing tips.   Then, sharing the information during the team meeting. Discovering a You Tube video with information on repairs or cleaning. Monitoring Instagram for the advertisement for a marketing competitor. Role Model This experience creates an impression on team members.  Someone respected makes time for learning.  Using self development or a practical application to solve a situation. When team members are creating goals for themselves, then establishing the steps to move themselves along the career path.  They observe and apply this example for their career development. “If I want to succeed in this industry, I need to learn about it.” Skills and education are not achieved by osmosis. Attending seminars, webinars, or reading resource material provide a foundation for the practical day-to-day application. This translates the knowledge to a skill. Leaders set the learning example.   Reinforcing the value of training and learning.  Otherwise, the team views their employment as an hourly job and is not invested to see training as career development.   Nor do they recognize the training as an invest......
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Employee Incentives: What to do if they don’t work?

This is a tough one. Why don’t all employees just want to work hard and see their property and company succeed? Company success and resident customer service would be through the roof if all employees were engaged and empowered to perform. Unfortunately, as we all know, this simply isn’t the case. There are plenty of employees who do the bare minimum, following what I call the “good enough” mantra.  Those are the employees that we want to work for the competition! It is common practice within our industry – and, really, many industries – to offer work incentives to elicit high performance. From pay incentives and awards to extra time off and other perks, employers are offering various ways to empower their team members to outperform. Most of the time, this is all you need to ensure your teams are producing results and leasing apartments. But what happens when incentives aren’t working? Yes, the typical response is to simply let that person go, and I would argue that most of the time that probably is the best bet. However, I believe there are ways to re-engage some employees to get them back into empowered performance. Before letting a really good employee go, consider the following steps: Re-Assess: Ask yourself, how often to do you truly conduct employee assessment? I am not talking about employee reviews, but actually assessing their skill set and how it relates to their current job functions and responsibilities. Is it possible the underperforming employee is doing so because the job doesn’t m......
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Setting Expectations and Supporting Your Marketing Team for Success

  As you learned in part one of this two-part series, “Building and Leading a High-Performance Marketing Team,” you need to structure your team for success, building accountability and transparency into the process.   Once you have established the ground rules for your team, you need to be sure that each member contributes to the best of their ability and that everything runs smoothly. This includes recognizing achievements on an individual and team basis, establishing a clear mission and goals for the team, communicating effectively with team members, and creating opportunities for professional development and growth.   Recognition and advancement. You can’t lead a high-performance team without incentivizing performance. If everyone is treated the same regardless of output, you’re going to cultivate a culture of mediocrity. That’s why it’s important to offer strong incentives for high performers.   Verbal recognition in front of the team, division meetings and in front of senior leadership. Give credit where credit is due. Additionally, encourage every team member to recognize their coworkers—it shouldn’t just come from leadership. This recognition builds collaboration and appreciation into your team culture. Offer non-pay incentives, such as extra time off, additional remote working days, happy hours/team events and gifts to reward exceptional performance. Advancement is critical. You’re not going to keep strong performers if you don’t actively grow them into their next role. Every person on your team should have specific career goals. You should know those goals, whether they are short or long term, and you should actively look to advance each......
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Building and Leading a High-Performance Marketing Team

The digital age continues to transform the way people consume information and make buying decisions. The traditional way of structuring and leading marketing teams isn’t compatible with this transformation. Organization, staff competencies and project collaboration must evolve to maximize performance and efficiency. In the first half of a two-part series, we will look at how to structure a marketing team for success. In the second half, we will cover how leadership can set expectations and support team members.   Structuring for success. It starts with structure. A lot of marketing teams today are structured around specific channels. For example, you might have someone who is dedicated to PR, another person dedicated to digital or email and third who only works on social. This leads to a lot of silos where team members run into each other rather than working alongside each other to accomplish department goals.   Today’s omnichannel buyer journey requires organization around marketing process. For example, the creation of core pillars for demand generation (revenue-focused messaging; marketing operations, including execution and technology management; and customer experience, including post-sale onboarding, adoption and retention efforts) is a process-driven approach to team organization. Each team is responsible for a part of the marketing process to engage prospective buyers, operationalize messaging across channels to those buyers, and ensure adoption and retention post-sale. All team members can focus but also have insight into the bigger picture. This ensures the team is taking an audience-centric approach so that each initiative is effective at achieving core......
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Rewarding a Job Well Done: Why Recognition for Associates Is So Important

Rewarding a Job Well Done: Why Recognition for Associates Is So Important
A little acknowledgement can go a very long way. That’s especially true when it comes to rewarding successful employees in the multifamily industry. Apartment companies recognize and honor their associates in any number of ways, including financial bonuses, paid time off and annual award dinners. Recognizing strong associates and making sure they know they are valued will offer numerous benefits for apartment owners, from improved employee morale to communities that are better positioned to retain existing residents and attract new ones. Below are some essential reasons to reward a job well done: Motivated employeesAppreciation is a core human desire, and being rewarded for good work – whether it's through a simple "thank you" note or a financial reward – motivates employees to maintain and even improve their performance. Associates who are recognized for their contributions and who feel valued develop a greater sense of pride, loyalty and dedication towards the company they work for. A strong company cultureCompanies that reward strong employees do more than create a workforce full of associates individually motivated to improve their job performances. They also create vibrant, healthy overall company cultures. When employees feel valued, it strengthens their relationships with their superiors and peers, and these happy, satisfied associates can serve as powerful teachers and mentors for their fellow co-workers. A robust rewards and recognition program can truly set the stage for a great working atmosphere.  Good for businessTeam members who receive positive feedback and are rewarded for success will be more engaged. And in the multi......
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The Time For Change Is Now

If you are looking for the right time to make positive change in your life, now is that time! Don’t get me wrong, it's a good way to kick off the New Year but why wait!    Making a resolution is the same as setting a goal, there’s no reason to wait for the stars to align before acting, just go for it!   Like many of you, I have many goals that I’ve already started to push forward with (some of them have me in a lot of pain right now). I’ve enjoyed talking about resolution goals with others, however; I'm surprised at the number of people who have simply stopped making resolutions for the simple perspective that they will not be successful.     Sometimes we fail when trying to make better decisions or implement positive change but that’s no reason not to try. If you have a history of not reaching your goals, at least you have a history of goals and that should never change. Therefore; my recommendation is to keep pushing forward! If you need to start with small goals and work your way up, go for it.   I’ve got 3 tips for positive change and you don't have to wait until the new year to get started. Maybe you could incorporate one or all of them with your plans for a prosperous year.   1. Self-Awareness: If you can easily find reasons to not be successful, ask yourself if your reasons have a solution. To be truly successful we are going t......
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The Importance of Putting Your Customers Second

 You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. It seems to be the motto of all service industries: “The customer is always right.” What if I told you that this directive was given to his employees by Harry Gordon Selfridge. Of Selfridge Department Store. In London, England. In 1909. I don’t know about you, but I’d say it’s time to reboot our approach. And I don’t mind stealing concepts from England again. In fact, IMHO, Sir Richard Branson has delivered the best motto for service industries for our time: “The way you treat your employees is the way they’ll treat your customers.” Consider this: resident turnover has consistently fluctuated between 51% and 59% for over a decade, according to NAA’s Annual Income and Expense Report. As a result, many property management companies have developed finely tuned resident retention programs that may include service guarantees, additional amenities, unique resident events, and more. Property management companies have been showing their residents the love! ... by expecting their employees to go above and beyond: Response times to calls and emails, service with a smile, online reputation management, mental gymnastics to reinvent the pool party, and on and on.  The result? Resident turnover remains between 51% and 59%. My friends, we are living the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Focus on resident retention has not moved the needle the way we expected it to. Yes, there are success stories out there, but not consistently and not in great volume. It’s time t......
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A Strong Office Culture: It's Critical to Multifamily Success

A Strong Office Culture: It's Critical to Multifamily Success
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Attributed to the renowned business consultant Peter Drucker, this famous quote underscores how a company must have a healthy corporate culture in order to thrive. But you don't need to take just Mr. Drucker's word for it. More and more, the business world is filled with leaders and executives who have realized that to attract the best and brightest associates – particularly millennials and members of Generation Z – the right office culture must be in place.  Just consider the remarks of Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn: "Culture and values provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. They are arguably our most important competitive advantage, and something that has grown to define us." Also note that, according to one study, millennials would be willing to take a pay cut of $7,600 if their new employer provided a better work environment.  Simply, put a toxic office culture – one in which problems are allowed to fester and in which associates don't feel supported and listened to – can lead to a seriously unhappy and unproductive workforce. And that, in turn, can torpedo the performance of a multifamily company's portfolio. Unhappy leasing staffs are an express route to unhappy prospects and residents. So what does a first-rate office culture look like? Here are some characteristics: Open and compassionateWhen multifamily associates know they can go to company management with any problem – big or small – that helps foster an open, honest work environment, and lets your employees k......
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