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Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Property Management Executive

As I travel the country, talking with on site staff, I hear a lot of the same comments and complaints from these hard working folks. So, as I have done in the past, I’ve assembled their most common issues they have with their owners and/or management companies.( I also get these remarks via email and even occasionally by phone.)

Oh, and please don’t shoot the messenger folks. I’m just telling you what I hear.


So, here in no particular order, are some reasons why your site level staff might not respect you.

1. You’ve never worked a day on site, therefore, you really can’t relate to me.

2. You’ve never had to talk to residents about their loud sex, their out of control children, their barking dog or their bounced check.

3. You’ve never found a dead body. (For the record, a lot of us who work on site HAVE found dead bodies.)

4. You say things to me (and to my team members) that are completely irrelevant to our jobs, proving to us just how out of touch you are with site level people.

5. You can wear jeans or something very casual to work every day because your office is ‘business casual’. We can’t do that on site, so please don’t wear your jeans to our site offices. Respect the fact that we have to dress professionally.

6. We know you sometimes fly in a private jet because you mention it often enough and it filters back to us. Many of us have never flown on any jet. Period.

7. We work the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday and many other holidays that are ‘paid holidays’ at the corporate office.

8. Whenever you make cuts, they seem to affect us at the site more than at the corporate office. If we work for a REIT, we can look up your pay. We know it’s waaay more than ours. But we still see you cut the $30,000 person at our site, making us work harder - and we don’t get an increase even though we now have less people to do the same job. But again, we know what you make.

9. When you come for a site inspection, you’re often either late or don’t show up at all. When you do come, you’re typically on your cell phone the entire time. You take our offices for private meetings when we are trying to work, leaving us with no workspace. And we know you only find out our names seconds before you walk in the door so you can use them when you talk to us.

10. You record our phone calls, video shop us and more. Would you ever let us listen to your calls? Didn’t think so.

 

Lisa Trosien is a highly respected, award winning multifamily author, speaker,  educator and consultant with 20+ years of industry experience.  For more information on her services, visit her website, www.ApartmentExpert.com, or email her, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

2. You’ve never had to talk to residents about their loud sex, their out of control children, their barking dog or their bounced check.

Oh, so it IS possible to bring this to management? I've got some very ... interesting ... upstairs neighbors...

2. You’ve never had to talk to residents about their loud sex, their out of control children, their barking dog or their bounced check.

Oh, so it IS possible to bring this to management? I've got some very ... interesting ... upstairs neighbors ...

Anyway, I'm really glad you've posted this list. Even the best supervisors can sometimes have trouble being related to by their employees - the power differential alone changes the dynamic of the relationship - but add in any of the above complaints and you've got a recipe for mistrust and resentment. The bosses I've always been able to respect the most have been the ones "in the trenches" with me and I don't see why it should be different in any other given field.

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  Sara Morrill
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Hi Sara!

Thank you so much for commenting.

I really appreciate your remarks about the 'power differential'. What's so amazing to me about these remarks made by site level staffers is the differing level of passion they have when they make...

Hi Sara!

Thank you so much for commenting.

I really appreciate your remarks about the 'power differential'. What's so amazing to me about these remarks made by site level staffers is the differing level of passion they have when they make them. Some are extremely offended by their superiors' behavior; others find it almost laughable that their supervisors cannot relate to them. What it points out is that we all need to examine our behavior based upon our audience when interacting on a professional level. Granted, oftentimes we are thrust into a situation where that level of reflection just isn't allowed due to time constraints, but when you can, do so.

Also, let both parties know how you're feeling. There is no chance of change or improvement if you don't even know there's some sort of chasm being formed.

Next week, I'll be sharing the management side of the picture. Believe me, there are concerns and discrepancies on BOTH sides of the issue!

Thanks again, Sara.

LT

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  Lisa Trosien
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As a senior executive now, I have great pride in the fact I worked on site for years and yes, dealt with noisy sex, dead bodies and everything in between. I remember a supervisor that used to sit in my chair in my office when she visited my...

As a senior executive now, I have great pride in the fact I worked on site for years and yes, dealt with noisy sex, dead bodies and everything in between. I remember a supervisor that used to sit in my chair in my office when she visited my property. I hated that. To gain respect, you have to give respect - at all levels of your organization. Our site staff are the prople who touch our customers everyday. They make us look good. I never forget that.

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  K David Meit, CPM®
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

10. You record our phone calls, video shop us and more. Would you ever let us listen to your calls? Didn’t think so.

With all due respect to site staff, phone shops are, or should be, training tools if used the right way. Why would anyone on a...

10. You record our phone calls, video shop us and more. Would you ever let us listen to your calls? Didn’t think so.

With all due respect to site staff, phone shops are, or should be, training tools if used the right way. Why would anyone on a site level feel that it would be appropriate to record the conversations of corporate-level staff? I get the fact that there are many people in management positions who don't do their job well and shouldn't be in that position, but tried-and-true training techniques never go out of style!

Thanks for your insights, Lisa!

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  Rick Koontz
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

@David - "To gain respect, you have to give respect." Well said!

@Rick - In every instance where I have heard a site person complain about recorded calls, with no exception, it was all in how it was presented to them. If it is presented...

@David - "To gain respect, you have to give respect." Well said!

@Rick - In every instance where I have heard a site person complain about recorded calls, with no exception, it was all in how it was presented to them. If it is presented logically, with benefit to all (not just to 'the company') almost everyone sees the rationale in call recordings. As David said, "To gain respect, you have to give respect". That quote bodes well with executives as well as anyone who may roll out something such as this to a staffer.

Thanks for the comments!

Lisa T.

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  Lisa Trosien
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Lisa - Your post exposes an unfortunate outcome that happens all too often inside organizations (and almost any other type of relationship). The most unfortunate point is these two groups are so dependent on each other. Many folks (myself...

Lisa - Your post exposes an unfortunate outcome that happens all too often inside organizations (and almost any other type of relationship). The most unfortunate point is these two groups are so dependent on each other. Many folks (myself included) have not and likely will not ever work on site. But it is vital we recognize our lack of experience on site and present ourselves and our ideas in a collaborative manner to our site experts. The value of their vital perspective, feedback, and buy-in of any idea/product/program being proposed cannot be overstated. The site person's expertise can often point out how to make an idea successful and profitable; instead of the all to often outcome of an idea that is "implemented" and left to slowly fade into obscurity.

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  Chad Miller
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GREAT POST!
And I ditto your comments, Lisa, and also direct them to the "solution providers" who claim to have R'n'D'd (Researched and Developed) the "better than sliced bread" answers on how to increase closing ratios.

On-site teams take a...

GREAT POST!
And I ditto your comments, Lisa, and also direct them to the "solution providers" who claim to have R'n'D'd (Researched and Developed) the "better than sliced bread" answers on how to increase closing ratios.

On-site teams take a lion's share of "blame" for poor economic occupancy performance of properties. That blame comes from individuals who have never walked on a property as an employee, and most certainly, never even as a vendor; but oftentimes, those blame-throwers can be found on industry panels and in blog-posts pontificating on how to resolve all of leasing problems.

The Leasing and Maintenance Teams who serve as the first point of contact for residents and prospective residents are in-a-fish bowl-on-the-firing-line-taking-the-heat-grace-under-fire folks who many times serve as (please pardon the language & purposeful misspelling) inglorious basterds only because they are charged with a mission that can only be accomplished by being soldiers of fortune using whatever tools/weapons/feats/shared education (wrong or right) they create for themselves.

Lord have mercy...working on-site is not for the faint-of-heart.

Whew. Nothing gets me all passionately riled and rant-y like a good-ol' fiesty Quentin Tarantino thought.

Sorry. I have great respect for the weathered and tempered front-line folks and my inner fighter goes all postal on me sometimes.

Okay...I feel better now. Sorry if I got any of that on anybody.

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  Tamela Coval
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

@Chad - Thanks for commenting!I so appreciate your candor and your understanding of always considering the perspective of the site level staff. They always know the market best, the residents the best and more. And sometimes, they just want to...

@Chad - Thanks for commenting!I so appreciate your candor and your understanding of always considering the perspective of the site level staff. They always know the market best, the residents the best and more. And sometimes, they just want to have someone ask their opinion!

@Tamela - All great points. Loved the post! I've got nothing to add to it at all. Well said!

Read More
  Lisa Trosien

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