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Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily

Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily
We’ve all heard the banter between folks when discussing their tattoos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said, “I was young and dumb” in reference to tattoos. I sometimes feel this way about mine, as they’re quite visible on my hands and arms. I had them done during my stint as a world traveler, not thinking I’d find myself in the corporate world, wearing long sleeves and rings to cover my teenage rebellion’s lasting mistakes. I’ve been lucky enough to develop business relationships without my tattoos acting as a barrier, however this isn’t the case for some. We all know that millennials are changing the game by promoting a more casual approach to work and with their take-over of nearly 40% of the job force, I foresee big changes in corporate standards. Considering that 40% of millennials carry body art, it’s hard to imagine that this 40% would also carry with them an employment disadvantage, right? A friend of mine thinks differently. She argues that visible tattoos are unprofessional and that their stigma will last much longer than my hopeful fantasy suggests. Recently, we toured a downtown Las Vegas community, where our leasing consultant was heavily tattooed. She was dressed casually and had facial piercings. I connected with her and admired her artwork and style, but my friend resented her choice of dress and visible tattoos and our consultant had “lost all credibility” as far as she was concerned. This incident showed the difference in our perception of what’s acceptable in t......
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Adopting Leadership Traits Before You Actually Lead

My family moved houses recently, and we had a team of four guys help us move all of our furniture.  As I watched their team in action, I realized that there is probably a big misconception as to how someone becomes successful and a leader. I think everyone has seen a great leader when he or she interacts with clients.  There is an unmistakable lack of hesitation, as if the words "we can make this happen" is emblazoned onto their soul.  Whereas someone who is just there for a paycheck might wince at the idea of additional work, the leader shows no similar concern.  In my experience with our movers, there were two movers who were clearly the leaders of the crew, and while all of them were solid in their own way, these two guys really went above and beyond.  For example, we were paying by the hour, and at a certain time, our budget was up but the job wasn't done.  I told the crew that I had to stop the process, but unbelievably, they just kept working.  They knew they were off the clock, but since they saw there was still more to do, they just kept plugging away.  In fact, I had to actually tell them to stop because I didn't want them to work for free after an already long day.  I'm not saying a leader is someone who always just gives things away, but they definitely do go above and beyond. And this brings me......
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Key Notes From "Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development"

Key Notes From "Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development"
Talent development is one of the biggest challenges facing the multifamily industry, as job duration continues to shrink threatening attempts at employee engagement.  I attended the " Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development" session at the 2017 NAA Education Conference and Expo to gain some insights into what leaders in the industry are doing to tackle these challenges!  Here are some of the notes I pulled away from the session, presented by Virginia Means, Jennifer Staciokas, and Virginia Love, and moderated by Debbie Phillips:  (I added some of my own commentary in italics)  39% of executives report difficulties in finding talent.  This is especially true for maintenance positions!  The number one need for many property management companies are high quality maintenance pros, and how to retain them as the construction industry continues to siphon off some of our best talent. Millennials are expected to stay in their jobs less than 3 years.  How does that affect knowledge transfer?  Another concern is relationship transfer.  We always say that prospects lease most often because of the connection made with the leasing consultant.  When we suffer from high employee turnover, the relationships with those lost leasing consultants often are not transferred properly, which then has a resonating affect on our resident turnover. One of the biggest impacts on employee engagement is when a team member leaves.  Those that are left after someone quits suffer through increased workload as everybody else has to pick up the slack.  Don't be afraid to differentiate your......
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5 Four Letter Words For An Awesome 2016

5 Four Letter Words For An Awesome 2016
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.  Somewhere around March those resolutions have been kicked to the curb and barely thought about for the remaining 9 months.  So, this year, I’ve elected to forego them and create a plan I can actually stick to. Here’s my list of 5 four letter words, no, not those four letter words.  While not necessarily work-related, these words are simple reminders of what I can do to be better me and have an awesome 2016. 1. HELP – “How can I help you?”  “What can I do to help?” “Hey, can you help me?”  This action word is so powerful as it’s both an offer and a request.  I will make myself more available to others, lend my talents and gifts wherever needed and be more open to ask for assistance – the latter of which has been most difficult for me. 2. CALL – In an earlier blog post, I mentioned a friend who consistently called others for nothing more than just to say hello.  Emails and social media posts are great but nothing is better than hearing a warm voice and sharing a laugh or two.  I will personally connect and laugh more in 2016. 3. HOLD – Becoming a better version of myself this year begins with imagining what that actually looks like.  Hoping to create a positive outcome for the year, I am creating a vision board to bring about clarity and maintain my focus when things start to go off track.  I will silence t......
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If You Aren’t Sure, Don’t

If You Aren’t Sure, Don’t
I recently received an email regarding dress on “casual Friday”. As often happens in offices, casual Friday has taken a turn to “laundry day Friday”. Our team was in need of a reminder to button up our appearance. The email provided various examples of what to wear, and what not to. The email ended with the sentiment, if you aren’t sure, don’t wear it. If you aren’t sure, DON’T. I was struck by that idea; such poignant, concise, and valuable advice for a professional environment. If you aren’t sure, don’t say it. How many times have I said something and wished I could take it back? Too many to count. If you aren’t sure, don’t wear that skirt four six inches above your knee. Look in the mirror before you leave, is everything covered? I have learned you really shouldn’t be able to transition from office to clubbing with your homies, despite everything to the contrary you may have read in Seventeen magazine. If you aren’t sure, don’t (mis)use the word you read once and don’t remember how to properly pronounce. You will sound much smarter and more credible using plain, easily understood language correctly versus a fifty-dollar vocabulary word incorrectly. “If you aren’t sure, DON’T.” This great piece of advice is applicable to all areas of our business. If you aren’t sure, don’t provide the resident’s balance. Always check the ledger before you quote a balance due to the resident, they may have received a rent increase or owe money in other fees like utilities. If you aren’t sure, don’t trash out the......
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Fifteen Words to Avoid in Business

Fifteen Words to Avoid in Business

I have had a deep love of languages since I was a young girl. There was even a time in my life I thought I would become a linguist, though I didn’t really know what I could do with such a degree. That dream eventually gave way to a major in education, and subsequently this career in multifamily.

I am fortunate to have many people in my life who corrected me every time I spoke or wrote incorrectly. That sounds fun, doesn’t it?

My late mother-in-law was an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica (I wonder if people who read blogs know what encyclopedias are), and I used to drive her crazy with my misuse of "I" and "me". I haven’t exactly mastered proper usage of personal pronouns, but consider it a tribute to her every time I get it right. Naomi was a staunch feminist and one of my biggest professional cheerleaders. She would push me to take risks and remind me of her extremely high opinion of my abilities. While I didn’t always welcome the delivery of her relentless grammar lessons, she taught me a lot.

Naomi Polonsky - Grammarian Extraordinaire

I hope you will enjoy this list of fifteen words to avoid if you are trying to sound intelligent and professional, compiled in Naomi's honor. I would love feedback on any words you believe should be added here. Are there any words you hear mis- or overused in business?

15-Words-to-Avoid.pdf

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Be Nice to Everyone

b2ap3_thumbnail_be-nice-to-everyone.jpgFrom the time I was old enough to listen, my grandpa imparted the following sage wisdom to me: “Be nice to everyone. You never know what side of the desk they’ll be sitting on.” This lesson in both relationships and humility has stayed with me my entire life. And, as I am wrapping up my twenty-second year in multifamily housing, I am struck by the truth within that statement. I have always tried to be nice to people, that’s my personality, but I realize the importance of this quality in business now more than ever. People help people they like, that is a fact. I recently left a career at a company where I planned to retire. As I performed a postmortem on my time there, I discovered the limit of my career at the company had been reached, largely because my boss did not invest in me. A critical piece to career advancement within the organization was missing. There are several lessons to be learned from my autopsy, and I will share them with you in hopes you are able to avoid some of my mistakes. Manage your reputation and your personal brand. There is so much talk about managing our online reputation and delivering exceptional customer service to our residents, but how are we perceived by our co-workers? Are we giving good customer service to them? Are we willing to go the extra mile?  Do we say YES to opportunity? Do we have a good attitude or are we curmudgeo......
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The Impact of Love and Duty on Your Job

The Impact of Love and Duty on Your Job
The question about the perception that many people have towards their jobs has been a matter of debate for a long time. The Do what you love and love what you do debate has divided the people into two contrasting groups. On one hand, there are those who argue that it is not pragmatic to say that one can do a job out of love and duty. Their argument centers around the circumstances that face the current turbulent economic times which motivates people to work primarily for survival. On the other hand, there are those who argue that one should take a job out of love. This group also holds that the love for a job motivates a person to have a duty for the job. It is therefore paramount that one gains a comprehensive understanding of both concepts and consequently apply the same in the workplace.  The Love for Your Job Tevis Rose Trowler, the founder and chief executive of New York-based Balance Integration Corporation, says that changing your attitude makes the work more engaging and more enjoyable. Consequently, everyday routine brings comfort and connection. For example, when your company has a positive impact on the neighborhood, it makes all those who contributed to such an impact satisfied. Work is not about how much one will earn or the recognition therein. Rather, it is about the feeling that one has made some efforts in making the world a better place. A Gall Up poll noted that less than 27 %......
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Conquer Your Next Networking Event with These 4 Tips

Conquer Your Next Networking Event with These 4 Tips
Does the idea of walking into a room full of strangers at an apartment association event or industry conference cause you to tense up? You’re not alone. Though networking can be a great way to learn new things, get new perspectives and make powerful connections, it can also be a bit intimidating, especially if you consider yourself  an introvert. How can you make that next networking event a little less nerve-wracking? Read on for a few simple tips.  Appear ApproachableWhen it comes to networking, body language matters. After all, who wants to talk to a person who appears bored or grouchy? So, stand up straight, make eye contact, avoid crossing your arms, and don’t forget to smile! Split UpDid you come to an event with a group of your colleagues? Resist the temptation to stick together the entire time. Why? If you split up, you’re more likely to connect with new people -- perhaps people who can offer a fresh perspective on a particular challenge your facing in your apartment community such as increasing your resident retention or motivating your leasing team. .  Break the IceStarting a conversation with a person or a group of people you don’t know can be a little intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Depending on the environment, here are a few ice breakers to try out. What brought you here today? What was your favorite session today? Which speaker are you most looking forward to seeing? What did you think of the keynote? After you ask a que......
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Landing the Real Estate Job You’ve Always Wanted

Landing the Real Estate Job You’ve Always Wanted
The Real Estate industry is an easy one to get into, but you will never be able to perfect your career.  There will always be room for improvement.  Here are some suggestions for improving your fit for that perfect real estate job you have always been looking to get into. General Self Improvement Start Small and Build: If you’re new to the industry, it is beneficial to get any general work experience associated with the industry that you can.  You can start out as a property management assistant or as a marketing/executive assistant without prior real estate experience and work your way up.  Just being involved in a real estate company will build you a working knowledge in real estate that will propel you to your next position whether through a promotion or going on to your next company.   Get Proper Registrations and Certifications:  You’d be surprised how many people apply for higher positions in real estate that do not have the proper certifications for the position.  While it is not required for you to have certifications for many real estate positions, this will put your resume ahead of the pack.  These certifications are easy to get and are even attainable while you are working! Polish your Resume: Many of your skills are applicable to real estate.  Make sure that the unnecessary fluff is gone and take some extra steps to pinpoint the skills you have that are immediately useful in the real estate industry. In the Interview… Have a plan of a......
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