Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Anatomy of a Maintenance Training Program – Developing Maintenance Talent From Within

One of my favorite sessions of this year’s Apartmentalize Conference delved into one of the industry’s hottest topics – how to find great maintenance talent.  In that session, David Creek, Director Of Maintenance at Hayes Gibson Property Services, dug into not just finding talent, but also how to build up the talent you have.  Fortunately, David took some time with me to really delve into their approach and plan on tackling that issue! If I’m going to promote you, you are going to have to have the skills to train your replacement – David Creek   Creating “Maintenance Masters”, a Maintenance Training Program In creating their maintenance training program, David and his team first wanted to understand two things:  1) They wanted to understand what type of skill gaps their team members were struggling with, and 2) They wanted to identify those already on their teams who excelled in different areas of apartment maintenance.  Those advanced team members would then be the first to help train future “generations” of maintenance team members.  Therefore, it wasn’t focused completely on a top-down training approach, but rather peer to peer training, leveraging existing knowledge and skills of their team members.  In that same vein, David noted this approach, where maintenance team members were trained by their peers, was actually preferred by maintenance learners, rather than being trained by upper management. To start the program off, they decided that electrical was the first key area to be addressed, as it overlapped with several other key areas of maintenanc......
Continue reading
2611 Hits
1 Comment

The Secret Weapon

puckTuesday night my ten-year-old son, Frankie, and I went to witness the Anaheim Ducks beat the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center. Frankie has been begging me for five years to take him early so we can meet the players before the game. Not knowing anything about hockey, and not trusting the word of a hopeful child, I never went early. But on this particular day, the timing worked out and we arrived at the game about two hours in advance. “What in the world do you do for two hours before a Ducks game?” you ask. A very good question indeed. We covered every inch of the arena, including the Team Store (hold on to your wallets!) and soaked in the rich history of the Honda Center sports, concerts, and events. (Did you know the band, KISS, has an arena football team that plays there? You’re welcome.) At one point, we met a friendly usher who mentioned fans were permitted near the team bench to watch warm ups, which were beginning in about 20 minutes. We rushed down to secure premium seating, but the best we could get was eighth row on the rails of the tunnel used by the players when traveling from the locker room to the bench (and ice). The players were about to come out when Frankie leaned over the rail, extending his ten-year-old arm as far as it could possibly stretch in order to high-five the players as they walked by. Unfortunately, because of his posit......
Continue reading
3099 Hits
5 Comments

Customer Service - A Lesson from Hori

Customer Service - A Lesson from Hori
I was enjoying lunch last week at Benihana with our awesome chef, Hori. He was great, flipping and flying food with the best of them. Sadly, Hori had to deal with two high maintenance and very unhappy people. (Not us, we were delightful-don’t be silly.)   “We don’t want sauce.” “Add this sauce.” “More garlic butter.” “More this, more that…” Complain, huff, deep sighs. I felt badly for Hori, as did my dining companion who heard more than I did. Hori, though, rolled with flow, stayed professional, dignified, and kept plugging away doing his job like the rockstar he clearly is.   As is the usual, once your onion-volcano-making, shrimp-tail-flipping, clickety-clacking, food-flying chef is done, he’s off to another table to wow those guests and add more shrimp tails to his hat. After he left, the two at our table (or for the fancy reader … hibachi) went on a rant with the server about Hori.   Because, as previously mentioned, we were delightful, we stayed after to tell the server how great Hori was. We found out the other guests had complained about Hori and his awful service, saying he was “too old and should retire.” Can you imagine? Apparently, they “get stuck with him all the time.” All I could think was thank goodness I’m not in a customer service role like that.   Then it occurred to me. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, everyone is in customer service. Everyone you deal with is a customer in one way or another. You......
Continue reading
976 Hits
0 Comments

You’ve been promoted to Regional Manager. Now what?

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W.Clement Stone Do you have professional goals to move to a multisite position or have you recently been promoted to your first multisite position after climbing through the ranks?   Whether you aspire, or are about to tackle an entirely new chapter in our industry, the biggest obstacle you will face is fear.  Fear of failure?  Fear that you don’t know what you don’t know?  Fear of fear?  Fear of putting your hand in a box full of spiders? (no, that’s another show). The fear that I’m referring to is not any of these, it’s actually quite different, but you are probably feeling them all!  I’m referring to a major fear of saying “I don’t know”, or “please help me”, first with yourself and then to someone else, and being completely comfortable with that statement.   Just as each position before, a multisite position will bring you an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities to develop new skills that often are not fully developed on site.  Our industry has incredible training programs for every level, and some directly related to success in a multisite position, but the resources are definitively more limited than our on-site support programs.  We generally assume that success on individual sites will transfer to multisite, and that is often not the case.   So, how do you succeed?  Follow these few steps to get started. 1)   Search out successful mentors, previous bosses or industry vets that have successfully navigated the waters you are about to......
Continue reading
2499 Hits
0 Comments

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......
Continue reading
828 Hits
0 Comments

How Do I Get Someone to "Show Me The Money"?

How Do I Get Someone to "Show Me The Money"?
Remember the movie Jerry McGuire? In the movie, Jerry McGuire (played by Tom Cruise) is the agent to a football player named Rod Tidwell (played by Cube Gooding Jr.). Tidwell is in the middle of a contract negotiation and he has not received the kind of offer from his team that he feels he deserves.    In the famous “Help me-help you!” scene-Jerry is begging Rod to act like he cares about something other than money, to help secure a better offer from his team. To which Rod replies (angrily) “Wait a minute...you’re telling me to dance!” He’s upset because he doesn’t think he should have to “dance”...that his talent and worth to the team should be self-evident.    Yet, it really doesn’t work that way, does it? Sometimes we all have to “dance!” Let me explain further ...    When I first got into the multifamily industry, I was pretty confident that I was going to be a “rock star.” I had a successful career in sales and management prior to entering the industry and thought that my previous success would carry over into the property management world. And while I did okay, it was clear to me that the people I worked with didn’t think my actual performance matched the potential they saw when they hired me.    Like, Rod Tidwell...I didn’t always want to dance-and that held me back in my career.    In my early days as a leasing agent, my manager would remind me that I needed to close with my prospec......
Continue reading
1195 Hits
0 Comments

Developing a Leadership Culture | Part One

Developing a Leadership Culture | Part One
I recently watched an Oprah Winfrey show with Iyanla Vanzant on the epidemic of fatherlessness in America. If you watched the show you know just how powerful it was to see an audience full of men, who had grown up without a father, still trying to learn and discover what it means to be a man, without having the benefit of their own dads guiding them on their journeys.    In many ways I’ve come to realize that leadership works the same way. Here is what I mean...   How many of you have run into “leaders” that were just obnoxious? People who felt that leadership was all about barking orders, pointing fingers, controlling everything, taking credit and just being the “boss.” Ever worked for someone like that? Did you enjoy the experience?   Other leaders kind of drift through and follow the path of least resistance. These are the folks that seem to avoid taking a stand, making the tough decisions, and/or doing anything that could alienate the people they lead. When you run into these leaders, don’t you want to scream “take charge!”?    Think about your first managerial job for a minute; were you mentored into what leadership really meant and how you were to use and exercise the authority you were given? Or were you simply given a key, the alarm code, the combination to the safe and a new set of instructions and procedures to follow? In other words, were you simply expected to just naturally know how to be ......
Continue reading
2511 Hits
4 Comments