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Engage Your Staff

Engage Your Staff
A recent study identified “the overwhelmed employee” as one of your greatest business challenges. Professionals report that people are multitasking more than ever, losing sleep, and finding work more difficult. Work-related stresses include the range and complexity of the things your property staff must know, the applications and the systems they must use, and the variety and intensity of problems they must solve in their day-to-day interactions. Engagement is the term used to describe how integrated your employees feel within your company. How vested are your employees in performing the work that keeps your occupancy rate high? How committed are they to accepting the challenges and solving the problems that your success hinges upon? What strategies do you consciously employ to help your employees increase their business knowledge levels and skill sets? How well you engage your staff may be the most important question you answer in the Property Management space. Think about it: you can hire the best people, train them well, even provide clear leadership directives, but if your people do not like their jobs they will not deliver quality. Attention to detail is quality, your property’s lifeblood. An important problem every company must solve is how to engage busy and burdened employees without simply overwhelming them with additional programs and requirements. In short, your staff needs to feel good about their jobs and be happy in their work. In this interconnected world, unhappiness and discontent at your property will begin to show up in social media. It won’t be long......
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5 Things Taking a Vacation Taught Me About My Job

5 Things Taking a Vacation Taught Me About My Job
In the past, vacations and I had never seen eye to eye.  Who has the time?  Who has the money?  Who has the energy?  If you’ve ever taken a vacation only to return with the feeling of “I need a vacation after that vacation”, you know what I mean.  With all things considered, planning for a vacation was akin to project management.  Logistics such as where to go, where to stay, what to do while you’re there and how much to spend had to be coordinated in a way that ensured the vacation would not only go smoothly but, with a little luck, provide that much needed break from everyday life.  There are some of us to whom taking a vacation is a given.  I’ve worked with people who used up every single hour of their allotted time.  Not me – I was always the one with leftover days – usually more than what I could carry over.  About six years ago, recognizing that maybe this wasn’t such a good thing, I decided to finally do what everyone else did so easily – I went on vacation.  With my feet in the sand and a drink in my hand, I discovered the pure joy that was a vacation.  For one week, seven fleeting days, there was no job to think about, no projects to manage and no people to supervise.  It was awesome.  It was also anxiety inducing; I found myself wondering what was going on back at work without me there to keep the......
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What would you do if your employees asked to wear jeans to work?

What would you do if your employees asked to wear jeans to work?
I know it may sound weird and different to some of you reading this, but if I am honest, I feel the most confident and “professional” when wearing a blazer, collared shirt, dark blue jeans and dress shoes. In business situations that do not require my wearing a suit, the blazer/jeans combo is my “go to outfit.”   (In fact as I write this post I am sitting at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, heading back home from a speaking engagement on the East Coast and, yes, I am wearing my preferred outfit, and NO the picture isn't me. But you already figured that out.)     So you can imagine my excitement when I was in Denver for a speaking engagement and I ran into a few colleagues that I used to work with when I lived in Colorado and they told me that the company changed it’s dress code since I worked there. The new dress code?    Yep, you guessed it….blazers/jackets and dark blue jeans.    The associates told me how they asked the leadership of the company to consider the change, how the leadership said “yes!” and how excited they all were about it.    Now, some of you just had a conniption (is that how you spell it??) thinking about your people sitting behind their desks NOT in suits or traditional “business attire,” but in jeans! And I can understand why you might have some heartburn just thinking about it.    BTW: This isn’t about jeans!   I don’t want you to ge......
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Motivating People Hallmark Style

Motivating People Hallmark Style
How many of you love watching the Christmas Movies on Hallmark Channel?    While I may need to turn in my “man card” by saying this, (not that anyone would have ever accused me of having one in the first place) I have no problem admitting that I am a huge fan of movies such as The Christmas Card, Matchmaker Santa, Naughty and Nice, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.    In one of the beginning scenes of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Ralph (a retired police office from New York portrayed by Henry Winkler) is in an airport and doesn't quite know where to go to catch his flight. As he stands, lost and confused, in the middle of the airport, a person runs into him with a baggage cart.    Indignant, Frank yells (in his New Yawker accent), "Hey, I'm standing here!" The airport baggage handler simply ignores him and continues on his way. (I won't spoil the rest of the plot, but it is a great Holiday movie.)   Have you ever felt like no one seems to see you standing there? Have you ever felt as if no one noticed you, or your skills, talents, or accomplishments? Have you ever felt like another face in the crowd of faces? I think we all have at one time or another.    “Just a Leasing Consultant”   Early in my career it was clear to me that many of the higher-ups thought of me as “just a leasing c......
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Resident Retention Begins with Employee Engagement

b2ap3_thumbnail_The-half-and-halfspecial.png  We've been receiving quite a few requests for data recently: how to overcome the most common renewal objections, what incentives are the best for securing renewals, what are the best-attended resident events, how to generate the best online reviews from your best residents.  Resident retention. There are tips and tricks and strategies galore that can be shared. The correlations are clear. However... all the data in the world on resident retention will do you no good if your team members are not engaged. I read a great article recently on Connecting Customer Loyalty with Employee Loyalty that does a great job of defining the difference between a satisfied employee and an engaged employee. The bottom line is that an engaged employee is going to be the one who impacts resident retention. Why?  A satisfied employee will do everything expected of him. He'll cheerfully answer the questions and run the reports and check the boxes. And at the end of his shift, he'll head home, content with a day's work and a day's wage. He'll wave politely at Mrs. Anderson who is hurrying up the sidewalk to try and catch someone in the office before it closes. When Mrs. Anderson calls after him, he might cheerfully tell her to please call courtesy patrol if it's an emergency, or he might not hear her. It's 6:01 p.m., after all. An engaged employee will not only do everything that's expected of him, but he'll go a step further, when he can, to ensure the......
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