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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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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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5 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Stuck

5 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Stuck
Have you ever been cruising through life, when all of a sudden, you hit a wall? I experienced this feeling of being stuck shortly after the Great Recession of 2008.  My business and life were both in the midst of an upheaval, and I began to question my purpose in life. I decided to take massive action and enroll in Life Coaching School at IPEC (Institute For Professional Excellence In Coaching), and was presented with these five vital questions during the training:     What do you want? What frustrates you about your life/business? What would it take to double your business? What have you tried and not tried? What is the number one thing you are trying to accomplish?   What do you want? This may seem like a fairly easy question to answer, but I will guarantee you that if you ask most people what they want, they will quickly proceed to tell you what they DON’T want. Therein lies the enormous problem. Most people’s focus is on what they don’t want, and any successful person learns that what you focus on is what grows in your life. It may appear to be a simple question, but once you can address the question, answers will begin pouring out. Let me give you a personal example.  During the time I became disgruntled with my business, I kept telling myself that I did not want to continue down the same path. I knew what I didn’t want, to work at the restaurant. What was it that I ......
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The Importance of Volunteering and Charity Work

The Importance of Volunteering and Charity Work
Giving back to the community should be a part of every apartment company's operations. To begin with, it is simply the right thing to do. However, a commitment to philanthropy can have other powerful benefits as well.  Increasingly, employees and residents are seeking relationships with apartment firms that exhibit a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) Therefore, providing ways for team members to volunteer and perform charity work can have powerful effects on employee morale and make your company more appealing to prospects, residents and investors. Here is a range of ways your company can help your employees give back: Paid time off to volunteerProviding employees with paid time off to volunteer for an organization or a cause of their choice shows that you care about the surrounding community, and that you care about your associates as people. It shows you want to support their passions and that you view them as more than just an employee. Group volunteer outings A company's charitable efforts can also incorporate group outings, in which associates work together to give back to a particular organization.   At ROSS, our associates have participated in group volunteer events at Fisher House Foundation and The Childrens’ Inn at NIH. We have orchestrated spring cleanups of facilities, provided meals for families, prepared gift baskets for residents, and coordinated a Wish List Drive so that our residents and employees can contribute needed items. Gift matchingSome apartment companies have implemented gift-matching programs to encourage employees' charitable donations. Employers typically provide a dollar-for-dollar m......
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Variety Is the Spice of Training

Variety Is the Spice of Training
Training new associates: when you get down to it, the multifamily industry has few responsibilities more important. Well-trained onsite team members are absolutely critical to the creation of high-performing apartment communities.  In this day and age, multifamily companies have a bevy of options for training new associates. And in the end, for reasons of practicality and even associate learning style, companies will have to use a variety of training methods.  At ROSS, like other property management companies across the country, we have seen the benefits of using multiple training methods, from instructor-led classes to online courses. As a company, we believe in-person classes at our corporate offices are the most effective training tactic, and we try to maximize our use of them. In the end, however, relying solely on them just isn't practical for a company our size, given the geographic reach of our portfolio and the wide range of matters in which new associates need to be trained. Here is a quick summary of the different training methods that can be included in the onboarding process: Offsite in-person instructor-led classes: To my mind, this is the most impactful way of training new employees. It is even more effective than on-the-job training because it eliminates the many distractions otherwise present onsite, like ringing phones that must be answered and residents who need assistance. However, offsite instructor-led classroom lectures often present practical issues for companies with larger portfolios, as it isn't easy to bring new associates from multiple markets together in one......
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Artificial intelligence and multifamily . . . are we in?

Artificial intelligence and multifamily . . . are we in?
It’s no secret that the multifamily space has been slow to adopt new technology. We were among the last to adopt revenue management software, for example, or to recognize the charging freight train of reputation management and social media. We resisted. We felt the pain. We finally embraced. We reaped the benefits. The good news? As the industry has become both more competitive and an increasingly attractive investment, we are also seeing less resistance to change than we’ve seen in years. As a result, the technology options are overwhelming for operators – requiring more focus and assets devoted to the business of culling through what to deploy. And now, technology utilizing artificial intelligence is knocking on our doors. Will we continue to wait, or will we take advantage? The National Apartment Association recently published an article on the subject in UNITS magazine, which you can read here. The general perspective of the article is that real estate is an industry that can benefit from AI, but these technologies are still early and multifamily isn’t behind the curve. Hurrah! So, what is AI? In one of its simplest forms, think Alexa from Amazon. She can answer your questions, search for you and even order your favorite products. Alexa is constantly adding skills and “learning” your preferences. She’s certainly not aspiring to be “human,” as some AI platforms are, but she’s a pretty good speech bot and very easy to use. If you don’t use Alexa and are curious, here’s a complete list of all the commands to ......
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Jared Miller on Culture as the Ultimate Business Fuel

Jared Miller on Culture as the Ultimate Business Fuel
It’s always fun when you have the opportunity to sit down with an industry business leader who has a passion for making the intangible tangible, the non-measurable measurable. Such was the case with long-time multifamily professional Jared Miller, who views a company’s culture as the real power that makes an organization’s engine run smoothly and efficiently. Jared is no stranger to a how culture can optimize performance during his career with companies such as Lane, RedPeak, Bainbridge and currently Homestead Development Partners – and in a variety of roles and company types, from marketing leader to operations and asset management, from fee to owned to development to being a partner in his current firm, to all of the above simultaneously. He was awarded MultiFamily Executive’s first ever “Rising Star” award in 2010, and was an NAHB “Pillars of the Industry” finalist for best marketing campaign in 2007. He gets it; he really gets it. “Our current economy is very stable, our industry continues to perform quite well for owners, operators and investors, and as a nation we are seeing full employment for the first time in many years” says Miller. “Culture has always been a differentiator, but now it’s an imperative – it’s the only lever that can impact overall experience end-to-end, and therefore turnover among both employees and residents.” So what is the end-to-end experience? Miller emphasizes it’s really about “everyone who touches your company,” adding that, “it can’t be about only your employees, although everything flows from their cultural experience and if you don’t have a strong......
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Guest — Luke Allen
All very true statements! I am so honored to be a part of the homestead U team at Helix Starkville! You can tell Jared had a hand ... Read More
Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:03
Judy Bellack
Thanks, Luke!
Thursday, 25 May 2017 07:17
Guest — Jared Miller
Luke - We are so fortunate to have you on Team HELiX! You have made such a positive impact on the community, residents and the res... Read More
Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:24
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How to Deal with Associates Whose Performance Is Not Cutting It

The multifamily industry is a complex and demanding business. Companies need high-functioning associates to keep their communities running smoothly and to deliver satisfactory returns to investors. When even one team member's work is not meeting expectations, it can significantly hamper a multifamily company's operations. Therefore, underperforming associates must be addressed promptly and effectively.  Below are some tips for handling an employee whose work is not up to par: Avoid avoidanceLet's face it: confronting someone about his or her poor job performance can be an uncomfortable task. And it's easy to put off uncomfortable tasks. But a company is doing no one any favors when it delays having these tough conversations. So don't wait – address problems as quickly as possible. Be direct and be specificWhen discussing performance problems with an employee, you don't have to be unpleasant, but you should get straight to the point. Clearly state what the issues are and cite specific examples. Have a real conversationDon't let a meeting with a struggling associate become a monologue by HR. Give the employee a real chance to explain his or her performance and really listen to their feedback. Perhaps they are struggling with stress-management or other personal problems. Maybe they feel like they need more training in a certain area, or perhaps there are issues with fellow co-workers or supervisors that need to be examined. If any of these problems or similar ones are plaguing the employee, consider the ways your company can help. Give them a mentorProviding a struggling e......
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Guest — Lori Hammond
Property Management as a career or profession, is different than many jobs. Our industry is performance driven, showing up with a... Read More
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 07:20
phil
Yes. The sooner the better is so important. It affects the other staff in different ways, some of whom will tell you but most wo... Read More
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 15:57
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Your Online Reputation Could Be Costing You 5-6% in Occupancy


 

 55% of Residents Confirmed Reading Positive Online Reviews Led to Contacting a Community; Only 46% of Property Managers Manage Online Reviews Daily

 

According to a national study, 43% of residents stated a community rated at a 3.0 on a 5.0 scale was too low to be considered a desirable place to live, with the majority of residents focused on a community’s curb appeal, unit condition and rent price when writing an online review.

More break-down on how reviews are impacting renter-decisions and the factors that are considered when residents go to write reviews:

  • Over 90% of residents will read at least one review before touring an apartment.

  • Apartment condition, property curb appeal, and cost were the top three factors residents considered when writing an online review of their apartment community.

  • 55% of residents will either visit a property or contact the community for additional information after reading a positive review.

  • While 95% of property management companies found value in investing resources into managing online reviews, only 46% dedicated time daily to managing their online reviews.

 

 

Recent Comments
Brent Williams
Great post, Drew. So from our perspective, we see different topics become "hot" and then seem to disappear. With reputation mana... Read More
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 10:31
Priyanka Agarwal
The conversation around online reputation management is and should very much be kept alive. There is ample research, including the... Read More
Friday, 07 April 2017 10:56
Jared Crouch
Great insight Drew! Can you provide the reference for the data outlined? - J
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 10:07
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Multifamily Leaders on Creating Community -- A Conversation with Rick Graf of Pinnacle

What does it take to create a sense of community within a multifamily operator’s sphere of influence? Do employees and residents respond, and does it positively impact the bottom line? Rick Graf, President and CEO of Pinnacle, was kind enough to share his thoughts on this topic recently. It was an insightful conversation, highlighting how a few basic but powerful values, well executed, can have a profound and lasting effect. “As a company, our culture of collaboration plays a key role in creating community,” said Graf, “allowing us to gain greater perspective and to collaborate with our employees, our residents and our suppliers.” Graf’s vision is to give constituents a voice and encourage input, because, “frankly, they often come up with ideas that are better -- and that resonates with our clients.” How does this culture translate to a feeling of community with residents? According to Graf, Pinnacle utilizes the same approach at the site level. “Take community events, for example. We may come up with something we think is a great idea, but it may not be what the residents really want to do.” Pinnacle employs CARES teams (usually two people who are residents of the community, in cooperation with the Apartment Life organization); these teams are someone the residents know as “one of them,” and work collaboratively with residents and the management team to collaborate on a variety of topics community relations topics. “This has been a true differentiator for us, and we see it in our improved retention rates and satisfaction sc......
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