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...
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.
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...
We all know that great resident retention depends largely on factors like timely maintenance response, friendly staff, unique amenities and beautiful curb appeal. But how much thought is given to the importance of social connectedness relative to resident satisfaction and renewal rates?
There is a great deal of evidence of late on the impact of being socially connected (or not) on physical health and psychological well-being. You can read an outstanding article on the subject citing several related studies here.
Witten Advisors presented some interesting industry data on connectedness at the recent NMHC Annual Meeting in a session titled "Hanging onto Residents by Cultivating Real Community and Relationships." Take a look at the following graphs:
Surprising, no? Such a small percentage of residents have more than a couple of friends within the community, and the majority have none. And yet, look at the correlation of number of friends to intent to renew! It seems like a no-brainer that efforts to increase social connectedness among residents are well worth the investment, time and energy. All those great activities you spend hours planning are so very worth it! Anything you can do enhance or facilitate interaction between your residents will pay off in a big way; community apps and portals that make it easy for residents to communicate with you and each other, a consistent and creative schedule of events designed to get people talking and playing together, pet play dates and sitting connections, carpool-to-work opportunities, book clubs and bulletin boards...
Anyone who knows me knows that I am fairly passionate about the topic of leadership. To put a finer point on it, I'm passionate about GREAT leadership; the type of leadership that inspires both internally and externally, and makes people, companies and industries better.
The National Multifamily Housing Council"s recent annual meeting had a great deal to offer in terms of leadership. Not only were many of the industry's movers and shakers in attendance and participating on panels, but this year's CEO panel as well as keynote speaker and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were particularly impressive.
NMHC always does a great job of pulling together intriguing personalities from leading companies for the CEO Panel, and this meeting was no exception with representation from Waterton, Greystar, Kettler, Marcus & Millichap and Steadfast. While perspectives on various discussion topics may have differed slightly from company to company, one thing was a constant: all acknowledged that successful leaders and vision aren't the product of one individual, but of strong and diverse teams. Music to my ears.
And then, of course, is the impressive Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Her credentials are far too extensive to enumerate here, but allow me to list a few: aside from being the 66th Secretary of State of the United States (the second woman and the first African American to hold the post), she has earned three degrees, holds 11 honorary doctorates, has authored numerous books and served on many boards including three currently. And let's...
In all my years in human resources and the apartment industry, I don't think I've seen a generation of employees pinned with as many negative stereotypes as millennials.
"Snowflakes," "job hoppers," "entitled," "needy," "easily distracted" … the list seems endless.
The list is also extremely unfair.
At ROSS, millennials have proven to be invaluable members of our community leasing and management teams. Their energy, entrepreneurial spirit, technological skills and overall creativity have provided a boost to operations across our portfolio.
Sure, millennials may have different attitudes and preferences than their baby boomer or Generation X counterparts. But that doesn't make them bad employees. It just means they need to be managed differently to keep them inspired and engaged.
Here are some tips for managing millennial associates:
Be transparentThe days when a manager could be tight-lipped and aloof to associates are long gone. Millennials – as well as workers from other generations – demand transparency in the workplace.
How can apartment companies provide this transparency? For starters, a team leader has to be crystal-clear from the beginning of an associate's tenure about opportunities for advancement and what they need to do to earn promotions. Knowing they have the chance to grow at your company will help millennials feel more engaged with their jobs.
Also, as much as possible, keep onsite team members in the loop on company news and how it may impact their jobs. When employees feel like they’re in the dark, their anxiety grows and their job satisfaction dips.
It is no secret that the trend is there. Package delivery is increasing on a daily basis, as millennials prefer the convenience of shopping from their phone.
Even older generations are beginning to resist shopping in stores, opting for the alternative of making a few clicks and waiting a few days for the package to arrive at their doorsteps. That’s why, despite strong industry-wide sales, prominent retailers such as Macy’s and Sears are closing many of their brick-and-mortar stores.
This trend is not a momentary blip. In fact, a recent proclamation by tech giant, Amazon indicates package delivery will continue to steamroll in this direction for the foreseeable future. Amazon, widely known as the king of package delivery, has indicated that it will create 100,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2018, according to a recent article by USA Today.
Apartment operators should prepare accordingly, as this is not a knee-jerk move by Amazon. First Data reports that ecommerce’s share of retail sales in the holiday season was 21.3 percent, a hefty increase from the 15.4 percent of 2015. Expect the numbers to rise again in 2017, as the Internet now represents six percent of the total U.S. economy. And it’s not only going to grow during the holiday season. Package delivery is steadily increasing year around, with significant upticks around back to school, Halloween and even Mother’s Day.
If your apartment communities have not yet adopted a solution to combat the influx of packages – such as a smart...
Parking. It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare. So many problems arise between us and our residents because of it. Trying to having enough spots, regulating who parks where, I can’t seem to keep everyone happy. Please help!
Ah yes, parking is a perennial problem property managers face. It seems like every multifamily community just turns into parking lot tetris (not as fun as it sounds).
Unfortunately, property managers are responsible for dealing with the neverending parking struggle. Adequate parking at rental properties is one of the most important amenities for residents and can be the make or break for some when it comes to signing or renewing their lease. After all, parking is what cars do most of the time. In fact, the average automobile spends 95 percent of its time sitting in place. People buy cars because they need to move around, but the amount of time they actually do move around is tiny.
Providing parking is important. Luckily, you have me to help you navigate the treacherous roads (pun intended) of multifamily parking.
Property managers who want to keep their residents happy and reduce conflict between neighbors should have a clearly defined parking plan for their property. Here are some things to consider:
Assigned Parking Spaces: To make sure that all residents in your multifamily housing community have plenty of parking for their own vehicles, there should be assigned parking spaces. Many...
For many first year students, on-campus housing is often seen as an ideal transition into independent living. Students can accept more responsibilities and independence, while still enjoying the luxuries of having mostly everything taken care of for them. The next stepping-stone for many students is the move into off-campus housing, where even more freedom and responsibilities are awarded to them. Typically, living off-campus is where students get their first real taste of complete independence. Students can choose one of two rental accommodations.
All-Inclusive: A rental accommodation where tenants do not pay their utility bills (electric, gas, sewer, water, etc. are paid for by the landlord and factored into the monthly rental rate).
Non-Inclusive: A rental accommodation where the tenants set-up and pay their utility bills.
In most cases, students (specifically ones without much rental experience) will prefer all-inclusive rentals for a variety of reasons.
Less Hassle: Chances are, students have never had the opportunity to set-up utility accounts, aside from perhaps their cell phone. For many students, this can be unfamiliar territory filled with uncertainty. Some students would prefer the easy route of having everything bundled and set-up for them.
No Surprises: There’s a certain comfort in knowing exactly what is owed at the end of each month, especially for students. Living on a student budget can be tight and having to resourcefully budget for utility bills can be difficult; especially with varying due dates and fluctuating costs based on usage. Some students would prefer to just pay rent at the beginning of each...
Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.
First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.
As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.
Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!
You should use Instagram as a place...