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Finding a Work/Life Balance

It was the second day of the NAA Educational Conference, I had an urgent email to respond to but first I needed to complete the research to find the answer to the emailed question.  I was sitting at the bar in the convention center and the second breakoff sessions were starting.  I was disappointed I was going to miss the session but duty calls.  The seats on both sides of me are quickly taken by two other attendees that were not going to be able attend this session.  We struck up a conversation as we were setting up our laptops and looking for outlets to make sure we stayed powered up.  We were all working each evening, we were all back logged in emails and no matter how many hours we spent catching up, the next morning we would be back logged again.  Each of us were seeking the organization system that was going to solve our problems.  All of us said we worked for companies that supported and encouraged a “Work Life Balance”.  So why didn’t anyone of us have the work/life balance we wanted?  Why were all of us needing to miss this session to respond to work.  Despite a plethora of apps, corporate initiatives, and advice, it’s never been harder to achieve a work-life balance. According to its latest survey of nearly 9,700 full-time workers, EY, the global assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services firm, found that one-third of employees report that managing their personal and professional lives has bec......
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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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Don’t Let Being Busy Eat Away at Resident Retention

Don’t Let Being Busy Eat Away at Resident Retention
I recently had a conversation with a regional manager who accepted the fact that her leasing agents are just too busy to talk to people. And when I say “people,” I mean prospects and residents. That’s a scary thing. Yet I know it feels like the unvarnished truth most days. I shadowed a leasing agent (my friend) and was blown away by how many responsibilities he juggled in one short day. It wasn’t just leasing an apartment or talking to residents. On our way out to the golf cart, I stood in the doorway holding his keys for 15 minutes while his phone blew up. When we finally got in the golf cart, a resident walked up and asked about a package that was being held for her. My friend quickly jumped out of the golf cart to grab the package. And so it continued. What was interesting, though, was that he was extremely busy, but not too busy to talk to prospects and residents. He loved the interaction—seemed like he couldn’t get enough. He’d even stop the cart to talk to residents headed out to their cars or on a walk.   It reminded me of something my mentor told me when I started my career as a manager: “Ryan, it will be very easy to hide behind your desk and get buried in the paperwork and demands of the job. But don’t forget that your job is the people who work for you and the customers they serve. If you put them firs......
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Dos and Don’ts for Better Time Management This Budget Season

Dos and Don’ts for Better Time Management This Budget Season
“If only there was more time in the day!” Do you ever find yourself saying some variation of that statement? You’re definitely not alone. Time is a precious, limited resource…especially during budget season, when your to-do list seems to be endless. Unfortunately, there’s no way to add more hours to your day. But there are a few simple dos and don’ts for better managing the time you do have. Do: Get OrganizedDo you dive right into emails and voicemails first thing in the morning? Resist that temptation. Instead, spend the first 20 minutes of your day getting organized. Take a look at your to-do list, determine your priorities and set goals for the day. Then, take a deep breath and dive in! Don’t: Try to Do It All YourselfIf you try to take on everything yourself, you’ll quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Instead, ask for help when you need it and delegate tasks, when appropriate, to members of your team. Asking for help allows you to get a new perspective on a project, and it also opens up your time to take on other important tasks. Do: Tackle the Most Difficult Task FirstIf you’ve got a list of tasks a mile long, your instinct might be to knock of the easiest tasks first. Instead, try tackling the toughest task first, when your energy hasn’t been drained from other tasks. That way, you won’t spend the entire day dreading the difficult task, plus, the sense of accomplishment you get from accomplishing a difficult task will be a good motiva......
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Lessons in property management from my 1 yr old - Episode 10

property management officeIt's been awhile.. What can I say life as a Crazy Training & Marketing Gal and a mom is a bit busy!  So, let's get started... When my daughter is awake it's all hands on deck, whether it's coloring, painting or just following her around while she wheels her baby around the house, she needs to be watched. It is very difficult to sit down and write a blog as she is playing with my mouse and my cursor is bouncing all over the screen.  But I CAN empty the dishwasher when she is awake and ready to play, in fact she even helps put the silverware away. Not exactly what the drawer looked like before a baby but heck at least it's all IN the drawer. I digress....  Managing my time with her is much like managing my time when I'm on site.  Anyone that works on site knows that constant interruptions from residents and your team is a way of life. Whether it's the nice old lady in apartment 101 that wants to tell you about her grandson's tooth falling out or the crazy resident in apartment 501 that wants to show you her ingrown hair. (YUK.. but you know it happens).  Even the good interruptions like people paying rent or your team asking about raising the rental rates because you haven't had any price objections in a while. It all changes your train of thought and forces us to be master multi-taskers and great at remembering where we left......
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