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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

If You Don't Want to Serve Customers Maybe a Job Serving Customers Isn't For You!

If You Don't Want to Serve Customers Maybe a Job Serving Customers Isn't For You!
After working in some type of customer service profession for over 25 years and speaking and training thousands of people around the country on the subject for the past four years, I feel confident in saying this…. If you’re not really into helping people, or you know, “serving customers” then you need to “move on with your life’s work!” Now! There is no shame in saying that having to work with the public is not your thing. There is no problem in admitting to yourself and to others that you don’t like helping people … (although, admittedly, the people around you already know it) and deciding to get out of a customer-service related job and moving on.  The problem is when you don’t admit it-and you hang on to a customer service oriented job, when you’re clearly not cut out to do it! Let me give you an example… This weekend I needed to pick up tap shoes for my daughter who is starting a summer dance class and found a pair from a seller on Craigslist and we decided to meet at a Starbucks. Before picking up the shoes I decided to order an iced coffee … mistake number one.  The barista didn’t make any kind of eye contact as she took my order; when she was finished ringing it up she walked away from the register to resume a conversation with co-workers, without thanking acknowledging me and without giving me my receipt.  I then walked over to where I assumed my coffee would be ......
Continue reading
1445 Hits
0 Comments

Knowing. Like a Boss.

Knowing. Like a Boss.
Ten calls and ten straight customer hang ups. That's what it took for "Tom" to acknowledge that his French skills were grossly insufficient. Tom was already hired when I became the manager of a multilingual sales team earlier in my career. As the only French speaker at the company, I was curious how his language skills were tested during the process. The answer was simple: the hiring managers believed that Tom spoke French fluently because Tom believed he spoke French fluently. Since I knew what Tom didn't know, it took about 2 minutes of conversation for me to realize that he didn't. Tom, on the other hand, took more convincing before he finally acknowledged that he didn't know that he hadn't known his linguistic shortcomings. There are a lot of aspects to becoming a successful manager or employee. Of these aspects, none is more important than knowing what you need to know. So how do we avoid the pitfall that overtook Tom in this instance and overtakes so many others in different ways? Here’s the simple process that can help keep you in the clear so that you can "Know Like a Boss!" Define your goals. This is obvious. You need to know what you are aiming to accomplish before you start to accomplish it. Are you looking to increase retention? Are you trying to improve occupancy? Are you trying to recover more unpaid revenue? Whatever the goal, you need to identify it before you can work towards it. Once you’ve defined your goals, determine how you......
Continue reading
558 Hits
0 Comments

How to Prepare Your Leasing Agents and Get Leases this Leasing Season without Spending Money

How to Prepare Your Leasing Agents and Get Leases this Leasing Season without Spending Money
Maximizing the success of the leasing season requires thorough preparation. In addition to preparing the property, it’s vital to prepare your leasing agents.  Leasing agent training, although it’s a worthwhile investment, can be expensive. Your leasing agents need to have an in-depth understanding of effective sales techniques and your marketing strategy in order to perform optimally, identifying and converting more prospects into residents.  The good news is that providing your leasing agents with the skills and information they need for meeting occupancy targets does not have to cost you a single dime. There are plenty of no-cost but effective training approaches you can use to get them ready for the leasing season. Shopping the Competition In the world of business, it’s a commonly accepted and proven fact that you have to understand your competition if you want to outdo them. Knowing competitors very well isn’t just something for you as an owner or manager, but is also important for your leasing agents.  Send your leasing agent off on a mission. Let them go around to the properties of your competitors and see how prospects are handled over there. This will give them some insight into how the prospects who check out your competitor’s property as well as yours view what you have to offer.  While out on their mission, your leasing agents should take careful note of the advantages and disadvantages that each competitor offers as compared to your property. This will assist them knowing how to present to prospects in a way tha......
Continue reading
2800 Hits
2 Comments

Times are a Changing - Change Management

Times are a Changing - Change Management
Change is hard and many of us hate it. It doesn't matter what the change is, we hate when things we are comfortable with change on us and naturally we fight it. However, if we have fair warning, or if it is something that we want to change we accept it. For some of us it is harder to adopt change than others, but there is a way to help get buy-off when a change is taking place. In the multifamily industry there has been a common thought of "If it works, why change it?" and this has plagued the industry and caused it to fall behind on the use of technology. As we start to see more change occur in the industry, the people that you need to adopt the change are those that are working in the trenches. If you want to be truly successful using a new technology you need to have the property staff buy-off on the change. Although nothing is perfect I have found that following ideas can lead you to have a great deal of success in getting change management to occur. 1. Ask the opinion of your staff. Many times decisions are being made at an ownership or corporate level, but this can cause a disconnect between the properties and the corporate leadership. When you ask your staff what they think would improve workflow or improve their job it can pay dividends when it is time to implement a new process or technology. When your staff feel like what they have to say......
Continue reading
1438 Hits
0 Comments

Reporting Calisthenics: How Less Is More

Reporting Calisthenics: How Less Is More
Caution: I’m going to ask you to challenge what you know and hold dear. I’m going to ask you to take a long hard look at yourself and those you work with and make a decision. I’m going to ask you… to throw out your reports. If you just had a heart attack reading that last line, then this post is for you. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about: I like to lift weights. Anyone who lifts weights will tell you that by tracking your workouts, you will improve your performance. If I am measuring how much weight I lift over time, I’ll see an increase which will help me to continue. Additionally, if I am tracking how many calories and what I’m eating then I might even see an ab or two. The problem that I've noticed within our industry, is that we like to track everything. Imagine that I was tracking not only how much weight I lift but how many people came into the gym, how many machines I wiped down after use, how many songs I listened to on my headphones, the temperature in the gym, and the comparative cleanliness of the gym before and after my workout. If I’m tracking all that, how much time do I spend actually lifting weight? How much do I enjoy my workout? How likely am I to continue? It’s not to say that all reporting is counterproductive (this article does not apply to your financial reporting), but I would like to give a fe......
Continue reading
798 Hits
0 Comments

Show Them the Love!

Show Them the Love!
Most people know that having good employees can make or break any organization. To top it off, high employee turnover can be one of the hardest things to overcome and deal with. It may seem that our best leave and our worst stay. If funds are limited, what can we do to increase our likelihood of keeping or creating those rock stars that make everything tick? Training is one of those ways. Investing in our teams by helping them to develop their skills can be so powerful. There is nothing like additional training to boost performance, build skills and show our team members that we really care about their success. Because let’s face it, few employers have ever really become successful without the help of a few good men and women. Creating learning opportunities for our teams might sound like an expensive proposition, and it can be. But truth be told, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ideas that can help encourage your team to learn and develop while keeping your budgets in check. First, ask each team member what their goals are. Not just for their current job, but for their life. Find ways that you can help them towards those goals even if it means they will leave you. One example might be that if a team member wants to learn a new software program that will help them to do graphics, give them the opportunity by investing in online training (inexpensive if done through a service like Lynda.com). Maybe thi......
Continue reading
817 Hits
0 Comments

It's A Little Puzzling...

It's A Little Puzzling...
Don’t you just hate your job? It’s always changing, you’re constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions, and it feels like you’ll never catch up. No? Well maybe your job is too monotonous. Maybe you feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over; using different pieces but getting the same results. These complaints are all-too-common in the workplace. Ironically, these are the same concepts that fuel a multi-billion dollar gaming industry. That’s right, people pay money to do the very thing that you get paid to do! Solving puzzles is a top priority in any workplace just as it is the top recreational activity in any home. This begs the question: Why do we love doing puzzles for recreation, yet they are the bane of our professional existence? Many artists lose the passion for their craft once it becomes directly tied to their livelihood and its success is contingent on the approval of others. I submit that the art of puzzle solving is the same. Think back to that time that you were playing Solitaire, Tetris, or Candy Crush, and you had someone looking over your shoulder. I bet you either stopped playing or you asked your kibitzer to leave. Why? Odds are they weren't saying “Great job” or “Wow, I didn’t see that before you did it!” Instead, they were probably saying “Oh, put that card there!” or “Ah! Why’d you do that? You could have done this instead!” Yes, the things we enjoy are often less enjoyable when they are judged by others. I studied a case du......
Continue reading
660 Hits
0 Comments

Passionate Training! Why it's “All that.”

Passionate Training! Why it's “All that.”
All of you have experienced it at one time or another. You've sat in a training and watched magic happen right before your eyes. You've felt engaged, involved, and motivated to learn. The time sped by and when you were finished you couldn’t wait to “go and do.” Contrast that to what we usually sit through; a dry and boring monologue or demo that made you go to your happy place just to make it through. So what makes the difference between the two? Some say it is knowledge of the information, others would say it is all about delivery. I would say it comes down to neither of those. What makes the difference is the passion the trainer feels about helping you be better. When a trainer is truly passionate about helping you, you want to learn. When you know they care you become vested in your own learning because you wouldn’t want to let them down. They help you feel unafraid to explore the unknown because you know you have a friend right next to you that wants you to succeed. As great as all this sounds, how do we encourage our trainers to be passionate? It starts with encouraging them to care about those they will train. They need to understand what issues they have, why they need what you are training about, and how they can affect their lives for good. Seem altruistic? Maybe so, but I don’t think you ever find a great trainer that doesn’t carry some kind of passion for those they ......
Continue reading
982 Hits
1 Comment

5 Ways to Make Online Rent Payments Easier (Without Doing Any Work or Spending Money)

5 Ways to Make Online Rent Payments Easier (Without Doing Any Work or Spending Money)
Property management companies implement online payments to eliminate unnecessary work and to add convenience to their life. Sadly, some property managers are so overwhelmed at the office that they don’t have extra time to maintain or promote the system. What they don’t realize is that with a little effort, the number of online payments received can drastically increase – resulting in a huge time savings when it comes to collecting rent. And even better news is that your payment vendor may be willing to do all of this on your behalf. And for free! Here are some things your payment provider should offer you to maximize utilization of your online payments program. Custom Resident Marketing Pieces Custom marketing pieces should be a standard offering from your provider. Based on your portfolio type, your payment provider can make recommendations for the types of materials that will be the most effective. Additionally, they should customize the pieces for your company and print them for free.  The more residents that know about online payments increases the likelihood they will choose to pay that way. Training Programs Instead of conducting trainings yourself, lean on your vendor to train employees on your online payment system. Your payment vendor’s reps are experts on the system and can answer any questions your employees may have. They can also give pointers on the most efficient way to process payments online. Be sure they also provide you with user guides and/or knowledge base articles for you to reference should you have ......
Continue reading
3689 Hits
0 Comments

PBL and Training-More Than Just Peanut Butter

PBL and Training-More Than Just Peanut Butter
Have you ever wondered how you can make your training more effective without hiring a rock and roll band to entertain the students? Look no further than Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL has been used and researched heavily in education and has found good adoption. Using PBL in a typical technology training environment is less common. Let me explain… Often times in training we assume that the best way to help our trainees learn is to simply tell them what we want them to know. But imagine training where instead of giving you the answers, you are given problems to solve instead. These problems must be related to the learning at hand of course, and a place to find the answers should also be provided. This is like turning a classroom upside down and making the student the teacher. Add small groups to the mix and you have a fun interactive treasure hunt that can yield big rewards. Why would I do this… One of the biggest rewards to using problems in your trainings is that the learning has a better tendency to stick when you have to search for the answer. When we are just told the information we have to find a way to attach that new learning to something we already know so that we know what bucket to store it in our brains. Without that association the learning has a tendency to go in one ear and out another. When you have to search for an answer you build you......
Continue reading
871 Hits
0 Comments