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

Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

Three Things "Temps" Should NOT Do!

Three Things "Temps" Should NOT Do!

Years ago when I was a community manager I had a season of time when I relied heavily on temporary associates to maintain the staffing requirements of my office. There were many times when my “temps” made my job easier and I was so glad that they were helping me. There were also many times when my “temps” either made my job harder, or were so difficult to be around in one way or another, that I didn’t think they were worth the expense!

If you’re a temporary associate now I’d like to give you some advice on what to do when you’re at you’re assignment so that the company wants to keep bringing you back-or even offer you a permanent position!

Tip #1: Don’t be Bossy!

I had a temporary associate who started critiquing me on how we accepted checks and thought it was a good idea to give me his thoughts on what we should have been doing when collecting checks from our customers. Needless to say, that immediately irritated me as I thought, “Who does this guy think he is??”

Regardless of the experience you bring into the office, remember as a temp that the client may not need your input on things…even if it’s great input! For those of you with a great resume this may be the hardest thing to do as a temp, and it’s a vital skill. As a wise mentor once told me, “Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut!”

Tip #2: Don’t Say “When I worked at…”

I had a well-qualified temporary associate who had a habit of frequently saying, “When I worked at ACME Corporation, this is how we did things….” Didn’t matter what it was that I was showing her, I’d hear what other companies were doing. “When I worked at XYZ we showed apartments this way!” or “When we did work orders at Dunder Mifflin we did it this way!” And this annoyed me and the members of my staff who didn’t want to hear how they did things at another company, because we all worked for this company!

Tip #3: Don’t talk too much (or too little!)

I remember a temporary associate that kept coming into my office to make “small talk” with me, when I didn’t want to make small talk! In fact I brought her into the office because we were short-staffed and I had a lot of work to do, none of which involved shooting the breeze with my temp! Finally I closed the door to my office and politely told her that I had some things I needed to do that required privacy. The good news is that she performed well, if I remember correctly, the bad news is, I tried to avoid her at every turn so I wouldn’t get sucked in.

I’ve also worked with people who had no personality and didn’t make any conversation at all, which can feel weird too, especially when trying to develop a professional relationship out of thin air so that the eight-hour day doesn’t feel like eighty!


My point is be aware of the circumstances! If the people you work with look busy, give them space and don’t engage in conversation unless needed. If the people you’re working with draw you into a conversation, then reciprocate and be friendly. In other words, follow the cues that other people are giving you.

Working as a temporary associate is not always easy-by following these three tips you'll make your day just a little easier for you and your co-workers!

Rate this blog entry:

People in this conversation

Leave your comments

  • mike

    It sounds like you have control issues. There is a difference between managers and leaders. Leaders accept input from others and weigh the options for the improvement of processes that can either make a job easier or lead a team into a direction which can actually improve morale and efficiency. Managers in the civilian world are more do as I say and do not accept change well. I know because I have served 20 years in the military and equivalent years working in the civilian sector in management. no one person has all the answers, it is important to accept feed back from the lowest levels (the people working the front lines) then you will benefit from building a real TEAM. You might want to spend more time listening or you can get stuck in the "this is what everyone else does" or "this is how we always done it" syndrome which is not beneficial to to building a company or team that can keep up with the competition

  • Mike, Thank you for reading and for sharing your comments. I do have control issues. (= In fact letting go of the need to control is something that has been an area of emphasis of mine for many years; so I would be the first to fully own that. Interestingly enough I have developed a reputation as a national speaker for being very connection focused, relationship minded and team driven;and I teach many of the concepts that you mentioned in your comments. I fully agree that all team members can contribute to the team and that all organizations are built on a solid foundation of safety and trust in which everyone gives and receives.

    The point of my post is preparing temp associates for success. When a temp arrives they are there for a specific mission-fill the staffing gap that exists on that day. They are usually not there to debate the finer points of a property's operations-they are there to fill that specific gap. I want to help them fill that gap-and if they follow the advice I've outlined, I think they will find themselves successful-which can then create an environment where the people they're working with invite them back, or offer them a full time position-at which point they become a full member of the team. But there is time and place for temporary associates to exert some weight and also to follow orders.
    You may be familiar with the story from a few years ago when an USAF Academy cadet sent a letter to the Chief of Staff USAF complaining about the change of command. The cadet then received a response from both the CSAF and the Secretary of the Air Force that in essence informed the cadet that there is a proper time and space and position for the feedback he provided. A Cadet Fourth Class should probably not lecture the Commander. A temp associate (unless life, property or damage is in order) would do well to consider the context as well, in my point of view.
    Lastly, I'd like to say "thank you" for serving in our armed forces! I appreciate your service.

  • Mike, I also wrote a blog post aimed at those that hire temps on what they can do to maximize the success of their temps. I don't believe this is a one way street, both sides having a part to play to ensure success.
    All the best to you!

There’s an interesting debate we’ve seen start to percolate in pricing and revenue management (PRM) these days—whether to have pricing authority centralized or whether to decentralize it. From the examples we’ve seen with clients and prospects, there seem to be three approaches:  With centralized pricing, there is a team of PRM experts in the headquarters (or home office) generally regarded as having pricing authority. They may (should) collaborate heavily wi...
I’m often asked for tips and tricks on how to improve a community’s online reputation.  Over the last year or so these requests have become more frequent, as companies are realizing a positive online presence can directly impact leasing and renewal decisions.  I think it’s great we have an expanded awareness throughout our industry and I’m happy to offer any insight and support as needed.  “Reputation Management” is now a commonplace term within our industry, so much so that it is...
  Exactly. Netflix certainly isn't the only streaming platform out there, but it's going to retain—and maybe grow—its user base. Well, that's their hope, anyway. And as property managers, you can take away some insights from this on how to raise rents at your property without alienating or losing your renters. Read the blog.