Operational Success: Always Starts with People
Whether you’re an experienced Property Manager, or are new to the property management industry, you’ll encounter both expected and unexpected challenges in your daily operations.
Those challenges are usually related to occupancy, rent collection, maintenance, tenant issues, and more.
Your staff will be responding to and resolving maintenance tickets, repairs, inquiries, etc. And your extended property management team might include maintenance, janitorial, and concierge people with different skills and experience levels, and be under your direct or indirect supervision.
How Can You Build Staff Competence?
How can you guide and optimize their performance? What management leadership actions will create the most successful operation through your staff?
There is no one perfect or winning formula for property management. However, your operations can achieve the highest efficiency if your team themselves are capable of setting goals and expectations. They should understand roles and responsibilities clearly, communicate constantly, clearly, and collaboratively, and enforce proper policies and procedures.
Managing the Right People
In addition to the above mentioned criteria, smart people management is important to building a sustainable building operation.
Hiring the right people on your team is key. Avoid hiring simply to get someone on board even those you may need someone immediately to fill your vacant positions. A wrong hiring decision can cost you a lot more in the long term on training, staff development and the loss of productivity.
Your current staff might not have the ultimate skills, drive and experience. However you’re likely happy to have them, so managing them well and keeping them is a skill that takes a common manager to the leader level.
While hiring the right people is challenging, retaining your management staff is another key to achieving long-term operational success. Failure to maintain a consistent property management team can lead to poor knowledge transfer and perhaps a decline in morale.
8 Ways to Improve Staff Management
Here are some team building recommendations for your consideration:
- Retain your superstars by giving them new challenges. Instead of a salary increase/adjustment or change in title, how about engage them in some aspect of decision making? Encourage them to voice their opinions and let them know they are making a positive and significant impact to the company and their customers.
- Identify their strengths rather than focus on their weaknesses. A book called Strength Finder 2.0 written by Tom Rath is a great tool for assessment and unlock your team member’s potential.
- Develop your staff’s soft skills such as conflict resolution, time management, and interaction.
- Your team members must be passionate about their work. They must believe and understand the company’s mission. Cultivate their patience and perseverance.
- Create a culturally diverse and inclusive working environment to promote integrity, dignity and respect.
- Reward property management staff who perform in an exceptionally high level while holding all accountable for any substandard performance.
- Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals for your team to align with your company’s work plan and strategic plan.
- Implement the right software system and/or tool so that information can be located, tracked, documented, and organized on time-demand. This is particularly essential when your company’s property portfolio has consistently grown along with an increasing personnel complexity.
Think about what the difference between a Leader and a Manager might be. A Leader has vision, is not afraid of failures, learns from mistakes, and is supportive and empathetic, ready to make changes. They are willing to initiate and take timely actions to bring the team to a different level.
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Thus, grow your manager to become a leader today and build a consistent team.
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