We talk a lot about improving tenant service delivery.
But what we haven’t really discussed, or even mentioned, is self-improvement in property management. Aiming for the moon, and hitting a star type of stuff. And no, I’m not talking about a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym, or a promise to read a certain amount of books in a year.
I’m talking about honest-to-goodness improvement of yourself – in the workplace.
Whether you are a property owner, manager, engineer, vendor, or heck – even a tenant, you have a set of goals that help you identify personal success. For property management teams, this is big picture stuff like hitting a certain work order completion rate, tenant satisfaction level, or simply earning that big pay raise you’ve been wanting.
To reach these success points, you have to be willing to listen, work hard, be creative, and adapt when needed. The same goes for reaching team (and business) goals. Unfortunately, many companies don’t recognize the connection because there is a fundamental flaw in the way that we collectively set goals, and strategize ways to achieve them. This is an especially big problem in CRE, which is notorious for being risk adverse.
So how can we jump-start collective self-improvement, for both individuals and the companies they work for, in CRE?
Start small, but think BIG
The best teams consist of smart, talented, and creative individuals that are encouraged to listen to each other, share knowledge, and collaborate. What can you do to help facilitate such an atmosphere?
Meet regularly as a team
When you establish regular meeting times, you are giving your team a known, consistent outlet to express their thoughts, opinions, and possible solutions to work-related problems. It can also help to ensure that members of your team that work opposite shifts can put faces to names, and give them an opportunity to bond.
The important thing here is that people are open, honest, and respectful to each other. People want to be heard, and know that they are being heard.
The best property management teams are the ones who are able to cut through the noise and communicate with each other – and tenants – effectively. If your team relies on back-and-forth communications via radio, phone, text/SMS, email, fax, and snail-mail, they’re spending more time working at communicating than they are actually working.
There is a better way to communicate!
A tool like Building Engines helps you cut out the communication middle-man by connecting your property management team to each other and the information they need via the web, and on their smartphones with the BE-Mobile app. It helps you quickly create and update work orders, complete inspection tasks, manage risk, send broadcast messages, and access critical files – from anywhere.
Engage in team building exercises
A team building exercise doesn’t necessarily have to mean a trust-fall. In reality, all you’re trying to do is break down communication barriers between individuals – a common bottleneck for workplace performance.
You can play any number of team building games, or participate in an extra-curricular activity designed to bring people together, like serving meals to the homeless, attending a ball game, or even grabbing a few beers together at the bar.
If a team is expected to succeed, they have to know who is accountable for what – and how to manage expectations.
One of the best self-improvement tools for any team, property management or not, is to sit down and review your team goals. Team members should be asked to identify what they are responsible for and what roadblocks may be in their way, which the property manager should then address. This is all about setting achievable benchmarks!
It is also a good idea to select a tool that helps to hold your team accountable for its performance. A tool that can track service delivery statistics, such as task completion rates, tenant satisfaction, and filter the data into easy-to-read reports. Something like Building Engines’ reporting and analytics tools, perhaps?
Encourage open learning
Self-improvement depends on learning. The same can be said for improving your property management team. Give them the tools they need to regularly engage with industry best-practices via content, or meet-ups and conferences, and everyone will reap the benefits.
Be solution focused
So much can happen in the average day of a property manager, or engineer. But the important thing is to remain focused on finding the solutions to problems, and not on the problems themselves. With this mindset you will be able to react much more quickly to workplace emergencies, and ultimately deliver better tenant service.