There are so many things leaders, supervisors, even peers need to focus on each day.
We all change hats so many times each day it can be hard to keep track of sometimes. One minute you’re a crisis manager, the next a collections manager, financial manager, and the list goes on and on. I think we all tend to forget the one hat we wear more than any other, and that’s the trainer’s hat.
I know some of you are probably thinking you don’t have time to train (enrich) your staff with everything you have on your plate. Problem is, you can’t afford to miss out on any opportunity to enrich and mentor your teams. The more they know, the more confidence they gain to perform their job and advance their career. Yes – that’s what I said – advance their career. We all should be grooming our teams to move up in the dynamic property management industry.
I’m not a professional trainer, although I’ve been told I’m very good at it (and I love doing it). I’m sure there are rules and guidelines which should be followed; however, the one thing I try to remember is first and foremost you have to find out how each person who will be in your audience learns. Not everyone learns the same way and everyone is very different, so how they learn will also be different. What’s the best way to find out how your staff’s learn? Get to know them! Don’t assume how you showed one person will work for another, spend the time to get to know your staffs and then develop your training programs from there. My experience has been in property management roughly 85% of my teams learn best when it’s see and do, interactive, and relaxed/fun.
Years ago I worked for an owner who bought a portfolio of properties where the site staffs had never had computers, didn’t take money to the bank, didn’t look at bills, nothing. Each one of the managers were fantastic, they just didn’t have any exposure to all the things property manager’s do each day (it was all done at the corporate office). I had to come up with something so they would understand the concept “if you don’t collect it, you can’t spend it”.
I spent a few months visiting all 22 of the properties in my portfolio and found one common item they all loved – they all played Farmville on Facebook. So, I decided to hold a budget/financial training seminar, for a full day, to help them understand how each thing you do each day impacts everything else and the financial “health” of the property. Any ideas on what I did? No, we didn’t play Farmville….we played Budgetville!
I designed a game board, had individual pieces for each player and cards with various property management situations on them, there were noise makers, prizes, etc. We spent about 5 hours going over the basics on terms as they relate to budgets and financial statements, line by line, so they could grasp what was about to come.
Then we sat down and played Budgetville! Each player rolled the dice and then picked a card from one of the three piles (green, yellow, pink) based on what space they landed. One card said “forgot to walk the grounds before cutting the grass and a rock went through the office window…forfeit $500”. That player then had to give the bank $500 out of their rent money collected. Each card situation tied back to something we had talked about earlier in the day. Once every player got through the game board, the person with the most cash left (net operating income) was declared the winner and got a $100 Amex gift card.
The best part of all was watching the light bulbs go on in the manager’s eyes.
I could see wheels turning, excitement, and they finally “got it”…if you don’t collect it you don’t spend it. After that they would call, and before asking me to spend some money, they told me how they “earned” it, why it was important and even in some cases how it would increase the property’s bottom line. And their bottom lines got healthier each and every month.
I took the time to get to know my audience and came up with a training session that kept their attention, engaged them, and made the training session interactive and fun! They remembered what they learned!
As you go through your day or plan some training opportunities with your staffs, make sure you first get to know them! I promise it will benefit you as well as them.
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