Property Managers – Mistakes Happen…Overcome them by learning from them!

Never miss an opportunity to learn from mistakes
We all make mistakes…view them as opportunities to learn and grow!

We all make mistakes…view them as opportunities to learn and grow!

We all make mistakes every day and personally, I probably make more mistakes than my property management teams do combined every day. I tell my staffs and even to prospective team members during interviews, as long as you (1) didn’t blow up the property, (2) make someone permanently disappear, and (3) lie or steal…you made a mistake, so let’s talk about how the situation could be handled differently next time. Then move on…we all have tons on our plate, so don’t dwell on it, but you do need to learn from it.

One of my favorite things about the property management industry is the dynamics, no two days are the same and each day always presents an opportunity to learn, to grow your knowledge base, and you are given the opportunity to put what you learn into practice so you can succeed!

Happy team of property managers high-fiving in office

Learn so you can succeed!

The property management industry changes every day and so do the situations property managers, site staffs, and corporate staffs encounter. There is always a right way to handle these situations, but the right way can take different paths, it just depends on all the variables. Handling any situation without using integrity and a code of ethics (IREM Code of Professional Ethics Code of Ethics), has the potential to end up being an unpleasant experience, but still one you can learn from.

No one likes to make mistakes, but they happen and more often than not they are unintentional. Albert Einstein said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” I couldn’t agree more! At the same time though we all are afraid to make mistakes, some more than others, but you have to remember as long as they don’t fall into one of the 3 categories above, they aren’t fatal. You can’t grow if you aren’t learning!!!!!

I think for the leaders in any company it’s important to make sure your teams know they shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes. Sometimes mistakes lead to great inspiration, which can propel the teams success, and ultimately the companies success, to new heights. Mistakes can also open a door to collaborative thinking and brainstorming about better ways to handle situations and resolve problems going forward.

Mistakes can lead to team problem solving.
Mistakes can bring teams together for round table discussions and creative problem solving…just another opportunity to learn!

Mistakes are just an open door for creative problem solving.

So, you’ve made a mistake. Now what? My teams know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they just need to pick up the phone and call me. I’ve never been one to yell and never will be (doesn’t solve any problems in the property management industry), I won’t criticize, and I won’t put you down. Again, I make a ton of mistakes every day so we’re in the same boat.

Here’s what you need to have ready when you call your supervisor.

1. What was the mistake you made – reader’s digest version of what happened. You don’t need to include a complete history of the players involved, just tell what happened and how you handled it in “the moment”.
2. What do you think would have been a better way to handle it?
3. What actions do you propose taking to rectify the mistake? How do you think it can be corrected and prevented from happening again?

We’ll talk about it, I’ll give you some insights, based from my experience, on how it could have been handled better or differently and then ask what you learned from this situation. Then, we’ll talk about anything else you may need help with. We’ll move on.

The key to overcoming mistakes is to learn from them, don’t dwell on them, and make sure you put into practice what you did learn. There’s one more thing you need to remember and make sure you do as a supervisor in the property management industry…impart what you learn from your mistakes to your staffs. They need to know you make mistakes as well. This way they will feel more comfortable that when they make a mistake they can come to you and you’ll treat them with respect, talk about the situation in a calm and professional manner, and most importantly – you’re right there with them every step of the way every single day of the week to help them resolve the situation.

If your staffs don’t feel comfortable about letting you know when they’ve made a mistake, I guarantee there are things that have gone on at your properties, just under the surface, that one day will explode into situations or circumstances which are now bigger and harder to resolve (and maybe one or two that can’t be resolved as a win-win for everyone).

Point is, mistakes happen, everybody makes them, no one is perfect or ever will be. However, mistakes present unique opportunities for teams to come together, brainstorm and problem solve, and more importantly everyone learns so going forward success is inevitable.

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