Any business leader knows that the secret to company success starts with a solid team. Well-equipped team members who possess the right attitude and can create value for a company are highly sought after – and rightfully so. They hold a large stake in the business, and as a property manager or owner, you also need to invest in the right talent. While you might be concerned with upgrading your technology, focus on building a healthy team early on, and you’ll have the right foundation for success.
Here are a three suggestions to get you started.
Start with the right people.
Human capital – your staff – can make or break an organization. Getting the interview process right is key to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a superior property management team. Screen candidates thoroughly before scheduling a telephone or face-to-face interview. During the interview, try to identify team players – not just someone looking for another job. The following questions provide more depth than the traditional “Why should I hire you?” questions.
- What is the hardest challenge you faced at your previous job? How did you resolve this issue?
- Where do you want be in 5 years? In another position with this company? Running your own business?
- What kind of company culture brings out the best in you?
- Have you ever suggested a change that led to saved money, improved working conditions, or enhanced customer service for a past employer?
Become problem-solving experts.
Every business is exposed to unusual circumstances. Sometimes there are dozens of things that come up in a single week that don’t fit the original job description. Whether they’re dealing with renters, owners, maintenance issues, or the changing housing market, your team should be ready to face a problem head on so operational performance doesn’t suffer.
A great way to help keep your team informed about past challenges and successful solutions is through regular round table staff meetings. Ongoing education and professional development opportunities that help with routine job responsibilities should also be available. For example, those looking to get their real estate license or expand their career within property management should be encouraged to consult trade schools, community colleges, and online resources. Make sure your company is a big encourager of employee advancement, which reduces turnover and sparks the continuous improvement model mentioned above. You can also take advantage of training offered by vendors. This could include IT training for computer systems, maintenance workshops offered by the appliance and HVAC companies that supply your equipment, or a Q&A with representatives who service your accounting or property management software.
This should go without saying but a cluttered environment is not conducive to high performance. Clean out the clutter. Organize your files. Update your employee handbook and emergency preparedness plans. Post a list of contact information for key employees and vendors. Your staff and your customers will appreciate the effort and you will see positive benefits immediately.
Your office design and organization should also reflect the core values of your property management company. Make sure you have sufficient collaborative space and private meeting rooms so employees can choose which environment works best to tackle complex work or discuss sensitive issues with clients.
Leading your team for a successful future.
When you hire right, offer ample support, and host a well-organized space that inspires productivity and creativity, you position yourself and your team to succeed. Above all, represent your company well in the way you treat your employees. Instill a sense of honesty and openness that conveys your commitment to the community as a whole. As the team leader, you should encourage both positive and negative feedback so every member of your staff feels comfortable offering suggestions and ideas. This will lay a solid foundation for a long-term partnership with shared goals and a vision for success.