September 04, 2018
Property Manager Training is Key to Growing Your PMC
If you had a magic button that would increase employee productivity and drive up profits would you press it? Of course, you would. But here’s the thing: You don’t need a magic button. You just need to invest a little in property manager training.
“The only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave, is to not train them, and have them stay.” —Zig Ziglar
As in other industries, most employee learning occurs organically—informally while on the job. Yet structured as well as informal learning is more important to “future-proofing” your business than you probably realize. Especially in the property management business, which is experiencing a convergence of three trends:
- Technology is rapidly changing how property managers work. The outcome is that managers need up-to-date skills and teams can now work more remotely.
- As more “baby boomers” retire, attracting new talent will be critical.
- 87% of Millennials say that access to professional development and career growth is very important to their decision to stay with a company or look for another job.
Training: The Frenemy You Know
When you put these three converging factors together, property management firms would do well to add in ongoing property manager training to their priority lists. Not convinced? Well, back to that magic button: Studies have shown that companies that invest in employee training saw a 218% increase in income per employee and higher profit margins of more than 24%.
So why aren’t more businesses investing in training? They are. But here’s the hard pill to swallow: Most training is doesn’t work. Some studies report that only 10% of corporate training is effective. The reasons are many, varied and often compounded: Training is not linked to organizational objectives, lack of buy-in from senior management, and training that is not experiential or motivating. (Another report says that without the right approach, employees forget 70% of what they learn within 24 hours of their training experience.)
Where to Start?
The stats can be disheartening. Yet there are a few things every property firm can do to ensure their property management training is effective and sticks.
1. Agree Upon Metrics and Training Outcomes
Whenever you are teaching a new skill, you need to know the learner’s level of skill attainment. And, once the skill is attained, is it being applied consistently? And, how does this skill or task play a role in organizational objectives? When property managers understand how goals are cascaded down to the task level, it presents a clearer image of the role they play in the greater picture.
It’s all well and good to say, “We want to improve customer service to our tenants” but what does that look like in terms of metrics or changed behaviours? Is it a higher retention rate, or perhaps faster speed of repairs, or improved communication skills? Identify how skills improvement and KPIs correlate.
2. Reduce Complexity
The property management industry is always busy, and in this hyper-connected, digital workplace, we’re often multitasking across multiple systems. If your property manager is shown how to create a maintenance work order and track it, but the process is clunky and requires them to bounce between multiple systems or tabs, it will be harder to learn. Ensure your systems are intuitive and user-friendly. Not only will new hires absorb information faster, but a streamlined system enables better employee behaviours.
3. Create Everyday Learning Opportunities
Online learning with ongoing support can be more effective than a one-off in-class experience. Companies need to rethink learning to be an anywhere-anytime experience, accessed in smaller, more manageable bite-size pieces. In the last five years, property management technology has dramatically changed. Harness this to create interactive learning components, to foster communication and mentoring. An internal communication portal can house FAQs and policies and procedures. For example, our interactive walkthrough guides produce on-screen instructions that literally point you in the right direction. Whether you’re learning a new task or brushing up on an old one, you have simple, straightforward instructions available on demand.
4. Ensure Continuous Feedback
All employees, and especially Millennials, are looking for feedback on how they are doing. Ensure that your managers provide their teams with ongoing feedback. This can be as simple as an in-the-hallway conversation. However, as teams are often in-the-field or working remotely, use KPI dashboards and operational reports to monitor team performance. Then use text or email to deliver frequent performance feedback on a daily basis. Continuous, timely and meaningful feedback in short bursts can be a powerful lever for improved performance.
The Benefit of Property Manager Training
Fast growers invest in people and training. This fact emerged as a clear differentiator between industry leaders and laggards, with nearly half the fast growers investing significant resources in training (compared with just 29% of slow growers). In many organizations, learning and capacity building is viewed as a soft attribute. However, when it can impact performance significantly, it has a hard impact on your bottom line.
How Property Vista Helps
We create property management software solutions that are easy to deploy and improve your business operations. Our approach to learning support is two-fold: developing intuitive, reliable software and providing a breadth of options to find answers to problems. This results in fast adoption of our software by customers of any skill level, and quick, convenient support that fits your schedule and preferred methods of learning. See pricing and get a demo today.