Training Your Property Management Team Is Critical To Your ROI
by Joe Killinger
I started my career in property management as many of you have: at a leasing desk, working the leads so I could get more leads, as I wanted those commissions badly! My goal when I started my career in property management was to move up the ladder and eventually buy a property of my own. As it turns out, that method was very difficult given that the company I was working for trained their employees – or, did not train their employees, is perhaps more appropriate.
As a property manager or landlord, you want to get the most from your company training programs, both economically and in terms of results within the company/organization. It’s just good business. If you fail to utilize a training program that aligns with both the needs of the company and the employee, more often than not you will not see a return on investment. Look at your company’s training initiative: if it isn’t delivering the desired results, it’s time to figure out why.
The financial benefits of training cannot be measured in terms of employee reactions, nor the amount of learning that has been achieved; not even the extent to which behavior may have changed. The real benefit comes from improved performance – traditionally the hardest training outcome to forecast or measure.
So, what does a property manager or landlord do when faced with this difficulty – back away and focus our evaluation efforts on easier measures? No, because all other measures fail to reflect the financial reality that training must pay off – in hard cash.
In order to be effective, training needs to be a strategic priority and should be an integral part of a company’s strategy. The more efficient training programs start with an agenda, like selling more, or improving processes. A property manager/landlord should begin by clearly defining your organizational goals and identifying the company training programs that will help you achieve them.
Every training session should include a discussion about how to apply the newly learned skills in real-life work situations. Employees need to understand that change is expected, and they need to have the resources and knowledge they need to implement the desired behaviors. Organizations that focus on support, follow-up, and real-world application get the greatest return on training investment. There are many new tech companies popping up and they have great offerings that can help with daily tasks and create efficiencies that did not exist previously. Take a few minutes to go look at TechCrunch or crunchbase and search “real estate tech companies.” The technology that is available may require you to spend some time with your team showing them how to operate these new systems, but in the end you will be getting a better return on their time, as tasks will be performed much quicker, allowing them time to do more tasks on a daily basis.
A well-trained workforce has the skills they require to be effective in their job. Effective employees help grow a business. However, many job- and company-specific skills need to be taught and developed within an organization, and aren’t reached through post-secondary education. Having an in-house learning and development program will help build critical skills in your staff, which in turn will ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly.
Teaching and improving employee skills just makes good business sense, plain and simple. Granted, it may take some time to see a return on your investment, but the long-term benefits garnered from employee training make a difference. The short-term expense of training programs and the latest technology ensures a property manager keeps qualified and productive workers who will help a company be successful. That’s an investment you can take to the bank.