TRAIN­ING FOR PMs: KEEP­ING IT REL­E­VANT

WITH OVER 12 YEARS in the prop­erty man­age­ment in­dus­try, Jess Kindt has a call to ac­tion for prin­ci­pals who do not con­sult with their staff about the type of train­ing they need, and don’t think out­side the box.

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Jess Kindt

I have a con­fes­sion to make. In my early ca­reer as a ju­nior prop­erty man­ager, I of­ten found my­self be­com­ing bored dur­ing prop­erty man­age­ment-based train­ing. To me, it was al­ways the same old for­mu­las, with the same old con­tent de­liv­ered in the same old way.

Through­out my ca­reer as a prop­erty man­ager, I have al­ways com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing time and money to at­tend train­ing events, con­fer­ences and net­work­ing func­tions – ev­ery­thing ‘real es­tate’. Looking back, how­ever, I re­alise that 99.9 per cent of the events I chose to at­tend were sales­based as op­posed to prop­erty man­age­ment-fo­cused.

Why? Be­cause, to me, the delivery of sales train­ing was ex­cit­ing. It was mo­ti­vat­ing. It was con­veyed dif­fer­ently; for ex­am­ple, a Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tion wasn’t the fo­cal point. Sales pre­sen­ta­tions were ac­tu­ally en­gag­ing. I learned things that I could ap­ply both to my pro­fes­sional, emo­tional de­vel­op­ment and to my per­sonal life. I al­ways walked away from sales­based train­ing with re­newed en­thu­si­asm for real es­tate, for my ca­reer and for my life.

So, when I be­came a prop­erty op­er­a­tions man­ager, I started think­ing. Even though sales and prop­erty man­age­ment roles dif­fer, with prop­erty man­age­ment be­ing more ad­min­is­tra­tively fo­cused, I started to won­der why we couldn’t of­fer more ‘out­side the box’ train­ing ini­tia­tives.

We of­ten get caught up in pro­vid­ing prop­erty man­age­ment staff with ba­sic leg­is­la­tion and taskbased train­ing, both of which are cer­tainly cru­cial to the role. How­ever, we need to aim to adopt a holis­tic ap­proach to­wards our prop­erty man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als. What about

LOOKING BACK, I RE­ALISE THAT 99.9 PER CENT OF THE EVENTS I CHOSE TO AT­TEND WERE SALES-BASED AS OP­POSED TO PROP­ERTY MAN­AGE­MENT-FO­CUSED, BE­CAUSE TO ME THE DELIVERY OF SALES TRAIN­ING WAS EX­CIT­ING. IT WAS MO­TI­VAT­ING.

their in­di­vid­ual per­sonal and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment needs? What about their ca­reer goals? In ad­di­tion to leg­isla­tive train­ing, we must also pro­vide train­ing based on mo­ti­va­tion, cop­ing with stress and over­com­ing the chal­leng­ing busi­ness sit­u­a­tions we face while work­ing in this job.

I have al­ways har­boured a strong pas­sion for su­pe­rior, all-round train­ing, and as a prop­erty man­age­ment se­nior trainer I con­stantly search for the latest in­dus­try in­for­ma­tion and seek to ap­ply this in an en­gag­ing and au­then­tic way. This mul­ti­fac­eted ap­proach to train­ing draws the very best out of my team, re­sult­ing in su­pe­rior out­comes for all par­ties.

Busi­ness own­ers, I be­lieve it’s time to get ed­u­cated on what prop­erty man­agers re­ally need help on. Draw­ing on my past ex­pe­ri­ence as a prop­erty man­ager, I be­lieve we need to ad­dress the fol­low­ing ar­eas in train­ing:

Lack of mo­ti­va­tion – es­pe­cially when I knew I had a full day of pay­ing rates and wa­ter in­voic­ing ahead of me; we need to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion to our em­ploy­ees on the im­por­tance of gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and grow­ing in this in­dus­try.

Switch­ing off – the abil­ity to not an­swer that phone call at 10.30pm, or check emails last thing at night and at dawn the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Hav­ing a bal­anced life – health, fam­ily, so­cial life, and avoid­ing the habit of work­ing when I was tak­ing leave to be with my fam­ily.

Fo­cus­ing on one task at a time – try­ing to avoid hav­ing too many win­dows open on my com­puter, and jump­ing be­tween too many things at a time.

Pri­ori­tis­ing – to avoid get­ting over­whelmed when we have thou­sands of tasks ahead of us that day.

De-stress­ing and keep­ing calm – do­ing our best to take that an­gry call from a tenant or owner.

Re­main­ing pos­i­tive – find­ing rea­sons to laugh dur­ing the day when things do get chal­leng­ing.

Work­ing well with dif­fi­cult or neg­a­tive team mem­bers – not just dif­fi­cult clients. Ev­ery de­part­ment in ev­ery in­dus­try has chal­leng­ing per­son­al­i­ties; we need to pro­vide tools to ju­nior em­ploy­ees on how to man­age re­la­tion­ships and con­flict, and teach tai­lored com­mu­ni­ca­tion styles based on dif­fer­ing per­son­al­i­ties.

Deal­ing with emo­tion­ally dif­fi­cult and some­times dangerous sit­u­a­tions within the job – deaths in prop­er­ties, threat­en­ing ten­ants, cop­ing with ten­ants sus­pected of be­ing vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse.

Over­com­ing in­tim­i­da­tion

and anx­i­ety – felt when deal­ing with abrupt ten­ants, own­ers or even se­nior staff.

I put for­ward a call of ac­tion to train­ers and busi­ness own­ers: let’s think out­side the box and pair our nec­es­sary leg­is­la­tion and best-prac­tice train­ing with some unique ini­tia­tives based on per­sonal de­vel­op­ment and real-world chal­lenges.

Adopt­ing a broad ap­proach to train­ing will fa­cil­i­tate im­proved job per­for­mance for staff, heighten knowl­edge and aware­ness, and con­trib­ute to well-de­vel­oped, con­fi­dent em­ploy­ees and a pos­i­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Why not ask your staff to­day what they strug­gle with? That way you may be able to tai­lor your train­ing sched­ules to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion on top­ics that are 100 per cent rel­e­vant and ap­pre­ci­ated. ■

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