Leadership is action, not position – Donald H. McGannon
Be the kind of leader you would want to follow. Think about a leader in your life, early or later, who you admired; it could have been a coach, a mentor or someone at your current job. Now, take a moment to think about and list three characteristics that person embodies and then focus on what about that leader inspired you.
The three P’s of Leadership
• Purpose — What is my purpose as a leader?
• Performance — How can I perform well and enable my team to perform well?
• People — How am I at engaging and listening to other people?
Go back and reflect on the characteristics you admire in your chosen leader. Decide how you will incorporate and reflect those characteristics into your own leadership role.
What is your company’s mission statement?
Take a look at your company’s website to find the answer to this question. From there, you can decide how you and your team will accomplish it.
What are your core values?
Think back to the characteristics you chose and really take some time to think about what is important to you. This will determine your core values.
When you are the leader, the team is watching and listening to you. When your team fails, it reflects on you.
For example, let’s talk about occupancy. Above 15% of unoccupied apartments is not good. Make sure your team knows what a rent ready apartment looks like and what it takes to get it there. Another example is lease renewals. Focus on keeping your current residents happy through providing excellent customer service. Our communities are being judged 24 hours a day due to social media and rating sites and happy residents leave great reviews.
We also need to focus on making the owners happy by making sure we are making a profit. This includes making sure you are getting the best deals with vendors and not ordering things that are not needed.
Accountability is key to supporting your people. Make sure your goals are clear and known across your team. Every team within your community should set at least one goal.
Engaging and impacting your prospects, team, residents, corporate office and owners is a must. The #1 reason why employees leave is because there is not enough training or engagement with their leadership.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). It is easier than ever to research your options for anything you want, including apartments. The important part about this for the apartment industry is that most people have researched everything about your community and company prior to apply to work with or live there.
Word of mouth is not digitally archived online through social media and rating sites. Decide to make the most of the moments.
Set a great example by making sure your website looks great and is up-to-date and your connection from the time your prospect picks up the phone is a stellar experience.
How to Handle Negative Feedback
Start by engaging with all involved, especially the resident, and apologize. From there, follow the steps listed below:
• Invite them to come in and talk
• Close the door
• Be quiet and listen
• Focus on hearing them out and helping, not so much to respond.
• Put yourself in their shoes
• Apologize for the situation.
• Be open minded and find solutions
• Open an afternoon or two for meeting with residents
• Use this time to schedule time for the residents who need you.
How to Handle Negative Reviews Online
• Investigate the situation
• Be humble when you respond
• Don’t engage in online arguing
• Offer a genuine apology
• Explain what you have done to fix the problem or what you plan to do
• Invite them to call you directly or come and meet with you
• Remove the blinders and take reasonable actions to fix the problem
How to Handle a Negative Shopping Report
• Ask the leasing consultant to review the report and self-reflect
• Set up a meeting within 1 week
• Invest some time looking at previous reports to look for patterns
• Ask the leasing consultant to make some notes for your meeting
• Talk through the report and set goals
• Write the goals down
• Use this as a teachable moment
• Encourage them daily
• Be teachable yourself
Keys to Maintaining Effective Leadership
• Have a suggestion box located in the break room. Answer those suggestions/questions anonymously at the next staff meeting. As the leader, remember to be open minded and not overreact to what you may read.
• Ask your team to list three things you do well and one thing you can focus on or do better as a leader. Take them home over the weekend and absorb what was written.
• Stay teachable, especially as the leader of your team.
Leadership is about being present to help others be better and making sure that impact lasts in your absence!
Danielle Walker, Directer of Sales and Marketing
Ellis Partners in Management Solutions (EPMS)