Making decisions is an area that causes uncertainty for leasing professionals at one time or another. However, confident decision-making leads to progress and enhances success in the long run. Making decisions confidently, right now, allows you to more effectively manage your time and approach the rest of your duties without the lingering stress of indecision.
Preparation is the best way to gain the necessary knowledge to quickly navigate decisions you will be faced with. Knowledge gives you confidence because knowledge is power! There are several ways leasing professionals can access the preparation they need, including:
- Becoming Familiar with Policies
- Asking Questions
- Taking Advantage of Training
Becoming Familiar with Policies
Policies are an important part of the multifamily industry and they’re always changing. This means leasing professionals must be able to change and adapt as policies change. Although the frequency of policy changes may feel cumbersome or frustrating, keep in mind that the multifamily industry is fast-paced, and you want to be part of an organization that is motivated to keep up with that pace!
Policies are important in the course of your day in the office because of the range of people you work and interact with, including co-workers in your office, vendors, the maintenance team and people in the home office, not to mention residents and prospects. Familiarity with current policies helps leasing professionals to be prepared to correctly answer questions they will encounter. You won’t need to memorize all the policies, but you should know where to find the information. It helps if you think of your policies as a roadmap to help your operation flow effectively.
There are two important elements of confident decision-making:
- Faith in yourself to make the right decision.
- Realizing that you will make some wrong decisions but having faith you can rectify any problems that may arise.
In the multifamily industry, everyone is a leader! Even if you are not the manager, you’ll still have people coming to you looking for answers, so you need to be ready with answers!
Many times, leasing professionals may feel nervous asking questions for fear of appearing ignorant or unprepared but remember – you don’t know what you don’t know! Of course, it’s your responsibility to make sure you are familiar with policies and procedures. However, situations will arise that are not clearly addressed in your training materials and in those cases, it’s better to ask than to guess. Don’t forget – your supervisor is not the only person you can ask questions; your co-workers are also an excellent resource for help in finding information and answering questions.
A best practice for asking questions when you have numerous questions is to compile any questions that are not time-sensitive and discuss them with your supervisor all at once. This saves you both time by not asking each question individually. Another helpful tip is to keep a list of information either on paper or on an electronic device. That way you have the information formatted in a way that makes the most sense to you.
Taking Advantage of Training
Guess what? Training is not just about compliance! Good employees take the required training, but great employees are always training. The more you can learn, the more confident you will become. Push yourself to learn outside of the basic required multifamily training and Fair Housing training to understand the bigger picture. Consider soft-skills training to learn how to manage different personality types and temperaments. These are generally titled as professional development courses and can even be found as free online education.
Here are 5 great ways to encourage confident decision-making:
- Know that when you are making a confident decision, you can’t lose. Even if the decision you make turns out not to be the best one, you can always go back and rectify the situation and learn to make a better decision next time.
- Do your research – know your policies and where to find them.
- Accept “good enough”. You won’t always be perfect when making decisions, so learn to accept decisions that are good enough, even if they aren’t the best.
- Take responsibility when you make a wrong decision.
- Take corrective action when necessary.
Once you become confident in making decisions, you’ll find your workday flows more smoothly and you’ll more quickly earn the trust of others.
Pam Roberts Pederson
Director of Engagement and Communications, Edge2Learn