Successful property management requires more than simply hiring experienced staff, providing good management systems, and surrounding the team with the necessary contractors, contracts, and services. A great property management capacity requires a clear understanding of the skills, education, and experience required. The clear understanding of skills, education, and experience requires reinforcement through a well thought out and designed training and skills management plan.
How should the management company or portfolio owner go about creating this plan?
Begin by assessing the skills needs of your organization as operating today and considering developments in the industry for your needs tomorrow.
Step 1 ==> Identify the key operating requirements for your organization:
- Elements of resident management including property policy, billing, collecting, and evictions
- Human resource compliance
- Regulatory compliance
- Accounting, finance, and banking
- Maintenance and work order management
- Property subsystem support
- Customer service
Step 2 ==> Determine key skills and development in the industry that you want your organization to follow and what training, equipment, systems, and so on are necessary to pursue these goals if any.
Step 3 ==> Determine what education and experience backgrounds typify and support your portfolio systems, service goals, and future plans.
Step 4 ==> Prepare a list of positions that your portfolio requires. Identify whether the positions are full time or part time. Determine which positions will be filled internally by hired staff and which will be filled by contractors.
Step 5 ==> For organizations and contractors that will support your team determine how you will qualify and measure performance from outside entities. This plan should concretely measure the capacity to perform against your skills requirements. Contractors could provide sample work product or demonstrate their products and skills at their facility or during site visits. Combine verification with reference checking. While speaking with the references, ensure you gain a detailed understanding of the demand level and actual services delivered so that you can verify the references relevant to your requirements.
Step 6 ==> Prepare by position the experiences, means of verifying the experiences, skills, tests for skills, and training plans for the internal positions. Training should 1) teach new skills that you want to see grown at each position and 2) refresh critical skills in each position.
Step 7 ==> Develop goals and objective for staff to meet during each reporting period. Reporting periods should be periodically during the first year of service and semi annually thereafter.
Step 8 ==> Set in motion a continuous training and development plan that reinforces critical skills, develops new skills, cross trains critical skills, and develops management for the future of the business.
Step 9 ==> Create a program to test and assess skills levels as the final reinforcement component of the skills management program. From this and combined with operating results, property managers and executives can determine how effective the program is and make needed adjustments to achieve the desired effectiveness.
Implementing this program will create an effective plan to insure great leasing skills, strong marketing, great operations, great customer service, and great strategic positioning for the business.