pithypropertymanager

From one experience to the next….

Once upon a time….

I wrote a blog that fed into Multifamily Insiders

        I had a featured article in UNITS

              I was asked to be President Elect of an Apartment Association

 

What de railed me? A very scary, but, real emotion called impostor syndrome. Ever get that feeling that you question why the hell you are in the position you are?!?! Yea, me too. Experiencing those feelings while also navigating a new role is not easy. In addition to feeling as though you really shouldn’t be in charge of anything, it’s almost solidified with unsteady (awkward, I meant awkward) footing at every step.

Then something happened. The Universe heard my pleas for help, my mindset changed with a grateful heart, an open mind and one thing said during class. (Yea, in addition to a new role, I’ve also decided to take on college classes….see….told ya, I’m not the smartest person in the room).

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Once upon a time….

I wrote a blog that fed into Multifamily Insiders

        I had a featured article in UNITS

              I was asked to be President Elect of an Apartment Association

 

What de railed me? A very scary, but, real emotion called impostor syndrome. Ever get that feeling that you question why the hell you are in the position you are?!?! Yea, me too. Experiencing those feelings while also navigating a new role is not easy. In addition to feeling as though you really shouldn’t be in charge of anything, it’s almost solidified with unsteady (awkward, I meant awkward) footing at every step.

Then something happened. The Universe heard my pleas for help, my mindset changed with a grateful heart, an open mind and one thing said during class. (Yea, in addition to a new role, I’ve also decided to take on college classes….see….told ya, I’m not the smartest person in the room).

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I am not sure I have ever heard the word “supported” and “unsupported” as much as I have in the past nine months. I mean, certainly there had always been talk of it in my past, however, in my new venture, it’s the goal, the focus, the culture….it’s everything.

Truthfully, what it looks like to me, is an “I don’t know…..”. That is where this blog post began about nine months ago and it’s been growing since. (Lol, I just realized the irony of this spawning nine months ago and it growing….much like a child in the womb. Conception and growth).

Nine months ago I took a leap of faith and decided to start my lease up journey with a new company. The job itself, while not being new to me, the company itself well recognized with a positive reputation, the regional a familiar face. A leap of faith because I’d not used Yardi in any sort of way that accounted to experienced.

Most of you are probably thinking, “Aaaaand???” For me, going into the unknown of a new software, was scary. I had built this perception that if I didn’t know the answer, the processes, the software, could not consider myself an expert, then I was not going to be the right person for the job. (Ah, self sabotage and imposter syndrome at its best).

Taking the chance, jumping in, telling myself that craziness mentioned above, about not knowing, didn’t matter. I accepted. I said yes. I chose to be confident in my ability to learn, reminded myself that learning something new was only going to benefit me.

It was probably about two weeks into my new position where I found myself asking a question and being told, “Honestly, I don’t know. I have been pretty far removed from those processes for awhile now, but, I can point you to Stacy, who is an expert in that area.”

The most confident version of “I don’t know” made such an IMPACT on me. I heard that. I let it sink in, while still doubting my own abilities to take on a new team, with minimal abilities to train on the processes and software, and knew that it was OKAY, to say “I don’t know.”

WHY?

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I have not written in quite some time, and I have blurbs of ideas saved all over the place. In WordPress drafts, in my Apple notes, written down in notebooks, some saved to memory. All awaiting a moment to sit down and just put my fingers to the keyboard, or even just to recapture the inspiration that started the thought in the first place.

While going through those drafts, I found this one, from four years ago. My oldest baby is in high school and this is about his 5th grade end of year quote. It struck a chord with me because I had not published it (why, I do not know), but, here it is…..

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This post has been a long time coming. A very long time.

Over a month ago I had a friend post on FB about how great amazing his support team at work was. About how upper management had made his experience with the company so much better than his prior work experience. How grateful he was for the differences between his past and present, in the workforce.

We work for the same company…….

A few weeks later I had one of my best friends reach an abysmal place. A dark place. An entire other world. One of which I wasn’t familiar with, but, likely may not have been too far from, myself. Stress induced “vacation”. Let’s just say several different things spiraled out of control and she wound up in that proverbial dark place.

We worked for the same company…….

I recently took the opportunity to ask that dear friend what my support should look like to her. What she needed and wanted from me, versus what I wanted to give or how I was built to give support. Honestly, I’d never had the opportunity….oh wait, I had never taken the opportunity, to ask anyone that question.

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October….the month of goblins, ghouls and witches. Being scared. Let’s talk scary. What’s that old saying? Change is scary? Or something to that effect…..

In property management, change can take many forms. A change in leadership, a promotion, a software change, a change in management, so many variations of change can happen at any given moment. It jumps around the corner and says “BOO!”, when you least expect it. 
But to me, being on auto pilot is even scarier. Why? Because along with auto pilot comes other things: stagnant, uninspired, boredom, etc….and those are scarier than any change I could imagine. 
Auto pilot means you’re comfortable. And while comfort is something we all strive to achieve, it breeds auto pilot and all the things mentioned above. Comfort equates to a security blanket. All the things you know, you can trust and you can depend on. 
It doesn’t matter what role you serve, when you become any of the things I mention above, you’re doing a disservice to your team, your company, but, most of all yourself. Most of us didn’t just meander our way into property management and settle; we fell in LOVE with property management and found passion and inspiration. 
I won’t argue with those who say change is scary, what I will say, is auto pilot is even scarier. I am aware that change can be scary, change means an unknown variable in some instances. But with that change comes the opportunity to challenge yourself, to watch yourself rise above the challenge. Resulting in inspiration, pride, self worth and a million other traits that you strive for! 
So look change in the face this October, and instead of fear, feel courage. And you know what? If change doesn’t present itself, or if change is not an option, then at least challenge yourself. You deserve it.

 (insert fist bump here)

Finding one thing always leads to another, which excites me because I am constantly learning new things and about new things! In this case, I stumbled across a website, www.thesinglelife.com, because I am still perpetually single after 5 years and finding any resource for empowerment is vital.

That particular website led me to Danielle LaPorte an author who has awakened an entirely different thought process in my mind, and while I could not purchase every book she has written at one time, I definitely plan on owning all of them. I listen to her podcasts, I’ve read a portion of her book, The Desire Map, and have actually already re-read portion of it just to ensure it sticks.

I digress though, as usual, the purpose of this is to give you some insight, to motivate you to understand Danielle’s thought processes and to share my own GOALS WITH SOUL with you, and hope that you’ll find it a refreshing change of thought.

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Davis Development has a sound company culture, and as part of that culture, we have been adopting a new practice of each of our community teams having goal boards. While this is not something altogether new for most of us in our personal lives, or even for an on-site team, we narrow down these goal boards to each individual team member, we want to know their motivating factors and what their dreams are. Nothing to do with occupancy, delinquency or the property itself. This is literally about each individual team member.

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If you’re complaining about your feet hurting you should invest in a new pair of heels (I say heels because my boss doesn’t care for flats). But you should also be changing your perspective on leasing…….


Tour after tour doesn’t make me tired, it’s the investment I put into each tour that makes me tired. There’s an emotional roller coaster that goes along with leasing. The emotional investment. The high from closing the deal. The low from losing the lease. Even beyond that, my competitive nature and always wanting to win, beat myself, beat others, even that is emotionally exhausting. 

I get so emotionally attached to every person that walks in the door, hearing their story, their wants and needs, helping them through each step, and then I move on to the next person and start all over. Asking the questions you should be asking should lead to a level of vulnerability for your prospect. They’re opening up an important portion of their life to you. If you’re not feeling that, you’re probably not asking the right questions. 

Even if you have an applicant that is denied or cancelled, even more so then, they have a story. There’s a reason. Our job is to help even at that level of the process. They cancelled because of a life changing event. Be sympathetic. They were denied due to something that effects their self esteem, more than likely, and a huge part of their life, their HOME. Be gracious and kind and figure out what you can say to be a humanitarian in that moment. 

Leasing is an emotional gig. And if you’re not emotionally invested in every aspect of your job….your community, your prospects, your applicants, your residents, well, you should figure out how to be. Much like physical exhaustion after a workout can be rewarding, so is the emotional exhaustion; so invest your time, your everything into every human that walks into the door.

Happy Leasing 

Since its’ launch in January 2016, Hatching Hope of Alabama has continued to be the change we want to see in the world. Hatching Hope spawned from the giving hearts of Keli Lynch-Wright and her son Ashton Wright. After 20 plus years of serving multifamily residents on the vendor side, Keli and her son decided to take matters into their own hands and thus Hatching Hope of Alabama became the first and only 501c3 that was industry born and gives directly back to our multifamily residents in times of disaster.

Hatching Hope’s most recent endeavor occurred at the Alabama Apartment Association Conference & Expo in September with NAA Next Gen sponsoring the event. One of the most important parts of this endeavor was spreading the word about what Hatching Hope is, why they exist and what each of us can do to be a part of the difference they are making.

The NAA Next Gen Lunch & Learn was led by committee member, Kayla Quint, property manager with Alexander Properties Group in Mobile, Alabama. While enlightening AAA/NAA members on the Next Gen Committee, Hatching Hope was able to showcase their boxes that arrived late the night before with their hashtag (#multifamilystrong). The hashtag comes from a deep rooted understanding that all multifamily professionals know and believe in, that this industry and all the individuals in it, when combined into one collaborative effort, whatever it may be, can have the strength to overcome and conquer any challenge. Hatching Hope provides the ability for multifamily professionals to give back to those that we prosper from every day. The resident.

  “It is our duty to serve them when they need it the most”- Keli Lynch-Wright      

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Hatching Hope board member, Matt Smith led over 50 participants in making kits to be delivered to NAA affiliates across the state of Alabama for distribution during residents’ time of need. Kits include, but are not limited to, blankets, toiletries, pillows, air mattresses, and so much more for the basic needs and comforts of a resident displaced by disaster. Kits have grown to include Hatching Hope Pet Kits and Hatching Hope Teddy Bears for children, ensuring that all of our residents and their loved ones are comforted in their time of need. The kits that were prepared that day, over 65 total, were taped, loaded and delivered by the national moving company, Two Men & A Truck.

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All of this energy and emotion was recorded by Capture the Market. The energy in the room came from the inspiration and powerful difference making enthusiasm in Keli’s voice. The emotion in the room came from the stories shared, the differences already made, the moments that can never be forgotten.

The next opportunity to be the change, is Hatching Hope’s 1st Annual Charity Garage Sale, taking place on October 28th and 29th from 7AM – 4PM at the AGC Building, 5000 Grantswood Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35210 Donations can be dropped off at sale location on October 26th & 27th, and all are tax-deductible!

 

Hatching Hope of Alabama is a 501 (C)3, non-profit organization. Learn more at www.HatchingHopeofAlabama.org, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

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image1 (1)The photo above has been all over the internet this week and has caused quite a bit of hype. The quote to go along with it is very fitting, “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.” The purpose of that quote is to motivate you to focus on your own goals, on your own successes, and your own “race” to get there.

I agree with all of that. But, based on my day today, and seeing this photo all over my newsfeed, it dawned on me that we can look at it in an all together different way. As a reminder to actually focus on your competition.

My boss came for a site visit today and while she was there we went out and about searching for a new property that had just opened down the road from us. One comp visit turned into a second and third comp visit. Which, I hate to admit, since I’ve been in Georgia, I’ve hardly had an opportunity to go out and do this, but shopping comps with your boss, well mine anyhow, is an altogether different experience. And a ton of fun.

While I’m usually always heavily focused on the leasing presentation and pricing, my extremely detail oriented boss is focused on those things as well as whether the televisions in the Athletic Club were on, the undermount lighting in the kitchen, the trees surrounding the community, the picture of the ostrich over the bed in the model……every single small detail.

It was an altogether different experience to shop comps with her, and was a friendly reminder that everyone sees things differently, what’s important to you, is not necessarily important to your prospect. Perspective. Same goes with this photo. You see someone who is focused on the competition, and it made him fail because of his lack of focus on his own goals. I see someone focused on the competition and who is trying to be better than….regardless of the end result.

And as my boss said as we were walking out of one of the properties, “You need to tell the girls to get out and see the comps, it’s a good way for them to see how all the details matter when they’re on the other side of the leasing desk. It’s going to give them a different perspective.”

 

 

 

I’m not sure where to start with this post. Do I start with the personal or the professional? It’s going to make more sense if I start with the personal…..

As most of my readers know, I am single. Like super single. Four years single. And not for lack of dating. Trust. But I’ve come to the conclusion in the last few months that I’m a runner. It’s a fear of settling. I used to be that girl who was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t right for me, just to be in one. Now that I have that self awareness, I get to find a new self awareness….that I’m so afraid of settling again, I run in the opposite direction from even good dating material. I find something wrong with the person so I can reason with myself that it’s best I never see them again. Usually after one date. Two, if I’m trying really hard.

Objections you might call them. Much like in the world of property management. (Except, for me, I’ve got no one trying to overcome the objections.) Which is our job on the front line. But, you can’t do that unless you KNOW THE OBJECTIONS.

About a week ago I had the pleasure of having some of our architectural design team at our community. Our community is close to home office, so it was helpful to see the product in real time versus on the plans. And apparently they are working on some three dimensional type things to assist in the overall scope of wants, needs and building code. All of which battle one another when trying to plan a community. (Much like wants, needs and reality battle one another in the realm of dating.)

Ok, so they swing by to take a look at some floor plans and to pick my brain about anything and everything. Guess what I had the opportunity to do? To list objections that we hear or that we even may know first hand from some of us living on site. It was almost personally therapeutic to be able to do so. Instead of the usual defensiveness you would get from a date for listing objections, you’re getting real feedback. Not only that, it wasn’t an attempt to gain a lease (also important), it was an opportunity to make a difference on future projects. It was our company choosing not to settle.

It’s not as though the list was long or serious. It was a discussion about outlet locations for more convenience, about USB outlets, about different lighting, about outlets in a place where wall mounts could be, about the architect of certain floor plans and how space could potentially be better used. We build amazing product, but, to be provided the opportunity to be a part of something even better? As though it could get better? That’s something that I really enjoyed and that’s when I realized…..

 

That instead of my dating life correlating with my work life, that this time my work life was correlating with my dating life. It’s okay not to settle. It’s okay to want something better and to find and know the objections to ensure that better is achieved. I’m proud that I work for a company that never settles, always striving to be better, even more proud of having been made aware, that is what I’m doing in my personal life.