Finding team members can be an exhausting process, especially if you’re thorough, as you should be. But finding an Assistant is a much harder process. You’re looking for your right hand. You’re looking for someone you can trust. You’re looking for someone that runs the community in your absence and knows what you would do without having to ask in most situations. You and your Assistant run that property side by side. You both treat it as though you’re the sole investors. You’re the team leaders. If your dynamic is off, sometimes that can cause a bad dynamic throughout. (Although I will say here, as a good manager, any dynamic being off should never effect your entire team….it can, but you have got to do your absolute best to not allow it).
I am on my fourth Assistant Manager in less than a year. LOL, trust me, I know how that sounds and what that makes me look like as a manager. However, I am still willing to write this post, despite what you may think. And if you’ll read further, you will understand why this exists.
Each of the three prior were all experienced Property Managers and/or Assistant Managers with amazing backgrounds. They all knew the job, we all got along wonderfully. Each left for very personal and professional reasons. Better opportunity as a manager of their own property, more free time and a property closer to home. All of my Assistant Managers were hired outside the realm of already existing staff. Tireless interviews were done to find each one. (Well, excluding the last, she and I had worked together in NC for quite a few years and by happenstance she wound up in Alabama a year or so after I did).
My most recent Assistant Manager was promoted from within. (And that will, in and of itself, spawn another blog entry of the importance of promotion from within. So I will attempt to not digress as usual.)
Sometimes promotions from within can make you sick to your stomach. I don’t say this to tell you it’s a bad thing, it’s a great thing for one of your team members to get promoted, to have the humble opportunity to watch them succeed. What I mean is this: You have a ROCK STAR leasing consultant whose closing ratio is well above company standard, and for the most part, industry standard…..the individual is not only dedicated to the job, but dedicated to the community, to the residents and to the prospects. The person is an overall asset to your community’s success. Do you see where I am going with this yet? No? Allow me to enlighten you…..
Some people are born leasers. Some people are born to do just that and nothing more. And while sometimes they know that, sometimes they don’t and it’s learned. Not every position is made to fit every single person. Despite dedication, despite hard work. And if it doesn’t fit, you’ve just managed to mess up with an individual that was perfectly awesome at what they were already doing before. You’ve disappointed them, yourself and possibly your entire team. It’s scary stuff. (That’s the stuff no one tells you about before you take this position, you have to learn on your own)
I say alllllllll of that to say that I finally feel a FIT coming on. Three Assistant Managers later and it all fell into place today while training her. And again, I in no way have anything negative to say about my prior Assistant Managers, timing was not right for them, there were better opportunities, commutes were killer. I never necessarily felt that it wasn’t “fitting” before.
And you know what I am talking about, that dynamic you have as managers together, the ability to know what needs to be done before speaking to one another. What I have preached about before with running a well oiled machine and the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing before it does it.
I saw it all happening today. I literally spent a majority of the day training her. Going through each tidbit of information. Allowing everything to sink into her over absorbent brain and then asking for more information to be given. Talking about the community like it was OURS, talking about what needed to be done for an upcoming resident event, talking about staffing now that her position is available, joking together while our Area Manager was on the phone with us.
So your Assistant Manager WILL actually make you or break you. And not necessarily break you in a bad way. It’s just when it fits, it fits. I’m always extra excited about what I do, daily, but with this piece of the puzzle falling into place, I felt like jumping through hoops literally all afternoon. This promotion from within was right on point and I could not be more excited!