You’ve hired a property management SuperStar and the classroom training for your new employee is finished. As their manager, is training really complete? Not a chance! Field coaching is the next step and the most important part of a well-rounded and world-class property management training system. In this article you will learn the three steps for building a powerful field coaching program and once in place, this process will become a standard part of your training for every new hire at your property management company.
Planning your coaching day: Begin by telling your new employee the exact day and time you will be working with them. Ask them to prepare a schedule of the activities planned for the day to include their appointments with future residents, resident customer care, and follow-up contacts with apartment shoppers from the previous day or week. Next, discuss how each new future resident will be serviced and have your employee take you through their “perfect” office presentation, a mock telephone call with a future resident and a property tour. Lastly, have your new employee return to your leasing office and practice completing all the necessary paperwork required by your company for prospect follow-up.
Tip From The Coach: Start your coaching day by explaining to your new employee that you are there to assist them be more successful and your time together will be a positive and productive experience. Ask them to first watch your “perfect” office presentation, your telephone demonstration and a property tour. This will make them more comfortable working with you and they will aspire to model your world-class skills.
Handling your coaching day: With practice now complete, you and your new employee are ready to serve the first future resident of the day. Ask your employee to introduce you so each future resident knows who you are, but this should be done with little fanfare and it is optional to share your job title. Allow your new employee to handle the entire meeting with each future resident, as the purpose of your coaching day is to observe them in action. If necessary, tell your new employee that you will be happy to help them during any leasing/sales presentations, but only if they turn to you and ask you for specific feedback. Otherwise, it is your role to observe them while making detailed notes to be reviewed together after the presentation is compete and each future resident has left your leasing office.
Tip From The Coach: Powerful field coaching is like learning to ride your first bicycle. At first you were scared, then you rode your bicycle with training wheels, then the training wheels came off and you zig-zagged and wobbled around and finally you could ride your bicycle, all by yourself. Your new employee is experiencing the same emotions and just needs your kindness and support while they are learning the skills you expect. Great coaching means, “listening” three times as much as you speak. And if coached properly, your new employee will be “riding” their new bicycle, having great fun and generating profitable results!
Recapping your coaching day: After each future resident leaves your leasing office, spend the next 10-15 minutes recapping each presentation. Ask your new employee to describe for you exactly what went perfect and compliment them on their progress. Then, ask them to tell you exactly what they would improve when the next future resident arrives. Help them find ways to improve each presentation and watch to see their progress as your day with them continues. At the end of the day, ask your employee to watch you give one more perfect presentation, another telephone demonstration, a property tour and ask for their critique. This will serve as a powerful model for them to remember, long after this day is complete.
Tip From The Coach: After you invest time field coaching a new employee, take 15-20 minutes the very next day to draft a letter thanking them for your time together. In the letter, praise them for the progress they made and recap the areas you would like them to develop and/or improve. Place this letter in your employee’s file and make a note in your appointment book to review it again in 30 and 60 days. Remember…quick follow-up and reinforcement for every new employee during the first 60 days is the key to their success with your property management company.
Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions about field coaching? Send an E-mail to [email protected] and The Coach will E-mail back to you a free invitation to be a participant on a PowerHour conference call.
Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach since 1995 [31,120 hours], a property management industry professional since 1988–the author of SmartMatch Alliances–and the founder of PowerHour…[ www.powerhour.com and www.powerhourseo.com www.powerhourleadershipacademy.com and www.powerhoursalesacademy.com and www.pirmg.com ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national utility bill auditing [ www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/utilitybillaudit.html ] national real estate and apartment building insurance [ www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/insurance.html ], SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions [ www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/nationalwifi.html ], powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams, employee policy manuals [ http://www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/employeepolicymanuals.html ] and social media strategic solutions [ http://www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/socialmedialeadership.html]. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 7000 times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 200+ articles for the property management industry and created 350+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: www.powerhour.com. PowerHour® is based in Olympic-town…Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail [email protected] or visit their website: www.powerhour.com