From the minute a prospect calls for more information on your complex, to setting an appointment to meet with the listing agent for an apartment viewing to fixing an apartment toilet, all employees are representing your apartment brand; they’re what prospects and tenants will remember about their overall apartment experience.
From janitorial training to landscaper and maintenance worker training, train your staff in a way that accentuates your brand:
3 Ultimate Training Tips from an Apartment Pro
For that white-glove service that makes your apartment complex the go-to place to rent in your area, Brian Terry, Executive Vice President, Operations at Furnished Quarters suggests these three tips for training the ultimate employee team:
- Empower your team to “think outside the box” to resolve tenant concerns. Cookie cutter solutions are great for some challenges but when it comes to a tenant’s perception, it’s all about being flexible and customizing resolutions.
- Foster an environment that encourages your operating team to make suggestions on how to improve a process. Just because you have always done something one way doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way.
- Celebrate success and discuss failures. Keeping your team informed is key.
Tenant Trust Is a Must
Developing tenant trust and dealing with maintenance requests should be a top priority when providing apartment complex maintenance staff training. By being responsive and above-board with residents and prospects, they will trust you to maintain their rented apartment in a timely manner, to post their security deposit or rent to the right unit, and to just be honest. However, not responding to repair requests is a great cause of concern among tenants, just as is an unresponsive office and staff.
“Giving them a time frame about when everything can be scheduled and being transparent about the [maintenance] process also helps build trust with tenants,” states Jake Lizarraga of REITs. Maintenance repairs and replacements are such an important part of running an apartment complex that key employees should learn this crucial topic of trust as soon as they’re hired.
Core Skills to Tackle That Put the Tenant First
From administrative to maintenance worker training and even janitorial training, these four core skill trainings will help develop your entire apartment team into a cohesive unit that puts the tenant first:
- Exceptional Employee Attitude – happiness rubs off on others, so happier employees project that positive attitude to other employees, tenants, prospects and contractors
- Positive Tenant Relations – tenants know when they are being disrespected and are much less likely to renew that lease, pay rent on time or refer friends or family; treat tenants with respect and know their names, as these gestures go a long way toward positive tenant relations
- Correct face-to-face, phone, email, and text etiquette – set standards for all types of tenant and prospect communications so employees are well versed in the rules and terms of engagement
- Cultural competency – understanding behaviors, thoughts and actions of different cultures can make or break an apartment viewing or tenant retention; it’s critical to apartment complex success
Trainer Skills and Learning Aids
Spend some money on training, as the rewards often result in a higher retention rate of both tenants and employees, increased job appreciation, and better tenant-employee relations. Use both skilled trainers and exemplary employees that excel at a certain training method or specific job tasks.
Vary training aids to appeal to a mix of learning styles. After all, you want employees to succeed, feel comfortable, and willfully decide to become a long-term employee. Choose from these learning tools and make them accessible on paper, desktop computer, and mobile devices:
- Videos with corresponding text
- Photos with descriptive text
- Charts and graphs with written summary of results
- Hands-on activity or demonstration
- Simulate a task and allow practice time with questions
- Role playing specific situations that may arise
- Handouts on specific topics or job tasks and area for writing notes
- Question and answer time
- Short reading materials with visuals
- Written quizzes
- Annotated notes or PowerPoint presentations
- Walk around discussing problems and solutions
Training Employees for White-Glove Tenant Service
Using a variety of employee training methods and pro tips, your staff can be empowered to give tenants that white-glove experience. It pays to develop good learning aids and hire the right trainers. Provide employees a reason and a purpose to continually put into practice the core skills that put the tenant first. Those core skills, along with developing trust and the quick follow-through with maintenance requests, will keep residents happy.
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