Building Training Programs: Tips From a Property Management Consultant
The biggest companies in the world all have a unique element or value proposition that they are known for—but for any company with a major customer service component, you won't go long without hearing about training. After all, even the most enthusiastic employee at a property management company can only do the job well if they understand what the job is, what tools they have to complete it, and what is valued by management.
Many companies—as they start—simply train each employee individually, giving them what they need in a just-in-time fashion. However, this approach rapidly begins to waste upper management's time, creating a large workload and a workforce that is unevenly prepared to address the challenges of your property management company's day-to-day operations.
If you want to move up in the world of property management, you need a training program that is both streamlined and is usable for all your new employees. Why take the time to develop this effort? As a property management consultant, we'll show you how it plays out as a benefit over time.
Why Streamline Training?
While everyone probably acknowledges that clear training materials that can be used consistently with all new employees would be nice to have, it's hard to take the time to just sit down and create a great training program. So what are the benefits of doing so—despite the effort involved upfront?
- Streamlining your training reduces the negative impact of a bad trainer or a bad day for the trainer; if the company atmosphere gets busy at the worst moment in a training session, the materials you've created for the program will help ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Consistent training keeps office squabbles to a minimum since there is always a resource to check to see what the answer to an employee disagreement is.
- When training isn't streamlined, there's no way to improve on past training experiences. With streamlined training, you can update it periodically based on feedback from experienced employees.
- Streamlined training takes less time, makes new employees feel more confident as they get started, and standardizes your approach—leading to a better, more sustainable company.
What a Documentation Effort Can Do for You
While documenting your training may be as simple as taking detailed notes during the next onboarding process you have to complete, many property managers find that creating the training program actually is good for the company. Here are just a few of the ways that documenting for your training program can have wide-reaching benefits:
- Documenting what different trainers use or do to train employees can give everyone access to the best ideas or reminders of things they've previously forgotten to mention.
- Talking to team members can help you shorten training when they note things that are obvious or easy to learn on the job versus things that need an explanation.
- Documentation for training can include creating a handbook if you don't already have one, which helps everyone stick with the rules better because they actually can look up what they are supposed to do.
- Creating your training program helps your team change bad, inefficient, or frustrating processes because it brings them to the light and makes everyone ask mentally, 'Why do we do it this way?'
Standards Promote a Professional Client Experience
Many investors will have worked with various professional vendors before, and some will have different degrees of standardization. However, having a training program with a minimum amount of standards that all your employees are supposed to understand can ensure that everyone has a consistent experience that makes property owners feel that they are in professional hands.
- Clients may find that things were done well (but a little haphazardly) before your training program was created.
- These moments of inconsistency over time can erode their trust and make them wonder if you can meet their needs.
- By making sure that they can grow to rely on a particular set of rules and procedures—no matter who is helping them that day—you boost their confidence and grow brand loyalty.
Make Choices Now to Improve Unit Economics Over Time
While it may feel faster and therefore more economical to just do your training on a case-by-case basis, remember that each new employee that you train quickly and well with a program saves you more money. This form of unit economics is even better when your company starts to scale, growing to cover more ground.
When it becomes untenable for management to devise personalized training for every new hire, you'll be grateful that you invested in documenting and designing a training program. As your company grows, small tweaks to the training program and personalization for the employee's unique role take very little time, comparatively, and can help you maintain your high-quality standards across your property management business.
As the industry's best property management consultant, Deb Newell has insider experience to help you draft training programs that help build your company from the ground up and eliminate inefficiencies. Schedule a one-on-one session with her expertise to get started!