Beating Burnout - Going Back to the Well

I'm a nerd.  I'm sure that's not a shocking statement, especially if you've been reading my blog for a while.  I love to learn and I love to use new knowledge as soon as I come into it.    Knowledge inspires me to reexamine situations, find new solutions, and even figure out the reasons why I might have acted or thought the way I did about certain things.  I will warn you up front, knowledge can be a pretty powerful addiction, but if you've got to have a vice, it's not a bad way to go.

A lot of people, like yours truly, include new education in their routine of going back to the well.  There's something energizing about GOOD education.  Now, not every class out there is going to meet my burden of "good" education.  If the instructor puts me to sleep, if the material isn't relevant or current, if I don't care about what I'm sent to learn, or if there's no point in me learning this stuff (like calculus), then that's not a worthwhile expenditure of my time and effort, and frankly I'd rather not go.  Luckily, in the multifamily education world, we are known for having dynamic presenters and speakers like Lori Snider, Lisa Trosien, Jackie Ramstedt, and Anne Sadovsky to name just a few.  But it's not always affordable to bring in a speaker each time our team's motivation seems to wane.  What can we do?

A first great option is to take advantage of the technology at your fingertips.  I've mentioned many times about all of the blog and on line resources out there for property management professionals, but I also want to talk about some of the newer things in the last six months.  Did you know that Appfolio and MultiFamily Insiders partnered to bring free webinars to anyone who wants to see them?  So far, I've learned a ton from Mike Whaling, Lori Snider, and Lisa Trosien's, and I hear that their line up for the coming year is incredible!  And it doesn't cost you anything as a manager, except time.  The ROI here is a no brainer.  If you can have an expert teaching your staff for even just an hour, why wouldn't you tune in?

Does your company use classes from Grace Hill or the Training Factor for your training process?  Did you know that you can go back in and retake Grace Hill's classes?  Well you can.  On these two great systems, does your company require every class be taken by everyone?  Probably not.  When I first started in the industry, the company I was working with had a core curriculum that we had to complete with Grace Hill.  I was kind of bummed because a couple of the classes I wanted to take weren't included in the curriculum, so I called and asked the regional trainer if I could take them anyway or if it would cost more.  He gave me the thumbs up, and I completed everything they had on the list, short of the Vaultware course.  I did the extra classes on slow weekends or in the mid month days where we were not as busy.  Many of us out there aren't busy right now, regrettably.  But that doesn't mean we need to sit there and twiddle our thumbs.  It never hurts to grab an extra course here or there. 

One of the cheapest ways to provide this sort of resource over time is to build up a professional library for your staff.  Property management resources, like years of back issues of Rent and Retain magazine (NEVER THROW THOSE AWAY!!!) or UNITS can make great additions, but don't forget the non property management related intelligence that is out there.  Topics that can yield excellent engagement can run the gamut: Communications, Management, Psychology, Sociology, Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Career and Workplace Topics, Leadership, and even Technology.  Just because it's not directly related, doesn't mean there's nothing to gain from it.  If you'd like some suggestions to start your collection, please feel free to email me, and I'd love to share some of my favorites with you!  Half Price books is nationwide and you can find many titles that I read there.  I know, because 99% of the time, that's where I picked them up.

Heather Reviews the Multifamily Pro Brainstorming Conference for 2009

Beating Burnout Blog Series