Credo for Credibility

Over the last 15 years I've tried a variety of different creativewriting formats.  I've done poetry, short stories, blogging, and I've even got an unfinished novel or three laying around in my studio downstairs.  One of my biggest passions as a writing platform, though, was playwriting.  I was convinced that it was my life long niche when I was in my later years of college, and while I was very good at dialogue writing and the incorporation of the theatrical element, there's just not a lot of career opportunities in playwriting, so it remains something that I can do in my fabled "spare time."

When I was playwriting, I would buy books on the subject to try to learn more.  One of the books that I bought was bright pink and called "Playwriting!" and the thing that I remember about this book was the section that talked about making a writer's credo.  This was to be a list that at the top of it said the words "I BELIEVE" and then listed truths about life that the writer had come to understand.  It was/is a valuable tool for me as a writer, and I have also expanded it in to my property management world.  I'd like to share with you some of my Property Management Credo.


  • That property management has a place for EVERYONE, and that every person has an important skill set that they bring to an on site team
  • That we are forced through these painful professional growth experiences for a reason.  Sometimes it's because we need to learn to deal with something so we know what to do the next time it happens, sometimes it's to show ourselves that we are stronger than we think, and sometimes it's so we can learn to trust a leader/mentor
  • That when you hire someone, you do it because you see something in them that makes them special to you.  We don't throw a dart to make a hiring decision.  When you're angry with a person on your team, try to remember why you hired them, what you saw in them to begin with.
  • That saying "No" as a manager sucks because people don't understand the flat no.  If you're going to say no, say no with a reason.  Good leaders let their teams buy in to their lines of thought.
  • That the "economy" isn't a great excuse for low occupancy.  It might be a catalyst, but your team buying in to the excuse is why the numbers aren't rebounding.
  • That if you don't laugh working in this industry then you will cry 
  • That hard times are when you see your rockstars shine.  Make sure you let them shine right now, because when it comes back to the day-to-day living part, they don't glimmer nearly as much.  People are usually either GREAT in a crisis, or GREAT with the mundane styles of day to day life.  If you find one who can sit on the middle ground here, let me know, and you should probably promote them.
  • That social media is an awesome tool for improving the industry.
  • That social media is an awesome tool for destroying the industry.
  • That if you believe in your core that something will work, and you give it your all, commit to it and it still fails, then you are a better leader coming out at the end of it.
  • That you'd better respect your maintenance guys because they put their hands in places you wouldn't want to.
  • That if you make it a habit to not take your lunch each day, you will suffer incredible burnout within a few months.  Leave the office, go take a walk, take your lunch.  It's important.
  • That if someone is standing outside your office at 8:55 AM you should open the doors and let them in.  is that 5 minutes REALLY going to make that big of a difference by 4PM that day?
  • That as a regional manager, you should treat your porters the same way you treat your managers.  You should try to forget titles and hierarchies when your visiting your teams and just stand back to watch how they function. 
  • That titles are an easy way to avoid accountability, and that truth always trumps title.
  • That there is good in every person, and when you work with people's homes, you have a higher chance of seeing that good.  After all, Home is where the Heart is.

So those are just a few kernels of my Property Management Credo. What do you think?  Are they basic truths for the universe, or are they just the truths for MY universe?   At your next staff meeting, consider sitting down with your employees and working on a credo of your own.  I know a lot of companies have them, but what about one just for your team, for your property?  It provides a sense of buy in, team building and binding, and it places lights along the path that you all want to travel.

I'd be interested to hear what your teams come up with for credos, or maybe even what your personal credos are.  Please email me at with your credos and I'll do a post devoted to them in mid summer!

2 Birds, 1 Stone, and until 2013 to get it done!

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