Become A Daily Learner-Today! ©
by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

Our economy and your success in the property management industry is based on knowledge. Gone are the days when you could graduate from high school or college and never again pick up a textbook or attend another class. Ready or not, your lifetime of learning has already begun, no matter how reluctant or scared you might be. In addition, sophisticated technology, business acquisitions, new products and significant regional or national competitors will continue to require your full attention. Ready to become a daily learner? Let's get started!

Staying current with your profession: Begin your learning journey by subscribing and reading the industry publications that serve the property management industry, such as your local apartment association magazine, UNITS Magazine, The Journal of Property Management and Multi-Housing News-just to name a few. These are great publications for keeping you in touch with local, state, regional and national trends. Next, considering investing the time and money to upgrade your professional certifications as this says to your peers and colleagues that you are serious about your property management career. In addition, research the one day seminars delivered by Career Track [800-334-6780] or SkillPath [800-873-7545], as their programs can advance your specific business skills in a short amount of time and with minimal investment. Lastly, search the Internet for industry websites that serve the property management industry and register for their E-mail newsletters, subscribe to their E-mail discussion lists or participate in one of the live and interactive telephone conference calls, like a TeleForum, to experience an engaging form of distance learning.

Tip from The Coach: Start each year by reserving the property management seminars and trade show workshops you will be attending. Then, schedule your company meetings and training that is planned and budgeted. Now, look at your calendar and reserve the time and dates you are going to schedule for the professional and personal learning that will best serve you. More specifically, consider budgeting $50-$150 per month for your continued education. This small investment today will pay large dividend in the near and distant future -The Coach says so!

Using technology: Technology has created many new time saving, cost-efficient ways to enhance our professional and personal lives. But of course, you need to learn how to best maximize your technology tools to receive the highest return on your learning investment. Let's start with the basics. Learn and master the software used by your property management company. Learn the shortcuts for creating professional looking correspondence, presentations or proposals. Understand some basic techniques for using a spreadsheet or preparing your property budgets. Research how fax broadcast software can be a powerful marketing tool. In addition, learn the basic skills for sending and receiving E-mail while investing the time to learn how to use your Internet web browser.

Tip from The Coach: Start with what you already know about technology tools and take it one step further. Not 10 or 100 steps further-just one step - at a time. If you push yourself too far or too fast, you might be in a situation where you will not have the resources to succeed. Instead, take one step at a time, master your new skill, then take another step. For many, hiring a private business trainer or coach, can rapidly accelerate your learning curve around technology. For others, just reading two or three pages of their software user manual each day, is enough to gain incremental knowledge with technology tools.

Helping your team to learn: In addition to your daily learning, it will be equally important that your property management team continues to grow and learn at a comfortable pace. Property management companies around the country are finding a direct connection between learning and company performance. In fact, many companies are now measuring both performance goals and learning goals on an individual basis. These learning goals are focused on areas such as: resident satisfaction, increased asset performance, maximizing technology and team-building skills.

Tip from The Coach: When helping your team with their learning skills, ask them to help you answer this question, "Learning __________ will help me __________ so that I can __________." Asking this question is key, because the people that work for your property management company will be eager to learn if they have a hand in structuring their own industry and professional training. Remember, whenever you include your team in the planning of their future, you raise their motivation to succeed and reduce turnover at the same time.

In closing, today's success comes from yesterday's learning, while tomorrow's success comes from what we learn today. Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions? Fax a note on your letterhead to 435-615-8670 or send an E-mail to ernest below and The Coach will fax/E-mail you a free invitation to be on a TeleForum conference call.

Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach, founder of PowerHour®, a professional business coaching service delivering customized training, by telephone, in management, marketing and sales for property management companies, apartment locator/corporate housing services and publishing companies worldwide. We specialize in global distance learning by telephone, using our state-of-the-art conference call system for interactive and dynamic TeleForums. Twice-monthly TeleForums link 10 -100 executives/ professionals/ individuals who are geographically dispersed, in a time efficient and profitable format. PowerHour® is based in ski-town—Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail or visit our TeleForum website: To receive a FREE property management success newsletter send an E-mail to: Recent PowerHour® articles have appeared in 1500+ business/trade publications and websites.

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