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JuvoHub - Property Management Podcast
27 minutes | 14 days ago
Omnichannel Customer Service
Episode 15 – JuvoHub Podcast Host: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts Our Special Guest: Audra Lamoon “Chief Happiness Officer at Livewire Performance Consultants Ltd; Audra is an Experiential Corporate Trainer, Speaker, Turn-around Advisor, Consultant, and Coach in retail, hotel, residential, mixed-use, property, and hospitality.Focus is always on people, property, and service.” Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: There is customer service and then there is Omnichannel Customer Service. Customer service does not change based on the platform you are using. Audra Lamoon provides an absolutely BRILLIANT look into omnichannel customer service and provides some insightful case studies and stats for us to salivate over. An absolutely spectacular podcast. Do not miss out. Some questions we consider: What does it mean?Have you examples of what you mean?How is it different on the phone?How is it different online?What mistakes are you seeing with online and telephone customer service?What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? You have to have fun. Don’t do anything that you don’t enjoy because you’ll never be good at it. So, just have fun. And listen, our vision is the same as our mission, but backwards. So, it’s fun through learning, and learning through fun, that’s it. If we have fun through learning, and we’re learning through fun. How amazing is that? Thus, so always have fun with what you do.Audra Lamoon, Chief Happiness Officer at Livewire If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Maintenance Training – Connecting Text Book to Real WorldThe Customer Experience – Creating a Sustainable Brand ProgramWhy Systems Training is a Must! JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar (00:18): Hello, everyone. Welcome episode 15 of the JuvoHub Podcast, the helping hand in property management. We are talking today with someone across the pond, Audra Lamoon from Livewire. She's the chief happiness officer, and she's going to chat with us in a brilliant fashion all about omnichannel customer service. So, we cannot wait to dive into that conversation. I'd like to introduce my lovely, and wonderful friend and co-host, Mark Howell, from Howl CreativeConcepts. Mark, good to have you here. And- Mark Howell (01:03): Thank you buddy. Jonathan Saar (01:04): ... my name is Jonathan from Market Me Social. So, big topic, omnichannel customer service. We hear customer service, common expression, but now we're going to talk about omnichannel customer service. I cannot wait to hear this discussion, and get your take on it. So, Mark, take it away, brother. Mark Howell (01:25): Yeah. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. Audra, it's so wonderful to see your beautiful face. I have to say anybody that gets to watch you I'll call it perform, educate is in for quite a treat. And I know this, I love everything that you're working on. And so, I'm so excited. I haven't even gotten the sneak preview of what omni customer service is all about. And so, I'm really, really excited of us doing this, this topic... I'm sorry, this conversation today, so I get to find out a little bit about what you're cooking up over there across the pond. And hopefully you can send it our way. But if you don't mind, what I would love to do is first let you introduce yourself, and then I've got some questions. I'm just going to ask you a bunch of questions about omni customer service, and you're going to let us all know what is happening there, but tell us who are you? What do you do over there? Audra Lamoon (02:20): Hello, darlings. It's lovely to see you, and see you again, Mark, too. It's amazing. It's sad that we're so far apart, but technology has been amazing. It's been our friend, and my friend for the first time ever because you know I'm terrified, have always been terrified by technology. So, yes, I'm the chief happiness officer at Livewire. I've said this before, our titles say more about who we are rather than what we do. So, it's all about fun at Livewire. Fun learning and development and consultancy and stuff as you know. So, that's who I am, and I'm based here in England at the moment. I had to leave America in February when it all sort of was kicking off, the pandemic and everything. So, I've been sat here in little old England working [inaudible 00:03:07]. Mark Howell (03:07): Yeah. You left in a hurry. I believe, I think we were just together, and it was like you just crossed your arms, and poofed yourself away. You were gone. I was like, "Oh my gosh, she got out of dodge quick." Audra Lamoon (03:22): Oh, yeah. Yes. [crosstalk 00:03:23]. Mark Howell (03:23): I don't blame you. Audra Lamoon (03:24): [crosstalk 00:03:24] you better get out because I think the airport is going to close tomorrow, and I went, "Really?" And I wasn't very well. This is 11 o'clock at night, and I just got back from Florida. I'd been very, very sick. Listen, I put a baseball cap on, threw a load of makeup on, packed a case, told my flatmate there's another case packed there. God knows what you're going to do with it. She gave a load of stuff to the Dress for Success. And like you say, I got out of dodge. It was like February Friday the 13th, and I got home, and then I never left the house for months after that. I literally got home, and went into lockdown. So, that was that. Mark Howell (03:59): Oh, my gosh. Well, look, one thing that this pandemic has brought is certainly new innovation, new ideas, and we've all been stuck at home going over all the things that we've wanted to work on. So, what a great time for you to spend on omnichannel customer service. And I'm so excited for you to tell me about it. I'm just going to go ahead and ask you all of the questions, and then you just tell me in any way. You don't have to answer them in the order, but I want to know, first of all, what does it mean? What does omnichannel customer service even mean? What are some of the examples? Tell me more about it. Have you any of the examples about what you mean that we can see, that we can touch here? What is different about omnichannel customer service on the phone perspective, and then online perspective? Is there a difference and what is that? So tell me, we are waiting to know what is going on. Audra Lamoon (05:04): I just kind of... I don't even know if I've made it... It's one of those things you think, did I coin that phrase or not? I'm really not sure, but for me omnichannel customer service is because like you say, we've all been working different in the pandemic. I've been doing my mystery shopping in a very different way. So, rather than going on properties, whether it's retail, hotel, residential, banks, resorts, you name it, I've been going on all the channels that get you to where the product, and the service should be. So, if it's on the telephone, if it's on the web, if it's on chat boxes, on the phone, on laptops. So, whatever channel you can get to the product or service you want to get to I've been mystery shopping it for clients, and it was massive. It was a massive thing to me because it was like, "Oh, my God, people are so busy. Obviously, trying to shift and adapt to what's going, but they're not really fine tuning all the things that have been in place since dot anyway." Audra Lamoon (06:02): They've had their digital, their websites. They've had their phone lines. They have people who walk in who turn up or book for appointments and tools and services, but they've never really had a laser focus on what that means. Because when you have one taken away, it's like your senses. You have one taken away, all the other senses jump up. You have a bit of a boost to them. And it's the same thing with customer service. We can't get people to our properties always. So, how do we attract them? And it's how are you on the telephone? How is your digital working for you? Is your website easy to navigate? Can you find everything else that you need? Audra Lamoon (06:42): I was finding really tiny problems that were massive blocks to getting people to a property service or person. So, simple things, wrong telephone numbers. People not responding on chatbox. People not understanding the language, so ignoring it completely or misunderstanding the language, and ignoring people completely. People not being able to put how many bedrooms that they want, or how many pairs of slippers they need. So, you're not able to check a box with the right amounts. You can't get a transaction through. Tiny, tiny things that have a massive implication and massive consequences because people will only try once two or three times, and then they'll think, that's it, I'm done. And they'll go to the competition, and the people that [crosstalk 00:07:28]- Mark Howell (07:28): I got to stop you right there. That is me. That is the way I shop. Audra Lamoon (07:31): Me too. Mark Howell (07:32): If you have a confusing product online that takes me more than three minutes to figure out I'm done. I will not spend that time trying to figure it out. And look, I think it's very smart of you to create this sort of awareness about these different channels that people are looking at your products. Because when you think about the average consumer, especially in a pandemic, there are so many different ways now that they are having to go and look at your products. But if I am not a very computer or technology savvy type person, so I can get very frustrated on your website if it is not clean, clear, and in order. Audra Lamoon (08:16): Yeah. I love that. Listen, and I'm with you there, darling because I have no patience whatsoever. It's the least good thing about me. I have no patience, so I lose it quite quickly. And then I'm off. And then I'll like everybody else will tell everybody what a terrible time you had, a terrible service. I ain't even got to the bloody person to speak to, the poor darlings. But it's not always their fault. So, it's a massive team effort, isn't it? So, it's really... So, when I've gone back to the clients and I've only been doing it to this degree since the pandemic because I've been sat on my backside for six weeks. Sorry, my ass is the size of Brazil. So, I've got to do something really productive with my time. Audra Lamoon (08:58): So, I was going back to the client saying, "You really need to create an in-person experience online. This is where you pull it all together because I'm having a horrific time talking to your people on the phone. You've clearly can't be [inaudible 00:09:13]. Excuse my French. But saying things like, "Oh, can you call me back later? It's busy. Oh, no, we don't have that. Oh, no, there's no one to do this tour." And I've said, "Would you like my details?" "Oh no, just drop in or just make an appointment." And it's been so lackadaisical and complacent. And this complacency is relying on people would just come back, and they won't. It's difficult. Jonathan Saar (09:40): That's for sure. Yeah. And I'm sure it's like statistically it's I remember one stat, and I don't know if this resonates with you or not, Audra. But it's people have less attention than a goldfish. I've seen that on Eric Wallman. He has his series of videos on the state of digital marketing and digital world. And so, that's less than six seconds. So, goldfish have more attention span. So, Mark, to me, you're having three minutes in a website. You have the patience of a saint. It's just absolutely amazing. Because I think Audra like you said, I think the majority of us it's like, "Well, the website, I can't find what I want. I don't know how to get it and bye-bye." And then you're off you go, right? Audra Lamoon (10:30): Yeah. Jonathan Saar (10:30): Right. Audra Lamoon (10:31): And there's so much talent out there that people have been so amazing with websites since, but it makes you wonder who's actually gone through as a customer. You may own it, and commission it. Have you really gone through as a customer. Most companies have had telephone training skills for goodness sake, and etiquette training. We do this for hotels all the time, but actually you have got to step them up because we haven't got the face-to-face as much as we would like. So, you've got to step up those other two channels. You have to make sure that they're so memorable. That you're so adept at creating a rapport with somebody that your memory is absolutely brilliant. Audra Lamoon (11:08): Have that conversation writing all the details down, getting all those gems, those nuggets. What was their name? What was their pet's name? What was their children's names? Why are they coming here? Why are they moving here? Why is it about this area? Have they got a dog? Have they got a dog's name? And have they got that mind to close? Because I tell you now 99% of people were not in the frame, the mindset to close me when I was going to residential mystery shopping, for example. 99% did not close me, still. That is massive. That shows us a huge gap in confidence, in closing, fear of closing, maybe no training in closing. Maybe COVID has completely thrown people, and it has, and why wouldn't it? Audra Lamoon (11:57): So, you have to make sure you're taking care of the wellbeing and the health piece, but also that we are just in a different way of working, and it's not going away. Even if the vaccine comes, please God. Most companies are still going to have this blend of we want to track business through that channel, this channel, and face-to-face, so what are you going to do to stand up your competition? Are you just going to say, "Hey, welcome to so-and-so. Thanks for calling. Yeah, can you do a tour in six months," because with COVID and everything. Or are you going to have a full blown conversation, and not let anything go? You just lap up that information, make them your best friends, stay memorable, stay connected, and follow up. Mark Howell (12:42): It's funny, you talked about the COVID crisis and how people... What has changed with the experience of sales, customer service, and what I'm curious to find out, and I talk a lot about this in my training is what are we teaching the consumers today? The better part of this year we have all had to shift and do something a little different with our sales technique, and our products, right? But we're teaching the consumer that they can do everything online. That if we're not careful, if we're not watching our channels, which is what I love about what you're preaching is that we're going to teach the consumer that they don't need us at all. That they don't need that human element at some point. That they can do everything online if we're not careful. So, by checking your channels, all channels of communication is very, very important because I think about the banking industry, and how technology totally changed that industry. When's the last time you ever walked into a bank? Audra Lamoon (13:46): I just can't remember. Mark Howell (13:49): Yeah, I'm so scared that this could happen to all retail space or definitely maybe not retail, but property management, I think could be very effected by it because so much of it can be done online. But yeah, I like what you're saying. Audra Lamoon (14:06): I think you make a really good point there, and you know what, Mark? There's always going to be a percentage of people that actually don't want that communication. Thank you very much. I'm very happy with it all being remote, virtual. I don't have to see anybody. Do you know what? That's absolutely fine, but we can still cater for those people, but there are lots more people out there who do need that contact, and that communication. [inaudible 00:14:27] over camera, face-to-face, or whatever. So, you've got to protect all those types of people, and whatever happens going forward there's going to be room for all of this. So, you've got to be able to blend your offering, but be highly skilled in every single channel. You just can't think. Well, we're amazing when we're face-to-face, but we don't really know what we're losing by way of our bad telephone scores or our online stuff. Audra Lamoon (14:52): We've been mystery big brands, huge brands who are still making mistakes. How can a huge global brand... How can you not be able to check how many bedrooms you want? How can it have the wrong telephone number? How? But it is. So, what's happening is fear creating too much of a rapid response to what's going on, but no focus what's really going on. So, everyone has to really take stock and think, okay, I'm on the phone now. So, this is, I have got to be at my best possible place. I've got to be listening to this person. I've got to be bring in all those telephone Chinese standards you had before, and then bang them up because you're going to need it really, because competition is going to be even more scary, right? Jonathan Saar (15:40): Right. I got a question about that. Audra Lamoon (15:42): It's kind of doing what you've done, but elevate it by 30%. Sorry, Jonathan. Jonathan Saar (15:47): Yeah, no, no. No, no, no, I mean, it got my head spinning. I think, well, I want your take on it. You see so many, like you've mentioned a lot of the gaps, the disconnects in where things go wrong. And you mentioned something earlier about, okay, well, just come on in and I'm going to show you this apartment. Or in a hotel, come on in and see our beautiful business, and so on. And so, they don't have the skills to be able to just thrive what it is. And so, now they can't. They can't do it because they're not doing appointments. But now, so say for instance, now the technology is there for the full tour. Jonathan Saar (16:33): My question is how even with... Is it a crutch? The model is the crutch. Can a virtual tour, can it be a crutch or an asset? How do you address the person who's presenting the apartment or the product, whatever it may be to make sure that they see those as assistance and not something they can lean on to sell for them. Does that make sense? Audra Lamoon (17:04): Absolutely makes sense. And it goes back to product and property and service knowledge. How well do you know your product? So, whether it's in property, retail, hotel. If you're working on a property you have to know what the amenities are, what's going on in the community, all of this. But another point you made about are the virtual tools, the videos, and all this, or the models are crutch. They're absolutely amazing assets to have and skills. And the best thing I think you can do now is to scale. Go through your companies and say, "Okay, guys, who are the TikTok fanatics who are making videos? Who loves to do social media? Who's playing around in all this? Who wants to go and do a virtual tour for this company?" Let's turn it into a competition and just see who's made the best virtual tour. Unusual in-house talent to create amazing things. Stills, images, videos, TikToks. Audra Lamoon (18:04): Well, however you want to present what you've got, whatever that product or that service or that residential place looks like. You can use all the skills you've got in your company. So you don't have to think, "Oh God, how am I going to do... How am I going to video myself? I'm awful on video." No, does bum look big in this and all that nonsense. And then develop some sort of a twitch or stammer as soon as the camera comes on. You don't have to worry about that. Find the people that can't wait to get in front of the camera, can't wait to perform, and have them do all the properties or some of them for you. So, go back to your teams and find out who's amazing at one, and just get those talents together and use them to the best of your ability. And above all, have fun. Have fun with it because I've seen some amazing tours, some fun tours. Mark Howell (18:51): I love it. Jonathan Saar (18:54): That's awesome. Audra Lamoon (18:57): It's not rocket science, as they always say because all these companies have these amazing people in their company. And I think what's... There's something I heard in America that I've never heard over here, and I never understood it, and it was a saying that you guys said three years ago, "Stay in your lane." I thought, "What does that mean?" I never understood it. And then I realized I've not ever been applicating that ever. I've always said, really in different words. "Oh, my God, jump out of the lane you idiot. Try something different. If you fail at it, so what? You're going to have a lesson." And then maybe jump back in if you've really mucked it up, but get out there and try something because if you've got all these other skills use them to the best of your ability. So, don't stay in your lane, find out what you're great at and then share it. Mark Howell (19:42): Absolutely. Jonathan Saar (19:42): I love it. Mark Howell (19:44): Mm-hmm (affirmative). Audra Lamoon (19:50): [crosstalk 00:19:50]. Mark Howell (19:50): Yeah. Jonathan Saar (19:50): Yeah. Mark Howell (19:50): Let me ask you. Jonathan Saar (19:52): Go ahead, Mark. Mark Howell (19:53): Oh, go ahead. Jonathan Saar (19:56): No, no, go ahead. You go, you go. Mark Howell (19:59): I wanted to ask you, Audra. So, how do you help companies control these channels? So this program, tell me how do I as a... I'm going to talk in more of a property management lingo. So, how do I utilize this? All of this makes perfect sense to me, and it's so dead on right now, especially for where we are, A, just generationally, but during COVID, a pandemic where whether you like technology or not you've had to embrace some form of it, right? Audra Lamoon (20:33): Oh, yeah. Mark Howell (20:34): So, tell me, how do you position this to help me the property manager or owner manage these channels? How is this delivered? Audra Lamoon (20:47): Well, the simplest answer to that is to really get involved with the culture committee. So, you have a representative from the website, a representative from learning and development, possibly marketing as well. And then, so you've got this nice little group of people that can actually then cascade the learning through. So, we patch into calls. We do the mystery shopping piece. We share the information intelligence. We map out the gaps and go, "Okay, well, this is where we need to up skill the people." It's very, very simple. It is really very basic. It's just bringing it all together and creating an awareness. You're just raising that awareness with everybody that everything that they do and don't do has a consequence. Audra Lamoon (21:32): So, they've learnt it before, but never has training ever I think been as important as it is right now. Those communication skills when one's taken away, you really have to rely on how you sound on the phone, and how you're responding, and when you're responding online because when people don't see you online. They don't hear you either, sometimes, unless you have a live chat. It's very disconcerting, and it's very difficult to keep their attention. People like you and me Mark will think, "Oh, what was that?" And something will distract me, and I'm off. It's back to basics, but have your culture committee, and your learning and development teams come together to make sure everybody's on the same page. And then up skill the heck out of them. Mark Howell (22:16): I like it. I love that Audra Lamoon (22:19): It's easy, right? And that's the good news. Jonathan Saar (22:23): Yeah. Well, it's great that you connect everything. Often, Audra, just gearing in I do a lot of reading. I want to be up to date on technology because I know how it's going to affect not only our industry, but just business in general. And it's moving from concept to application. So, there's concept, there's it should do this to all right, here's how we're going to make it... I'm going to make you a believer. And when you mentioned how you bringing people together from different departments, get them on that same page, help them understand here's the benefits. This is the path, the lane. We're going to all go in the lane together. Audra Lamoon (23:09): We are. Jonathan Saar (23:09): Jump on the lane, and we're going to get to this goal. So, I think that it's brilliant, absolutely brilliant. [crosstalk 00:23:18]. Audra Lamoon (23:18): Darling, it's so crazy it might just work. Jonathan Saar (23:22): Yes. Audra Lamoon (23:23): It is brilliant. Jonathan Saar (23:29): Well this has been a... Wow. I know we've just scratched the surface. You probably could sit here and talk hours and hours about this, about where... I know that's what you do for your customers. So, we're so grateful to have you with us today just to give a snippet of- Audra Lamoon (23:46): Thank you. Jonathan Saar (23:47): ... what omni customer services, and the details that are with that. So, thank you so, so much on behalf of Mark and I, and the audience for being with us today. But before you go a tip. You've talked about a lot of things today, but I love hearing what is your go-to tip? What's served you well as an educator, as a person? What's your guiding thoughts? Anything to share? Audra Lamoon (24:25): Oh, my God. Yes. You have to have fun. Don't do anything that you don't enjoy because you'll never be good at it. So, just have fun. And listen, our vision is the same as our mission, but backwards. So, it's fun through learning, and learning through fun, that's it. If we have fun through learning, and we're learning through fun. How amazing is that? Thus, so always have fun with what you do. Mark Howell (24:51): That's brilliant. I love that. Jonathan Saar (24:53): Another brilliant one, yeah. Audra Lamoon (24:55): It sounds funny when you guys say, brilliant. Mark Howell (24:59): It's brilliant, darling. Audra Lamoon (25:00): You guys say awesome. That sounds weird to me to say awesome. I never say awesome. It sounds weird. Mark Howell (25:04): It's awesome, yeah. Audra Lamoon (25:04): It's brilliant. Jonathan Saar (25:08): Totally awesome, man. It's totally awesome. Audra Lamoon (25:13): Yeah. You're awesome. [crosstalk 00:25:16]. Jonathan Saar (25:17): So, how can people connect with, Audra? What do you prefer? Tell us again about your website, any social channels that we can connect with you on, the audience can connect with you? Audra Lamoon (25:30): Yeah, of course. I'm on LinkedIn under my name actually Audra Lamoon. You can go to the website, which is at livewire-experience.com, and you can reach me at audralivewireperformance.com. We answer every email. They're very friendly over here. Mark Howell (25:43): I love that. You practice what you preach, right? Audra Lamoon (25:47): That's right. Yes. Absolutely. Jonathan Saar (25:53): Excellent. Audra Lamoon (25:54): No naughty emails. We don't answer the naughty emails, just the good ones. Jonathan Saar (25:58): Yeah. But those are rubbish. Those are the rubbish emails. Just put them in the trash. Audra Lamoon (26:03): Yes, not the trash, but the rubbish. Well done. Jonathan Saar (26:06): Yes. Audra Lamoon (26:07): You're very good Englishmen. You can come over and pass up as an Englishman very easily. Jonathan Saar (26:14): [crosstalk 00:26:14]. When COVID is over. My wife and I will- Mark Howell (26:17): That's right. Jonathan Saar (26:17): ... come over. Audra Lamoon (26:18): Come on over, chaps. We'll take care of you. Jonathan Saar (26:21): Beautiful. Well, thank you again. Episode 15, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Audra. Thank you to our fantastic co-host who's been steering the conversation today, Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts, and a thank you to our sponsor today Higginbotham HR services. You can check them out in the show notes, and we look forward to seeing you on our next episode. My name is Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social. Thank you everybody for being here. Audra Lamoon (26:54): Thank you. [crosstalk 00:26:54]. Mark Howell (26:54): Bye guys. Audra Lamoon (26:54): Wonderful. Bravo. 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25 minutes | a month ago
Why Systems Training is a Must!
Episode 14 – JuvoHub Podcast Our Hosts: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts Our Special Guest: Keisa Moss Keisa Moss is an application support specialist with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Keisa specializes in application support, training, and implementation. Keisa is skilled in developing quick, simple tutorials from job aides to recorded webinars. She is married with an active son. In Keisa’s spare time she enjoys reading, exercising, and wine tastings. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: Technology can be a scary topic for many. The literal push into the virtual world has made it imperative for systems training within any organization. Keisa gives us some actionable feedback on systems training, how to overcome obstacles, and how to deploy an onboarding plan. Some questions we discussed: Why is it important for every employee to have a basic understanding of the systems in the organization?What methods of training have you created to make the learner truly understand the process?What are the most common obstacles you find from employees onsite and from a corporate level?What does an onboarding plan look like for systems training?What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? So any system can be fixed. So for the person that makes a mistake or, “Oh God, I just broke it.” You didn’t break it. Trust me. It can be fixed, you did not break it. The world’s not going to come to the end. It can be fixed!Keisa Moss, an application support specialist If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode 14 of the JJIE Hub Podcast. You're a helping hand in Property Management and we are excited for numerous reasons today. Number one reason, we have a new co-host, Mark Howell from Howell creative concepts. Mark. Welcome, man. This is so awesome. Mark Howell: Yeah. Thank you john. I appreciate it. I'm excited to be here. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. So future episodes, we're going to be tag teaming Mark and I. Mark and I go way back in the industry, back when he was with Property Management, then we worked together and now we get to work together on this project. So both [inaudible 00:01:06] tag teaming and bringing on amazing guests like who we have today. Kiesa Moss. Keisa welcome to the show. Keisa Moss: Hi. Thank you. Happy to be here. Jonathan Saar: Now we look forward to hearing all about what you do and why systems training is a must. I mean, that's such a big topic and sometimes it's often an overlooked element within training and the learning plan for employees. So we look forward to hearing your thoughts and how you can give us your insights on why property management companies need to have this as an important component of their curriculum. Keisa Moss: Great. Exiting. Mark Howell: All right. Jonathan, thank you for having us both on. I'll tell you the systems training is for me, from a trainer's mindset perspective. It's funny when I've been in this role, the two are so completely different. I can build curriculums and soft skills' training and leadership training, but we always circle back to one common issue, which kind of seems to play a lot of multifamily companies or, I'm sorry, companies inside the multifamily business. And it is that systems can be so overwhelming. And so Keisa, what I am really excited about is you and I just having a really great conversation. I know that we have had this conversation numerous times in the past, in our careers about how we sort of build a great learning plan around systems training or including the systems training piece. But it's interesting to me, a lot of employees still struggle with the understanding of the systems. Mark Howell: And I don't know if it's that we use so many of them or it's the technology, but I'm hoping you can shed some light on how to make it a little more, easier for us, and more understandable. So if you don't mind, I have got some questions that I would love to ask and get your opinion on about sytem training. Keisa Moss: All right. Let's hear them. Mark Howell: All right. So tell me why is it important for every employee to have a basic understanding of systems training in the organization? And I'm talking about every single employee from the top, all the way to say, the bottom, if it's ground all the way up to corporate. Keisa Moss: [inaudible 00:03:38] it's really important. I'm glad you specified all those different roles because sometimes you have someone that comes in on a higher operational and they feel they may not need the system training because they have a team, they have managers, they have area managers, but it's really important because it sets down that foundation of how to use each platform. When a new hire comes in, they have orientation, and during that orientation process, they go through the history of the company, the owners. You have your vice presidents, you have your assistant vice-president. But what I found through all the orientations that I've been a part of from the side to side and the corporate end is there is no breakdown on the systems, how to use that system. Why do we use this CRM? Why do we use this program? Or even how to navigate through. Keisa Moss: And so you have that person, they go back to their property and they're excited about starting this great job, at this great company. And they know how to do their tours, they know how to do their customer service, but when it comes to as simple as utilizing that platform to, we'll just say, you enter in a guest card, they might not really know how to do that. And that's not setting them up for success because then that leads them to frustration, which also associates to, "Oh my God, I'm not doing a good job," and it's just important that we set them up for that success. Mark Howell: And when I think, you and I talked about this before which I love about systems training for all employees. What I have found is that a lot of upper management, they don't sometimes even understand if they don't truly know about the process in a given system and a CRM, how difficult it might be to enter a guest card or to check the queue or how time consuming it may be. What I find interesting about this topic is that we don't really understand from an upper level how long it might take to do some of these tasks or how confusing it might be for someone out on site. So what I love about what you're saying is that every single person should have some type of introduction. If you're an asset manager or regional upper management, why wouldn't you want to know what the teams are going through out in the field? It's a basic understanding and acknowledgement of, hey, look I get it, this system is confusing or it's time-consuming. So yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent on that. Keisa Moss: Yeah. And it also helps too, if you're asking your manager to send a report and if that regional or director doesn't even understand how much time it takes to do that support and fill in everything. If you know what your employees are working on and how to navigate through that system, then you be able to have some understanding with them during that time. Mark Howell: So I have a second question for you, which kind of carries right into this first one. What are some of the methods of training that you've created to make a learner? And I'm talking about even a corporate level learner that let's face it in my experience, corporate teams never want to go into an LMS. They never want to take additional training when it comes to sitting down and going through an SOP and truly understanding that process because, let's face it, they don't have to do that every day. But what do you, what have you created? What do you recommend that even someone at that level would go through? What should be the process for them to truly understand that system? Have you created anything? Any methods? Keisa Moss: Yes. I think one of the best methods are making it quick and to the point. Can't point in exactly whatever that process is that you're teaching and training on. And some methods I have used have been simulations like captivate videos, very interactive videos that don't last more than five minutes or two to five, because a person think attention span is going to be sure that they're still looking at their text message. They're still checking their emails, but you have to keep them involved in what they're looking at. You have to keep it short to the point. Bright colors, of course, because people like bright colors, and then a lot of bold words. Also, if you do have to create a SLP, which some people do like to actually read and just learn on their own, it doesn't need to be no longer than two pages long. Keisa Moss: It does not need to be five or 10 pages because no one wants to read a booklet. They just don't. They want to have a one or two page, "Oh, this is what I have to do with four steps. That's it? I can do four steps." But if you have [inaudible 00:08:45] steps they're already disgusted. They are already like, Oh my God, [inaudible 00:08:48] they're not going to want to do it. And then on top of that, we have to still kind of put ourselves in their position, in that feet of leasing apartments, answering phones, doing these virtual tours. And they are on a time line, and they have these deadlines, they have goals report. So it has to be quick and to the point. So definitely captivate videos, interactive videos, SLPs, no more than two pages. Keisa Moss: Then also, if you have that learner who really just wants that, the one-on-one time, then set up a screen share with them and say, "Hey, we're going to get on the phone. And we're all going to get on the call for about 15 minutes." Give them that time point. So they feel comfortable. Because if you say we're going to be on the phone for an hour again, they're already disgusted. So 15 minute time point, we're going to go through the steps and then I'm going to let you go. So you can get back to the rest of your day. Keisa Moss: Yeah. I love that. I believe - Jonathan Saar: Can I [inaudible 00:09:45] Keisa Moss: Oh, go ahead. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. So just kudos number one Keisa for using technology to teach technology. That's fantastic. The fact that you've got videos and I'm sure frees up your time. So major hat tip to making that available and using something like that. And just in case, it's just in case, those people listening to the show that don't know what an SOP is, because I know we have lots of acronyms in property management. You want to just say what that is real quick, and then we'll go onto our next topic Keisa Moss: System operating. Jonathan Saar: Very good. Thank you. Mark Howell: I think [inaudible 00:10:36] a standard operating procedure or systems operating procedure. So many of us might use that term differently, but yeah, that's the basics of it. Jonathan Saar: Perfect, because I can't remember what it was honestly. Mark Howell: And, I think you and I have talked about this in the past where learners learn very differently, especially with the new generations. Not everyone wants to read an SOP, I don't, or a guide, let's call it a written guide. I will tell you, I am not one of those that when I order something and the directions come, that I sit down and read the directions, I admit it, I'm not. That's why I have to step in my home and put together wrong. But I don't like leading material. I would ... if you could send me a YouTube video on how to put stuff together, I would love you for that. So I think it's also pretty important that we do dive in a little deeper on that question. And the methods that you just talked about because every learner is going to learn very, very differently. Mark Howell: Some people are going to want a YouTube video or maybe 15 minutes of your time, but we're going to talk in a minute about an onboarding structure, because I feel like the structure for the corporate team would be a little different from someone out on site because of the methods or the engagement that they might have with that particular system. So in a second, I'm going to ask you about an onboarding plan for each of these teams corporate versus onsite. But I do have one question for you or another question, sorry for you. What are some of the most common obstacles that you find in your position as a systems' trainer? I know that you're watching help desk tickets. What do you find to be the most problematic for ... first tell me about onsite employees and then tell me about corporate level employees. Keisa Moss: So both employee that with, they're kind of similar, with some of the obstacles and the first obstacle is, not enough information. A person can ... associate can enter a ticket in and say, "Hey I need assistance with this ledger. I have [inaudible 00:13:08] and I don't understand why it's not balancing out. The first problem in that is that they don't understand. Because they don't even really understand why they're putting it in. They're just putting it in, entering the ticket in because they know they need to, but they really don't understand what they're asking. So that puts more work on the support team to actually go inside, figure out what this problem is. First, identify the problem. Let's identify what's wrong and then let's show you the process of it, of how to fix it. Keisa Moss: So I would say that's the number one obstacle with that. And then secondly, from a higher up operational regional director, most times my experience is they're a little bit more intimidated to put a ticket based on something that under the assumption they should know, because at that role, they'd been through every position. So I'm not going to expect them to remember how to fix the deposit accounting. I'm not going to expect you to do that, but they might be honest. They might have a situation where they're helping out their team, or there might be a manager role that's not field. So they have to go in there to fill those shoes. But they may not know how to remember how to find this report and all that. So that's the obstacle for them, for just having that fear based of it. That also just [inaudible 00:14:37] not understanding how to identify the problem and then not enough details in there. So it's more time for us spent to figure out how to help you to resolve the issue. Mark Howell: I love that. I think you hit on something so important. I think a lot of us in this industry, especially anyone that's been in it for a while, we are a little ... what's the right word? We don't want to show our weaknesses. So we tend to pretend that we either know about the system, or don't want you to know that we don't know about the system. And so we try to skirt around it, which is dangerous because like you said, it just creates more work for you guys on a help desk perspective. I thought about something, when you said that about neatness, when we get frustrated with our sales team about putting in a work order in it's like the lights out, what light? What room? Where? Give me details. Would they need specifics because they can walk into an apartment and be completely blind about what it is they're trying to focus on. Mark Howell: So I think people ... what I would love, or what I love about your advice is, if you have these methods of education, these little tidbit videos, the captivates, the SLPs that anyone has access to, then they can sort of self-teach maybe, or refresh how to navigate around some of these systems it's brilliant. It would save so much more time and embarrassment because there's nothing worse. I'm an educator. I always feel if I don't know something, I'm going to ell you I don't know it. I want to know if I'm asking you the question it means that I want to know. People always say, Mark, you ask so many questions and you're so dagum, nosy, but I look at them and I say, how will I ever learn anything about you or the subject if I don't ask questions. Keisa Moss: Nosy you are. Mark Howell: I do, I will ask you anything. But I have just kind of taught myself as a young person, even that Mark if you want to know something, ask more questions and who cares if someone thinks you seem stupid. When I walk away from that conversation, I'll know. So I do love that. I love that advice. So tell me, what do you recommend for someone that could be listening to this that is struggling with systems and educating all levels? What would an onboarding plan and onboarding agenda look like? How would you define what a regional or upper management should be exposed to? And is it a shorter kind of, you were talking about a five minute video that you have specifically created for that is the onboarding agenda different? Can you tell me about what you would recommend for creating that? Keisa Moss: Yes. So with onboarding, I would say there's definitely going to be a little bit more time involved in it. So if you have a person that's just now starting, I suggest that they're on at least a third day plan where their [inaudible 00:17:52] is partnered up with someone equivalent to their position. Like a body system. And then there's a good learning path put in place. And that will compile of the interactive videos where they're interactively working through each system. And there's a little quiz at the end, not like a pass or fail, but just the quiz to see their knowledge based on what they've learned. So far, five questions, not a whole lot, you don't want to intimidate anybody, and not everybody likes questions. Keisa Moss: And then of course sitting down with that mentor or that coach to kind of review what they went through each week. And then you're able to ... then that person is able to feel a little bit more confidently when they're out working on their system. Because when someone comes in as a new hire, they should not be in the system that first week at all. Should even have credentials. You don't even know. I get it. You came from another management company. Every company runs their system differently. Everybody. As seen it is amazing how differently it's ran and the employee has to understand that we're setting you up for success again. So we want to make sure that we have equipped you with everything you need. All your tools, your resources, so that you know exactly how to go in there and do it. That's what I would recommend. Mark Howell: I like that. When I was creating learning plans, what we call building the LMS, it was funny. I would get to the section that had a regional or above corporate employee. And people would always say, "Oh, don't sign me up for any of that stuff. Don't sign me up for that," And then I would say, "we need for you to be compliant. Please take the compliant courses." But I think it would be very interesting to take your advice and create a very quick tutorial on all the systems. So regionals and maybe even asset managers or corporate employees with understand, have a better understanding. So they have a little bit more of a robust onboarding process as well. That gives them an introduction at least to the system. So I love it. I think its great advice. Keisa Moss: Yes. Jonathan Saar: I like the fact too Keisa that it's required. From your perspective, this is not like, if you have a little bit of time, and you give me a call and we'll chat about this property management software and whatever those items are it's just fantastic, your approach to ... and I'm sure it feels I can't tell you how many people I've talked to that are just absolutely terrified of technology and especially how we're working so much more virtually and it's been forced. So, letting your people just do their jobs, but doing it in a way that they're comfortable, making it so that it's just less stress. That stress dealing with residents and work orders and you name it, that goes on onsite and then the corporate. Take that out of the equation. That's awesome. What a beautiful conversation. So awesome. Having you as a guest today. Keisa Moss: I am so exited to be here. Jonathan Saar: I love it. You make systems training fun and exciting. I love it. Keisa Moss: It can be Jonathan. It can be very much fun, exciting. Jonathan Saar: We will meet in person one day when this COVID stuff's over and done with, but Mark knows I'm a nerd. And so, it's just, you talk systems training that is music to my ears. Mark Howell: I'm going to let you two meet on your own because I will [inaudible 00:22:08] technical jargon and YouTube will do Jonathan Saar: You'll ask questions. You're going to ask questions. That's what's so great. [inaudible 00:22:18] Keisa Moss: Oh yeah. You do ask questions. Jonathan Saar: Bring it on. So it's been great having you on the show today. We look forward to having you on future episodes. We always ask this of our guests, you're an educator, you have a huge passion for a systems training, and that's so evident in this show today. So can you share with us a tip, any actionable tip that has served you well as an educator? Keisa Moss: Yes. So any system can be fixed. So for the person that makes a mistake or, "Oh God, I just broke it." You didn't break it. Trust me. It can be fixed, you did not break it. The world's not going to come to the end. It can be fixed that's okay. Jonathan Saar: It's not like a nuclear red button or something like that, [inaudible 00:23:17] that's awesome. That's brilliant. Thank you for that. So thank you to our sponsors two today, Higginbotham HR services. You can learn more about them in the show notes. We appreciate them as our, as our sponsor. Thank you to Keisa for being on our show today. To kind of wrap things up. Can people stay in touch with you? How would you want people to connect you who want to learn more about systems training? Keisa Moss: You can find me on LinkedIn. Just look me up. Keisa [inaudible 00:24:00]. Mark Howell: They can also find her through me, howlcreativeconcepts.com. Keisa has a lot of great offerings and the techniques and methods that we talked about during the show. She's great at helping organizations find their way through that path as well. Reach out to her there or even through my own organization. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Perfect. Definitely check out Mark's website howlcreativeconcepts.com. Industry trainer so grateful to have him as a fellow host on this show now. And my name is Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social, and we are bringing to you today, episode 14 and the benefits of system training and why it is so important, and why is it a must. And Keesa thank you for being here. Mark, awesome. Looking forward to the future episodes. Boom, boom. Beautiful show. Keisa Moss: Alight. Bye. Mark Howell: Bye. Jonathan Saar: See you next. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post Why Systems Training is a Must! appeared first on JuvoHub.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
Living Inclusion in a Diverse World
Episode 13 – JuvoHub Podcast Our Host: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social Our Special Guest: Alycia Anderson Alycia is on a mission to motivate and invoke change through the power of diversity and inclusion. She is an accomplished motivational speaker and the Vice President of Sales at Knock, an online marketing and sales management solution for multifamily rental properties. She studied Adapted Education at California State University, Chico, and continued on to receive her Master’s Degree from KU Leuven, Belgium in Adapted Physical Activity emphasizing the benefits, practices, and principles of inclusion. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: Diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of all leaders. The American Disabilities Act has been around for decades and yet talking about this is still a challenge for many. Alycia takes us on a journey that strips away the barriers around the conversation of people who have disabilities and how we frame inclusivity with love and respect. Some questions we consider: Why did you decide that you wanted to be a motivational speaker and educator?The buzz word of the day is “inclusion” is that something new?How can leaders teach better communication to their team?What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? The key to inclusion is equal access and opportunity to life Do the best that you can with what you have been given and go for it with a smileAlycia Anderson – Vice President of Sales Knock If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Just before we get into our show today, I wanted to take a moment and talk about our sponsor. We really appreciate REAL HR, a Higginbotham company, being our sponsor once again for today's show. Today's show is Episode 13, an interview that I have with Alycia Anderson. I'm speechless, after just having this interview with her, trying to be able to gather my words together. So I think you're really going to ... Not think, I know you're going to absolutely enjoy this session. So many key phrases that she mentioned, one that just resonated so much with me and you're going to hear it for yourself, the key to inclusion is equal opportunity in life. The key to inclusion is equal opportunity in life. Jonathan Saar: So we're going to dive into how diversity and inclusion is not just some PR check-the-box item. You're going to hear her take on what it takes to make that part of your corporate culture. So let's get into our show for today. Hello everyone, and welcome to Episode 13 of JuvoHub. JuvoHub is your Property Management Podcast to help you with self-education. I am so excited today to have with me, Alycia Anderson. Alycia is on a mission to motivate and invoke change through the power of diversity and inclusion. So just chew on that sentence just for a minute. We're really looking forward to her thoughts and I got some great questions for her. She is an accomplished Motivational Speaker and she's the Vice President of Sales at Knock, an online marketing and sales management solution for multi-family rental properties. Jonathan Saar: We're going to talk about living inclusion in a diverse world. So just think about that topic for a minute, living inclusion in a diverse world. Alycia, welcome to the show, so glad to have you with us today. Alycia Anderson: Thank you for having me, Jonathan. I'm super excited. I appreciate the opportunity. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no. I ... [crosstalk 00:02:28] Alycia Anderson: [crosstalk 00:02:28] And hello to your audience. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, I think our audience is just going to love this. You and I had some time before the show to kind of go over and prepare what we're going to chat about today. What a timely topic. I know you're going to get into who you are and what you do, so I'm not going to steal any of that. But in the atmosphere of where we are at today, diversity, inclusion, and your unique perspective on both of those. My first question for you. Your bio, we're going to talk about your website, you decided you wanted to be a motivational speaker, you decided you wanted to be an educator. What facilitated that? What brought that about? Alycia Anderson: Good question. A life long of experience, honestly, but over time I have realized that I'm a bridge. I'm a bridge to share to people that might be interested or curious about how it might be to live a life like mine. I was born with my disability and I've lived my life from a wheelchair. The majority of my life has been public. I have lived my life on a virtual stage and people are always watching me. It's the random audience that's captivated by normal navigation of day to day, whether I'm pumping gas in my car, or shopping at the store, or a multitude of just mundane activities. When I was young, I hated it. It stressed me out that people were watching me, I was full of anxiety. But I know that when people are watching me, they're learning, and over time I've accepted that it's a responsibility. Alycia Anderson: It's a huge responsibility and an honor of mine in my lifetime to share potential of possibility. So if I don't do it, who will? There's not a whole lot of people that are speaking that look like me. I feel like just by living my everyday life, I show people the value that everybody brings to the table. I do that through my speaking, and I amplify it through my message. I just want to open doors and widen doors, frankly, for people that follow me. I have a great life, I'm happy. This is all about past for me, present, and future. When you really dive into my story, the timing is pretty poignant, and it leads up to where I am today. I was born on the cusp of segregation of people with disabilities to inclusion. Alycia Anderson: There were people that fought for me to have a chance and it's my duty to just sort of pay that forward in my life path. I just really want to try to highlight how we all can have a mark in this world. I'm just compelled to share my story, and broaden the lens of possibility, and show that inclusion can work. You mentioned I'm the VP of Sales at Knock, it's a multi-family tech platform that helps leasing agents connect renters with property managers and understand how their business is performing. I'm proud to be a part of an incredible team of innovators and an industry that's focused on diversity and celebrates it. Through employment and moving up the ladder in my profession, I have been one of the top performers. Alycia Anderson: I am looked at as an advisor. I am endeared by my clients and realizing and understanding their needs in a comprehensive way has been an achievement. Yet there's so many achievements that are salted with adversity along the way, that people don't realize that you have to overcome. I've had to overcome to achieve the things that I have. It's things like things that we don't like to talk about, overcoming major medical issues, marginalization, discrimination, exclusion. All these things we need to tackle head on and understand that they're the hard things in life that you need to overcome. But they're the things in our experiences that make life so rich and interesting. Adaptability is key and overcoming all this stuff. I'm just on a mission, like you said, to inspire people to feel limitless in tackling these things and finding their fullest potential and knowing that it's possible. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, that's awesome. So much stuff resonated with me there, Alycia. No matter who we are, when we have certain challenges or insecurities, often it's like you want to not have the spotlight on you or you want to try and hide it in some way. But your approach, I've already gotten to know you, has made you who you are, what you are, how you are to your company, to your family, to your team, and is a great voice in a world where, and I know we're going to get into this in just a minute, people don't want to talk about those things, are afraid to talk about those things, and there's no reason for it. There is no reason for it. So, what a testimony to being able to bring issues and not being afraid to have that conversation with people. Jonathan Saar: That's beautiful. So like in the title, what you and I kind of came up with and we hear it a lot today, inclusion. It seems to be like a buzzword right now, but it's nothing new. What do you think about that? People using that word? What's your history with that expression? Any comments or thoughts on that? Alycia Anderson: Absolutely. Inclusion has been a part of my life since Day One, that is for sure. I was born an identical twin, one able-bodied, one with a disability, so we've been chasing after this idea of inclusion since literally we were born. Is it new? Absolutely not, no way. It's just starting to be recognized. I think inclusion was probably born in the 60s during the Civil Rights Movement. 56 years later, we're struggling with what it means still. We're struggling with who belongs in those categories. You're right, there's buzzwords inclusion, diversity, bias, allyship, belonging, equity, they go on and on and on. There's so many concepts around this theory today. They're all important but they're definitely buzzy. Alycia Anderson: We're seeing companies and universities implementing programs and departments and job roles like VP of Diversity and Belonging, are you kidding? I can't even believe that's happening and it's exciting. But are we checking off a box or do we understand what we're actually trying to accomplish here? Inclusion, I think it's important to understand what it is. It's an act, it's the state of being included. It's the relationship between two groups where both are members of each. Alycia Anderson: Inclusion is closely related to diversity, but they're muddied together a lot as one thing. I think it's important to understand that diversity is who we are, it focuses on what makes us different and unique, it's what makes the world go around, it's what makes it interesting. But inclusion is the deliberate act of including, it's an action. Diversity is who we are and inclusion is a deliberate action that we take. Inclusion is born out of inequity. It's when we start to realize that things are not fair, that they're not right, that we can specifically see clearly that people in specific groups that might be marginalized are not being included because of their difference. Alycia Anderson: I think inclusion successfully is achieving environments where people are treated fairly and have equal access to opportunities, have equal access to life. Inclusion is a global concept, it's relatable by so many different layers. In my talks and in my messaging, how can I relate it? I relate to disability because that's my life, that's what I've lived in. I relate it to mobility, and varying abilities, and disability, however you want to name it or call it, and how I fit in with all of that in the world. But inclusion, overlaps for every group. It's really something that's for all of us. The world that we live in today is propelled by technology and the feeling that anything is possible at our fingertips, and it magnifies these inequities. It's forcing us to take a hard look. It's visible. Alycia Anderson: Who are we? Where have we come? What do we have? How did we get there? In the way, on that path, how are we treating people? Who are we bringing along with us? So I just think that the key to inclusion is equal access to life. We're finally understanding, professionally and in life, that it brings interesting things, creativity, and forward thinking, and innovation, and well-rounded insight, and broadens perspectives. All along that road, we're just starting to understand it. We're starting to chip away at it. We're starting to care, our hearts are starting to become warm to it. I'm excited to be a part of this movement because disability is left out of the story a lot of the time. It's a huge part of the story because any of us can be in my situation for a day, a week, a year, forever as we're aging. It doesn't discriminate, color, race, gender, any of it. So, I want to seat at the table of realization of how important this stuff is for everybody, including me. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. You said something a moment ago, it bears repeating. I want to make sure. It's a quotable quote, "the key to inclusion is equal opportunity to life." Is that what you said? Yes. Alycia Anderson: Yes, in life. Jonathan Saar: Okay. "The key to inclusion is equal opportunity in life." So I just ... [inaudible 00:14:00] Alycia Anderson: [inaudible 00:14:00] And that's with life, work, family, love, all of it. All of it. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah, that's amazing. The other thing I wrote down too, Alycia, I resonated with it because when you and I were talking about the show and getting ready and going over some of the material, in the industry that we're in, you would think that's not a big problem because in property management, we're trained for this. We're trained for the Fair Housing Act and the American Disabilities Act, yet it's still a challenge, like you mentioned, decades later. Jonathan Saar: To be fair, I mean, obviously we have new generations of people that are coming into the workplace that have never been exposed to it. So it's not something that we know new employees are just going to inherit. As a matter of fact, in your situation, you're a pioneer. You're teaching ones who may have never been exposed to this topic before. For property management leaders, they can't expect that, because this topic has been around for so many years, their new employees are just going to organically understand the culture behind it. That it's not just PR, it's not just a policy. Here's our policy, we don't want to have any PR so we do this, no diversity and inclusion. This is our culture. This is the way of life. Fantastic, that was amazing. Jonathan Saar: I was looking at your different speaking sessions and I know you touch on a lot of this in your sessions that you have for organizations. So if you can just kind of give us a sound bite, what do you tell leaders? What is your message when it comes to helping them communicate what you just said? What does that look like? What is the process for a leader to be able to address, take point in some aspects, and communicate that to their team? What are your thoughts? Alycia Anderson: Communication is the key word. There's no magic recipe for this stuff other than communicating. I think from a leader's perspective, taking a hard assessment of themselves. Just like I said, they need to take a hard look at who they are, what they believe, how they got it, and most importantly, how they're going to project those feelings onto their team? They need to lead by example, believe what they're saying, not just check off a box. Why are we implementing these things? Why do we care about it? Shift goals to include everyone in processes, and maybe move away from 'the end justifies the means,' and realize that if we don't include everyone in the process we might not truly be reaching all of our ultimate goals. Alycia Anderson: This may not be done tomorrow, it may take a lot of time. But the key factor is that everybody needs to have a seat at the table. We need to be able to get the thoughts, get feedback from everyone and ideas, and open up possibility, and possibly changing our end goals so we are including everyone and have that broader lens that we're looking forward. Leaders need to understand that inclusion is hard work. It is hard for you, it's hard for me. It's collective. It's uncomfortable. It's ongoing. It's effort. It takes teamwork. It takes collaboration. It takes adaptability. It takes being willing to relearn the things that we have been taught from the people before us, that maybe we need to open up our perspectives a little bit more. How do we do this? Alycia Anderson: We start talking about it. We need to remove fear. Fear has been stopping the progression of inclusion in companies and in society forever because we're afraid that we're going to say the wrong thing. That's just the reality. So we need to be willing to make mistakes with our words and with our actions in the process. We're never going to be an expert on somebody else. We need to be willing to ask bold questions. We need to be willing to ask hard questions, even though we might have a slip up. Vice versa of that, whoever's receiving that needs to receive it, and be honest with their answers. Be willing to forgive if mistakes are made because that's how we're learning. Communication is key. It's like a dance, it takes two. It takes trust. It takes vulnerability. It takes practice. It takes a lot of work and it becomes a habit eventually, and we can execute it naturally. Alycia Anderson: So over time, this breaks down these buzzwords, bias, and stigma, and stereotypes, whether they're conscious or not. There's scenarios in both that drive our decisions, that are making our decisions into what we're decided to do for tomorrow. The blocker on inclusion, we need to just allow the conversation to happen organically without worrying about judgment and really eliminating fear. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Alycia Anderson: It opens up tomorrow. It opens up for a better tomorrow and a more inclusive society, workplace, world, whatever we're talking about. Jonathan Saar: Exactly. Exactly, I like how you put it in from an educator standpoint. For instance, it's like a Training Director who may be listening to this, well, what do they do? They check the box. Okay. We did our sales training, we did our customer service training, we did our OSHA Safety, check, check, check. We can easily get into that mode, but this is a topic that is definitely not a check-the-box. Kind of a B-part to the question, and I think I might be answering it, but I would love your feedback on it. So if it's not a checkbox item, that means therefore, it's not just an annual course or an annual subject at the leadership conference. Creating an inclusive, diverse corporate culture is a daily thing, right? Am I hitting the mark? Alycia Anderson: It's absolutely a daily thing. It's been a lifelong thing, it is constantly changing and growing as we understand and learn, and it becomes more natural. Diversity, there's never going to be a turnkey solution completely. There's going to be the manuals that you buy, but there's a humanity aspect of this that we all understand in our own way, from our own life experiences, from the past, moving into the future. We only can progress again as we're having communication that is always going to be different. Jonathan Saar: Right. Alycia Anderson: It's not turnkey, there's no way. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. So I guess my takeaway Alycia, from this, or one of many. I'm pretending for a moment, again, we'll put myself into the seat of those who listening. I've never brought this up to my team. I don't have a communication strategy for that as of today. But I'm listening to this show and now I know I need to have one, but the onus is on me. It's on me to understand that bigger picture, to understand the components of it. Again, not have that mindset of, "Okay, we've talked about it. Now we can move on. Go back to business as usual, go back to leasing apartments and so on." That's kind of like what I feel from this, and for our listeners, what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do today? Jonathan Saar: You finished listening to this show. We're going to send people to your website. What are you going to do about it, everyone? What is your next step to really understand diversity, inclusion and what it really means? Don't go away from this show, "Oh, well that was great." Take some steps and do something to create that culture within your organization now. Just take a deep breath. I mean, amazing Alycia, go ahead, go ahead. I think you've got another thought, you have it on your face. Alycia Anderson: Yeah. I think the first step to all of this is stripping away the invisibility piece that we get hung up on with diversity. Find your way to the person, find your way to your team, and figure out what makes them tick. I have this saying, my dad always told me to do the best that I can with what I've been given and go for it with a smile. That's my motto, but I've stripped it down a little bit where I want people to see me for me. Just find your way to the person, find your way to their heart. What makes them tick? What makes them so unique to bring them into your organization? Acknowledge them for who they are, not what we think they might, can, or cannot do. We don't understand that until we've had the conversation. One person needs to be willing to try and the other person needs to be willing to share. Alycia Anderson: It's just as simple as that. No one person can accomplish this on our own. I just think it's important to frame inclusivity. For me, its basis is heart, and love, and respect. What can we do for each other? How can we support our teams, enable pathways for people to grow no matter their background or that what diversity they might be coming from? The hardest part of all of this stuff is caring about the other person and putting forth the effort to find a solution, to talk about how we can include everyone, to talk about what makes each person tick, and what makes them feel comfortable and supported. Recognize that celebrating our differences as gifts, your team's differences as gifts, allows us to adapt and do change and to experience and see. Alycia Anderson: See people for people, to see me for me. These biases, these stigmas, we cannot allow them to hold us back from allowing people to propel their careers, to move forward in life, because we believe something that just might not be true. We need to just start listening. We need to start listening without judgment. We need to have open arms. We need to have genuine love and curiosity about another person. It takes time and practice to push away these stereotypes and stigmas that come along with, for sure, this road that I'm on. So I just challenge leaders do the collective work that it takes, the conversation that it takes, the boldness that it takes to remove this invisibility, diversity, that we focus on so much and just find your way to the person. We adapt in that process, we need to be adaptable and we needed to communicate. It's just that simple. Jonathan Saar: I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. Man, this is just amazing. Beautiful Alycia, I'm so grateful to have you here on the show today. There's just so many takeaways, so many quotable quotes. I'm confident that everyone who listens to this is going to pick up that pen and paper, analyze everything that they're doing internally right now. We got to analyze ourselves, it starts with looking in the mirror. Look in the mirror, what are we doing today? How are we treating people? Reach the heart. Jonathan Saar: Boy, it's just awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So my question to kind of close it out, always love to get the quotable sound bite so to speak from all of my guests on the show. You said a bunch, so if you have another one, this is going to be just icing on the cake. There's so many little tips that I took notes on here, but what's your top, if you have a tip that has served you well as an educator, what is it? You can repeat what you've already mentioned, but what is your go-to thought, quotes, tips, something along that line? Alycia Anderson: I think it just goes back to my motto which is, "You got to do the best that you can with what you've been given and smile." We all have something that's hard. Mine is definitely more visible and there's, for sure, some really hard parts that I have to deal with but it makes life so beautiful. You just got to go for it in life. You just have to do the best that you can, and that's all I'm trying to do. If I can shed some light on this and open some doors for people that are going to follow me, I'm so happy. So, that's really my goal. Jonathan Saar: Beautiful, beautiful. Well, there you have it friends. Alycia Anderson, Motivational Speaker, Vice-President of Sales at Knock. So Alycia, for those listening these will be in the show notes, but just tell us what's your website, your company website? How can people connect with you after the show? Alycia Anderson: My website is alyciaanderson.com. That's Alycia with a Y, so A-L-Y-C-I-A Anderson with an O. There you can link to all of my social connections as well. I'm just open to bringing the human aspect to this conversation and companies, to really try to connect the dots a little bit more, and have a seat at the table, a conversation, make some change. We'll do it. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So everyone listening, make sure you check out her website. Make sure you check out Knock, an amazing multi-family company that is doing a lot for our industry, especially with all of the challenges we're having with leasing in a virtual environment. Be sure to check out their website, those will be in the show notes too. Thank you again, Alycia, wonderful to have you on the show, look forward to having you on a future episode. But until next time, thank you everyone for being here. This is Episode 13 of JuvoHub, the Podcast for Property Management and those who want to educate themselves. Our subject for today, living inclusion in a diverse world. So thank you everyone for being here, we'll see you next time. Thank you again, Alycia. Alycia Anderson: Thank you. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post Living Inclusion in a Diverse World appeared first on JuvoHub.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Overcoming Challenges in a Virtual Training World
Episode 12- JuvoHub Podcast Our Host: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social Our Special Guest: Jessica Gordon Jessica Gordon is the Director of Learning & Development for The RADCO Companies which has an amazing portfolio all over the Southeast. Jessica has many years in training and development with a background in service and fell into training and development for property management. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: In order to have a progressive career one absolutely must invest time in continuing self-education. Jessica Gordon is one who epitomizes that process. Moving from a career in lifestyle management into property management is a huge leap. In this episode, you will hear how Jessica not only made that leap but has taken that leap and helped propel the learning and education program of one of the top property management companies in the country. Enjoy! Some questions we consider: How did you get your career going in Learning and Development? Why this career choice?How has an understanding of technology help serve you in your department? Why is it so critical?With the pandemic challenges and a diverse portfolio what are some critical success components to training virtually?What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? So my main advice is just say stay committed to educating yourself. We are all learners. Stay curious.Jessica Gordon – Director of Learning & Development If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hello everyone, and welcome to the JuvoHub Podcast. Just before we get into episode 12, I want to take a moment and talk about our sponsor for today. REAL HR, a Higginbotham company. I've worked with their leadership team for many years now, and always, always impressed with the level of dedication that they give towards their clients. It's amazing. And they work a lot with human resource departments within the property management space. So if you have questions or needs involving employee benefits, payroll administration, employee screening, these are the folks to talk to. And they're under the umbrella of their parent company, Higginbotham, which has a whole other level of services related to insurance needs and benefits. So definitely check them out, real-hr.com. That's R-E-A-L dash H-R dot-com and see it for yourself. And of course, there'll be a link to their site in the show notes. So big huge Juvo thank you for them being our sponsor. So now let's get into today's episode. Jonathan Saar: Good day to everyone. Welcome to episode 12. I have the esteem privilege of having a guest from RADCO, Jessica Gordon. And we are going to talk specifically today about overcoming challenges in a virtual training world. So a very appropriate topic. All of us who are in education understand certain challenges that are there, and RADCO has a huge portfolio that Jessica oversee. She is the director of learning and development for RADCO, and she has many years in the training and development with a background in service. And she happened to fall into the training and development. So first of all, Jessica, welcome to the show. It's so great to have you with us today. Jessica Gordon: Thanks, Jonathan. I'm really excited to be here. I appreciate you inviting me onto the show. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, looking forward to our conversation. Because it's one that, as you and I were preparing, we hear a lot, there's been a lot of transition, especially over the last few months and what learning and development departments are doing within property management. And how to still maintain that connection, even though, perhaps in person training is not as a viable option as it used to be. But let's just talk about you for a minute. It's interesting that you come from a different starting point in your career and now you're in learning and development. So can you give us an insight? So what was that like in the transition and give us a little feedback and what that was all about. Jessica Gordon: Sure. So my background really is in service, customer service. I was always really good at it and passionate about serving people, whomever that was, whoever my customer was at the time. So, my background, back in New York City, which is where I used to live before I moved to Atlanta a few years ago, I was a lifestyle manager. So this was a very niche role at the time. Now lifestyle management has expanded and it's a quite widely known industry. But at the time when I joined this company, it was a young company, and really not many people knew about lifestyle management. So the company itself didn't really have any formal training when I joined. But we ended up growing really rapidly and the need for formal training became apparent very quickly in my role. Jessica Gordon: So I developed the employee training program from scratch to help us onboard all of our new hires and introduce them into the world of lifestyle management. So we were teaching them everything from sales to networking and negotiation. And of course they had to become experts in everything Manhattan and all the other regions that we serve. So at this time also, I was a very young manager, and I was hungry for resources of my own to improve myself in the role that I was in. So I felt inadequate many times when I came across people issues that I didn't really know how to solve, because of my youth, because of my inexperience. So I did a lot of research myself. I talked to many professionals who I admired. I met with a lot of organizations, professional organizations, to network with those individuals and become part of those groups. And so I became a mentee for a professional women's organization. And this group really helped me. Jonathan Saar: Nice. Jessica Gordon: Yeah, they really helped me ground myself in my role as a leader. I was introduced to people who introduced me to ethics of business and how to handle certain situations. And it was at this time that I was introduced to executive coaching. And that was really it for me. I totally fell in love. I fell in love with this proactive approach to developing yourself, to developing others, and it was just right up my alley. As you can tell, just from my own innate personality, when I see a need, I really dig in and I throw myself into it full on. So executive coaching just really spoke to me. Jessica Gordon: So, as I began to learn more over the next few years, then I decided to go back to school, get my Masters, and then get the credentials to actually back up my experience in the field. Now at this time, now as a more advanced manager, I was overseeing all of our employee programs for that organization and also with our vendors and our partners. So this also was my introduction to property management, because we worked as a third party partner with a number of property managers related to the developers that we were working with. So I love it. In my role today I'm still serving customers, which is our team members, every single day. And I still get to provide the high quality service that is so important to me as we continue to grow and develop other people and myself really. So I love it, and it just is a dream job. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that is so so so awesome. What a transition. And I love the fact that you were able to take so many different skill sets and just see where it can be inserted into property management. It's a very unique industry, I'm sure you would attest to property management. And different group and just a lot of wonderful, awesome nuances that come with it. And how fantastic. And this is one of the things I love to emphasize when I have all of our guests on, but you said it so eloquently. Just taking the lead to educate yourself. If that's where you want to go in life, move forward in your career, that there's a lot of motivation that has to come within in order for that to take place. So kudos to you. Jessica Gordon: Certainly. Jonathan Saar: No, that's awesome, just to see how that all transitioned and move forward as time went along. So let's talk just a minute about technology. So you alluded to a lot of different items that you had to, a lot of people you've had to oversee, working them through different programs. Now we're in property management. So what have you seen maybe, has there been a transition? And especially thinking over the last few months, how has your background overall served you well understanding technology and being able to use it for your teams? Jessica Gordon: Well, goodness, technology plays a huge part in my day-to-day world. And for us as a company, our leadership is really focused on streamlining and building efficiencies for the organization. So since I joined RADCO three years ago, I mean, we've implemented new technology every few months. So this has helped us grow, it's helped us develop as an organization, and we've seen a lot of success due to that. So, I think over the past three years, it's been a bit of a journey. These past few months now, right, we've been, I guess, about three or four months now into this new world of COVID and everything else going on in the world. I think we were set up really for success because of the work that we'd done previously. So we are lucky in that way. Even so, we've become even more efficient along the way. I'll tell you a little bit more about some of that more recent changes. Jessica Gordon: You asked about just understanding technology at large. And previously, I had introduced Salesforce to my previous organization. So that was a really great opportunity for me to learn about not only introducing a CRM system and then creating efficiencies, but also we worked with developers to customize. So here at RADCO, it's been really amazing, because all of the technologies that we use, I've been an integral part in implementing those. And then of course, as every other L&D professional knows, we are a great partner and making sure our team members learn that new technology. And then it becomes embedded in the culture, the way we do business. So understanding how it works is really key, but first and foremost, it's really important to focus on what problem is it going to solve? Jessica Gordon: So, before introducing anything new, we're always asking, we're going back to the business objective. Back to how we make money, how are we successful as a company, and then what problems do we have and how can technology solve that problem? Then it becomes more of a tool to serve us rather than becoming a barrier to success, right? Lots of times, if you just throw in this new toy or this new idea, that we say, and we don't think about how it fits into the big picture, that's when our team members really suffer and that's when the business suffers because then it's not adopted, people don't really understand the why, what's the use for it. So we're really focused on understanding how will this new technology serve us and then how can we really allow it to help us become efficient and more successful as an organization? So, very basic. Some of the tools that we use to help us is communication, right? Jessica Gordon: So, very simply, when I first joined RADCO, we have Office 365. And so, one of the biggest concerns at that time, this again was many years ago, was some of our team members didn't even have an email address, our maintenance team members, right? And I found out that this is commonplace in the industry. That was very surprising to me. So we quickly changed that, because we were cutting off half of our R, right? People who didn't get the information that we were sharing via email, which was the majority. So we quickly changed that. Jessica Gordon: And then we started using Yammer, which has become a huge, huge connection for our organization, for our team members. I mean, we have hundreds of thousands of posts on Yammer now. We're still fairly small organization, we're under 500 people. But I'd say, pretty confidently, that we're almost at a hundred percent engagement in terms of Yammer use. And it's a way for us to communicate, initiative, large and small, it's a way for us to engage with one another, to praise team members, give each other shout outs, say happy birthday, post photos, post videos, I mean everything. So it's really fantastic. And we've been also able to reinforce our values through that platform. So that's been just tremendous. Jessica Gordon: And then also a few years back, we started a live video broadcast. So some companies call it town halls. This is really more of a TV show, where it was all about our team members. So we were able to call out best practices. So then this allowed us to reinforce great behavior, reinforce metrics that were important to us, give face to team members who might not have otherwise had an opportunity to meet each other. We also gave a voice to many of our team members. We bring them on the show, interview them, talk to them about their experience. And so, this has really become essential, also part of our communication strategy as a company. And when we first launched it, we just started it on Skype for Business, right? That was the tool that we had. Then we tried it on Zoom. Then we got a production company involved. Now we're back on Zoom with a little bit of production help. So it's an evolution. Jessica Gordon: And I think that's what's cool about the technology too, is you're constantly checking, testing it. We pilot it, we test it. We will [inaudible 00:00:13:54], then we assess it, and then we make changes. So it's an ongoing process. We're constantly reevaluating all of the tools that we use. Whether these are the right ones, of course, we all know new things become available all the time, trends change. We're looking at consumer behavior, we're looking at how are we going to make this easy for our team members who are used to, right, searching on Google and posting on Instagram, now TikTok, whatever the new thing is. I don't even know if people are really using Facebook anymore, right? Jessica Gordon: So we're always looking, okay, how can we mimic that same experience so that the training doesn't have to be such a large burden for the team to use it. It just becomes natural, and it's just part of their daily habits anyway. And so it's been really great for us, in those few examples, to just introduce commonplace tools that we can use within the organization. But it's not such a big leap away from what they're doing on their own anyway, in their personal lives. So, that's been great. Jessica Gordon: And then just in terms of using technology to share knowledge, this is really, I think, this is a guiding principle of mine, and it's also, I think been key to our success. So, we really encourage our team members to use technology to share their experiences and share their knowledge as well. So, we'll talk a little bit about it, but we have identified some team members who stand out in specific areas. And so we give them a platform to have a voice to share, what works for them. And so, we're using these kind of on-demand platforms to allow team members to record themselves, and then they'll share content with each other. So that's been really cool. Jessica Gordon: So in general, I mean, those are really the mainstay ones. But then of course just with all of the business tools that we use every day, it's really just been helpful to us to streamline and also allowed us to become more transparent as we track our success. So we've been able to also now integrate numerous systems and create dashboards. So that's another way that we're able to break down those barriers and share very clearly what matters, the metrics that are important to us at the company, how we're doing. It allows all of our learning to align back to our business objective. So if we're looking at these dashboards and they're public, and everyone can check in on their success, it makes us easier to be really laser focused in on what matters. So technology has really just helped us in many different ways. Jonathan Saar: So amazing passion, and incredible use cases too. I mean, you've mentioned some use cases I have not heard too too often in our industry. But what a pioneer you are and RADCO as a company. And as you mentioned as, it's a team effort, everybody really needs to opt in. But often, I find that it's the pain. The biggest pain points I've heard is usually, okay, property management software, how do I use it? It's taken me 10 years to use it, and now my company's changing because we're going to a different one. And now we got to take another 10 years to learn that. And it's just a constant ... If there's anything that's a sore spot, often it's technology and being able to have people well versed in it. So it's awesome to hear the way your process is, because it is. And I resonate with that well. If you can't delegate out via technology, then you're going to lose your mind as a leader trying to manage everything. And so, once you empower them- Jessica Gordon: I will say, I mean, what you mentioned about the property management software being such a burden, we're not unique in this situation where that isn't tough for us too, it certainly is. So we're a Yardi client, and I'll say great things about Yardi. We've really been able to ... They've been great partners with us, I guess is what I'll say. But I have to give Mike Brewer, who's our COO, a huge, just acknowledge him. Because over the past couple of years, he has been slowly introducing scaling up into our business. So this is a framework that we use to make decisions and communicate as an organization. Are you familiar with scaling up? Jonathan Saar: Yep. Jessica Gordon: Yeah. So this has really helped us streamline the process and how to use the tool, our property management software, also it's allowed us to really understand what all of the capabilities are and then make decisions on what to take advantage of, right? There's so many options there. There's many applications, it's all customized. So we have been working really closely, as a team, at all levels of the organization. We involve everyone in any role to participate, give us feedback, let us know if this is working, or that we're constantly assessing the tools that we're using. But it's also, our work together through the scaling up framework has allowed us to regroup at regular time to address and prioritize what are the most important policies that we have in place, what are the important business objectives that we have, and then what's our process to support all of those. Jessica Gordon: And so we've been digging into our software system very closely and picking it apart and rewriting policy based on the business needs and changes and making sure that we reintroduce processes all the time. So this is a huge project for my team specifically, because we'll partner with IT and Operations and make sure that we're all exactly on the same page about how we should be using the software and then making sure that our team members really understand it. And then we'll build in programs to reinforce that behavior. And we'll use other things that we have. We use Kingsley to reinforce that we're getting that customer feedback from their survey program. Jessica Gordon: And so we're looking at all these metrics all the time. And so we can quickly identify where our areas of opportunity are, and then we dig into those. And so the L& D team will write a program to support that. And that way we can praise our people for the positive behavior and the actionable items that we want to reinforce. And so that allows our team members to also really have a clear understanding of what's expected of them, which I think can be unclear very often, and just help us to get on the same page as an organization. But this is not something that happened overnight. This has been a very long, diligent process that we've been going through for the past three years. I think right now we're finally at a place where we're really, really tightly making this happen. And we're really putting into action this framework, and it's helped us so so much. And so I think over the next few years and just through COVID it helps us see the success and the value in this communication style and this collaboration style. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that's awesome. I have a visual of ... Anytime when I see a framework of multiple technology components, it's almost like a ... It's a roadmap of connecting dots. And if they're operating in silos, then you're going to have challenges. But the way you and RADCO have put it together, I think you've really demonstrated to our audience what it takes. I mean, there is a level of follow-up, enforcement and empowerment and so on. Which leads to something else you and I were talking about as we were preparing for the show. And I think you alluded to it earlier too, was just what's involved in really empowering the employees? You mentioned you had an ambassador program. Can you give us a highlight? I know you can't give all the secrets away, necessarily, but what's maybe more the leadership cultural position and what effect has that had on RADCO employees? Jessica Gordon: So RADCO, certainly I think one of our guiding principles is empowering our employees. And underlying that is empowering them to be decision-makers, right? I mean, each of our property managers and each one of us are running our own businesses, right? Each property is its own business in itself. And so it's really important that, for me personally, I think what I saw, especially coming in to property management a bit of a novice, right? So I was a L&D expert, but I really was new to property management. So when I came and I said, "Goodness, how am I going to be teaching all this? I'm not the teacher, I'm the least experienced one in the room," right? So very quickly I thought, "How am I going to make this work?" Jonathan Saar: At least [crosstalk 00:24:07]. Jessica Gordon: Yeah, of course, of course. So I thought, "Goodness, how are we going to make this work?" So I looked around and I saw we have a ton of talent in this organization. We believe in empowering our team members. So let's give them the mic, let's give them a voice. And so I got to know, personally, many of our team members, again, in many different roles. What's so important to me, just the culture of our learning and development department, is that we are not seen as just a corporate department. That we are seen as a resource, as a friend, as an ally. As someone could pick up the phone and not be intimidated to just call and Skype us and Zoom us and email us and call my cell and just reach out if you need assistance. We will always say yes. And if we don't have the answer, we're going to find it for you. Jessica Gordon: And we'll go with SOS. And I heard this from [inaudible 00:25:13], SOS, See it, Own it, Solve it. And this is a huge philosophy of ours and something that we really stick with, because if we see there's a problem, we're going to own it. We're going to figure out why it's there, how we can help, and then we're going to help to solve it. Whether or not we're specifically the ones to actually fix the issue, we're going to follow-up until we know that team member has what they need to be successful, that that barrier has been removed. Jessica Gordon: And with RADCO, again, with the scaling up, in our huddles. We have a daily huddle. It's a 10-minute meeting every morning with our team. And in those meetings, we talk about, just a what's up, we can give someone a shout out or say how we are personally, or just let us know what's going on. And then we talk about one of our three top priorities for the day. And then we say, "Is there anything that you're stuck or that you need that management can help you with?" Or someone else can help you with, doesn't have to be your manager. And so in that process, we're able to solve issues so quickly. Because if I have my meeting at 9:00 AM, by 11:30 my problem is solved, or I know that there's some work being done. And so that's great. And I love that too, because that's how we should be solving the same for our residents, and for our customers at large, right? Jessica Gordon: So we figure out what the issue is. We address it. We get very clear, and then we go ahead and solve it with constant updates. That communication. And so this is all learning. It's all learning for me, it's learning for everyone in the organization, how to work together as a community, as an organization and serve all the people who matter most. Which is everyone, whether you're a team member, a business partner or a resident, a customer. And so that's the way I think that we're able to address everything. Jonathan Saar: That is just amazing. Yeah, what a culture. I think from every perspective, as someone who's listening to this show today, Jessica, it's okay. Here's the expectation. If I'm brand new to the industry, if I'm just coming out of college, here's what working in property management could be like. And for the many who are working on their learning and development programs, really understanding there's so much more to it than just simple structure. There is that component. It is a big part of it. Jonathan Saar: But to your point, the communication, the people part, is more important than ... Because it wouldn't work. It wouldn't work. You can have all the technology and robots in the world, and if you don't have something that brings you together as a team for that common goal ... Your expression that you used, I want to help you, can you help me? I need to learn from you. What's it like for you in that property? And let me see what I can do from help. I can only imagine what that is like every day, having that back and forth, and we're here to solve and give people a home to live in, their residence, make sure they're happy. Jessica Gordon: Absolutely. And to go back to the ambassador [inaudible 00:28:36], because I'm not sure if I completely answered your question. But with our ambassadors, what was so cool, and what is so cool about having team members actually lead conversation, which is really what the program is all about, we identify people in key leaders in specific areas. We coach them a little bit to get them ready to lead a conversation. And then to hear what they say from their perspective in their own words, it's so eyeopening for us to say, "Okay, are we all aligned?" And then also, what jargon are they using? What key phrases ... Have they introduced any concept of our values in the discussion that they're hosting? Are they reinforcing these behaviors that we've been trying to introduce to the organization and instill in our company and then our service model? Jessica Gordon: So it's been so helpful, because if we didn't give them that voice and the platform to lead the conversation, we'd never know how that went, right? And so then we're having all these little ... We know people are learning from each other all the time, right? I mean, I think Gallup surveys says people learn from their team members much more than any other way, right? And so, if we know that they're shadowing each other, we've got to make sure the message is consistent. So if we don't give them an opportunity to practice sharing that message then we can't all get on the same page. So I think that's been so cool, because then our team members are hearing it from someone in their role. So they really can connect with that person much more than someone like me, who's sitting outside of the community. They're able to hear it from someone they can relate to. They're in and out every day in that they have the same challenges, they have similar successes, and they can really learn from each other. Jessica Gordon: And what I'm also hoping is that we're building the networks and the relationships across the properties so that the brand is strengthened. And so that's another way that we're able to do that. And our team members really love it. They love to have the spotlight on them. They love sharing. They love having a voice. And we encourage it. We say, "Put it on your LinkedIn. Add this to your resume." We really give them ... You led that, you trained this, and then we can pull them into other conversations down the road. So it's been really fantastic. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that is beautiful. And I think of what motivated me to start this podcast was simply so I can learn from other industry experts and be able to create a channel for our industry to learn from. Everybody's learning. It doesn't matter how long we've been. I'm like you in some ways, I don't have a background in property management. My background is in many other items, which I'm not being interviewed, so I'll be quiet about it. But nevertheless, I had to learn, I had to learn, and be able to adapt and teach and educate. So it's been amazing, Jessica, to have you on the show today and to be able to share that level of passion. Jonathan Saar: And leaders like you, and you mentioned Mike Brewer, my bud, my pal, it really really helps. It helps our industry, especially in a critical time that we're in right now, to really showcase what it's going to take to move through challenging times and keep our teams motivated and help them out. So thank you so much for being here. But before we go, my favorite question to ask. Some people have a one-liner, some have a couple, but bottom line, what is your actionable tip that has served you in the service industry, wherever you've been, here in property management, what has served you as an educator? Jessica Gordon: Well, I think personally, it's just been continue educating yourself, right? Set goals and just build the knowledge, keep building, keep building. And specifically, with my role at RADCO, it's also know the business, right? Specifically, how do we make money? What are the business drivers? Then we can build learning and development to support the business and our [inaudible 00:33:06] success in their roles. So that's been certainly an evolution for me, continuing to build relationships within RADCO and outside. I mean, there's been such a wonderful community in property management. And people have been so welcoming and they have embraced me and I really appreciate all of those leaders. Whether they're in a similar role to my own or others that I've met, it's been really amazing how open and how committed people are to helping each other and to sharing best practices. And I'll go out and just say, I appreciate all of you. Some of you are probably listening and it's just been such a wonderful journey. So my main advice is just say stay committed to educating yourself. We are all learners. Stay curious. Jonathan Saar: That's awesome. And that's the quote, folks, stay curious, keep learning, keep educating yourself. Jessica, amazing. Ladies and gentlemen, we need to give her a big round of huge thanks and appreciation for coming on the show today and sharing your insight and passion. And we look forward to having you down the road again on another topic I'm sure here on the JuvoHub Podcast. So Jessica, thank you so much for being here. So how can people connect with you? What's your preferred social channel? Jessica Gordon: Certainly. So you can connect with me on LinkedIn. So I'm Jessica Kate Gordon on LinkedIn. If you search RADCO you'll find me right there. Jonathan Saar: Perfect. Perfect. We'll definitely include that in the show notes so that people can connect with you when they get to listen to this show. And again, thank you for being here. Thank you everyone for tuning into the JuvoHub Podcast. My name is Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social. We're grateful to have you here. Please take a moment and give the podcast a review and share it with your network. We appreciate so much the support that you have given us. And we look forward to seeing you on our next show. Take care, everyone. Jessica Gordon: Thanks so much, Jonathan. 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24 minutes | 3 months ago
Fair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and Company
Episode 11- JuvoHub Podcast Our Host: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social Our Special Guest: Michael Coughlin Michael Coughlin, The Fair Housing Institute‘s Vice President, works closely with FHI’s clients, consulting on training development, providing hands on assistance during training rollout and operations, and supporting our clients throughout the certification process. Through his wide-ranging experience with our customers, Michael has become an advocate for the value and importance of effective fair housing training for all employees of the housing industry. His extensive background in sales and customer service plays a critical role in the development and delivery of a successful long term training program for our clients. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes From the Host: Fair Housing is one of the most important topics that we teach our team. It’s not just a once a year item. It’s a daily topic that as educators we are obligated to impress upon our organization. Michael Coughlin lives eats and breathes Fair Housing for all of his clients. Tune into his take on why this is so important and what the long-term benefits are. Some questions we consider: When someone is invested in Fair Housing education what does that tell you about that individual or company?What is your take for on-going FH education?Short term investment training vs long term investment – is it a matter of perspective?What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? Be honest with your team, treat them like professionals, help them focus on how education will support their careerMichael Coughlin – Vice President The Fair Housing Institute JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode 11 of the JuvoHub Podcast. So just before we get into our show, I'm always grateful to take a moment and thank our sponsors for our show and for this episode. So our sponsor for this episode is REAL HR, a Higginbotham company, and I have known their leadership team for many years. Fantastic group to work with incredible. Dedication that they have towards all of their clients. It's just amazing. So they work a lot with human resource departments within the property management industry. So if you have questions or needs involving employee benefits, payroll administration, employee screening, these are the folks to talk to. And they are under the umbrella of their parent company, which is Higginbotham, which is a whole other level of awesome services related to insurance needs and benefits. So definitely check them out, real-hr.com. Again, real, R-E-A-L, dash H-R dot-com, and see it for yourself. In the show notes there'll be a link to their website. So be sure to check them out, we appreciate them sponsoring the show. So a big huge Juvo thank you to them. And so without further ado, let's get into today's show. Jonathan: Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode number 11. I have the esteemed pleasure of having Michael Coughlin with me today, who is from the Fair Housing Institute. He is the vice president of the company and has over 15 years of sales and customer service. And when we were talking before the show, he gave me a little bit more insight about his role in the company and how he really works with customers to identify their fair housing needs, their goals, and help them come up with a solution. So today's show is going to focus primarily on Michael's take on fair housing. Why it's important for a company and how it's truly an investment in career and company. So, Michael, thank you for being here and welcome to the JuvoHub Podcast my friend. Michael Coughlin : Jonathan, it's a pleasure. Thanks for having me. Jonathan: Yeah, no, it's great. It's great that we get together. We haven't had on the podcast yet a guest to talk about fair housing. And we know in the industry, it is one of the most important compliance topics that are out there. And training and education is always an ongoing process for everyone who is in property management. So we look forward to having your take on it, what you've seen, and maybe some tips and things to share to help reinforce that. Why is fair housing education so important? Why is it a career item and how it benefits not only an industry professional, but for a company? So before we get into some of those questions, I love just to hear a little bit about you. What brought you into the industry? How did you get into this profession? Give us a couple tidbits about your background, if you don't mind. Michael Coughlin : Oh, sure, I will. I guess the career was a little bit of a destiny for me. Because if you didn't know, my mother is a fair housing attorney. My stepfather is a fair housing attorney. And believe it or not, my sister is a fair housing attorney. So it is really a family business. Years ago, I joined onto Kathi Williams' law firm. She was in a law firm, her and Steven Edelstein, my mother and stepfather. And I just did a lot of day-to-day tasks. Scheduling, working with the clients, that kind of thing, anything they would need that basically didn't require a law degree. Michael Coughlin : From there, we were able to identify a business, which at that time was called FHI Online. And that was providing online for housing training. Unfortunately, there really wasn't anybody in the law firm that could dedicate enough time to it to try to grow the client base, awareness, marketing, that kind of thing. And I saw an opportunity there. So I really just threw myself into it. And with the assistance of Kathi Williams and others we were able to grow it into a really successful business that is to this day growing both in clientele and awareness. Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely. That's cool. Thanks for that background. Big family business. You and I have the pleasure of working together with the Fair Housing Institute and- Michael Coughlin : We do? Jonathan: Yeah, man. Come on, man. Michael Coughlin : Yeah, full disclosure everybody, me and Jonathan are friends, and he is very good at his job. So I'm a little biased, I just want everybody to know. Jonathan: Well, I appreciate that, I appreciate it. Yeah, no, it's great working with you and seeing what you've done for the company and how much it's grown. And lot of that, I witnessed it personally, seeing your investment in the customers and in what they need for fair housing. So let's just talk about that for a bit. Because it's one of those subjects that, in all the years that I've been in property management education, I tell ya, it's when you start bringing up fair housing, people are like, "Oh man, that's that once a year thing that I have to do." But then you have a different culture, you have the other side, of someone who is very interested in it and sees the benefit. So, I know you've seen both, but let's focus on the positive. When you see someone who's invested in fair housing education, what does that tell you about that person or about that company? What kind of feelings do you get? Michael Coughlin : Sure. Well, to provide a little background for the thought, if you didn't know, property management, honestly, is a really high turnover industry. There are just a lot of people in and out. If you've ever lived in an apartment complex, you probably noticed that the same staff that you signed up with is not the same staff you ended up with. That's just a part of the industry, there's no judgment there. But it does change the way that corporate looks at investing in its employees and the business itself. And I think unfortunately some corporations don't try to spend the time to properly educate their employees. And that's understandable if the employees are just going to leave or aren't going to stick around long enough working on hot properties. Michael Coughlin : But when you see an individual, whether that's a leasing agent, that's a manager, that's a maintenance employee, anybody in the industry, investing their time into taking the training seriously, I think that sends a message to everybody that this is my career path and I want to go up. I want to understand how this works. Whether you're talking about fair housing training or really anything else in the business, but especially fair housing training, because it is complicated. But I want to understand how this works so I can do better for my own career as well as the company I'm with. Jonathan: Yeah, I like that analogy. And you said that, it made me think of in school, there was those fun subjects and then there was the ones that weren't so fun. So math was never a fun one for me. However, I knew that if I invested, because it was so important to my overall education, my overall how I'm going to function as an adult, then it was absolutely critical. So I love that. That resonated with me on how someone who takes something that is a very legalistic and not the most interesting perhaps a subject, but they see the bigger picture for their career, and understanding how that can accelerate them into leadership roles and training roles and really helping take the lead for their company. Yeah, beautiful, I love that. Thank you. Michael Coughlin : That's absolutely right, Jonathan. Jonathan: Yeah, excellent perspective. So that leads to ... All right, let's get back, just for a second, to the more ... Sometimes it can come across as a negative approach to fair housing, where an employee is just like, "Okay, here we go. I have my annual class that I have to take." Whether it's an online class or whether it's a in-person seminar of some sort, no matter what. But then there's organizations that will not only provide that level of education, but will provide ongoing fair housing education throughout the tenure of the employee, throughout the calendar year. So do you find that that's beneficial? What's your take on the once a year approach versus the let's continue to reinforce that through follow-up training? Michael Coughlin : Sure. Well, that once a year approach ... For everybody, it really is different. You even see biannual, or excuse me, once every two years, and some people that just want to do it once, period, it doesn't matter if the person's in the industry for one year or 20. But when you see that kind of approach to training, I mean, it's just, the writing's on the wall. They're not putting in the time. It is a check the box. It's just something on the list, they want to move on. Which is unfortunate, because obviously that's not going to spark the kind of investment and education that you would hope to encourage in that employee. They're not going to be taking it too seriously if the owner or the corporation in charge, whoever, the management company, isn't taking it seriously as well. Michael Coughlin : So that's going to send a line of communication, intentional or not, down the ladder. And it's too bad, because I really love the approach of an ongoing education. This is not kindergarten, we're not going to just learn shapes and then move on from there. This is a growing, changing subject. And when people get involved with it, they'll realize that there's always more to learn. And since the law itself does change over time, you can know everything there is to know and you're still going to learn more in the next five years, because that law is going to change. The environment is going to change. And that, again, that breeds that curiosity, that breeds that investment in education that you want to communicate with all the way throughout your company. Jonathan: Right. Yeah, that's awesome. A lot of things that you said- Michael Coughlin : And Jonathan, I'm sorry if I could- Jonathan: Go ahead. Michael Coughlin : I'm sorry, I just wanted to expand on that, because I told you why it's good, but I didn't tell you what that looks like. And to me that looks like, we preach a lot about online training is a really good vessel for getting out, especially a company that's spread over multiple states. That's great. Especially if you getting that once a year. But what do you do moving forward? What else can you do? Obviously, staying informed with recent news and events is great. So being part of a newsletter or, excuse me, listening to podcasts like this, anything is helpful. But also doing periodical, maybe webinars or live training on specific topics that are more detailed, maybe a little bit more confusing. And you want to make sure that everybody in your company understands how to handle this complicated subject, because it keeps coming up. That's what ongoing education means. Not just taking the same course every year in perpetuity, but really expanding that education into live webinar training and different online courses that deal with those detailed, nuanced topics that you need to know more about. Jonathan: Yeah, no, that's great. Ding ding ding ding ding ding. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. There's no sense repeating the same all over and over again. Because you and I both know that even with the best of the best of the best of the best, whatever kind of training that you're providing, you're still dealing with retention levels. And there is no such thing as 100% retention, because our brains, it just, we're just not built that way. So we have to understand that there is going to be an absorption and that's why it's so important for follow-up education. Because to your point, you mentioned, okay, we can change things up. So today it's an online class, couple of months, maybe it's a webinar, maybe another month, it's ... Whatever is available to the company, changing those things up. Jonathan: And I like what you said about situational training. So, here's a scenario and let's look at our policies. Now let's act that out. What would you do? So those are some different tips and things like that, that will help create an ongoing fair housing education. So it really takes some effort on fair housing educators for the training department really to look at that as far as their curriculum. So I think that was golden, Michael, the way that you explained that just helped the audience. And it helped even those who are, whether they're in the training department or first time listeners, maybe they're new to the industry, help them understand there's a lot more to it. Because it's such an intrinsic part of our culture and how we perform business that it really needs to be a highlight overall. So that's really, really cool. Jonathan: So that leads to really just a bigger picture. And to highlight what the theme of the show is, this is an investment, this is an investment in career and company. So, share your perspective. What would be some thoughts, what would be some scenarios, or anything that comes to mind to help people? If you're in that category where I just need to do a one and done, but now I need to really start going down that road of making this a long-term investment. I'm the decision-maker for my company. How do you skip that mindset switch? Any thoughts on that to change those gears so to speak? Michael Coughlin : Well, I think the first step really is thinking of it in investment terms. I don't think that a lot of individuals do that for themselves. And I don't think a lot of companies think about training as investment. It's really just, a lot of times they just think it's a check the box or it's a part of your operations. But just like every other aspect of a business, you are looking for a return on that investment. So if you start there, then they expand the way that you think about training. Now, that turns into two separate categories. So what is a short-term investment, a long-term investment, in terms of training? Michael Coughlin : Well, with short-term investments, you're expecting to see those high returns right off the bat. And with training, you're probably only going to see that kind of stuff with sales and operations training, where you can actually train your employees and you can see the results right away. Because there's probably going to be some dollar figures actually attached to what they learn. If you have a great sales training program and somebody comes right out and starts filling up all those vacancies, well, man, you can put that right on the spreadsheet and there it is. Michael Coughlin : But long-term investment training is different. You're going to see a lot more with safety training, compliance training. And it's usually not, let's be honest, it's usually not the sexiest topics. It's not the ones that the classrooms aren't going to be filling up to the brim with people excited to take it. But that's okay, because the truth is that there is a return on investment, it's just not as easy to see. It's going to take many years sometimes to see it. But the safety training, compliance, those lack of accidents, those lack of lawsuits, when people are really following the rules and they're understanding what they need to do, how to get ahead of the problems, those are more difficult to see in a spreadsheet. But they are very real and it could save you really an untold amount of money. We're talking about millions and millions of dollars for every single company in this entire country can be saved by proper compliance training. And fair housing is in that category. Jonathan: Absolutely. Yeah, that's a beautiful way to describe it. And I love how you compared that with sales training. Because that's something that, boom, you're there, you're doing it every day. It instantly becomes repetitive, versus compliance. So let's take another compliance topic for a minute, like back safety or fire safety or something along that line, trip hazards. So that's not something that you are faced with every single day, but when it does happen, taking that back safety course could save you on workman's compensation. So it's definitely a [crosstalk 00:18:24] approach. Jonathan: So the same thing like you mentioned with fair housing, it's like, "Okay, we want to avoid lawsuits. We want to avoid having our employees have to go through those kinds of headaches and our company to have to go through those types of headaches, and have a happier atmosphere overall." So that's excellent. So I hope everybody got that message listening to the show. It's just, it is definitely a long-term investment and should not be just cast off as a checklist item. I like how you use that. Don't just check the box, have that bigger picture. Yeah, beautiful man. Michael Coughlin : And Jonathan, if I could really just expand on that, because that first part we really talked about the benefits of the company, right? Because in a lawsuit, nine times out of 10 what you're talking about, or in an accident, you're talking about saving the company money. But there's really benefits for the individual employee as well. Obviously there's an increase in the value of education. But it shows that you are willing to invest in their success in your company. We've all had those jobs at some point in our life where we worked and we felt like we really weren't a part of the company's family, that they weren't invested in our long-term growth. That we wouldn't be sitting in the big chair one day, where we didn't see that. And we probably didn't stay with them too long. Michael Coughlin : But those companies that invest in their employees, whether it's in their safety, their education, their growth, those are the ones where you see those employees stick around. They want to be a part of the company. They want to move up the ladder and grow it from there. I think really just top to bottom the benefits are obvious, even if they don't translate immediately into a dollar figure. Jonathan: Yep. Yeah, no, thank you for expounding on that. That was great. So what an amazing show. I really appreciate having you on episode 11 today. This is a great topic and I'm sure we could deep dive. But I know our audience had a lot of key takeaways, as far as how they can create a training program, what would that look like, what are some add-ons that they could think about to use within their training program to make sure that fair housing education is a solid component to keep their employees well-trained and allow for the company to grow, and for their careers to grow. So thank you for being on the show. So I have a question. I ask this for all of our guests and separate from the topic overall. So what one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? Michael Coughlin : I think honestly, it's being honest with the people that you're educating. There is a lot of pressure as a trainer, as an educator, to oversell it. To say that everything that comes out of your mouth is the most important thing ever. Every topic that you're discussing is life or death. And to even try to pretend that every topic that you're teaching is just the hottest thing on the planet, that you're going to love it, everybody's going to love it. It's okay to be honest with them. We're dealing with adults here and they're professionals. It's okay to say that they understand that maybe this isn't the training, that this isn't the best topic, this isn't the most interesting topic for them. That's okay. It's okay if it's confusing sometimes. It's okay if they don't understand why they need to take it. Michael Coughlin : Just work through it with them. Treat them like the professionals they are. Then tell them that this is something necessary. This is going to benefit you. And once they get that idea in their head, once they realize that this is a part of the job, this is going to help them, even if they don't like it right now, they take to it much better. They understand the ongoing growth, that it can help grow their career. So just be honest with everybody about what you're teaching. Jonathan: Yeah, lay it out. This is what we got. This is what it is. Don't try and overfluff what is the substance. That's beautiful, honesty is key. Great tip, man. Thank you so much. So, can people connect with you? Do you have any preference? Can people connect with you on LinkedIn or any other social channels? What do you prefer? Michael Coughlin : Yeah, absolutely. You can always find me on LinkedIn. I'm on pretty much all the social media, Twitter, Instagram, and I can get you the information. And of course you can always check out our YouTube channel, where we provide some training as well for the Fair Housing Institute. Reach out to me and I'll reach right back. Jonathan: Okay. Thank you so much. I'll definitely be putting those items in the show notes and everyone who's on the show do check out the fairhousinginstitute.com for the list of the fair housing courses that they have available. Solid, excellent education that you can insert as part of your overall training curriculum. So once again, ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to thank Michael Coughlin, vice president of the Fair Housing Institute, for being here with us today. If you've enjoyed this show, take a moment to review it on iTunes or in any other podcast app that you use, and feel free to share it with your friends. We are grateful for all the support we've had. And here we are already, episode number 11. So we look forward to seeing you on our next show. Thanks everyone. Michael Coughlin : Thanks everybody. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World The post Fair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and Company appeared first on JuvoHub.
34 minutes | 3 months ago
Bringing Humanity To Your Insanity
Episode 10- JuvoHub Podcast Our Special Guest: Steve Wunch Steve Wunch is a Regional VP of Sales for Knock, a SaaS technology platform that provides the productivity and business intelligence solutions needed to maximize occupancy, rent growth, and customer satisfaction for multifamily communities across the nation. Steve is also a professional facilitator in leadership, sales, and customer service. He is a national speaker, and freelance consultant who has worked with multifamily companies to enhance, improve, and train organizations to improve performance. He began his career in multifamily over 25 years ago as a leasing consultant, assistant manager, community manager, and since has been in various training and support roles. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: In this episode, I was truly inspired by the complete next level of emotional intelligence in Steve Wunch. The ability to take life’s experiences and use them to teach not only himself but to live by the lessons that are taught is absolutely extraordinary. Even while the level of insanity is at an all-time high right now, Steve exemplifies humanity every day and every moment. Enjoy the show. Jonathan Saar ~~ Market Me Social. Emotional Intelligence Exemplified Listen to Steve as he shares some personal life experiences and ones that he has witnessed that will just make you say “WOW”. To Steve, emotional intelligence is a daily education assignment. It’s not just a buzz phrase but it’s an opportunity to absorb what’s around us, learn, and apply. Some questions we discussed: You have been in the industry for some time. How did you get into the industry and training specifically?What are some tips for industry speakers and trainers?What are some pain points that you have gone through?You have a class called – Bringing Humanity To Your Insanity – Let’s talk about it What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? Save the Drama for your Mama which means leave it in the car. And the second thing is just to remind yourself why you’re here. The only reason Multifamily professionals have their profession is because there are people in this world who have a basic human need, which is a home.Steve Wunch – RVP of Sales Knock If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hello, everyone. Just before we get into our show, I wanted to tell you a little bit about our sponsor REAL-HR a Higginbotham company. I have known their leadership team for many years now, and I am always impressed with the level of dedication that they have towards their clients. It is phenomenal. They work a lot with human resource departments within the property management space, so if you have questions or needs involving employee benefits, payroll administration, employee screening, and more, they are the ones to talk to. And they are under the umbrella of their parent company, which is Higginbotham. And they have a whole other level of services related to insurance needs and benefits, so definitely check them out REAL-HR.com and see it for yourself. And of course, there'll be a link to their site in our show notes, so a big, big, huge Juvo, thank you to our sponsor. Without further ado, let's get into today's episode. Welcome everyone to episode 10 of the JuvoHub podcast. Today we have with us, Steve Wunch from Knock. He's an account executive for Knock, and we are going to be talking about Bringing Humanity to Your Insanity. Just before we get into our discussion on what that is, Steve's company is a software as a solutions technology platform that provides the productivity and business intelligence solutions needed to maximize occupancy, rent growth, and customer satisfaction for Multifamily communities across the nation. Steve is also a professional facilitator in leadership sales and customer service. He is a national speaker and a freelance consultant who has worked with Multifamily companies to enhance, improve, and train organizations to improve their performance. He began his career in Multifamily over 25 years ago as a leasing consultant, assistant manager, community manager, and since has been in several training and support roles. And I had the privilege of meeting you Steve a few years ago. I apologize for getting a little tongue tied there a moment ago. Steve Wunch: That's okay. Jonathan Saar: So grateful to have you on the show with us. Steve Wunch: Thanks, Jonathan. I'm pleased to be here. I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience and my perspective with your audiences. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah. We're going to dive into that, especially when you and I were talking about this show that we're going to record. Your keynote session, Bringing Humanity to Your Insanity and just the title itself is extremely compelling. And one of the ever reaching challenges that we have within our industry and industries all over of just trying to maintain a human element, despite all the technology and other circumstances that we're faced with each and every day before. But before we get into that, just a couple of things. Just tell us about Knock. What is it? And how did you come to work for them? Give us a two minute speech on what you're doing right now my friend. Steve Wunch: You bet, so Knock actually started... Our founders, Tom and Dimitri were frustrated renters. They were relocating cross country multiple times with their jobs in the finance sector and just found it difficult to get responses from managers and property leasing consultants when they were looking for their new home. And so they actually interviewed folks in those roles and said why is it so hard? And through those focus groups and the insights that they gained, they said, you know what, we've got an opportunity here. And so Knocks started out as a CRM, a customer relationship management platform, but really what we've become is a performance management partner. We are the front office of the future, so everything that you need to do in terms of acquiring, converting, and retaining a customer happens on the Knock platform. But it's way more than just a CRM. We have a new Knock analytics called Insights that helps a regional manager, or a marketing director, or training director in one quick snapshot, take a look at performance and then provide coaching and to be able to be a little bit more proactive in their approach to managing their sales. If I'd had this, when I was on the operation side, Jonathan, I would have been a very happy camper. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Steve Wunch: I didn't often have access to the metrics that I needed in terms of performance support for sales and Knock really no pun intended knocks it out of the park with what they provide their customers. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that's fantastic. Yeah. And so critical. We teach this, I know you teach it. I've been in class at classes and have also had my own comments in some classes about how important it is to be able to convert leads and in training how much it's involved in that whole process. But it's so cool to know that there's tools out there that just help our professionals that make their job easier. Very, very cool. We'll have to sidebar and you have to give me a little tour of that at some point. Steve Wunch: I would be glad to. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Steve Wunch: And then the cool thing too, that we've done is we've really made a concerted and intentional effort to make it what we call Fisher Price easy, so it's so easy to use, it's not even funny. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that's cool. That's definitely a pain point typically within our industry is, Oh, no technology, and you're about ready to pass out with another solution that's out there. That's cool. Yeah. Yeah, so everybody make sure... The link will be in the show notes, check Knock out. But let's dive in to you a little bit more my friend. Steve Wunch: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: You've been in the industry for some time and just thinking about the perspective of those who are listening to this show, we may have students listening, we may have veterans listening. We have all different types of job titles and all of us know how important it is to kind of just keep progressing in our craft. Whatever our craft is in the industry. How do we continue to educate ourselves? Tell me a little bit about how did you get into industry and what was the story or the path that put you into like the training profession? Steve Wunch: Sure. Okay. I got started in leasing as a resident. I actually back in the day, lived at an Archstone community in Atlanta. And I actually had just come back from a gig singing on a cruise ship and my roommate had skipped out on me, so I went down to the leasing office to tell the manager, Hey, look, I'm going to be late with my rent. I don't have a job. I don't know what I'm going to do. And she said, Hey, you should come work for us. I think you'd be a great leasing consultant. And that was sort of the introduction to property management there. Jonathan Saar: Wow. Steve Wunch: And then honestly, to become a trainer, it was more of just being a good participant. I know folks in the audience will go to class and sometimes when they find out they've been enrolled in a training class, they're like, Oh, please, shoot me in the head. Eight hours of being talked at, and it's kind of boring. I was privileged to have the VP of training at Archstone as my facilitator for a sales workshop. And I participated well, I guess maybe I'm a frustrated actor, but I was a good role play participant, and I raised my hand to answer questions, and I was just engaged in the learning process. And through that experience, she said you showed up so good in class. I'd really like to see what you might look like in front of the classroom. And that was the beginning of my training career, that was in 1999. Jonathan Saar: That is sweet. Yeah. What a great story. Oh man. And so that's been I'm assuming more or less your passion ever since. Since it seems like the majority of your career in one way or another, you've always been an educator in one form or fashion, is that correct? Steve Wunch: That's correct, yep. I've either been a training director, a training manager, a VP of training or learning and development. And even with Knock, as an account rep or a salesperson, really it's helping my customers learn the value of Knock, how to navigate the product in an easy way, and then how to take what you're getting from the platform to improve your sales performance. And I get the opportunity to give feedback around how leasing consultants are responding to leads. And I do drop-ins on regional manager meetings and assistant manager meetings just to give them some insight into my history with sales in the Multifamily space and how to do that more effectively. Jonathan Saar: Right, right. That's awesome. And it's such a recurring theme with all the people I've met over the years Steve. Is the more open we are to how a change in circumstances can teach us the better we wind up doing with whatever those circumstances may be, you know? Steve Wunch: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: It's all a matter of what you make out of what's given you, right. Steve Wunch: That's for sure. And change is sometimes self-imposed and a lot of times in the Multifamily space, Jonathan, change is actually thrust upon you. Jonathan Saar: Yes. Steve Wunch: And especially with what we've just recently gone through with this whole COVID-19, and the lockdown, and our change in our approach to serving our customers. And at the end of the day, we're here to help somebody find a home. And I think for me, that's kind of been my North star or my guiding principle. And I want to show up no matter how I do it, whether it's on a virtual call or a face to face interaction with a customer, or a repeat visit, or even a resident interaction. I know the only reason I'm in that seat is because there are people out there looking for a home and they chose us. And I want to make sure that I handle that situation with care. A lot of my humanity platform is about there's a person on the other end of everything we do in this space. On the backside of a three day notice, on the backside of a trash violation. There's a person on the other side of that equation and we don't know what their circumstances are, and we don't know what's going on in their lives. And so I just really want to encourage people with this bringing humanity idea to step back for a second and just say, how can I handle this and be a human about it? I know you're late with your rent. I'd hate for you to get a late rent notice posted to your door and your neighbors are going to see it. Could you jump on the portal and make your payment real quick? That's a two minute effort on the behalf of the office team that could have a really great return on investment for the relationship that you're building and sustaining with that customer. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. That's awesome. Steve Wunch: And that's one example of how we can do that. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Steve Wunch: Sorry. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, no, no, no, it's good. I love it. And so let's dive into it. You brought it up. I know this is one of your keynote sessions Bringing Humanity to Your Insanity. Besides the story that you just shared, what else kind of like anything else that inspired you to kind of put this topic together, any other experiences? Just give me more, what else you got? It sounds like such an amazing topic that I need to be at, so I'd love to hear more. Steve Wunch: Yeah. The real prompter for this, the creation of this platform was my 86 year old mom lives with me. And when my dad passed away almost three years ago, I began thinking, her living experience is in an evolutionary path and getting her to move from a home she's lived in for 42 years. First of all, that was scary as heck for her. And then some of the folks that we encountered during our Multifamily search just didn't really seem to be that happy to help. And for her this is a traumatic thing and I wanted it to be as seamless and easy as possible. I actually started my search a year before we actually made the move, so I was looking for the right place, the right people. And sometimes people would tell a story. Like I had a leasing consultant and tell a story that she lived in a home prior to our encounter with her. And she said yeah, I woke up one morning with duct tape on my mouth and a gun pointed at my head. And I was the victim of a home invasion. Well, I know her attempt was to tell my mom Multifamily living is a completely different experience and you're not going to have to face hopefully things like that, trying to make that connection. But I was like, Oh my Lord, can we find a different way to tell that story? Because it scared the crap out of my mom. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. I was going to say that sounds a little strong. Steve Wunch: Yeah. Yeah. Then my mom goes back to her home where she was living alone at the time. And needless to say, I'm sure she was a little bit worried, but I just think if we can re remember that people that are walking through our doors, or the people that are signing up for virtual tours right now, they're going through all kinds of stuff that we have no idea about. And you either choose to make a positive difference in somebody's life at that moment. Or you can just go through the motions and maybe you'll be lucky enough if you do that to make the right impression. But for the folks that are out there that follow that North star that I do in terms of that I'm only here because they're looking for a place to live and that's my motivation. That's been my inspiration for leadership and training and development for the last 25 years, Jonathan. Making sure folks understand how important they are in that process, making sure that the leasing teams know what a difference they're making in the lives of the folks that are walking through their doors. I've seen them step up to the plate multiple times during this COVID-19 period. And it's amazing to see folks going the extra mile and I love that. And that's what it's about at the end of the day, that human element. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Steve Wunch: They're going to forget what you did, they're going to forget what you said, they're going to forget what platform or ILS they were looking for an apartment on, but they're never going to forget how you make them feel. And I think that shapes everything we do from this day forward, if we allow it to. Jonathan Saar: Absolutely, absolutely. That's fantastic. And a couple of things you said just kind of triggered... I remember one class I was teaching and it was a bunch of assistant managers, community managers, leasing professionals. And we got on this very similar, like what's the prospect journey, what's the resident journey, what happens? Steve Wunch: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Jonathan Saar: And as we got through that conversation, I'm like just look at your reviews as an example, what are the reviews about for your property? It's very rare that you see reviews for the beautiful sign that's out front or anything along that. The reviews are there about the people that are there. The manager that helped me, and the maintenance person, the leasing person, so I love it. That's so great. And it becomes a challenge sometimes to get out of the rut of we have paperwork, we have policies, we have the procedures, here's your application- Steve Wunch: The day to day. Jonathan Saar: Right, right. And stop and look at that person, like you said, so I love it. That is great. Steve Wunch: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: As part of that and I think you kind of touched on this a bit. What does it take like on a... Bring it right down to the basics. I need to educate myself on how I can not be so stuck in the formality of connecting with my customers and my residents. What are your tips? What has helped you, that you would maybe help someone who's just new on this journey, or even for all of us who've been on it for a bit. What would be some tips you would share? Steve Wunch: You've got to adjust your perspective honestly, and you've got to think of it... For those of you that are a student, there's a lot of universities now I know Georgia Tech and University of Georgia, they've got a program. Virginia Tech has a program in property management where you can actually get a degree now. And learning all about the way that Multifamily works and the processes and the policies. That's one of your job for sure. And you really want to be smart and attentive and learn all that you can, and keep yourself up to speed when things change because policies and procedures do change over time. But I do think if you just once in a while, just take a step back and think about all the lives that you're influencing and having an impact on, and it's from anything... I remember when the bus used to let outside the leasing office and we'd go hide the candy, because we didn't want the kids to come in and steal it all. I thought what a crotchety old man approach to a relationship with a child, who's just as important as their parents and their experience matters. And somebody who asks the same question over and over. Well they're not dumb, they're giving you some buying signals. And I think our perception gets clouded because the day to day grind really takes over. And I think as a team, sit back and talk about the lives of the residents that you've influenced. Talk about the wins that you've had. When folks say yes to the dress and they sign a lease. What was it about that experience that turned them around the corner to say yes to you versus your competition? And I'll bet you nine times out of 10, Jonathan, it's going to come down to, it was the person, it was you and the way you treated them, the questions that you asked, and the time that you spent that made them choose you over their competition. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Steve Wunch: And I've had a lot of folks in my days, working at assets that are 20, 30 years old, they're not the newest, flashiest and I tell people it's not all about granite, and stainless, and high rise, and big amenity spaces. It's about the experience. The customer experience matters to folks decision. And then you want to sustain the experience. It can't just be a I got you at the sale and now be warm, and be fed, and be on your way. You have to extend that service into the relationship that you want to continue with that resident through their tenure with you. But again, it's really taking a second as a person, looking at the lives coming through your door and saying, how can I have a positive influence? Whether they say yes to me or not? How can I make a difference in that person's experience with me right now today? Jonathan Saar: Yeah. That is awesome, man. Steve Wunch: Hopefully that answers your question. Jonathan Saar: Oh no, it does not. And I mean the- Steve Wunch: Feel free to edit more. Jonathan Saar: I'm sort of almost speechless Which is difficult for me to do on a podcast, but I mean, it's just... That's the aspiration, right? I mean, and every one of us wake up and it's a daily item, I think. It's not well, we will go to a session. We'll listen to your session, we'll listen to anybody who talks maybe about emotional intelligence and we're good to go. To me, it's a daily education assignment, we have to give ourselves on how we're going to deal with people. And we have to wake up with that mindset and remember. Like everything that you've just shared, Steve. Just, okay, you were going to have, we have people of all diversities, all different temperaments, all different backgrounds. And just because a personality may rub us the wrong way when we're in that leasing office. It's no excuse to label that particular individual inside, if that makes sense. Steve Wunch: Yeah. And so often, as an industry, Jonathan, we manage to that exception. It's that one jerk. And then that becomes the lens that we see every customer through sometimes. Jonathan Saar: Right. Steve Wunch: And I use the 90/10 rule when it comes to folks like that 90% of their issues are with them, 10% of it has to do with me in our current situation. And that really kind of helps to reset my view on the conversation. You mentioned emotional intelligence and I think about a leasing consultant in South Florida when I was working with Equity Residential down there, she had a guy come in the office and he was just being a jerk, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And she said, are you all right? And he said, what do you mean? And she said, well, I just met you like two seconds ago and you've been nothing but mean to me. And I'm not sure what I did to deserve this. And he was like, Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. He said, I was on the phone with my ex in the parking lot and she just gets me twisted. And I'm so sorry. That's using your emotional intelligence and that took some guts to do on her part. Jonathan Saar: Yes. Steve Wunch: But you know, we have to remember, it's not about us. Moving is not fun, no matter how excited you are about it. And when people are looking for an apartment, there's a whole lot of mishegoss going on, that's driving that need to find a new place to live, right. Jonathan Saar: Yes. Steve Wunch: Control what you can control, which is yourself. You can't control anything else. The world is spinning out of control. But the one thing you can control is the choices you make, the attitudes you bring with you, and how you show up every day when it comes to working with your team and serving your customers. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Fantastic. Steve Wunch: Oops. Jonathan Saar: Kudos to that leasing professional. That's a great story. And I'm sure it must have made you proud too, to be able to witness something- Steve Wunch: It did. Jonathan Saar: And be like, wow, well done. Steve Wunch: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: Well done. Oh, that's cool. Steve Wunch: Yeah. I mean, and she couldn't have told you it was emotional intelligence. She wouldn't have put that tag on it, but that emotional intelligence in a nutshell, it's about self awareness and self management, so I know how I feel and I'm going to keep control of my feelings. And then it's about social awareness and relationship management. If you see it happening, either choose to call the elephant in the room what it is, or choose to go the high road and just ignore it and be nice. But she made that choice to act on what she felt. And it ended up... She'd had a much more cordial, 30, 45 minute tour with that guy than she would have had she not chosen to do that. I have to give her props. Gina, if you're listening, that's you girl. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah. We'll need to find out if we can tag her somehow and say, Hey, you need to listen to this podcast. Because we have a great story that Steve is talking about. Yeah. Yeah. See if you can track her down. That would be awesome, man. Steve Wunch: I will. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, so you and I were talking before the show and we have to include this. When you've given this session, Bringing Humanity to Your Insanity and you dressed up as a certain character and you kind of concluded it in a certain way. Who is the character? Why? And what was the impact? Steve Wunch: Sure, so the AAMD, Apartment Association of Metro Denver asked me to come and do the morning keynote for their TechCon. And I always try to be memorable, so I dressed like Data from Star Trek, so those Trekkies that are out there in the audience your cosplay moment has arrived. Yellow contacts, white makeup, the whole outfit. I even had a tri-quarter that worked and they called me to the bridge during my speech. And I was like, I'm on the holodeck talking to some friends right now. I'll be right there. But I talked about all these different technology platforms that we're able to use everything from, the Google assistant to a chat bot, which is something that Knock is very much a part of that realm, to the Google translator. And I ended my speech with a video of a lady at a hotel, and a gentleman walks up to the front desk and he speaks to her in Spanish. And she's like, Oh gosh, I don't speak Spanish. Let's use the Google translator. And she says, Google translate my conversation. And Google says, what language? And she says Spanish. Well, she could have told the guy, Hey, just go ahead and talk to the machine. She'll interpret for you, but she's continued to be engaged in that exchange. How can I help you? She said, and then the translator says, and he responds. And then she answers and she stayed engaged, made eye contact, smiled, nodded her head, made some gestures to point where she was giving him directions too, so she remained human in that interchange and it was helpful, understanding. I'm going to forget the M and A and the N. Any way I used an acronym around how regardless of what tech you're using, you still have to have that human element- Jonathan Saar: Right. Steve Wunch: When it comes to providing that experience for your customers. And you know Data in Star Trek, he's the most advanced form of artificial intelligence in the universe. And if you watch episodes, you'll see that the only thing he wants is to be human. Jonathan Saar: Right. Steve Wunch: And I think that speaks a powerful message to us that no matter what kind of technology we've got in place, we can't just set it and forget it. There's a person at the end of the experience that deserves human interaction, an understanding, helpful, knowledgeable, involved person who can really serve them at this time of need in their life, in such a way that it matters to that human experience that we all miss so much now that we're separated from one another. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Incredible. Incredible. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, you can see the clip or correct me Steve if it's the full session, but on stevewunch.com, we can be able to see some excerpts of that particular class. Is that correct? Steve Wunch: Yeah. The TechCon, the whole thing is there, you can't see some of the videos that I used during the speech, but I think you'd get the gist of it. Jonathan Saar: Right, right. Yeah. Definitely check that out. What an amazing Steve, you brought to us today and a lot of the human appeal, so it definitely fits in line with your session and how you've carried yourself throughout your career as an individual, as a professional, and working with various companies. Really, really appreciate having you on. What an emotional impact. I'm sure all of our listeners thinking about what they can do better. Where can we improve in making that human connection? And how can we stop the... As you word it stop the insanity, which can be technology, it can be so many different things. And just look someone in the eye, talk to them, find out what they need and go the extra mile for them. Really, really, really awesome to have you on the show today. But before we close out, I always ask all of my guests just to share with our audience. What's your... If you have one, maybe two actionable tip or tips that you can share that has always served you well as an educator? Steve Wunch: Save the Drama for your Mama which means leave it in the car. Whether you're a leasing consultant, a property manager, someone at the corporate support team, whatever happened in your morning, leave it in the car. It will be waiting for you gladly when the day ends, but you have the opportunity to walk through the door of your office to wipe the slate clean and to start your day fresh. And I know it's hard. It takes a lot of practice and I've not been perfect at it, but it does make a difference. And the second thing is just to remind yourself why you're here. The only reason Multifamily professionals have their profession is because there are people in this world who have a basic human need, which is a home. And you can either show up and make a difference positively in the life of that person. Or you can do your job and just go through the motions and get by. But what kind of message does that send to that person? I was raised with the thought that a good name is better than great riches and that will always be what motivates me. Jonathan Saar: Love it. Love it, love it. That is awesome. Two great tips, ladies and gentlemen. We'll definitely include them and highlight those in the show notes for everyone. For all of our listeners, be sure to check out stevewunch.com if you want to learn a little bit more about him, or request for him to come and speak for you, provide some sessions for your organization, definitely check him out, check out the company that he works with knockcrm.com. And again, those will be in the show notes. Any other ways, Steve you'd like for people to connect with you, any social sites or anything along that line? Steve Wunch: I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Facebook. Feel free to reach out and friend request me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I use those channels often to send messages and encourage people. Or you can just email me firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. My speaking business is the outlook address. And then of course my Knock job is the firstname.lastname@example.org. But I'm always happy to help in any way that I can to our Multifamily family out there. If you've got a question, or concern, or a need, don't hesitate to reach out. It doesn't have to be related to anything I'm doing at the time. I'm just happy to help whenever I can. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Beautiful. And I can vouch for that for all of our listeners. When I first met you, Steve, instantly I thought, man, I came home and I told my wife, I met Steve. And that was it. I mean, I don't know what else to say. It was just like your approach, your demeanor, your personality, I connected with you instantly. And I've been so grateful that we've kept in touch even though our careers have changed, off and on throughout the years. It's great to have you on the show today. And I think I also speak for everyone, just an impactful podcast today. Just- Steve Wunch: Thanks. I really appreciate that. Jonathan Saar: A lot for us to really to chew on, resonate, and put into applications. Again, thank you so much, Steve, for being here. This is episode 10 ladies and gentlemen Bringing Humanity to Your Insanity. And if you haven't done so already, please take a moment to subscribe to the podcast. You can do that in any of your favorite podcast apps, such as iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart, and others. You can check that out on juvohub.com. If you'd like to see more options to subscribe to the podcast. And if you have a moment, please give us a review. We do really, really appreciate that. Another thank you again to our sponsor REAL-HR Higginbotham we appreciate their support of this podcast. Thank you everyone for being here. We look forward to seeing you and connecting with you on our next episode. 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23 minutes | 4 months ago
Maintenance Training – Connecting Text Book to Real World
Episode 9- JuvoHub Podcast Our Special Guest: Kathy Woodard Kathy Woodard has over 25 years of experience in the property management industry and currently serves as the Multifamily Director at 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling and is an NAAEI facilitator. She has served in numerous leadership roles and her colleagues see her as a ‘Gamechanger’. In fact, she is Mrs. Gamechanger! Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: Apartment maintenance training takes a unique skill set. You need to combine processes with applications. The trick is to make it real and to make it fun. For some topics that is a tall order. Kathy brings the house down with her gift of making education fun. She is certainly a game-changer in the field of maintenance training. Enjoy! ~~ Jonathan Saar Market Me Social. Apartment Maintenance Education – Fun, Effective, and Retainable Some questions we discussed: You have an extensive background in teaching maintenance classes. How would you say your teaching style has changed over the years? Anything you did, in particular, to help improve your teaching skillset?You recently had a career change from the management side to the industry partner side. What was the learning curve like for you as an educator?Maintenance training is not really one of those subjects that most would say is “fun” but more rudimentary. What have you done as a trainer to make your classes “fun”, impactful, and even more important – retention driven? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? Continue your education by surrounding yourself with people with like passions.Kathy Woodard – Mrs Gamechanger If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World Overcoming Challenges in a Virtual Training World Fair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and Company JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the JuvoHub podcast. Jonathan Saar: Just before we get into our show today, I want to tell you a little bit about our sponsor, REAL HR, a Higginbotham company. I have known their leadership team for many years now. I'm telling you that you will be impressed with the level of dedication that they have towards their clients. It is phenomenal. Jonathan Saar: They work a lot with human resource departments in the property management space. If you have questions or needs involving employee benefits, payroll administration, employee screening and more, they are the ones to talk to. They are under the umbrella of their parent company, Higginbotham, which has a whole other level of services related to insurance needs and benefits. Jonathan Saar: Definitely check them out, real-hr.com, and see it for yourself. A link to their site will be in the show notes. So a big, big, huge Juvo thank you for being our sponsor. Without further ado, let's get into today's episode. Jonathan Saar: Welcome, everyone, to episode number nine of the JuvoHub podcast. Today with me is Kathy Woodard from 6&Fix Heating & Cooling. I'm really, really happy to have her with us today, and to be able to share her experience. Jonathan Saar: She is the multifamily director at 6&Fix Heating & Cooling, but her career spans over 25 years in the property management space. She's been in the training end, the development, marketing, managing site teams, managing performance, and so, so, so much more. Jonathan Saar: I had the privilege of being a co-student with her at the advanced facilitators training. That's where we actually met, but we go back, I think, on social media, for way way before that, I'm pretty sure, Kathy. Welcome to the show. Nice to have you with us today. Kathy Woodard: Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. Yes, we have gone back a ways, Jon. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, yeah. It's awesome. You got to love our industry, and especially with social media, how eventually we wind up connecting in person. Look. Here we are today, a couple of years after AFT, and now we're doing a podcast together. That's awesome. Both of us having a bit of a career change in the last few years, but it's all fun. It's all awesome. Kathy Woodard: Yes, sir. Yeah. It's all good, though. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. At AFT, and just in conversations you and I have had, a lot of your education, training that you've done, whether it's been for property management people that you've worked for, or on the apartment association level, has really surrounded some of the core classes that NAA provides, but also maintenance classes. Kathy Woodard: Yes. Jonathan Saar: Being in the industry for so long, from the perspective of those who are listening to the show today, what would you say are some of the things that you've seen change in yourself as an educator? Have you seen, like you've had to make some adjustments in how you teach? Just tell us a little bit about that. Kathy Woodard: Absolutely. I'm less worried about pleasing the audience, and watching body language and facial expressions. I'm more in tune with getting the message across that I'm trying to do. I throw a lot of comedy and personality and especially authenticity, any class I teach. I go out of my way to make it fun. I always want to strive to be not a boring speaker, but to really make it interesting and fun. Jonathan Saar: That's awesome. What a key element to that. Sometimes we get so nervous and wrapped up in, "Okay. I'm about to be a trainer in front of people," and those nerves can really take off. Kathy Woodard: It's true. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. They take over. Kathy Woodard: All eyes on you. Jonathan Saar: Right, right. Kathy Woodard: Yeah, exactly. Jonathan Saar: Tell us about that. Both of us, being in the speaking field, we both deal with nerves. Any tips that you can share, again over the years, even today, being as experienced as you are, what do you do to get over the jitters or the nerves before you start teaching a class to someone? Kathy Woodard: Even after all this time, as soon as I start speaking, I can feel my voice changing, because it doesn't matter. Doesn't matter to me if I'm in a room with 300 people or 500, if you're standing in front of that big of a crowd, or that small of a crowd, I always get nervous. Kathy Woodard: But I have learned, I learned in our class, AFT, that if I am super nervous, I focus on one person. I usually have them bought in with me. I'm like, "Look, if I get nervous, Jon, I'm going to look at you. I just want to see you smiling at me. I just want to see you smile." That gets me through it. That gets me through the nerves. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. That's beautiful. Yeah. I've tried that too. Sometimes, it's always been helpful to go up and meet some of the people, especially if I'm in an audience that I've never been to before, like traveling to some of the apartment associations and speaking for them. I don't ... Around here in the Atlanta area, like you in North Carolina, you've got your people. You know your people. You see them often. Kathy Woodard: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: So you get comfortable with them. So I resonate with that, because I do the same thing. It's like, "Okay, Hey, my name is Jonathan. It's good to meet you," and have that connection. That makes it a lot easier. How much- Kathy Woodard: Yes, sir. Jonathan Saar: I think back to AFT and preparation. Do you feel like that's a key in order to be a successful speaker overall? What would you say is your level of time that you put into making sure that you're well prepared? Kathy Woodard: Thorough preparation is everything. No matter how much you prepare, something can go wrong. So yeah. Preparation is absolutely everything. For this podcast, I'm making sure my dogs are in the back, and that everything's all quiet and well. In the background, I can hear somebody is mowing their lawn. There's nothing I can do about that, except maybe pick this up, walk away somewhere. But they're probably mow the lawn on the other side of the house too. Jonathan Saar: Right. That's good. Yeah. The more ... Again, another thing I resonate with, because at least if you know your material well, things will happen, technical things can happen, and especially now since we're doing a lot more training via a virtual conference versus in person, it's amazing how many more distractions that we have. Both of us have dogs. I know mine's jumped in on my meetings a few times. It's awesome. It's awesome. Jonathan Saar: All right. Let's pivot for a minute. You recently had a career change. You were on the management side for many, many years. Now, you're on the partner side as an educator and the multifamily director at 6&Fix Heating & Cooling. Kathy Woodard: Yes. Jonathan Saar: Was there anything that changed? Would you say there was a learning curve? Any comments on what that transition was like, being on the owner management side, and now on the partner side as an educator? Kathy Woodard: Oh my. Yes. It's been wonderful. It was a wonderful transition. I had my CFC certification that I did with several maintenance guys from back when I was on the operation sides for property management. So that helped me, that I had a great knowledge for HVAC. Kathy Woodard: Working with 6&Fix & Cooling has given me a freedom to make a living and give excellent customer service to our multifamily clients, but it's also permitted me to continue my education goals and career goals within the multifamily industry. I credit a lot of that to time management being the key. Kathy Woodard: I love my local association. Our board of directors is absolutely fabulous. They're amazing to work with. This is a small family-owned company. That has its benefits and privileges in itself. I've really enjoyed the transition. Kathy Woodard: It was a little bit of a curve as an educator trying to balance, because everything comes down to balance, and like you said earlier, preparation, and making sure you're covering everything you're supposed to cover. But what I really enjoy the most is that I've been permitted to [attend Advocate 00:09:03], and continue with my committees, and assist within the associations, and AANC and NAA. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that's fantastic. That's amazing. It's a good testimony for everyone who's listening on the podcast today. It's like, don't let career changes influence what your overall big picture goals are. They can actually serve you. I know they've served me well, and it sounds like they've served you well. Jonathan Saar: No matter where we go, when we have that vision of where we want to be as educators, it really is that light, so to speak, I guess, right in front of us that, okay, this is going to just teach me a little bit different maybe how I do this or do- Kathy Woodard: Yeah. I got to blend them, Jonathan. I got to blend them. Like I said, I got my CFC along with my husband and a bunch of other industry maintenance gurus in 2013. It just seemed a very natural transition over into becoming the multifamily director for 6&Fix Heating & Cooling. Kathy Woodard: I feel very blessed. I feel very blessed that I can do something that I love to do, and I still get to socialize with all these same wonderful people that I've worked with for 25 years in the same area. Jonathan Saar: Right. I can only imagine just the perspective. It's like, as educators, every time we step into a different perspective ... Don't you agree? It just adds to your ... I'm trying to think of the word. It just adds to your understanding of your audience in just a unique, maybe a different way. Would you agree with that? Kathy Woodard: Oh my gosh. Yes. I've always had a natural comfort working with maintenance guys. I always respected their position, and I held the service that they provide above all others. Very respectful of them. I listen to them and their struggles. Kathy Woodard: One of my favorite power hour topics is actually called maintenance versus office. It elaborates on the differences between those two jobs, but they also have to work together within multifamily. It was a really natural progression for the maintenance side of it. But you're right. It has definitely made me better. Jonathan Saar: Beautiful, beautiful. Let's just talk about maintenance training, monotone. Let's just focus on that as a subject for a minute. Now often, when you think of maintenance training, and some have that perspective too, it's not necessarily like many would classify it as, "Okay. It's a huge fun topic." But really maintenance training it can be clinical, it could be rudimentary, it can be procedure oriented, it can be very safety oriented. That's really the bucket sometimes maintenance training can be put in. Jonathan Saar: What have you done? You described earlier the way that you approach things as a fun, you trying to make it exciting, and get the audience engaged. In relation to maintenance training, what have been some of your tactics or approach when you're teaching these types of classes, to really get the audience involved? Kathy Woodard: Oh, my gosh. I have little clappers and everybody ... If I'm in a small group setting, and I'm doing, for example, that office versus maintenance, everybody gets a clapper. I give out little gifts whenever somebody answers or comes forward. Sometimes those are tough questions, or not everybody wants to comment or put themselves out there. So I give little gifts away. A lot of jokes, a lot of fun and a lot of laughter. Kathy Woodard: But sometimes it still gets very serious. A lot of times, teaching maintenance is all technical and a lot of book learning. But some of the classes I like to do are more about how we can all get along better and appreciate each other, right? Jonathan Saar: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Awesome. Awesome. You said something a moment, like the textbook approach. Now, I'll just share with you. I hated textbooks when I was in school. I still hate them. To have to sit down and read, especially on a subject like that, where it's just, okay ... Man, it can be mind numbing having to read through that kind of documentation, and try and retain it all. Jonathan Saar: Anything that you've done from a retention level, I guess, would be a logical question. Yeah, making it fun and making sure everybody's involved. But when you get to some of those more, "Okay, we need to capture what the requirements are," anything that you can share that you've helped to make sure that your students retain the information? Kathy Woodard: Well, book learning is totally different than actually doing the job. I'm an example queen. I'll use an example. I took that CFC class. It was the hardest test I've ever taken in my life. It's harder than CAM. It's harder than CAPS. It was difficult. Kathy Woodard: But for maintenance gurus, it's not. They're doing it every day. They're used to doing it. They have great passion for what they're doing. So when I am involved in teaching something that's maintenance related, I remember that. Kathy Woodard: If you're in a classroom setting with a bunch of office people, it's a totally different ... They're really passionate about administrative, office, legal, all of that. Maintenance guys, they're always really passionate about what they're doing, and they're usually very good at it. I think you're only really good at something, I mean, unless you really enjoy it, love it. Jonathan Saar: Right, right. That's awesome. I like that. I like that connection. I'll tell you why that sticks with me, Kathy. It's connecting critical information with real world application. That's the two items. If they can't see that ... Even if it is something new, even if they are experienced, maybe it's a new requirement or just a new approach, whatever the case may be, it's still, if they can visualize it in the field, so to speak, then that definitely helps it stick. So that's great. Kathy Woodard: Yeah. Jonathan Saar: I love it. Kathy Woodard: Some people are really good at memorizing or book learning. You can pass the test, but the word you used here is, your example, is retention. But if you don't understand it, you will not retain it. That's the bottom line. At the end of the day, everybody's got to understand what's being taught. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah. A big hat tip to our associations and other housing affiliates that really work hard to have these classes available. Even more, having instructors like you that are available to teach the next generation that's coming in. Jonathan Saar: It's not only the experienced professionals, but we know there's a shortage of talent incoming. We need more. We need more people coming into our industry. Particularly on the maintenance level, we do need more. So your ability as an educator to help that next generation is just fantastic. Man, amazing. Kathy Woodard: Thank you so much. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. I don't know. It's golden. It's golden, because for those listening on the show, it's not just our responsibility, but anybody who's listening today, it's all of our responsibility, as educators and as learners, to know what impact that we can have, no matter if we're a student listening to this show, or if they're like you, 20 something years in the industry as an educator, there's a lot that we can continue to do to improve and really benefit our industry. Jonathan Saar: That leads me to one of my favorite questions on the show. I always love this, because it's such amazing feedback that I get from each educator I've talked to. What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? What would you say to that? Kathy Woodard: I know. Only one? Jonathan Saar: Maybe two. Kathy Woodard: Okay. Continue in education. As an educator, make sure that you are staying abreast of all the changes that are happening, so that you're giving the right information. Because if you're not, you're giving old information. No one can take knowledge away from you. Make sure that you're getting it too. Kathy Woodard: I associate, so often, with mentors and peers like you, Jon, like Suzanne Pratt, the director of education at the Triangle Apartment Association. I'm very close to Stephanie Anderson at NAA. Terry Ragland's a huge educator. Rich George. I call him, I love [Jackie Ronstadt 00:00:18:26]. There are industry gurus that have helped me in my career and answered education questions. Kathy Woodard: Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Look at me keep going, Jon, look at me keep going. This is not one. [crosstalk 00:18:39] I truly acknowledge the importance of seeking out help myself when I need advice, or when I don't understand something. Jonathan Saar: Right. Kathy Woodard: Collaborating, collaborating with your local apartment association, with the AAFC and the NAA, and with friends like you, and [John Sons 00:18:59]. It only makes us better to share our knowledge and skills. Kathy Woodard: Some of the courses I teach are difficult, and not everyone passes them. So I do a lot of game changer sessions. I give one-on-one assistance free of charge to anyone that needs help passing those tests, and give them a little boost. Jonathan Saar: That's great. Yeah. That's awesome. I love ... So two things. That's what I ... In summary, continue education, surround yourself with people with like passion. It'll only help us grow. Kathy Woodard: Yes. Jonathan Saar: You mentioned some great names. We need to get them on the show. John Sons, I haven't talked to him since we were at AFT together. And a few other names, would be great to have their thoughts. So great, great tips. Great tips. I agree with you 100%. We never stop learning. We never stop learning from a book sense. We never stop learning from what we surround ourselves with. Fantastic tips. I appreciate that, Kathy. Jonathan Saar: Just for our listeners, too, how can people connect with you? Any way that you prefer? Kathy Woodard: Yes, absolutely. Well, first of all, it depends on what you're connecting with me for. If you're looking for ... If you're in North Carolina, South Carolina, and you need someone to help with disinfecting and protecting, because this COVID thing has gotten pretty bad, and my company has a solution for that. If you need help with that, you can reach out to 6&Fix. If you're local here in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, we can help you fix your air conditioner, heater. We do installation and repair. Kathy Woodard: If you're looking for someone on an educational side, because you're struggling with those classes that we talked about earlier, you can reach me at www.mrsgamechanger.fun. Or email me or call me. My email is email@example.com. You're welcome to have my cell phone number too, (919) 349-6355. Jonathan Saar: Awesome. Beautiful. Kathy Woodard: Yep. Jonathan Saar: And on LinkedIn too. [crosstalk 00:21:09] on LinkedIn, people. Don't don't forget that. Kathy Woodard: LinkedIn. Oh, my gosh. And Facebook. I'm huge for social media. Instagram. You can find me anywhere. Jonathan Saar: Absolutely. Yeah, no. You're big on social. That's where I see you most of the time, over on LinkedIn and some Facebook posts and stuff. We'll definitely put all those in the show notes. That's great. Jonathan Saar: So mrsgamechanger.fun, that's the first person I've ever come across that has a .fun. You heard that right, ladies and gentlemen, a .fun [crosstalk 00:21:40] That's great. The other ways people can connect with you with your company website and LinkedIn, I'll make sure I put those in the show notes as well. Jonathan Saar: Great, great takeaways from a maintenance perspective, and how we can really continue to grow no matter what our genre of education is. Really, there's a lot that we can do to support our industry. Jonathan Saar: Kathy, I want to give you a huge, huge thank you for being available, and being on our show today, episode number nine. We look forward to having you on future episodes. Kathy Woodard: Thank you so much, Jon. I really enjoyed myself. Thank you. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Again, everyone, thank you for being here. Take a moment and give the podcast a review, if you can. If you can subscribe to it, that would be awesome too. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and a few others. You can check us out on juvohub.com to be able to see more information about that. Again, a big thank you to our sponsors, REAL HR, a Higginbotham company. Jonathan Saar: This brings us to the conclusion of episode number nine of the JuvoHub podcast. We'll see you on our next show. 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30 minutes | 4 months ago
The Mission to Tease Out Human Potential in the Multifamily Space
Episode 8- JuvoHub Podcast Our Special Guest: Mike Brewer Mike Brewer is passionate about people, technology, and real estate. He is the COO at The Radco Companies. Mike’s investment in technological advances and education improves the team member experience and elevates customer engagement. He challenges the standard and persists towards the goal of excellence. An avid reader and lifelong learner, Mike has been “out to put a dent in the multifamily universe” for more than 25 years. Check out this website – Apartment Hacker, and be sure to follow his Facebook page. Please Support Our Sponsors We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: Property management communication strategies have pivoted many times over the last few years. There are those who resisted communication change and those that embraced it. Mike Brewer has more done more than simply embrace it. He has teased it. He has pushed it. He has dissected its potential. It is his mission to tease out the human potential in the multifamily space. Enjoy ~~ Jonathan Saar Market Me Social Communication, Social Media, and Employee Education – The RADCO Companies Approach Some questions we discussed: How has RADCO leadership pivoted or adjusted to the major change in how we do business?With a fairly spread out portfolio, how have you seen communication strategies evolve over the years?Your company is very involved in using social media to communicate the RADCO brand. What did it take for the team to embrace that program?You and I have spoken about employee education as an investment rather than an expense. Can we dive into that? Have you reviewed metrics that reflect that statement? Any actionable tips could you share that has served you well as an educator? Surround yourself with people who have a passion for education. If you really desire to be great in your life, excellent in your work, be intentional about your education.Mike Brewer – COO The RADCO Companies If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World Overcoming Challenges in a Virtual Training World Fair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and Company JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan: hello everyone and welcome to episode eight of Juvo Hub Juvo hub is your self education helping hand in property management I am your host and my name is Jonathan Saar with Market Me Social and with me today is a very good friend of mine and colleague Mr Mike Brewer Mike welcome to the show Mike: How are you doing Jonathan thanks for having me Jonathan: yeah I know it's great to have you as good to catch up and you and I we've had a lot of conversations over the years and just to give everyone a little bit of background on my friend he is the chief operating officer at the Radco companies Mike has his own video podcast over on Facebook called the apartment hacker he also has his own website so he brings a wealth of information and experience to the table and so I'm really excited about our conversation today and and specially thinking about where property management has been having to pivot especially in the last couple of months and perhaps many months in the future would be wonderful to hear your take on what's what's been working and some great tips that we can share with our audience today Mike: yeah yeah Jonathan: yeah yeah oh and by the way excuse me I have to pause for a minute because I have been wanting to say this for a long time after listening to so many of your shows so it is my mission to tease out human potential in the multi family space Mike: thumbs up two thumbs up I love it Jonathan: yeah you say it way way way better I love how you open up your show and it's such a wonderful branding of who you are your personality so that's what we're gonna do again today we're gonna see how we can tease out some human potential in the multi family space and for all other housing genres that may be listening in property management that's our goal today all right let's dive in my friend so thinking of Covid and just in general a lot of shifts and changes within property management how how would you describe Radco its leadership in what it's had to do how it's had to pivot in the way that we do business as of today and any thoughts on that Mike: yeah I think the thing that I would lead with specific to Radco is how wonderful despite the negative nature of this circumstance how wonderful it was to work for an ownership group we're wholly owned company so we own all of our assets and we self manage all of our assets but from top to bottom the organization was very supportive of being very nimble and very quick to make decisions so there was not this decision by committee in the midst of this crisis we're able to just sit down and understand the data that was in front of us and make very swift decisions as it related to things that we needed to do a whether it be you know keeping our team members a hundred percent employed and a hundred percent paid throughout the week for the crisis or things as simple as how and when we were going to shut down amenities or close the doors to the general public as it related to our business offices for the big wonderful beautiful thing was that our we were in total alignment in I really attribute that to the fact that our our core values are deeply imbued in the minds of our owners and also our team members so we were just able to not think but rather just act based on the data that was put in front of us related to Covid Jonathan: that's awesome yeah so values that are embedded in culture really help facilitate action is that a good assessment Mike: yeah it's a it's a much more succinct way to put it in it's when you're in that type of environment your ability to pivot and be nimble and get the end user the information that they need to make their own decisions decisions it's just a wonderful place to be in the and I can't say enough about the Radco leadership structure from the owner right down to the to the people who are executing things on the ground is it was awesome to see it happen Jonathan: yeah yeah and you guys have a fairly big portfolio so I you know I can only imagine already you know when you think of how spread out your properties are and in numerous states and now we're talking about communication with there there may have been at an office team environment and now a lot more people having to work from home at this time and maybe for for the foreseeable future overall just a lot of changes so use the word pivot so thinking of your years in in the industry how have you seen like communication strategies evolve and how has that kind of served you in this time frame that we're in now Mike: yeah great question and I I would pull on communication evolving over a long bit of time has really been I think underpins not underpins but it's been exaggerated by the introduction of social media and other types of media into the equation right and so in my mind it's almost become harder to communicate because there is so much noise and so much distraction in the marketplace so even if you're trying to do internal communications I I know audio can't see this but I'm holding up a phone even though you're doing internal communications you're competing with someone's phone it sits on the desk you're competing with the words that come up on the computer and and so I think that the thing that I've seen evolve is that introduction of noise but I think the thing that I've learned over that bit of time is that repetition it's an old skill right it's an old saying an old axiom repetition is really the mother of the skill in terms of communicating and so we what I've done personally is gotten used to the saying something so many times that I get sick of hearing myself say it and then knowing that that is the beginning of people actually hearing you when you when you get tired of hearing yourself talk about the same thing over and over and over that's finally the moment in time when people start to hear your message so that Radco introduced daily huddle see about a year ago we tried to do it two years ago but we weren't quite ready for the introduction of this but the daily huddle in the primary purpose of the daily huddle is to bubble up issues and concerns in the organization so that we can solve them very quickly and that's supplemented by a weekly meeting and a monthly meeting and quarterly meeting and it sounds like a lot of meetings but going back to that premise of repetition it's the right frequency to get business done and we've treated our meetings as the work and work as the meeting so you're getting things done in the meeting you're not just sitting in a room taking information you're actually doing stuff with the information real card Jonathan: that's that's amazing and it's interesting how you how you reference repetition it made me think of just you know personally for my own business where it's taken a minute or more and we read about these things because of the pandemic where that mental frame of mind has had to change and it was forced I mean this was definitely forced you can no longer do this and you need to do this but the body the brain was slow to adopt and so there is that that time period of being able to you know embrace what was changing so you know I can definitely see that from from a company perspective everybody has their own unique you know communication style but now they're trying to become kind of symbiotic I guess so to speak where it's like everything is cohesive and and working well together so that's that's cool and it's kudos to to you and to Radco for having that patience and understanding there's a difference between here's our policy today boom you know and understanding as leaders the time it would take to to make sure everybody is on board understands and has gotten used to it so that that's really really awesome you you mentioned a moment ago social media too and that is part of your strategy now you and I go we can go back in the day to Mark Juleen and Mike Whaling Eric brown you know Bill Szczytko and others so many others Lisa Trosien we can go on and on about all the conversations that we had online and offline as marketing from a marketing perspective where social media was going and here we are today and it's no longer the social media program it's just it's just the communication tool it's no different than you know we we may have had a telephone department or a fax department I don't know I I have heard of that before and have personally experienced people who had a fax department but that was because of the challenging you know challenge of adopting that communication as a tool so anyway we know that you and I we won't get into social media is just communication so yeah and you guys are very very very transparent you know you share regularly on social media tools so was there any challenges in your team embracing that as part of the Radco culture any any thoughts on that Mike: the short answer to that question is no the primary reason for that being a no is that we were very intentional about hiring team members that were already adept or they were practitioners is probably a better way to put that they were already practitioners from an individual perspective outside of the work world right so when they showed up at Radco when we we onboarded them into the to the culture into the ecosystem it was just natural for them to share now business platform or business brand because they were already practicing it from a from a personal perspective so I think it's just been a we've been intentional about it as an organization and I think we'll certainly continue to be intentional about it as we sort of shift here I think I think there is this there's a moment in time now where we're shifting the data piece of marketing in social media and all the channels away from what I consider the creative side of of marketing as that happens we're going to be intentional about hiring those people who are more analytical in nature but with a marketing pants so they can become an informant so to speak to the creative side of our marketing team so we're kind of separating those two things into two separate silos but we'll definitely continue to be intentional about the people that we hire into those roles Jonathan: yeah that's that's awesome yeah and so again just another part of the process that changes as you see things change and culture change and and how consumers change we have to be adaptable to all of those all those changes and and for our listener's you know you definitely need to check out Radco's various communities and their social channels so a link to the website will be there but definitely kind of filter your way out and you'll see some amazing examples of what they're doing as a team and even through this pandemic some different things that they've been involved in to still keep engaged with their community so virtual communication has become even more important than than maybe it did even just a few months ago so that's awesome that you guys have embraced that and continue to use that is a great way to communicate internally and with your residents so that kind of leads me into all right so you know from from our listeners perspective you know they may be thinking okay well how do I do this you know what do I begin to have good communication or a good social program and to me that always it always spills over into what's the education component you know what's the training component and training beyond you know okay we've given our team their fair housing training we've given them their harassment prevention training and you know we go past that we don't look at as an expense it's an investment you and I've had gazillions of conversations about that so what's what's Radco's perspective as you think of making sure that your team is educated and how do you go about it do you have metrics that you guys review to understand its its overall impact Mike: yeah this is Jonathan: yes you implied there it's it's been near and dear to my heart just as it is near and dear to your heart over a very long bit of time in this business I mean you can you can look behind me it's education in my mind is it goes beyond the threshold and for our listeners that aren't watching this on YouTube he has about two thousand books okay go ahead Mike carry on Mike: yes so I think that it's definitely something that I'm inspired by in I have this working theory and I haven't quite flush this out but I believe it will it will make its way into the workplace at some point you and I've had conversations about this I think in a utopian world the work is the learning and learning is the work and those two things are one in the same such that your organizational design is designed around the learning so that you don't have this traditional sit the classroom and learn how to do stuff it's rather baked right into the work flows and so to speak to what Radco was up to we are right now trying to figure out how to imbed the learning into the work flow so that it's just a natural part of your day it's not something you have to peel away and go into a classroom for you don't have to sit down and interact over video to get it done and I'm not saying those two things aren't important they are but we're trying to design it such that you don't have to do that if if you're a company that doesn't have a ton of resource to invest in that kind of thing you can design your your work flow such that you're still getting that type of education and to speak to the metrics piece of it we're we're constantly looking the one that comes to mind most readily is we we saw a problem with our closing percentages from recent perspective then were able to design some education around those areas of opportunity in the in the sales process where you know got right down to asking for the money and we had some innate fear to ask for the money so we designed some things to speak to that fear and we saw our shop scores increase twenty percent so paying attention to shop scores we're paying attention to pretest post test kind of retention metrics certainly engagement as the coursework is going along you can embed things into into your educational learning where you're serving along the way to make sure that people are picking things up so we have a broad range of things that we look at we're also looking at the ultimate outcome in the way of business happening like the shop score increasing so now we know our our closing percentages are are following closely behind that Jonathan: yeah yeah that's awesome so that's cool that you kind of pull pull them all together the and I like the the word used a few times how it's embed you know I I totally resonate with that and agree with you on there is a there is a time and a place for overall okay here is our training session and we love that because at that moment we we we want to disconnect from the devices and from everything we want to focus on the education that is being presented to us but even with that goal it's it's still very very challenging and so when it's embedded then it's like we're we're always looking for ways as educators to increase retention in some way and how can we go about doing that and so it'll be interesting to see and you know what the future holds with education as a whole and as we try to adopt some best practices from a retention let me ask you that Mike is that is that been a something that you thought about or as as leaders in your company have you had that discussion what what has contributed to it when it comes to a training and then retention of that perspective any thoughts on that Mike: really help me understand your question I don't know that I understand your question specifically Jonathan: yeah that's okay it's okay so it's like sometimes and again this goes back to some conversations that you and I have had it's like okay we can give someone I'll give you an example we'll give someone a fair housing class and we reference a harassment class but then then a companies dealing with a fair housing violation well how effective was that class we know the training was there and they got an eighty eight percent on their on their exam or quiz if that was associated to it but now the legal department is still dealing with a a fair housing challenge so that's what I mean from a retention standpoint you know you talked about your shop scores in training okay you saw obviously they retained it so the shop scores went up so besides the metrics I guess is more the question like what are your any thoughts or tips that you could share with the audience that would help their teams make sure they retain what they are trained on Mike: yeah okay yes thank you thanks for the clarification so this goes back to in my mind to the repetition of information and in it what we've talked about is lead into that conversation is the fact there's a stat out there that people have the attention of a goldfish anymore like six seven seconds I think and so knowing that it is is a basis for trying to imbue information in people's minds knowing that their attention span is very short nature we're we're moving towards sort of a sound bite model of education as opposed to a very lengthy dialogue and or kind of a dial up service of education so to speak so we we actually have a calendar you can go in and you can sign up for a real life one on one just short coaching session on a specific thing that you might be struggling with that ladders up into that theory of repetition in the sense that you've got that avenue you got the in person avenue you've got we use Yardi is a platform so their E. learning platforms is there we supplement that with other pieces of education we have a pinoptive site we use where we can create our own video a type training and so there are all these all these opportunities to impart that information on people such that when it comes to actually applying the information now you've got it in your head you're actually making application of it it's a product of being exposed to it so many times that it just becomes sort of a natural part of your your work flow and your effort yeah repetition I think is the key to all of it in doing it in ways that people like to learn so not everybody likes to learn it it's that the whole some people are kinesthetic some people are visuals some people are some people are Snapchat some people are Facebook's some people are all right right Jonathan: and that's cool so I mean it's it sounds very very dynamic overall and in and in some ways yielding to the different types of learners so that's a that's a huge huge takeaway you know we can't just have a you know one kind of training we have so many different types of learners that are out there and I love that that thought of repetition kind of go back to the fair housing it's like you know the standard property management procedure is annual fair housing training okay well we deal with fair housing every single day it's three hundred sixty five days a year so one day out of the year even though it's very very important you need to have that it's good to have that solid it's it's as important to have that regular repetition not just on fair housing but on any any topic so that's that is awesome a lot that our audience really really can take away with what they can put into play and and technology is a great tool like you mentioned some technology solutions that may help facilitate that so does always fall on on a person who's having to communicate that so this was fantastic man a lot of take aways you know communication how you that's evolved how you have worked with your team to give them and be patient with them and help them adopt to changes in policy and how Radco mission statement and culture what it is and help them be part of it feel part of that family so really really really really appreciate having you look forward to having you on on future episodes that is for sure but before we go I always love to ask this of my guest what one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator Mike: couple things I'd say I'd say first and foremost surround yourself with people like Jonathan and I mean that I I mean that in the sense that you have such a passion about education in it sort of exudes from you right so I think anyone who wants to understand the deeper meaning of learning and how to impart that others should surround themselves with people that are passionate about it and I mean that about you you're just you just exude education and the delivery of that really in service of of people I think I'd say second and this is really based on something that just it just baffles me and I say this in the kindest respects I read a lot of exit surveys from team members that that exit an organization and they site training as the one area that they didn't get enough of right and it's interesting to me in a world of Google in a world of for twenty Bucks you can learn anything you want to learn that education or training wasn't there for you I I would really encourage your listeners and your and your audience members to think about training and education as something that you do for yourself it's not it is the company's obligation to give your training but if you really desire to be great in your life excellent in your life excellent in your work world really is on you to be intentional about your education buy up the books read and surround yourself with great people like Jonathan and go for it it's a it's a self process not a not an outside process that you need to rely on somebody else to force upon you yeah do it yourself it's all out there Jonathan: that's awesome well number one thank you for that and I feel the exact same way about you it's just a very passionate you and I when we met I don't know how many years ago we just clicked I think we both have the same this very similar scope of what will it take to help other people and help them to learn about the industry and help them to learn about themselves and and really you know make themselves happy within the industry and make a career out of it and for your number two yeah so I mean that's like you and I were talking before the show I mean that's what Juvo Hub is all about you know self education and opportunity for people to really not rely so much on what corporate does you know take advantage of it but yeah like what you do I see on on your post your what is you call it your weekend reading or is that the phrase you use Mike: Night table reading Jonathan: Night Table Reading that's it night table reading yes so whatever book that you're reading and and I know you get a lot of take aways from that so yeah awesome great tips appreciate both of those so those will definitely be in the show notes and highlights we really appreciate that Mike so you know people always love to connect with our with our guests so any preferred places that people can connect with you one Mike: you mentioned the Facebook page apartment hacker I'm @MBrewer on Twitter I I look at every now and then still okay those are probably the two best places or you can find my email at Radco on the Radco website I'm happy to answer any questions you might have Jonathan: okay beautiful yeah so everyone will be in the show notes the link to his his Facebook page where you can get those daily leadership and just thoughts for the day that are just awesome where he's trying to tease out human potential in the multi family space that's what he does Mr Mike brewer so huge round of applause for our guest today Mike we really appreciate you being with us so make sure everyone who's listening to connect with him my name is Jonathan Saar thank you for joining us for episode eight of the Juvo Hub podcast we'll see you next time Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post The Mission to Tease Out Human Potential in the Multifamily Space appeared first on JuvoHub.
31 minutes | 5 months ago
The Customer Experience – Creating a Sustainable Brand Program
Episode 6- JuvoHub Podcast Our Special Guest: Mark Howell Please Support Our Sponsors: In this episode, we welcome our guest, Mark Howell, from Howl Creative Concepts. Mark has over 20 years of industry experience. He is a passionate national speaker that makes each day count and helps your team live & breathe that commitment. Be sure to check out his website and see the list of class offerings he has! We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them! Show Highlights Notes from the host: Do you truly know the difference between customer service and customer experience? Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts, took me on a journey that truly demonstrated his passion for the topic and what it takes for a property management company to be successful when rolling out a program of this magnitude. ~~Jonathan Saar Thank you for listening to the show! The difference between CS ( Customer Service) and CE (Customer Experience) Ask yourself what makes you truly authentic when delivering the customer experience.Customer experience means moving past the policy manual. There’s a difference between, what’s it called, will and a skill. I can teach you the skill, but I can’t teach you to have the will.Mark Howell Your “Brand” is the foundation for success. Determining associated emotions behind the brand. Some questions we discussed… How do discussing global brands help us connect with what our “brand” is?Why do certain global brands excite us? Team Engagement – Steps To Living Your Brand More questions we discussed… How are you helping PM to develop that framework?What does the opt-in process look like?Does a mentoring component come into play?How does a training department follow through on a program like this? What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator? Be adaptable to the learning needs of our teamMark Howell If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out: Omnichannel Customer Service Why Systems Training is a Must! Living Inclusion in a Diverse World Overcoming Challenges in a Virtual Training World Fair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and Company JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hello everyone. And welcome to the JuvoHub podcast. Just before we get into our show, I wanted to tell you a bit about our sponsor, real HR, a Higginbotham company. I have known their leadership team for many years now. And I'm telling you that you will be impressed with the level of dedication they have toward their clients. It is phenomenal. They work a lot with human resource departments and the property management space. So if you have questions or needs involving employee benefits, payroll administration, employee screening and so much more, they are the ones to talk to. And they are under the umbrella of their parent company Higginbotham, which has a whole other level of services related to insurance needs and benefits. So definitely check them out. That's real-hr.com r-e-a-l-hr.com and see it for yourself. And of course, there'll be a link in the show notes to their site. So a big, big, huge JuvoHub. Thank you for being our sponsor. So without further ado, let's get into today's episode. Hello everyone. And welcome to episode six of JuvoHub. JuvoHub is the helping hand in property management. And today we are talking about the customer experience with a very good friend of mine, Mark Howell. Mark owns his own company called Howl creative concepts and he's an industry speaker and trainer with many, many years of experience in the industry and has spoken at various associations across the country. So it's an honor and privilege to have him with us here today. Mark, welcome to the show. Glad to have you. Mark Howell: Thanks buddy. Thanks so much for having me. I'm very excited about this and it's good to hear your voice again and work with you again. Jonathan Saar: Yeah, yeah. We're going to have a great show. One of the things that you talk about in some of your classes, which I found really, really intriguing was your customer experience class that you have shared with a lot of property management companies. So that's just an interesting expression. So we're all familiar with customer service. We know that, but you use the term customer experience. So can you share with us, what's the difference between the two? Mark Howell: Sure. Let's face it, when I've worked with some of my clients, even here in the past, but as a consumer, I think we all admit that what we used to call customer service is kind of nonexistent. Certainly when I am out there as a consumer, I don't feel that there's great customer service anymore when I've been working with some of my other clients in this industry, customer service is that very basic stand, smile, hi, how are you? Of course, I'd love to show you an apartment. When we talk about what makes a true difference. Where is the customer experience? When do you turn customer service into an actual experience? When I called it sort of that kind of that fake smile routine, you're kind of following the motions of customer service, but what makes you truly authentic? When and how are you changing that customer perspective to, wow, you're just really kind of doing your job, the basics of your job by standing and smiling to, wow, you've really impressed me with what you're going to do for me as your client, your prospect, your resident, whatever it is, your consumer, you're basically showing them what you're capable of offering them as an experience. Jonathan Saar: I love it. Yeah. So much depth to that. Really, really adds to the overall culture, besides just, I guess I'm kind of leads into a thought that I had. So often there's policies and procedures manuals. For everything. It doesn't matter if it's property management. Whatever industry that you're in, there's always a policy and procedure manual. And sometimes, and we've heard it before, we get on the phone, we were trying to call customer service and we absolutely know that they are just reading a script. Hi, how are you today? Thank you for calling. We are so sorry that you had this problem. What does it take to get past that policy manual approach to the customer experience? Mark Howell: Yeah, I'll tell you. When I work with onsite employees really at all levels, and even from a leadership standpoint, let's face it. Do any employees really read a policy manual? The only time a policy manual is referenced is when you've done something wrong and someone says, that's not our policy go into section two page five and see where that's not part of our policy. But you have to have a deeper buy-in. It's not about what the policy is. It's about your own sort of professional compass. What I call that, that moral compass. What is it that you bring to the table that sort of is your own internal policy manual? So each and every one of us wake up every day with sort of walking around with our own policy manual about how we're going to conduct ourselves, how we're going to make sure that we're doing business in a very professional manner. When we talk about encouraging your employees to read a policy manual, or how do you teach customer experience? You can't really talk about a policy manual. It can certainly be a policy that you stand and greet and do these certain things, but to have your employees believe in that behavior is something more internal. It can't be just a written policy. It has to be something that you can teach them that they believe in. They have to kind of buy into it. I always say this when it comes to training. There's a difference between, what's it called, will and a skill. I can teach you the skill, but I can't teach you to have the will. If you don't have the will to do great things, then we have a whole another issue on our hands. So if you come to the table, at least with the will, then we can teach you all of the skills, which could certainly tie into some type of policy. But for me, you can't really ever teach someone to have a true will, that willingness to do better to offer the consumer more. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Very good. I love it. That just adds to the depth that's there, instead of boom, here you go. Here's your list of expressions to say for your customer service, please do not deviate from these expressions. Mark Howell: It's like the old written scripts, phone scripts that I don't know if some companies still use those, but it almost becomes so robotic, and they don't enjoy speaking that way. And the consumers are so much savvier today. They see through it. So it's teaching them about why do you come to work, wanting to make sure that your customers have a really great experience? What is the benefit for you yourself to engage in this type of behavior? Because, let's face it, nobody wants to read a script on a telephone or during a sales process. Jonathan Saar: Right. Very good. And then within our industry that can happen very, very easily. A lot of conversations are on the telephone. They are on the internet. They are via text message or chat. So there's got to be some personality that, that is behind that communication, as opposed to just a preset template of questions and responses. So I love where this conversation is going. It's really helping our audience see, there's a lot of depth to that, which leads me to my next bite. Within your class, you talked about brand. The brand is the for success. Very intriguing statement. It adds emotion to it. So a lot of people though, when they think of that expression brand, the first thing that comes in their mind sometimes is my logo or the sign that's out in front of my community. So can you talk a little deep here? When you reference your brand is the foundation for success, what are you talking about? Mark Howell: All right. So yeah, you kind of hit the nail on the head. If you think about a global brand, even if it's a logo, the way I like to start off my sessions is we do talk about branding. Branding. If you really think through it, it evokes an emotion. If you think of something like Mickey mouse, Disney, or some of the global brands, McDonald's the golden arches. Jonathan, let me ask you, when you see the golden arches, do you have a good emotion? Does your mouth start to water and you think, Oh yeah, I got to get me some of that. Some of those French fries or do you think, Oh man, that's a heart attack waiting to happen. So there is a very funny kind of dance and imbalance with branding. And so what I mean by this is that you have a personal brand, whether you know it or not every day that you wake up and you show up, you are an extension of your company's brand and that could be a logo. It could be a sign. But if you think even further through branding, you have an emotion every time you see, let's just say the golden arches, right. And whether that's a good experience or a bad experience, you have a tied emotion to an experience that you've had there. Now, look, I'll be honest. If I want French fries, I will always think of McDonald's. I know it's probably not the best option for me, but for some reason, just as a child, I've always known that if I want really great French fries, the golden arches come into mind. So let me ask you this. When you think of a company, a brand, someone that is doing it really, really well, what comes to mind? What's the first brand that comes to your mind when you think of great service for Jonathan, I want to go out and get treated really well today. Where would you take you and your family for a meal? Jonathan Saar: For a meal? Oh, okay. I was thinking from a retail perspective. Chewy.com came to mind but that I don't go to them for a meal, but I just love their... That's the whole experience in getting things for my fur baby and the way they attach to that is like, it's my fur baby. And so they want to make sure Baloo is okay. And does he have his medicine? And what did Baloo think about his new treat? And just that whole thing is just, oh, I love it. You know, because it's not just buying dog food anymore. They have as much love for pets as I love my pet. But from an eating standpoint, it's been tough last few months. I really haven't really gone anywhere too much. But I think of restaurants that the... I don't always remember the name, but I remember the person, but then it always goes back to that brand name. I think that, okay, when I've gone back to that particular restaurant and I've had a new waiter, a new waitress, and that they were the same demeanor and the same, telling me their name, writing it down, making sure they showed it. And we're just so attentive. I'm like, okay, that's an attentive culture. Chick-fil-A you know what? Just, as soon as I started saying, what a difference it is from a fast food perspective, when you go to one particular franchise and then you go to Chick-fil-A and it's a whole different world. Yeah. So good question. I love it. I love it. Mark Howell: Well, I'm glad that you said to Chick-Fil-A. It's actually a part of my training because I love the Chick-fil-A culture, but I want to go back for a second and talk about chewy. Did you hear how excited you got when you were explaining to me the experience with chewy.com for part of your family, a loved one? And so that, that brings my whole point up is that when you're talking about a brand, how important your own professional brand is. It ties into the professional brand. If you're working for an organization, you are an extension of that brand. And the problem with that is, is that the moment that you let your personal brand, you come in a bad mood, you let it affect the company's brand. It kind of ties into a mission statement. I spend a lot of time going across the country, asking some of my clients, employees, do you guys know what your company's mission statement is? And they have no idea. They can't recite it. They don't know it. And I look at them and I say, your mission statement, your company's mission statement is a calling card. It should be a piece of the brand. And when someone reads a very powerful mission statement, as a consumer, they'll hold you to it, they'll say, this is your mission statement to treat me well. And you guys don't do that. So it is all about the building blocks the fundamentals of a great brand, but you are responsible for how people see your personal brand. What kind of emotions will come to mind when they see you or see what you're associated to. Does that make sense? The companies that you worked for? Jonathan Saar: Yeah, no, that's, that's awesome. Wow. This is great. I love, I love the depth and where you're going with this. It's like a step, we've already covered a couple of steps, understanding the difference between customer service and the customer experience. What are you doing internally to kind of build that up? And now it just organically leads to our audience wondering, all right. This is a wonderful concept. What are the components in the framework to kind of make that brand? How do you get your team involved? What would be your message? Say I'm a listener on the show and I've never heard of this before. So, what are the steps or tips that you could share to help a property management company to kind of start developing that framework? Mark Howell: Sure. It's a great question. And it is one of the biggest struggles let's face it. What we do know is that our teams are only as strong as the leadership. And if you don't start with getting to know your teams, what motivates them, let's face it. When your teams show up on your multimillion dollar asset, you're expecting them to bring great service to the consumer. So how are you taking care of your internal customer? How are you taking care of your employees? How are you motivating them to accomplish their own personal goals? When you think about a personal brand that you're wanting, I want my employee to have a great personal brand. So our professional brand is stronger. Well, I need to get inside the mind of my employee, finding out what makes you tick? Why did you come to work today? Is it to make money? Is it a reward system? How am I rewarding you? It's funny that we talked about Chick-fil-A because what I do know about Chick-fil-A and in interviewing some Chick-fil-A employees, I asked them, what is it that makes your culture so impactful? And it's not like they're making more an hour. They don't get commissions. And so I find it fascinating when I asked many Chick-fil-A employees, why do you do what you do every day for just, maybe it's $12 an hour or $15 an hour. Why is that? Why can you always guarantee yourself the same type of service? And it's simple. They say our employers care about us and I just kind of smile and I shake my head and I said, well, wow, wouldn't we all be so lucky to work for employers that cared about us, but it goes a little further than that. If you truly want great results, you have to set up reward systems. You've got to find out, first of all, what motivates your employee? Is it promotion? Is it praise? Is it money? What is it? When you're not finding out about that, then you're missing how you're going to keep motivating them. But also with reward systems has to come a consequence base. So if someone doesn't meet the benchmark, what is the consequence? There's nothing worse than working inside an organization that has no consequence at all. So in order to make sure that they hold hands, that they both succeed, you kind of have to have a reward system in place and consequences in place. Jonathan Saar: That's awesome. That's so cool that you got to interview some Chick-fil-A employees and you can look at it from the perspective of wow. I mean, it's just... We can go to restaurants, so you have to pay a hundred dollars for a plate and don't get the same customer service sometimes. And to devalue, I mean, their food is amazing. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it every time we're near one, we've got to stop at Chick-fil-A for something. But that's from a value proposition, a dollar value. There's such a distinct difference, but the customer service is awesome. So how cool that that's part of their culture that they feel as an employee, that their leaders really, really care about them. Bring it back to property management. We now have a customer experience policy leaders have to get involved and the word mentoring comes up to mind when I think of how leaders get involved to make an impact on their employees. So does mentoring come into play or what are your thoughts on how leadership... Do they lead by example? What's your take on that? Mark Howell: So, absolutely. As I said, even before, your team is only going to be as good as, as your leadership skills and that leadership skills, I mean, coming from the top all the way down. So have you ever heard the statement, you'll treat your employees the way you're being treated. And so when I'm working in a leadership capacity, I always start with, who's feeding you. If I'm working with managers or regionals or leadership team, I ask them, who's feeding you. Because if no one's feeding you some type of leadership as bias mentor, then you're probably not going to be the best person to deliver that downwards either. So it's very interesting when you put together a process like this, if you have an expectation that teams are supposed to exude or live or believe and breathe, this great customer experience, and that's your expectation, then you have to set the example. So certainly I get it. It's this kind of, I'm too busy to go and hand hold the process. And I totally get that. Putting together a mentor program to make sure that you've got pockets of people that can go out. I mean, even if you don't have the resources to put together a mentor program, someone that can go be deployed and go out and work with the teams to ensure that they're adapting or accepting this type of behavior, then maybe it's a shopping experience. You can change your shopping experience to measure your benchmark. You can certainly customize that. So if you're expecting your employee to do something incredible during the touring process, and I'll give you an example. So the teams that I work with, I actually wrote it into the shopping experience that as a service team member is available on the tour and does not say hello, we're engaged, they get points counted against them. So this has certainly been one of those issues where people don't love that I encourage this, but what do you, as an employee, if you knew that you could potentially get points counted against you on your touring, shopping experience, wouldn't you everyday go to each team member and say, hey, you could be making me lose points. And a lot of these shopping experiences, they have a value to them. People get a bonus. So look, I always talked to my salespeople about not letting someone else take money out of your pocket. So there are many ways to hold or host a mentoring kind of platform to encourage the behavior, to monitor the behavior. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah. And I'm confident that in your class, you dive into some of the specifics and the framework and how all that works. Like any other program there needs to be... It has to be some structure. But I'm sure you cover all those things. So let's just spin it just from a different perspective. Well, more than likely, there's a lot of our listeners who, at this time, they're not in a leadership position. Maybe at this time, their company doesn't have a program, like what you've described and what you're helping property management companies to really embrace and institute in their organization. I'm sure you're like me. I spend a lot of time reading, providing some self-education on how I can improve in just my overall career in my own skillset. So from that perspective, that's where they're at right now, they want to improve themselves. Like, what would you, what would you share with those individuals from a self-help perspective? Like what, what are some tips that they could implement today? Mark Howell: I think that the best tip, the most valuable tip that goes along with the customer experience and to kind of tie some of the comments back into this is why do you come to work? Why did you come to work today? If you really ask yourself, what is the motivator? Why should you show up and show out every day that you're there? You have to believe in whatever motivates that need for working to make money. And so I always ask individuals, what is it you're doing this for? Is it a new car, a new home, a vacation, put food on the table to provide for your family. We each have something that motivates us every day. So when you focus internally on whatever those motivators are, I think that you'll find that people will sort of dig deeper in that self-help area of their brain and ask themselves, how can I be the best person that I can be today? I'll tell you. That's why I love training so much is I love being able to offer people advice and not all of the advice works for every individual or every market or pocket of town. But when you really start evaluating different emotion, different reasons, what is your biggest motivator for being here today? You can start to find ways to actually help the teams understand this is why you want to stay super focused on doing the best that you can today. Don't forget about that trip or that car or your kid's college fund, or putting food on the table. I think that we just forget sometimes about the necessities of life. And we forget to talk about that in our office. Look, let's face it. We all come to work for some goals, something that we need to provide. So to answer your question, self-help would be, let's really dive in and spend some time getting to know what those motivators are. I encourage people to do it as a group. So if I am a manager of people and I had employees that are working for me, it is my responsibility as a leader to make sure that I know what motivates every single employee on my staff. So I can go to them individually and say, hey, how are we doing today? How, how close are we to that new car, that vacation, that kid's college fund? How are we feeling? Where's the goal, so I can kind of keep a scoreboard for you to help us get there. That, to me is one of the most important things that a leader can do for their teams when it comes to the self help. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Wow. Actionable, impactful. I love it. That's fantastic, man. Goals are just intrinsic to so much in life. So what a way to put that, especially for, I don't care how old we are, we all need goals. So whether we're new in the industry, whether you and I, we've been here for a little bit, and we know a lot of people who've been the industry a lot longer and we look up to them. They say, you may talk about that they still have goals. So it's really, really important. So a lot of takeaways, a lot of takeaways, understanding the difference between customer service, customer experience, building that brand, building that foundation, building that framework. So absolutely amazing conversation, my friend. It's been so great having you on the show today. Before we close out, though, I always like to ask this of the guests, what would be one actionable tip that you could share that has served you well as an educator? Mark Howell: Oh wow. I've been in this industry for over 20 years, and if I've learned anything about myself and about training, it is to be adaptable. As we get older, our generation certainly learned differently. We learned to retain information differently, but what I love about these new generations that are coming, they learn very, very differently than the way I might've learned. And so one thing that I've always taught myself in training is that not everybody in the audience, not everybody in my organization is going to have the same learning capability. We all learn very differently. So embracing the change, embracing the idea that just because I communicate in a certain way, doesn't always mean that someone receives information in the same way that I might. So remembering that being adaptable as these new generations come up, when I tell you they are a lot sharper and a lot quicker to grab things and retain them and to run with them and they change them into something as you're standing there. It blows my mind, but I love it. I think that this world, we're seeing and we'll see how adaptable we all have to become. Jonathan Saar: I love it. Yeah. That's awesome. Great. A great actionable tip for any educator. Yeah. Lots of different people that we work with each and every day. So thank you. So how can people connect with you? So Mark Howell, everyone with Howell creative concepts, what's your website domain. Want to share that with us, Mark? Mark Howell: Yes. It's a www.howlcreativeconcepts.com. And my email address is Mark@ Howell is spelled like howl at the moon. So it's h-o-w-lcreativeconcepts.com. So just remember that's a sort of a play off of my last name, but Howell is spelled h-o-w-l. So thank you so much. I've had a great time with you, Jonathan. Jonathan Saar: Yeah. And we'll include that in the show notes, everyone. You'll be able to check that link out, check out Mark's website and the curriculum that he offers our industry. So again, a friend of mine we've worked together for many years and a fantastic industry trainer. It would be a joy for anyone who's listening to this, to have him come and speak for your company. So, yeah. Thank you so much. So episode number six, everyone. Creating the customer experience. Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Howell, and great having everyone on the show today and look forward to seeing you on our next episode, take care everyone. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post The Customer Experience – Creating a Sustainable Brand Program appeared first on JuvoHub.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
What Is A Learning and Development Framework?
Episode 3 – JuvoHub Podcast with Sherle BrownOur Special Guest: Sherle BrownIn this episode we welcome our guest, Sherle Brown, who is an instructor at the University of Georgia and a 30+ year veteran of the multifamily industry!Feel free to connect with her on her LinkedIn profile.Please Support Our Sponsors:We really appreciate and thank REAL-HR a Higginbotham Company for helping make this podcast happen. Please support them!Show Resources Here are the resources and references mentioned by SherleMcKenzie – ACADEMIES FrameworkNavy Training – AcuitusShow Highlights Build a learning and development frameworkWhat is an L&D framework?Why is it critical to be organized with your L&D program?Does a “framework” indicate a rigid approach to what is available to an employee?Optimize the expanded role of L&D in real estate organizationsShould a training program be solely focused on the existing job title of the employee?What does a training program look like for someone who wants to advance their career?How does an L&D department keep their program fluid and dynamic?Recognize trends and advances in various L&D delivery methods and what should be implementedWhat are some trends that you see now and can foresee for the future?What really is microlearning?What is microlearning not?Do you think we will have more of an adaptive system as we see in platforms such as Netflix or SpotifyWhat one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?Be a lifelong learner who shares with othersSherle BrownIf you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out:Overcoming Challenges in a Virtual Training WorldFair Housing Education – An Investment in Career and CompanyBringing Humanity To Your InsanityMaintenance Training – Connecting Text Book to Real WorldThe Mission to Tease Out Human Potential in the Multifamily Space JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Hey, everybody. Welcome to JuvoHub. We're looking forward to talking to Sherle Brown. Sherle is a friend of mine and colleague for many, many years. She's an instructor at the University of Georgia and a 30-year veteran of the multifamily industry and her resume goes on and on and on. This is going to be an exciting discussion today. We're going to get into learning and development, where it is today, and some actionable tips that you can take away for your team now. Let's get into the show.Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode three of JuvoHub. JuvoHub is your helping hand in property management, a true hub for all training and HR professionals in the property management industry today. With me is Sherle Brown. Sherle, you and I go way back. We've spoke at NAA and at other events. You've been a mentor to me as an educator in the industry, so it is a true honor to have you on my show for episode number three today. First of all, welcome. Appreciate you being here.Sherle Brown: Thank you so much for letting me do this. I'm honored to be part of it.Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Recently, we were talking on the phone and getting to this conversation about what has changed a lot when it comes to learning and development. Today, we're going to cover some main points, like a framework when it comes to learning and development, how are things changed for multifamily, or for any housing sector, for that matter, how has that evolved and expanded, and then what trends are taking place that all of us need to pay attention to.Let's just focus for a minute on the framework. Pretend for a minute I'm brand new to the training department and I need to put something together for my company. How do you define what a learning and development framework is?Sherle Brown: Well, I look at it as your roadmap, your guide of what you're going to do, so building that framework is really important because it's going to give you that underlying foundation. Some of the things that you had mentioned just a second ago about how learning and development has changed and one of the big ways it's changed is its scope has broadened and it's become even more and more important to businesses. It's one of the reasons people stay with you or one of the reasons they leave. It's a big reason of why some companies become successful no matter what's going on and why others fail that look like maybe they shouldn't fail. Getting that framework built the right way is key to success, actually.Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah, that's impactful. I like that statement: It's a key to having people stay with you. What a shift that you and I have seen over the last few years in really what attracts people to coming to a company, the hooks, so to speak, of where someone when they come out of college, what they decide to do, where they decide to go, has changed drastically in the last 10 years or so. We know it will continue to change as culture changes and things change in the world.Let's talk about for a minute, why is it so important to be organized, organized from the sense of we can visualize framework as having components? What's your take on what it takes to be organized and keep that framework moving forward?Sherle Brown: When you look at this broadened role of learning and development, what's so exciting about this in a way and what is so challenging with it is that, if it's done correctly, then learning and development is going to touch every single thing in the organization. That's part of another thing that's changed is learning and development, it used to be it sat out there and it was something people checked off boxes and went through and there was a lot of compliance and all that, but it wasn't being used the way it should be and the way it is now and the way it has to be used now.With that said, I think the starting point with the organization of the framework is the alignment with business goals. It needs to be strategic. That goes all the way back to every position in the company from the beginning through the end is touched by learning and development. It's a key component, actually. Learning and development should be involved in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, competencies, employee growth, leadership development, on and on it goes.That means that that framework that's built needs to be organized in a way that can keep that from becoming chaotic, that connects all these different components. It needs to measure, that means it needs to have KPIs that are aligned with the business goals, and it needs to look at what the framework is doing. That needs to be monitored. It can't just be left alone. All that needs to be built into the framework itself. If employees are not satisfied with the way the learning and development's done and believe that it's working and that it has value, it's never going to get where it needs to be, so you've also got to keep an eye on how does the employee feel about this, what is their perception, what are they getting out of it, where are those gaps, and how are they filled.My favorite, I'd say, models of a good framework was put out by McKinsey. I'm not going into all that, but just a few of the things, they have nine components. Just touching on some of the very key ones, I've already mentioned it needs to be tied into the business. In property management, that means operations, marketing, management, maintenance, all of that, the executive leadership. That's another place that sometimes it's missed. It needs to be when those gaps are there, how big are the gaps and how much is that costing us? Things have to be prioritized. That's a real big one, because you want to do everything, and of course, that's impossible. All the different learning paths need to be there. It needs to be, especially with HR, not just loose connections, but totally tied in to each other.Then one of the big things that's different is with some of the capabilities now maybe to get more into informal learning being recognized to a point, there are ways you can strategically build that into your warning and development program, and of course, of course, it's technology. When you think about all that, it's massive, it's complex, it's interlinked, so you better be organized. If you get it right, which is a big if, it's a lot of work, it takes ongoing attention, but if you do it, you keep it organized the way it should be, then I really think that you would end up contributing to employee engagement, retention, like we said, as well as, though, your company brand.Jonathan Saar: Right. Wow. Let's just pause for a moment. That's a lot to chew on because I mean, a ton that I just pulled away from that part of the conversation, Sherle. Here's what a training program is not, you and I both seen this, all right, you ask somebody, "Yeah, do you have a training program?" That answer may be yes. Then you ask them, "What are the components of that training program?" "Well, we make sure they take fair housing every year," or "We make sure that they take sexual harassment prevention," and they'll list some courses. That's what's on their mind, that they developed a training program. What you just shared with us is a whole, whole other level of what are some components that need to be thought about.I love what you said there, too, how there has to be some alignment. Often, as leaders, we can't present that to someone just simply, "Please, get us a training program." There just has to be that overall vision, as you commented on, in order for it to be successful. Beautiful. Love it, love it.Let's pivot for a minute and, and now we're talking about like, how do we, how do we identify that role? We know often the organizational structure of the company is, "Okay, what is that job position?" We need to have community managers, we need to have our leasing professionals, we need to have regionals. We can go through that whole list of job titles, but do you think that a training program should just be solely focused on what that job title is and associating learning with that job title? What are your thoughts on that?Sherle Brown: I think are very interesting, like Zappos and Mass Mutual have eliminated job titles completely, so when you read further into it, you find out they do have structure, it's not as loose as it may sound, but they go by function. My part of that is not only just going by function, but by going toward the interest of the employees aligned again with the business, but growing people in different ways.One of the reasons I would say that is from personal experience, even. When my educational background was, I had my undergraduate education was in IT and finance. Of course, I went in that direction, but I was never interested in it. It was not what I wanted to be doing. Fortunately, I worked for a company that allowed me to get my hands in anything. I mean, they just turned me loose: "Here, go get into everything you want to."Jonathan Saar: Nice.Sherle Brown: I learned so much and it kept me to things that, I mean, I worked long hours that defied a lot of people's logic. They thought I was crazy, but I was enjoying the whole thing. I think a lot of that had to do with I got to learn different areas, I got to grow in areas. I wasn't stagnated into "Here's your title of CFO," or whatever it was at the time, it's all kinds of different areas, and I think that benefited the company, too.Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. I love it. The culture just allowed you room to grow. What a critical element that is, if it is just this box where everybody's in. Statistically, we're seeing that, too. It doesn't matter what generation, I just think it's becoming more vocal now, where as new ones are coming into the job market, they don't want to be put into that box, but just to have an opportunity to expand and explore and just see what's available to them and the way education is being delivered. We're going to touch on that in a minute. We're going to get into some tech items I know that you have on your mind and how that really can facilitate that. That's amazing. Excellent.Taking it to, let's say, someone that we have, people listening to this today, and maybe they're new to the industry, or maybe, again, maybe it's someone who's just, they're trying to really tweak their learning and development program, their training program. What would be your message to those who are like, "Okay, I know, here's the prerequisites"?We know, we understand that you can't get away from it. There are things that need to be taken. It keeps the employee safe. It helps them perform their job better, but at the same time, what do you think a pro a program would look like to help someone expand their career and to make their program a little bit more dynamic and fluid? Any thoughts on that?Sherle Brown: Yeah. I have this vision in my mind and I've had this vision for many years and I've seen parts of it done. I think there probably are companies now doing it. I've not seen it in absolute practice, but here's this vision: It starts off with the way each job is designed. You define each job and how it contributes to the company's purpose and the company's strategy back to the culture again. If somebody, say, is going to go into a community manager's job, for example, in property management, and is going to work for a company, we know of lots of different cultures within property management. You think about the culture of that company as well as the function of the community manager.This job is defined that way so when they come in, here's this career path, and it includes things, like there are some basic things you need to know as a community manager. There are courses that you need to take for compliance. There are things that you can't do your job and do it well and not hurt other people if you don't know those things, so you start, but everybody has a different starting point. One person in the old days, somebody would walk in with 20 years experience, and they're like, "Okay, check all these boxes," and they would have to take hours of courses instead of, "They're at this level," and that's part of the identifying the competencies coming in.Then the starting point becomes different with that person and then, in my vision, the person's direct supervisor, the learning and development professional and the employee start off at the very beginning with this defined position and what the company needs. They then work with that employee on where their knowledge and skills and abilities are as well as their interest in and where do they want to go in their career.Some people, they're looking at the next level before they've done what they're supposed to do at this one, so we work with them with all that. You collaboratively work with, you set goals, and this is key, accountability with those. You build in these interim goals and rewards and celebrations along the way for meeting these different steps.That requires some frequent interaction and frequent communication because what you start off with may not be anywhere close to where you end up because you've got a business with needs and you have people in those places that may change from where they were and companies that may change, so you have to be aware that you adjust along the way, but you don't let that, like, "We're just going to leave it alone," and then all this stuff changes. That doesn't work. It takes that commitment to that frequent interaction.Jonathan Saar: That's awesome. Now, we get into technology. That's always one of the bigger questions overall. It's like, okay, we have a vision, we have all these ideas, we know how to be that mentor, be that coach, be that facilitator, organize the program. Where are we at today, Sherle? What technologies out there, what are some trends, and how does that make a learning and development program successful?Sherle Brown: Well, the technology continues to improve, and that means that learning and development needs to be proactive in looking at where it's going and they need to put in things that work for that particular organization. Some of the trends that, and I'll talk about these jointly together, is I think we're seeing a lot of job redesign, upskilling, and reskilling.I don't think I mentioned this before, and it's true in the L&D role, they need to be more strategic, more data-literate, more financial literacy involved with that. There are a lot of ways to do that with the technology that's coming up. Some of the basics that I would talk about are, I think, more of a cloud-based plugin, unplugged-type system instead of investing in expensive on-the-premises systems that require ongoing maintenance, constant attention. You need a whole department to even begin to do that, right?Jonathan Saar: Right.Sherle Brown: A lot of companies aren't able to do that well and if they make attempts at it, it's not the right way to go. Then we are seeing LMSs. When you and I first got to know each other, that was the big thing. It's still there's that need for that structure that we've talked about and keeping track of who's doing what and delivering content and all that.They're evolving into what they call "LXPs," learning experience platforms. That becomes more of the user interaction with it: employees learning from each other, sharing information, making recommendations, more personalized delivery that wasn't even possible before. Oh, expand content, but it's not like you are sitting there delivering. I mean, that is like a rat race that won't end, constantly trying to keep all kinds of content updated. Instead, it's drawn from multiple sources with different libraries and in different forms.Then we're starting to see some things with geo-fencing where I remember one of the things that I did in a lot of my positions was I would write policies and procedures for the entire organization. As a national company, you had to keep up with these constant changes of laws everywhere, which would be overwhelming. Then a lot of times, the easy way out was to make everybody in the company take courses that didn't necessarily apply to them or get into complicated, all this grouping on the LMS.We're starting to be able to not have to do all that and make it more tailor-fit. That comes through geo-fencing, where you could go, if a law applies to a different area, then you would be able to get people up to speed on that, virtual reality and augmented reality interspersed with actually learning what you're really doing on the job.Then I think one of the ones that I see a lot of potential with is that there's big data out there. We hear about that all the time until we get tired of hearing it, but at the same time, if you don't know how to use all that, if the information just sits around, it doesn't do you a whole lot of good. I think we're seeing that learning and development professionals need to know where do we use the technology and where can technology not do what humans can do.I think there's more and more demand for being able to understand that, which means you need to understand the technology to a point and the picture of learning in general. In some of the ways I can see, practical ways of doing that, is the machine learning and artificial intelligence can go out with that big data that human brains cannot process all that and then take it in meaningful ways, measure things we can't measure, I think that's one of the ways of it, and then go in and maybe do more personalized experiences.There was one thing, and I wish I could remember this a little bit better, but I just found it fascinating at the time. It's been a while since I read it, but the Navy, for example, did virtual mentoring or tutoring. I don't remember which one it was, but they actually worked in a controlled environment where one group were taught by really good mentors or tutors and the other group was taught by these machines and the ones taught by the machines, believe it or not, outperformed the human part. I would not have thought that would happen, but it did. That's a real story.Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Wow, that's amazing.Sherle Brown: I think on this is the microlearning, I think is learning a little bit at a time instead of sitting in a classroom for hours and hours and hours and then going back and being so stressed out about all the things you've got to do that you can't even focus on what you learned and you block it out of your mind after a while. It doesn't lead to longterm learning. I think the microlearning, which is learning in small little chunks at a time where it's more relevant and it's integrated into the work.Some people are like, "Well, what is microlearning?" That's already explained what it is, but what it's not is it's not just a theory. It's not just a principle and it's not something that replaces the formal learning because as things get more complex, more complex skills, I need more than just little chunks here and there. I see it not as something that replaces, but something that supplements more formal or involved learning. It takes it to the next level because we forget most of what we've learned unless we apply it.I know from experience and from teaching experience that repetition really, really enforces it. The more you're exposed to it, especially in practical ways and things that provide meaning and memory to it, makes a huge difference. All kinds of science supports that.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, yeah. We can have another whole show just on that alone, right, Sherle? I mean there's so much thereon, even with technology. Still, we're talking about the delivery method, we're talking about, well, what does the content look like? Is the content interactive? Does it allow for visuals and games and things along that line? Those are all items that are just, yeah, another whole topic.Something that you mentioned earlier, too, that caught my attention was just not getting overwhelmed with the data. What an amazing thought point that is. Here's why, here's my perspective on that: It just takes away from that, I believe you touched on this, it takes away from that opportunity to really get to know that learner, our employee as a person. You get so bogged down by numbers and by statistics and you really lose that personal touch. That's something that we definitely want to avoid.Ironically enough, as systems progress, I think this is really, you and I were talking before the show, here's what we want our audience to understand: Be ahead. Don't be behind. 10, 15 years ago, that was a common discussion that we had was that property management is a little bit behind. Learning management systems have been around for many years now and we're just starting to opt into them. How crucial it is for our training department to really, let's forecast what is coming, what can we start implementing now, and how can we use technology to help cut costs, at the same time, not take away from that, that learning experience where it's just virtually taking everything over?Last little thought, Sherle, before we wrap up the show: I think there were some elements in there about artificial intelligence. I'm going to go nerd for a minute here and dive into the learner experience. We know manually, from a manual perspective, how difficult it is. It's difficult as it is just to make a learning plan for a job title and then you're managing multiple employees who are coming in at different times; from a hiring, promoted. We got all that dynamic items that are taking place. That's difficult as it is.Now, we're looking at the potential of bringing in multiple sources for an employee. Do you think that as AI, when it comes to learning and development, as it continues to progress, that we're going to start seeing more learning platforms, like how we experience things on something like Netflix, where Netflix just tells us what we probably would like to watch and they're usually pretty close? What are your thoughts on that?Sherle Brown: I definitely think we're going to see more of that. I think it's got tremendous potential. I mean, if you think about it, that adaptive system that looks at as employees do things, those experiences that they do, and the system captures that, then it provides insights into their preferences and all this stuff in real-time, it is just so powerful.One of the things I think is tremendous there is if you think not only can it go with where that employee is for this individual attention, it's got real meaning and real relevance and all that, but it can go to their learning styles. One of the first questions I ask every class that I teach at the beginning, my first day tries to get to know them better and one of my questions is their learning styles: What are obstacles for you for learning, what helps you learn, and all that, just trying to get that information with these classes I teach, which are going to be less than a hundred students can seem like a lot. You can imagine with organizations and all the stuff that goes on there, it's a whole different world.It also even does things with people with disabilities. We think about it adapts to them. It adapts to people, like some of the stuff I've done in my life, I've been either older or younger than people, a different background than some of the people that I worked with, so having more of an individualized experience would have been great, or just your style, it makes a huge, huge difference, so the potential is there.Now, with that said, and I do think it's going that way, there are a couple of things that need to happen to make it get where it needs to be. I think that will come fairly quickly, but we do need to give it some thought. One of them is employees are used to this, just like you've talked about what they're used to, it's this one-size-fits-all spoon-fed content-delivered approach. As crazy as it sounds, even if the learning and development people are all into proactiveness and looking at all this, they've still got the job that they've got to get the employees to understand it and to be bought into it then.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, spot-on. Yeah, it won't be relevant whatsoever if we don't have some of the technology in place. It's there. There's some other things that we know are on the horizon that you and I've talked about. LinkedIn's already has had a platform for some time that is somewhat along those lines. We'll see that in our industry and I think it's going to really, really change the landscape of a person's education, how they are educating themselves, and how that experience, no matter what property management company they work for, it can be transferable. A lot to look forward to and a lot to really focus on right now so that we're prepped for what is coming in the near future.Sherle, you mentioned a couple of things. I just want to tell our audience, we will have those items in the show notes. Sherle, if you can provide, you talked about McKinsey and you mentioned the story about the learning experience the Navy had performed. We'll make sure we have some context for everyone. You can take a look at that when you look at the show notes.Sherle, it's been awesome to have you on the show today. What a wealth of insight. I know you and I, we can go on for the entire day deep-diving into some of these, the finer points of what we've discussed, but we've got to wrap the show up. Before we go, though, what one actionable tip could you share with our audience that has served you well as an educator?Sherle Brown: Well, I hope this doesn't sound too cliche, but I do have a twist with it, and that is, I would say, be a lifelong learner who shares with others.Jonathan Saar: I love it. Love it. Always give. Yeah, beautiful. Yeah, that resonates. Thank you for sharing that. Ladies and gentlemen, Sherle Brown, UGA professor, instructor, years in the industry. We appreciate having you on our show today for episode number three of JuvoHub. Sherle, we know you're an industry speaker. For those listening, if you're interested in having her speak to your group, your leadership conference, or any training that you have in mind for your team, what's the best way, Sherle, for people to connect with you? Is it okay to reach out on LinkedIn? Is that your preferred method?Sherle Brown: Yes, that would be great.Jonathan Saar: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you again, Sherle. This has been an intriguing show. A lot to chew on and we look forward to having you again on future episodes. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you again. Thank you, Sherle, for being here with us and thank you for tuning into JuvoHub, our podcast. We look forward to seeing you on our next show. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post What Is A Learning and Development Framework? appeared first on JuvoHub.
11 minutes | 6 months ago
COVID-19 Resources For HR
In this episode we cover some incredible COVID-19 resources available for all property management professionals in the HR sector.Check out the notes below for links to the resources.Higginbotham COVID-19 Resource CenterHigginbotham Compliance UpdatesHigginbotham Employee CommunicationsA special thanks to our guest on this week's show, John T. Rebol, from Higginbotham. JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan Saar: Welcome everyone to our show today. Thank you for joining us on the JuvoHub Podcast. Just before we get going into our program, we want to remind everyone, especially with the content in this particular episode, that we are not representatives of the CDC or OSHA. These are not medical opinions or recommendations. They're simply information that we wanted to share for recommendations and best practices. It's always good to confer with your legal department or your HR department. But we really appreciate you being here today. So let's get into our show.Jonathan Saar: Hello everyone. Welcome to episode two of JuvoHub. JuvoHub is your helping hand in property management. A true hub for all training and HR professionals in the property management industry. With me today, he's back already. Episode number two, Mr. John T. Rebol, Corporate Wellness Specialist and Employee Benefits Advisor from the Higginbotham Company. John, welcome to our show again, sir.John Rebol: It's great to be here, Jonathan. My pleasure. Tough times, but great to be here.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, yeah. I appreciate having you on here again. Last time we talked about overall employee wellness, and now, because of what's going on with COVID, you and I side barred as we were looking and preparing for this particular program, what can we do to get some information out there for those who are in the training department or the HR department for our property management community. Some resources and some tips and things along that line regarding COVID-19, and how they can address the incredible amount of governmental changes and acts that have taken place.Jonathan Saar: So let me spin it to you just for a minute, John. From your office, are there some recurring questions that have come in? What do you see as the most trending or popular questions that your clients are looking for answers too?John Rebol: Yes, to date there are some questions that do keep coming up. I'll go ahead and tell you what those questions are. The first question we have been asked quite a bit from our clients is what steps do I take if an employee tests positive for COVID-19? Another one that we get pretty frequently is if an employee is unable to telework, what are my options? Then number three is can you explain the details of the emergency paid sick leave act, and the emergency family and medical leave expansion act and provide some information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. That's a lot.John Rebol: These questions are recurring. Just with all of the initials that go along with all these different acts, there is a lot to keep up with. There certainly is. So with us being involved in the HR world, it's stuff that we are on top of, and we do have resources that we can help and we stay on top of what's going on.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, that's awesome. I can't imagine being in the shoes of an HR director. There's enough legislation, enough laws that infect an employee that they need to be in tune with. They have to be constantly in contact with their own legal department. And now, and now a deep dive into some incredible acronyms. EPSLA, the EFMLEA, the FFCRA. That's a lot. A lot to chew on. The fact that they have to react so quickly, this isn't something that can take weeks and months to be able to dive into and address. They're having to deal with it immediately. So thank you for sharing that.Jonathan Saar: Now, I know Higginbotham has some resources available on their website that have been a great help, and a big kudos to so many in our industry that have been providing resources like this just to help everyone to get through these crazy times that we're having to live with right now. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What are some of the resources that are on this page? We'll be sharing these in the show notes too for our listeners. So keep that in mind. What do you got for us, John?John Rebol: Well these, it's really a great resource. It's updated daily, and we have a lot of people looking at it. But we have a compliance update. We have a risk management update, employee communications, relief notices, carrier notices for how you might be dealing with your insurance carriers, and then just some helpful links. But it's a great resource. What we try to identify all the different things that folks are going through and what our clients are going through, and we're just taking this information and putting it out on our website so other people have these resources. Just a lot of very good information, and it's updated daily.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, it's great. I've looked at this numerous times, and every time I'm on here there's something new and updated. So that's wonderful. Some great topics. OSHA's approach, what's an essential business? Some poster-related items that you can put up in your office. Coronavirus and the workplace. Again, the list goes on and on. I love this employee communications section that really just deals with some best practices, that, because of the stress that we're living in right now, how to eat right, wellness and health apps that are available, how to deal with working remotely. That's another whole topic. Boy, has that ever exploded for all of us when everything that we're doing right now is by virtual conference or call or phone call. So, great.Jonathan Saar: Any other thoughts, John? These are some great resources. We're glad that you guys have them available. Specifically, have you seen anything where Higginbotham, it has been making a difference for your clients? Has it been a lot of the resources? Or has there been certain items that you've been able to share with them to help them really address this matter internally?John Rebol: Well, in regards to internally, our offices here in Atlanta, I think that we have done for ourselves a really good job of communicating with all the employees. We are still, we're very fortunate in the fact that we have actually a health coach with the group here in Atlanta. We've continued to have our monthly meetings with the health coach, and we talk about ways to continue to communicate with each other, different ways to exercise at home, and the biggest thing is to stay positive, and that we will get through this. So there's a lot of talk that happens like that inside of our organization. So this will actually, we're coming up on, this'll be the second, on Friday of this week, will be the second time that we have the health coach back in a Zoom-type situation.John Rebol: It's really nice to see everybody. It's not like everybody is when you're together and you can see everybody. It certainly is different, but it's great to know that everybody on the team is still working and they are listening to positive talk and trying to encourage each other. So these are just some of the things that we're doing. Obviously, I have a biased opinion and I think it's wonderful, and I really enjoy it. But these are just some of the things that are going on here locally with our Higginbotham family.Jonathan Saar: Yeah, that's wonderful. That's fantastic. What a great example of leadership and setting the stage. I've heard that from some other companies too, who are our really investing in speakers who can come in and really motivate their team. To your point, really focusing on the overall wellness of the team, making sure that they're still productive in their new environments. Critical. Absolutely critical. So fantastic to see your leadership, who's put that in place, and a good example for all of us, because it can be challenging. Not only can remote work be challenging all by itself, but now with this pandemic that's going on and all of the different things that are going on in the news, it can easily distract us and lower our productivity. So kudos to you and your group. It's good to hear that they're doing that.Jonathan Saar: So thank you again, John. We appreciate you. We want to keep this episode a little bit shorter, as we really wanted to focus on getting these resources out there for our industry. If you have any questions you can reach out to a John. Is it on LinkedIn they can connect with you on LinkedIn if they have any questions? Or can they email you?John Rebol: They can email me or go to LinkedIn. Most of my social activity on the internet is at LinkedIn, so that's a great place to reach me.Jonathan Saar: Okay, perfect. Perfect. That'll be in the show notes as well as, like we said, the Higginbotham resource will also be in the show notes. If you have any comments on this show, we would love to hear your feedback. Take an opportunity if you've subscribed to the podcast already to give us a review. It's episode number two. So we're still working out the kinks, but we're so grateful to have all of you who are listening to this show today. So until next time, thank you so much. Thank you for tuning into JuvoHub. Thank you, John Rebol, for your comments and your resources today.John Rebol: Thank you, Jonathan. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive email updates Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by The post COVID-19 Resources For HR appeared first on JuvoHub.
22 minutes | 8 months ago
3 Key Components For Employee Wellness
In this episode, I am joined by John Rebol, a Corporate Wellness Specialist and Employee Benefits Advisor for REAL HR, A Higginbotham Company.John shares his 3 key components for employee wellness.We discuss the following:Physical Well BeingSpiritual Well BeingFinancial Well Being JuvoHub Podcast Transcript Email Download New Tab Jonathan: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode one of JuvoHub. JuvoHub is your Helping Hand In Property Management, a true hub for all training and HR professionals in the property management industry. So I am really, really excited to launch this first episode for our industry, and I'm even more excited about our first guest that we have on today's show. I have with me today Mr. John T. Rebol, Corporate Wellness Specialist and Employee Benefits Advisor at the Higginbotham Company. John, welcome. Nice to have you with us.John: Nice to be here, Jonathan. It's a thrill to be part of the very first episode. I'm really happy to be here with you.Jonathan: Thank you for taking the time out for us today. So let's just get started. Today's topic is about wellness, and how there's just so many components to how we as professionals have to embrace that as part of our culture today. But tell us a little bit about yourself. What brought you into the wellness component of the industry?John: Yeah, sure. I did a lot of work in the financial services industry, and specifically was working in the 401k market. About two or three years ago, I started seeing a lot of talk about financial wellness. I'm like, what is financial wellness? I need to take a closer look at that. Then it really made me dive into even more so about wellness, overall wellness. It really made me look even deeper into financial wellness. As I was doing my research in wellness I kept on hearing so much talk about stress, and stress is what causes all of these problems. People to drink too much, and to overeat, and live sedentary lives. I'm like, what in the world is causing this stress?John: My research showed me that a lot of this stress comes from financial stress, that people are concerned about their finances. But it also goes through my research into many other different things. I think there's three components to it. It's not only financial, but there's also a spiritual aspect to it, and a financial aspect. So over the last three years I have really dug into it. So that's that background.Jonathan: Beautiful. Beautiful. So timely, so timely. Sometimes we get so focused on what is it going to take to make the money? What is it going to take to have that retirement fund? What is it going to take to get my kids through college? We forget the other components that really help facilitate that. Those are fantastic goals to have. We need to have them. But there's so much that's part of that.Jonathan: You shared with me that you wrote a nice, concise ebook about wellness. You called it KISS, and you dive into those three components of physical, spiritual, financial, and how simple things that we can think about that contribute to our overall wellness. So let's hit each of them. You start off with physical. How does physical wellness, what does your book talk about? What's your take on that?John: You touched on it a little bit. Most people are familiar with the acronym KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. If stupid is a difficult word for you, can also put Silly in there. So it's however you want to look at it. I just had a Jerry McGuire moment, if any of you are familiar with the movie. It seems like a lot of people tend to make things just a little bit too difficult. If you can really keep things simple, it really helps out. In regards to the whole physical side of things, in regards to being physically well, it doesn't require all that much work. Some very simple things, like just a mild amount of exercise is a very good thing. Maybe just walking. Some other things in regards to physical wellness is how you eat. It doesn't have to be an elaborate diet or meal plan. Maybe just keep an eye on what you're eating, staying away from sugars, and maybe not eating late at night.John: These are things that are very simple and easy to to do, and could really, really pay big dividends in regards to just being physically fit. The whole idea of just going forward and spending the time to watch what you eat, it actually makes you feel better. I feel better if I'm conscious of what I'm eating and how I'm exercising. So it doesn't have to be elaborate, just very simple things. It can help you sleep better at night, and let's just keep it simple.Jonathan: Yeah. That's great. So would you say, I guess we'll use the analogy, what happens every new year's. Every new year's people, they have that on their mind. I want to eat better and exercise more. It lasts, for many of us a month, and then we get back into the grind of our life and we start forgetting that. What have you done? Or maybe what can you share that would help people maintain consistency in their physical wellness? Any thoughts on that?John: I honestly, Jonathan, I think a lot of it comes back to the simplicity factor. I think a lot of people, what happen is, is they decide at the beginning of the year they're going to do this exercise program. They're going to do all this eating, and I think that they set themselves up for failure, that they just do too much. Let's just start slow and get into it. Just kind of one step at a time. I don't think any one type of exercise program is better than any other. Let's just start. Let's do it. So I really think it's just baby steps. Get into it, and just, you'll start feeling better. It takes some time, but just, you got to try and stay with it.Jonathan: Right. That's beautiful. I remember all the times I went crazy and joined the gym and got some magazine and had all these 30 days to this, and 90 days to that, and always failed. So I'm with you on that. It's been, for me, it's been a personal journey for the last few years just to maintain that consistency. Your advice is what I've done my best to apply. Just steady, simple, consistent. It's opened up a world for me. I've opened a new business. Things are going good for you and your family. You and I sidebar and chat about that all the time. So great tips. That's awesome, man.Jonathan: So let's get to the next component. You talk about spiritual and spirituality, so to speak, and how that helps with wellness. Tell us about that. How does that contribute to overall wellness?John: I think it's really important to be okay with yourself. You need to find a way to be happy with who you are and what's going on. The whole spiritual side of it is, I think it's a way to just reflect and find some time to be quiet. I know that there's a lot of talk these days about mindfulness and yoga and just meditation. I think these are all good, and I think it's critically important to just time to be quiet. I just think it's really important. It has helped me to try and find some time in the morning just to be quiet before I get the day going. Actually, I think it's important even on the physical side of things, as well as with the spiritual, is to find other people that you can communicate and talk with and be open with.John: So I think it's really important to find some quiet time to reflect on, just slow down, and take a look at what's going on. I think it's really important. There's tons of books that you can read. Once again, keep it simple. Find something that makes sense to you and just slowly dive in. Maybe you read a few pages out of some type of motivational book or a spiritual book, whatever works for you. Once again, really stay in tight with the keep it simple.Jonathan: Yeah, that's beautiful. What's your take on, I see this all the time, where, especially on social media, people will be like, "I need to go through a detox, like a technology detox," because there's just so much, and we get it. There's just so much negativity. Any thoughts on that? We talked a moment ago about keep it simple with physical exercise. What do you think people can do when it comes to social media or technology? Anything that you think would be beneficial from a balance perspective, I guess? Go ahead.John: Well, as you were talking about technology, I was really thinking about unplugging and finding quiet time. I'm sure, and I know that there are apps out there that help with meditation and things of that nature. I think that they're probably great. I've toyed around with a couple. But my experience and the way I do it is really try to unplug, is I wake up in the morning and I go into actually our living room, and I typically get up before anybody else in the family, and I just read out of some books, and I'm just quiet and try and see what these books are saying to me. It just really helps me to get my day going forward.John: I really also work on just a spiritual thing, believe it or not, is I think just living one day at a time is big. If I start looking out into the future, oh boy, I can get anxious. If I get into taking a look at the past where I may have made some mistakes, it can be depressing. Right now, today as you and I speak, even amidst all of this crazy coronavirus that's going on, I am okay. Right this very second I am okay. So just some examples that I do personally.Jonathan: Yeah, what a timely subject too, because it can easily get overwhelming on the media with what's happening in the whole world with coronavirus. We could easily get off on a banter here right now with all of the things that could happen. But wonderful. Yeah, focus on today. But it's all part of that process of we need to be problem solvers. Being industry leaders, that's our responsibility for our viewers, listeners to this episode, that we're all taking that away, that there's no reason to just wave the white flag and give up. We're only going to be successful for our industry if we continue to try and help each other. Continue t
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