Ms Management March 2017

Posted: 22nd March 2017 by Melissa in Ms. Management
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Ms. Management

Carol Levey, writer and creator of Ms. Management also appears as a guest blogger on Rent Sense. Her insights appear in dozens of other industry publications across the country. Carol is a regular presenter at the annual AAMD Education Conference, has served as MC Host for Award Events, and consistently over 35 years of volunteerism taught & authored curriculum for AAMD Education. She has been acknowledged for her outstanding contribution as an Industry Supplier becoming the recipient of the Jack Shapiro Award Winner twice; in 1987 & 1990.

Carol Levey is perhaps more recognized at the national level as an educator in the real estate industry. She served as one of the original team that produced the National Apartment Association coursework leading to the respected NALP designation. Her company Levey Enterprises has provided temporary leasing specialists, site managers and marketing offsite personnel to major apartment community operators throughout Colorado and across the U.S. Her business was founded on decades of experience in property management and executive leadership as a third-party leasing and corporate housing provider.

Read on for this month’s Ms. Management Q and A!

Q. I manage an apartment building for a large institutional ownership. I report to a regional that maintains a working relationship with the asset manager who reviews portfolio operations quarterly including my building. I’ve never been in this loop other than to provide research and/or documentation to my regional as requested.

Last quarter my regional was called out of area and away from her normal routines. Thus, was not readily available to the asset manager so he picked up the phone asking me directly to provide documentation on several line items including references in the quarterly narrative. He was very complimentary and I was happy to respond right away. Then it got a little weird as he asked me several direct questions after which he declared something like … “finally, timely straight answers from the source… guess I know where to come when I need the truth.”

My pride turned to embarrassment. Had my interaction uncovered something wrong with how my regional does her job? How is she going to feel about my communication this time or in the future with this asset manager? I’m not sure who to talk to or what to say. Help.

Reply. Quality operations and timely reporting require teamwork which demands direct and transparent communication. Sounds like you took the time and energy to respond to the asset manager but with unforeseen consequences. You “stepped in it” when you didn’t anticipate what could go wrong and/or control communicate inside. You also failed to manage expectations outside.  It also illustrates that grabbing centerstage by yourself might feel productive for a minute but can backfire requiring damage control. So, what now?

First, get hold of your regional and rehearse the situation. Explain that you were taken off-guard and thought you were doing a good thing. You realize the asset manager was just trying to make you feel good. However, because you don’t have the relationship depth that your regional does you found his kind words were a little unsettling like you were trying too hard to impress. What should be done to make sure he knows that I had been directed to get what is needed under unusual circumstances?  What methods should be expected by the asset manager going forward? Also, express that you would appreciate some direction and/or coaching from her on this kind of “what if” circumstances.

What you are doing here is getting back to clear communication protocol, direction from your team leader and re-establishing managed expectations all around.

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