“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Taking the time to teach or train employees also has lasting benefits:
- Increased job satisfaction;
- Reduced turnover;
- Increased morale;
- Increased efficiencies leading to increased profit;
- Untrained or poorly trained employees cost significantly more to support than well trained staff
- You can cross-train employees to be capable in more than one aspect of the business to help you to fill absences;
- Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
- Trained employees are better equipped to deliver good customer service, make a deal or use computer systems.
Training for the apartment rental industry takes many forms: from basic leasing skills and demonstrating apartments to delivering exceptional customer service, and technical skills for Building Managers such as minor electrical or plumbing repairs. Major landlords such as Greenwin and WJ Properties are also training their front line staff in first aid and CPR annually. Both Park Property Management and Greenwin have in-house continuing education programs for all site staff called “university” that offer a variety of technical and leasing topics as well as legislative updates.
Training in basic rental techniques and customer service is essential for those staff whose primary function may not be apartment leasing. Superintendents, administrators and Concierge staff fall into this category. A recent study by Steven W. Schmidt examined the link between employer-provided workplace training and employee job satisfaction. The Schmidt analysis reveals that people whose jobs involve face-to-face interaction with their customers – like those in the hospitality or apartment industry, are most likely to value training for its ability to help them achieve customer satisfaction.
More in-depth training for dedicated Rental Agents typically includes Overcoming Common Objections, Building Rapport with People from Other Cultures or generations, Features / Benefits selling and other advanced closing techniques.
Reinforcing What Was Learned – Why Follow-Up is So Important
Managers must be actively involved in the training process by praising employees whom they observe demonstrating techniques learned in training. This means that Managers need to have the training session outline and any materials that are provided.
Less than half the skills and information learned in training will be transferred to the job unless managers follow up on trainee performance.
Where Does Mystery Shopping fit in?
Mystery Shopping can be an excellent training tool that helps trainers to pinpoint the key areas of performance weakness. Reviewing the shopping report with an employee does not take the place of training because they clearly do not have the necessary skills to perform the task. Therefore, simply identifying what they did wrong will not help them to correct the problem. Managers who use Mystery Shopping after the training session to determine compliance are on the right track. Employees who attend training but do not implement the protocols that are covered are making a career decision.
Research suggests that today’s workforce will need 3 times the amount of training it now gets for the organization to stay in business, remain competitive and tackle the future. Invest in your employees now!