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How to Build and Keep a Great Property Management Team with Melissa Prandi

Your workforce represents your property management enterprise, and right now we’re speaking concerning the significance of constructing and protecting a nice property administration group with Melissa Prandi, of Prandi Property Management. Many of her staff have been with her for 10 years or longer, and she’s fast to tell us that having the perfect workforce she’s ever had offers confidence and opportunities for progress.

Where We Are Now: Prandi Property Management

Melissa owns Prandi Property Management in San Rafael, California, which is true between the Golden Gate Bridge and Napa Valley. She’s been within the business for 37 years, and started working for her property administration company as a receptionist at the age of 19.

When she bought the corporate, it was small. There was a bookkeeper and a full time property manager and Melissa. Now, she has a employees of 15 and three digital assistants. It takes some work to convey all these personalities together, however when it works – it actually works. All you’ve got to do is take a look at Prandi’s evaluations. Customers profit from a robust and thriving property administration staff.

Building and sustaining a nice property management group could seem primary. But, for those who don’t care for basics, you can’t grow and scale as a business. Your workforce is your basis, and that’s why we’re talking about this at this time.

Where do You Start? Making the First Hire and Adding to Your Team

If you’re only one individual or you’ve got a small two-person property management staff, your first hire wants to be someone who enhances you. Look at your personal strengths and weaknesses as an proprietor or a key supervisor. Then, hire someone who has a totally different set of expertise and strengths. Melissa is a visionary. She describes herself as a people-person, and somebody who loves to share. Her logical first-hire was Christine, who has been with Prandi for 18 years. Christine fills within the gaps whereas Melissa is busy dashing from A to Z. She is sensible, detail-oriented, and actually good at implementing.

Find someone to complement your character, especially in case you have a small employees.

Hire for angle. The first workforce members you convey on don’t have to have property administration expertise. Christine didn’t even know what property administration was when Melissa hired her. Now, she has all of her designations, together with Residential Management Professional (RPM) and Master Property Manager (MPM).

Melissa’s son is the Business Development Manager at Prandi. People love that he’s the proprietor’s son, and they like being drawn into a family-oriented enterprise. Prandi Property Management markets themselves as being Family-owned and Community-focused. That’s powerful. Matt started working as a property supervisor; he received his actual property license at the age of 19, and then obtained his broker’s license.

Most individuals don’t start out as property managers – Melissa didn’t start out as a property manager. The front desk position used to be where new staff discovered concerning the company and the business. Now, there are virtual assistants answering phones at Prandi. However, Melissa says her greatest individuals have sometimes are available as assistants and discovered the ropes. Good property administration staff members study by doing every part.

Keeping Team Members Happy and Motivated

Christine has been with Prandi for 18 years and Melissa’s bookkeeper has been in place for 13 or 14 years. Why do individuals stay so lengthy?


Melissa says she respects them and knows what it’s like to be an worker.

It begins with respect and inspiring a culture of respect in the workplace.

There’s also a nice benefits package deal together with a 401okay plan with a four % match. She keeps her staff glad by encouraging them to grow with her. You don’t ever want your employees to feel like they will’t study extra.

Another essential tip to retaining your staff members completely satisfied is that this: ask what they need. The retirement plan happened during a employees assembly once they have been discussing what they actually needed and valued. Medical is offered after 90 days and dental is offered after a yr. The employees needed a retirement program and as a result of Melissa is dedicated to listening, respecting, and maintaining her valued staff members completely happy – she investigated how to provide a 401okay. NARPM members have been, in fact, a particularly helpful useful resource.

Conferences are one other profit. Last yr, there have been eight staff members from Prandi at CALNARPM. Bringing group members to an academic conference exhibits that you simply’re interested by investing in them. It also demonstrates teamwork and positivity. It provides your staff a probability to step out of the day-to-day duties of putting out fires and it builds a passion for property administration. They also get to meet vendors and colleagues. The expense of together with group members in these conferences is value it.

How to Hire: Be Direct and Involve Others

Before you’ll be able to retain, help, and practice a staff, you’ve gotten to construct a workforce. Melissa does a few particular issues when she’s on the lookout for a new hire:

Request a cover letter, resume, and a simple typing check. Ask for this instantly in your employment advert because it can show you if applicants can comply with path.
Ask them to complete a Tony Robbins character check. This is fascinating to see, and a character check helps you match individuals to the roles they’ll do.
Include group members in the interview. Melissa all the time interviews potential candidates, however she additionally needs to be certain that her group is snug with new hires. And, she needs the potential worker to be snug with the workforce.
Collect 10 questions earlier than the interview. These are questions like “what are three words that describe you?” She additionally asks what individuals love and don’t love about their current or final job. Not only does this give her an introduction to the individual she’s going to interview, it also provides the interviewee a probability to actually take into consideration what they need in a job.

Everyone may have a totally different hiring process. As lengthy as yours meets the wants of your company and doesn’t depend on just one individual to do all of the hiring – you possibly can slowly and deliberately build a great group.

Team Building: The Importance of Relationships

Getting outdoors of the office is a vital part of building a great group. Last yr, Melissa’s employees spent a whole day on the coast for some group constructing. The experience strengthened the workforce and actually allowed individuals to get to know each other. They laughed, they ate nice food, and they spent some beneficial hours rising nearer together.

There have also been days at the baseball park and breaks at property administration conferences. Melissa honors birthdays and anniversary days. Recognizing her group members is a vital a part of nurturing them and growing her business. During their all-day coastal retreat, they built some actually constructive power which stayed with them even once they went back to the office.

Leading by Example: Ownership and Action

Turning negativity into positivity is a lesson and studying expertise. Melissa believes in leading by example.

There was at some point that Matt was in a hurry and on his method out of the office, he asked Melissa to name an owner – a potential new shopper who had a duplex that needed administration. She waited until the afternoon to make the decision, and by the point she reached that owner, he had already met with another property administration firm and signed an agreement. Matt had explained that he was prepared to go, however different things have been occurring, and the opportunity was misplaced.

The first thing Melissa did was to take this wrestle to her workforce. She explained what happened and what she meant to do higher subsequent time. She used it for instance to reveal that responses imply every little thing.

Next time, she advised her workforce, I’ll name instantly.

This is a essential lesson for workforce constructing. The owner of the corporate held herself accountable in entrance of the complete group – she admitted to not being good, and shared a plan for what she’d do to enhance herself. That’s some bold leadership.

Keeping your group on the same web page as you get bigger is tough to do. Trainings assist, and so does construction. Communication is particularly essential. Not only do you might have to communicate properly; you could have to establish a process for speaking. Melissa has a systematic approach that notes are to be stored. Every workforce inside her administration company follows the same note-taking format. It retains communication flowing and consistent.

To-do Lists and Not To-do Lists

But, what when you have a actually small group? You’re in all probability accustomed to doing all the things.

The first thing you want to do is to take out a notepad or open up a pc and make a record. On that record, you must write down all the things that you simply don’t need to be doing anymore. You can name it a cease record.

Melissa has discovered success placing a new individual in the identical workplace as herself. The proper individual will instantly start taking initiative to help out. An worker who was training as an assistant spent two months in Melissa’s workplace and then was promoted to a lead position. That worker discovered shortly, advanced, and is now doing a fabulous job with the company.

Be open to selling individuals from within your organization. You don’t want to box them into the position they have been employed to do. It’s attainable they will surpass what you expected and give your company extra.

Hire Slow and Fire Fast

If you rent someone who turns out not to be proper for the position, you’ll know fairly shortly. Melissa admits there have been occasions that she hasn’t employed nicely. She tends to consider she will repair or change or nurture a individual into performing the best way the corporate needs them to.

Check in with your new hires. Find out the way it’s going. Property management shouldn’t be for everybody, and you may find out they don’t actually like it. If they don’t prefer it, you don’t need them to plant a seed of negativity within the workplace.

Try hiring via word of mouth. Let everyone know you’re on the lookout for a new group member. People know individuals, and you may find a actually good new hire by asking others if they know anybody who can be a good match.

Incentives that Don’t Cost Much

Prandi’s 401okay plan for workers is nice in case you can afford it – but, what for those who’re still small and making an attempt to compete for workers with corporations that have bigger budgets for advantages and pay?

Sometimes, individuals just want a time without work. Send everyone house at 1:00 p.m. on a Friday. It doesn’t value you much cash, however it does provide your employee with value.
Monitor workloads. No one needs to burn out. Foster a culture where workforce members who aren’t swamped are prepared to pitch in and help others who are swamped.
Close the workplace for lunch. It’s too straightforward in your staff to sit at their desks and work via lunch. Send them away in order that they return to work refreshed.
Recognize when your individuals need a break. It doesn’t value a lot to give staff a seashore day or a day without work with pay. If you’ll be able to’t afford a retirement plan, do small issues to hold individuals completely happy.

And, ask what’s necessary to them. Personalize the incentives. A variety of employers don’t ask; they make assumptions. It’s not all the time about cash. Remember that respect and assembly their needs is simply as necessary.

December is understood for Fun Fridays at Prandi Property Management. The workforce members are put collectively with people they don’t usually work intently with, and they plan a meal every week and play games. One day they could wear pajamas to work, and the food may need a theme like Mexican or Italian. It’s never boring.

Don’t get Discouraged and Learn from Mistakes

When Melissa determined to elevate her two greatest staff (she calls them her bookends) – Christine and Matt – she knew she had to get them away from operating the portfolios they have been at present managing. Hiring their replacements was not as straightforward as she anticipated, and she made some errors. Stress levels went up. She didn’t do it right the first time, but that’s okay.

You can shortly see what you probably did mistaken, and then study from it. Don’t get discouraged.

Melissa employed the fallacious individual to substitute Christine and then held on too lengthy to the improper individual she hired to substitute Matt. Sometimes, you’ve to undergo some troublesome conditions and spend a while with the mistaken individuals to see what you actually need.

Another mistake Melissa is prepared to acknowledge was made when she and her group had three candidates for a single position. The property administration staff retains a scorecard throughout interviews and Melissa’s selection was the one who scored in second place. The rest of the group appreciated the one that scored first. Melissa employed her favorite, and that individual labored for them for a week.

The lesson here is to belief the method, and belief the scorecard.

Vendors and Partners are Team Members Too

Vendors are sometimes invited to do Lunch and Learn events the place they will get in front of the Prandi Property Management employees and speak about issues like what to look for in a plumbing drawback or how to deal with water restoration. Vendors work exhausting and Melissa believes in treating them as a part of the workforce because if something goes improper during a restore, she is going to hear about it.

Educating the vendors and providing them with expectations is a vital part of group building. Let your distributors understand how shortly you want them to reply. Vendors are an necessary part of your success as a property management company.

With Melissa, it all the time goes again to accountability. She lately had a tenant who was rightfully upset whereas making an attempt to get a fridge replaced. After spending an hour on the telephone with the indignant tenant, Melissa sent a handwritten card and a $150 present card to a local restaurant. This responsiveness virtually definitely saved her from a dangerous evaluation.

Lead by instance and show your group that you simply help them. If they’re being screamed at by an owner or a tenant, let them comprehend it’s okay to step away and cross the state of affairs on to another person. Leaning on a supervisor goes again to respect.

Everyone celebrates five-star evaluations at Prandi Property Management. Melissa’s group believes in treating everyone the best way they need to be handled. Every relationship is a two-way road.

We acquired some good info from Melissa at the moment, and we’re in a position to share the 10 pre-interview questions she uses whereas constructing a workforce as well as her scoring model when she’s interviewing contenders.

Be open minded. Be respectful. Never cease studying. And, contact us at Fourandhalf if in case you have any ideas on this podcast or ideas about who we should always speak to next.