Student Housing Business

SEP-OCT 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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MANAGEMENT September/October 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 60 The most important relationship The community manager and service manager relationship is the most important working relation- ship in your property management operation. Be sure to spend time on the sites with these two key mem- bers working through an issue or problem together and encourage them to interact in order to come up with the solution together. When hiring for these positions, be sure to take into serious consideration the personalities of each so that a com- patible team is realized. Be sure to also include both in the budgeting process. I have seen too many service managers left out of the process, and the lack of involvement creates a natural conflict. Property walks create more than just to-do lists Routine property walks by and with your site teams should be part of your company culture at every level. It is needed to show your focus on the importance of curb appeal, evaluate capital needs, monitor property projects, and create quality time out of the office with the team at all levels. They should have a tone of support, teamwork and planning to keep the property ahead of the competition. It's not a "stick", but an important property management tool. When it is done routinely at the property level and at the corporate level, expectations are clear- ly communicated. Curb appeal is heightened; the walks become an opportunity to foster teamwork and planning to keep the property competitive. Package lockers bring big returns in time, money and resident satisfaction Package lockers have solved an operational challenge that has been building over the last decade. Our installations have taken packages out of the office and freed the site teams to focus on customer service, leasing and other value adding tasks. It can create a revenue source to offset the expense of the investment and ongoing operational costs. New team members who have not had them before rave about them when they join our team. MARK WILKIE Senior Vice President, The Collier Companies Hear your customers Very few businesses have the lux- ury of being able to interact as inti- mately with their customers as we do in student housing. We are fortunate to have direct access to our custom- ers on a daily basis, yet we prioritize analyzing markets, rates, pre-leasing activity, new supply or conducting surveys rather than listening to our customers. We need to strike up a conversation with the people stand- ing in front of us. If we listen to what they say about their experience, they will tell us everything we need to know to be successful; we just need to listen and respond appropriately. MITCHELL SMITH Chief Operating Officer, The Scion Group Be consistent Being consistent with students, campus part- ners and staff provides comfort and stability to the community. Whether it be consistency with policies, product and branding, consistency in the operation of a site creates a reliable resource for the community. This also aids in keeping university partners comfortable. They know that they can depend on your product with minimal stress and confusion. Be passionate Most people can never really pinpoint exactly when they fell in love with student housing, and that itself is the beauty of our careers. The never-ending desire to help as many students as possible and remembering the 'why' in this profession is what keeps us motivated to help our students. Having pas- sion for what you do shows in every aspect of your job. This can be as simple as following up with a student about a work order or attending a campus event to show support to your campus partners. This trait is something that students and university partners can genuinely feel and leads to higher student and staff retention. Be patient While working in student housing, we can all share a story as to when our patience was tested by a student, bad weather or even a leaky faucet. However, learning to take a deep breath and address situations as they arise has been one of the best tips I have utilized. Understanding that you can't control all situations and being able to assess and learn from experi- ences — both good and bad — is always helpful in dealing with stressful situations. RENESHA MARTIN Assistant General Manager, COCM STUDENT HOUSING BUSINESS ® Covering the student housing industry in print, online, in your inbox & in person. Check out the latest headlines every day at www.studenthousingbusiness.com. Subscribe to the magazine and the weekly e-newsletter at www.studenthousingbusiness.com/subscribe. And save the date for the 11th annual InterFace Student Housing Conference April 8-10 in Austin. Registration available in mid-November at www.interfaceconferencegroup.com

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