Tag Archives: Uncategorized | Tagged apartment industry

Some ways to make work more fun!

Tired of the same old boring work day at the office? We have some great ideas for spicing up your office and helping your teams enjoy their work.

One great idea for your residents and staff to enjoy is to have a “decorate your workspace” contest. This is great because it will allow your staff to show their personalities and maybe some of their hobbies that they can use to get to know and interact with your residents.

Another fun idea is to change up your email signature from time to time. Use different and fun fonts to get people to notice and add some funny quotes just below your contact information. For example:

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” ~ Steve Martin or “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” ~ Isaac Asimov

It’s important to remember to change them, and will also encourage  your teams to read your emails all the way through.

You can also have dress up theme days. Like crazy sock day or silly hats. What seems to be very popular right now are mustache days! You can find printable mustaches online and simply cut them out and use some take to attach them. With a huge variety of “styles” available, everyone can be different and really take on a whole new personality with their new facial hair! Are you a handle bar type or maybe you like a full goatee!

You can also create silly awards for your employees. Like “The Bermuda Triangle Award – for the desk where objects go never to be seen again” or “The Doodle Pad Award”. You can print off cute little award certificates and customize them for your silly awards.

Do you have a meeting coming up? Are you going to be brainstorming with your team? Or do you sometimes have a hard time getting the group to contribute to the conversations? If that’s the case, you can bring in treats to meetings and toss them out to employees who contribute to the conversation! This is a great way to get everyone involved!

Make sure you let your teams know that it’s ok to bring their personalities to work and enjoy yourselves sometimes. Always make sure it is appropriate and set the standard for fun at the leasing office!

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MY STORY: Alberto Pico

Alberto found out about Hire Priority through a friend who personally knew our wonderful staffing manager, Loa McManus and he decided to contact her for help with looking for a new job position. Alberto had some experience with leasing and was able to take on temporary positions around Austin in order to take the time he needed to find the right fit for his personality as well as finding a community close to his home.

Alberto says he loves leasing and enjoyed his opportunity to try on different apartment communities while looking for a permanent job placement. One of his top priorities while looking for a job was to find somewhere close to where he lives.  Alberto was called in to fill in for a Leasing Agent who was out for the day sick. The very next day, that same Leasing Agent put in their two weeks’ notice.

After only working with the community for a day, they already loved Alberto so they immediately offered him the position. It was exactly what he was looking for, a leasing position close to home. It was an extra added bonus that Alberto is tri-lingual and perfect for the community.

Alberto now enjoys working very close to home at an apartment community that he loves. He said he is very grateful for the doors that were opened to him through Hire Priority and that they were always extremely friendly, helpful, and courteous.

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Why a Career Appropriate Email Address is Important

These days in the business world, you are competing against people who have the similar degrees, experiences, and often similar résumés. So one important way to stand out from the rest is to be able to create a professional email address for yourself. Consider an apartment community who is interviewing three people for an entry level leasing consultant position. Everyone has the same qualifications and seemingly nothing different from the rest besides personality and attitude. A property manager looks over the resumes one last time and notices all three email addresses, two of the potential hires have not updated their email since high school and have names such as ballin247@name.com or SexyBeast69@name.com. The final candidate has RebeccaSmiles@name.com. Based on these names alone the employer would have to assume that the third person is taking her job search seriously and professionally. Would you hire the other two if that was the only difference between three potential new hires?

When employers are left with going through hundreds of applicants, your email address can get you thrown in the shredder even before the interview. While you may think your email address is cute and shows your personality, it may be simply sending the wrong message. In many circumstances, it may be impossible to interview all qualified applicants. A person who wants to sell themselves should always put their best foot forward. An employer does not want to email a potential new hire with a crazy email address that would appear to be a person who has yet to grow up. If you want to be taken as a professional in your field you need to present yourself as that. A name such as meetmexxx@name.com does not scream professional neither does iloveunicorns@name.com!

Besides presenting yourself as a professional and one who takes their career seriously, you want to make sure that employers can find your email easily in the event they wish to contact you that way. It is easier to locate your contact information if it is yourname@email.com . The employer will have no problems being sure they are contacting the right person. When trying to sell yourself to an employer over paper or the internet every small detail matters. Do not overlook the little things. They can be a difference in a call back for an interview for that leasing position and no call.

The importance in an appropriate email cannot be overstated. If you are embarrassed to tell a potential employer over the phone your email address, then chances are it is not one you should be using. Often you will have to spell or say your email over the phone. The best and easiest way to create an appropriate email would simply be to include your firstnamelastname@email.com. It will be easy to tell over the phone, no embarrassment when spelling it out, and it allows the employer to easily match your email with your application. An appropriate email as described above is straightforward and does not allow one to question your sincerity, professionalism, and maturity level.

Remember, especially in the apartment industry, YOU are the face of the company. And although your date may like to think of you as sexybeast@name.com, your future property manager does not.

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Giving Constructive Criticism: A Managers Guide

The Only Glory in Making a Mistake is What You Can Learn from It

Without failure, managers of apartment communities will be faced with the duties of both identifying deficiencies in tasks performed by onsite staff but they must also be prepared to deliver a correction to an employee that only targets the substandard action without leaving an employee feeling personally attacked and on the defensive.  After all, our higher expectations for our leasing consultants, maintenance technicians, and assistant managers are a function of the high esteem we hold for them all.  With that being said, no one is perfect, and anyone is capable of repeatedly making mistakes without the proper guidance and counseling, and this includes being sensitive to people really making honest mistakes.  So following these simple guidelines should bring light to an employee’s unacceptable actions without removing his or her motivation to seek professional self-improvement.

  1. Do not shame your employee.  Attaching the negative feeling of shame to what is likely an honest mistake serves no purpose other than to make the criticism seem personal.  It is important to focus on the performance itself, and NEVER the person.  You may find him or her to be contrite regardless, but ultimately he or she will be closer to adopting the common goal of eliminating the error in the future.
  2. If possible, make criticisms a private matter.  This is related to not shaming your employees.  Being mindful of the wonderful array of personalities we have in our apartment communities, some may be embarrassed by the public address of his or her mistakes.  Be careful in also making it obvious to his or her peers that you may be delivering some sort of correction or criticism.  Don’t make it look like he or she is being “called to the principal’s office.”  Even though the specifics may remain private, an employee’s peers may still see the person having to be corrected.
  3. Give one criticism at a time.  Do not dump a whole list on them at once.  Even if there is more than one deficiency, prioritize, and only deliver the correction for the negative action needing the most immediate attention.  This will eliminate your employee’s feeling of being overwhelmed by too many tasks to correct.
  4. Once you have made the criticism, do not keep bringing it up.  Again, your employees truly want to do his or her best for you, and one criticism is almost always enough to have him or her make the necessary improvements.  Once you verify that the action is currently being corrected or has been corrected, there is no reason to revisit the topic.  It is already obvious by their immediate action the lesson will not be forgotten.
  5. Be flexible in the manner you deliver a criticism.  Some employees really do well to know the reasoning why the correction needs to be made.  It is not to say they want to question your reasoning, but rather he or she may see it as a greater learning opportunity.  Others may simply just need a simple explanation of what correction needs to be made without the nuisance of details.  Again, this is not a sign of disrespect as some employees feel best reacting to criticism with immediate action and reserve explanations for a later time.  But you know your people and you know the best way to approach each of their personalities.

Ultimately, consider these things in the context of the Golden Rule.  Give criticisms like you would want to receive criticisms.  Addressing criticisms in this manner will eliminate the appearance of making it personal and will allow your employees to maintain dignity through his or her professional improvement.  Then all can be focused on the apartment community’s common goals.

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My Story: Rogelio Marquez

My Story: Rogelio Marquez

Rogelio was just finishing up his high school education when he decided to look for a career in order to help support his family. Rogelio searched for a job using several forms of media and stumbled across a Hire Priority ad on Craigslist and decided to apply.  He had some experience working outdoors and he enjoyed working and fixing things. Rogelio knew he would be an asset to anyone who would give him a chance so he applied with Hire Priority hoping they could help him in his search.

Rogelio started out as part time, which was a little discouraging because he was not able to work every day like he had hoped. However, he was quickly placed in a full time position which provides him with the opportunity to better take care of his family. Rogelio is now working full time at Douglas Landing Apartments as a Lead Maintenance.

Throughout his time working and job hunting Rogelio says Hire Priority was a great company and helped him to find a full time job in something that he loves. Although only working part time was a low point for him, with dedication and hard work, he has secured a full time position. Rogelio loves going to work because it allows him to utilize his skills and provide for his family while helping others in the apartment community.


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