If you’re one of the few apartment managers or leasing professionals who feels like they have a manageable work load and your inbox is always at zero, then high five to you. But, I think it’s more common that people generally feel the opposite. The challenge is to prioritize, put out fires, but also make sure you stay on top of the important stuff, not just the urgent stuff.
No matter how busy you are, it’s pivotal to keep learning and stay inspired. Continuing to grow and learn will not only increase your value to the company you work for, but it can also improve your satisfaction and enjoyment of the job.
So, how can you fit one more thing you should do into your schedule? “Not enough time” is usually the biggest objection to any positive change.
First, it starts with believing the habit has value and then pay attention to the positive benefits once you do it. When you start seeing the impact, it will be much easier to continue even when it’s not convenient.
Here are 10 ideas for busy multifamily professionals to keep learning and stay inspired:
- Integrate exercise with learning by listening to a business, apartment industry or personal growth audiobook while you jog or talk a leisurely walk in the evening after dinner.
- Take initiative to be the expert at your community on the newest technology tool you’re using. Whether it’s the back-end of your website, the dashboard for your lead tracking or mobile app. Learn everything you can about it so that you are the go-to person who understands that tool and can leverage it at your community.
- Ask a peer to have lunch or coffee with you every week or every other week so you can each share what you can both share what you’ve been learning. Plan to discuss things that went well for you and areas where you are working to improve. It can really make a difference to have a safe place to just share and process, especially when it comes to your leasing strategies. Hold each other accountable to continue growing and practice communicating what you’re absorbing.
- Choose 1 topic to learn about each month. Even if you don’t make it a weekly or daily habit, you’ll at least be working on your own development with a structure that can keep you engaged. Small progress is still progress.
- Write down your career goals for the year and select specific areas that you want to learn more about. Make a plan for how you will spend time investing in your own learning and career off the clock. When you have a goal, it’s easier to invest in learning and growing because you specifically see where it’s going.
- Next time you’re watching a required training, certification class, make a note of 2-3 specific things mentioned that you want to learn more about. If there was a word mentioned you’re not familiar with, or a resource that seemed interesting, write it down. Then google the topic and read more than one article on the subject. I always recommend reading more than one article on any given topic because there are so many different view points out there on the internet.
- Listen to a podcast on your commute, or even at home in the morning while you get dressed and ready. Of course there’s my new podcast, Multifamily Profiles, but in addition maybe a podcast about productivity, organization and stress management would be a great addition for you.
- If you’ve been especially bogged down by negative reviews or complaining residents, be sure to spend your commute or lunch break focusing on positive things. Find ways to laugh and reset your focus, instead of just venting or complaining. Be intentional to get some perspective and not take it personally. Spending 5 minutes like this can transform your day and your attitude.
- Get to work 10 minutes early and spend that short time reading an article on a blog or newspaper about marketing, maintenance, leasing, or anything that will motivate you to work smart that day. Alternatively, spend 10 minutes of your lunch break reading something that will pump you up with energy and motivation to stay focused.
- Ask your manager, regional manager, or marketing director for their suggestions about how you can grow your career. Ask for feedback about the areas that they see you have potential to grow. Ask for their ideas about specific opportunities to learn so that you can go above and beyond.
There’s no end to the ways that you can take responsibility for your career and your attitude at work. Of course the challenge is just doing it. I believe that if you make the small shifts, you’ll experience the benefit and be motivated to continue making even more effort so that you can stay inspired, focused and having fun as you learn and grow.