Regardless of your position, whether you are a property manager, assistant manager, leasing agent or a maintenance professional, the person with an idea is worth their weight in gold. Property management companies are more than willing to pay good money to the employee who can come up with strong, workable solutions to property or company problems. Getting an idea across, however, is not as difficult as it may seem. If you are unsure, here are a few points that can help you.
Real Executives Always Want ‘Idea’ People
You may feel that you are undeserving in presenting your ideas to upper management. You may have doubts about your ability to communicate them. However, the first step is to dispel your self-consciousness and realize that management always looks for solutions. They understand that each property and the company need to stay competitive, so there’s no shame in approaching them to present your idea.
Make the Appointment
A well-constructed memo, email or other communication can get your foot in the door to explain your idea in full without wasting their time. Don’t attempt to barge in when they are busy. If you should meet them in person, mention you have a plan, and will be sending them a synopsis, just make sure you follow-through.
Prepare in Advance
A meeting to discuss your breakthrough idea is conducted in much the same way as a standard interview or sales meeting. Have your facts and figures down in writing. You should have an agenda of your written ideas to present to your boss so he/she can follow you as you outline the details of your plan. Anticipate the questions they may ask and have convincing short to the point well thought out answers ready.
Your overall presentation should be short, limited to five to seven minutes. If your boss expresses an interest, the meeting will go longer. Emphasize the merits of your plan or idea. Ensure you let them know why your plan is important and what problem you may be able to solve. i.e.; how will it save your property or company money? How will it reduce defects and improve quality? Get to the point, but avoid exaggerated claims. The boss is likely to see right through those claims, and your credibility is important.
If you are conducting a meeting to several senior management executives, be aware of their reactions. Be ready to answer their questions. Don’t attempt to push your ideas. Skepticism is healthy. If they agree, you can conduct a follow-up meeting with additional details and make a formal request to get approval to implement your ideas.
After the Meeting
Ideas take time to develop. Management seldom gives the green light for the implementation of an idea or project at the first presentation as some considerations may need to be explored, such as budget, time constraints, infrastructure and more. Your idea may have merit, but they will tell you about the sticky points that need to be refined. Welcome the feedback, as they may be looking at the problem from a different angel, and together you may find the right solution by flushing out any concerns they may have.
Thank all the participants for taking the time to listen to you in person, a simple memo or email.
More than likely, if you’ve come up with a blockbuster idea, you’ll be recognized as a problem solver, one who offers solutions to challenges. Have patience, believe in yourself, have and show respect for others and good things will happen.
Cheers to you for bringing new ideas to the table!
About the Author: Lisa Young, CEO & Founder of Multifamily Zone, LLC provides Marketing, Sales & Project Management Services to the property management industry. MultifamilyZone.com is an all-inclusive resource, offering everything multifamily professionals need, including industry information and news, products, services, technology tools, marketing trends, training opportunities and much more! Our goal is to assist individual owners, as well as fee and national management firms in the operations of their assets. Contact Ms. Young at [email protected]
Tags: apartment managers, apartment marketing, apartment vendors, multi-family property management, Multifamily