Mobile Home Park Mastery: Episode 234

Motivating Managers

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The performance of your community manager will have a huge impact on your park’s profitability. So how can you maximize that performance? That’s the topic of this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast in which we’ll look at the key building blocks to motivation and how to elevate those to the next level. Since much of these steps have little or no cost, there’s no reason why every mobile home park owner is not focused on this concept.

Episode 234: Motivating Managers Transcript

Webster's defines motivation as providing someone with a motive to do something. This is Frank Rolfe Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast, we're going to be talking about how to motivate your manager how to make your manager excel at their job. Now, let's go over some basics of motivating managers. There's basically three general categories you can use to make the manager perform first positive affirmation of the job that they're doing. Managers, like all people love to be told, good job, you're doing terrific. Second, monetarily, managers, like anyone else tend to perform better when they have a monetary interest into that higher performance. And then finally, as long as you're dangling the carrot, you also have the stack. And that's it. If they don't hit the goals and targets that you've set down, then they run the risk of being replaced to someone who can. Those are basically the three camps of what you can do. There, how do you enact those three items? How do you make each of those items, tug people forward or push them forward to attain levels of performance that you maybe had only dreamed about before? Let's start off with the positive side. Studies have shown people from the earliest of age perform well, when they are given constant positive reinforcement for jobs well done. What are you currently doing with your manager to make that happen? How often do you compliment the manager? We found that even giving managers simple awards like a trophy from the trophy shop, pay huge dividends. If they know that you really appreciate what they do. They'll try harder. However, many owners make a mistake, they don't understand this. They take the manager for granted. They never say Gosh, I wonder what I can do to tell that manager what a terrific job they did of getting that home sold, or what a great job they did of collecting in the money despite all the complications from the COVID eviction ban. pondering it doesn't help. And you know how inexpensive it is to give people compliments? Verbally, they're free. If you want to give them gift items, like a little trophy or something. What are you talking 20 bucks $30? Do you have any idea how much greater profitability you can unlock? By doing things like that? The answer is an enormous amount. kindergarten teachers first grade teachers all lower scale school grade teachers, they all know this trick. They know that if they put on your quiz that you got an A on a little sticker saying way to go that you're more likely to do it again. Yet as adults, for some reason, we don't always ponder that opportunity. And that creates an opportunity that's basically lost. Then you have monetary people who reach certain goals, you give them additional money in the form of a bonus, or possibly in the form of a commission. That doesn't require a whole lot of thought on the owner side. The only thing it's hard to figure out is what's the appropriate amount. I will tell you from experience of years of motivating managers, it's got to be enough to get someone's attention. If you say Oh, well, if you get that home, read it, I'll give you $10 That's not going to get it rented. We have found that typically, for any bonus structure to really have an impact, it's got to have at least a couple $100 or more of money involved. So if you say to that person, well, if you get the homerun, I'll give you 250 If your dollars, well, they will try really, really hard. But I also read a lot of books and talk to people who are much more well versed in motivating people to hit targets. I talked to one guy once who, that's what he did, he was professional management consultant work with factories. And he found that the key item really was not just using money, money's all good and everything, but finding what that person's currency is, what their own personal thing that sometimes they value more than money. For example, if someone is really into sports, you might be able to get them to do an amazing thing, an amazing job, if you gave them instead of money, you gave them two tickets to the sporting event. Because see, they wouldn't normally buy that for themselves. They couldn't rationalize doing that. But since it comes to you as a gift, they can't do anything about it. And they're forced to do the thing they love the most.

Talk to your managers and find out what they're really interested in, what are their hobbies? What are the things they really like to do, if you can find that currency, that currency is worth more than money, and they will perform at an even higher level. I will also let you know that if you're going to go ahead and set parameters for contests, or things in which people compete, trying to win that prize, make sure that it is at least attainable don't say to someone, well, if you can get six homes rented in this month, I will give you $500. So they've only ever rented one, because those things are deflating. When you set contests that are completely out of line, what you're doing is you're setting insane expectations that never can be accomplished, it actually makes the other thing happen, it makes a manager actually resent you and not work as hard. So if you're going to go ahead and do something designed to motivate, make sure it's something they can actually hit. Don't throw out numbers that you deliberately set so high, they can't ever hit it. Because partially, you don't want to pay on the negative side, on trying to give them the feel that they can't get the job done, that they might be replaced. Again, you've got to set the bar at a reasonable level, or they'll just give up because I know it's hopeless. So if you say, Well, you know, here's the job, I need you to collect X percent of the money. And we need to get of all these vacant homes, I need to get at least one one a month out the door. And assuming you're in a decent market at a decent clientele, okay, that's that's achievable. But don't be setting ridiculous targets. Don't tell someone Well, up till now we've only ever collected 80% of the red. And now you're new on the job, you know, here's the deal, you have to hit at least 95%. Less, that's not that's not fair. That's just going to cause resentment of the manager. And rather than make them try harder, they're going to give up, they might just walk off the job. Remember that when you lose a manager, it takes a huge amount of time and cost on your part to replace them. So it's clearly not the best idea. So then, how do you do it? Well, number one, try and distill things down to a science. When people perform, it doesn't always get the desired results, because sometimes it's beyond their control if you had a great salesman, trying to sell mobile homes for you. But the market only dictates a price of 40,000. And you're trying to get them to sell it for 60. They might go through all the steps amazingly well and still never sell anything. So instead of having a macro, hit this or else, instead give them baby steps, say these are the things I want you to do and then measure those steps. Don't go all the way to the ending. Don't say yep, this, this is what you got ahead. You better be doing this. Instead say, okay, what are the steps to getting the home sold? Let's see. Number one is run the ads. So I want to make sure you're reading the ads. Let me see that. And then the phone has to ring. Let's see how many calls we get. And then we'll have to have showings. How many shows did you get? And how many closing did you have? Now you've distilled that down to a more reasonable level. Now their performance can actually be measured. People across the world get incensed when they feel that they've been treated unfairly. Nobody ever is going to respond well, if they don't think that you are judging them accurately. If they're doing a terrific job yet they're not hitting your target because your target is unrealistic. Or they don't have the raw material to hit it to begin with. All you're going to harbor is bad, well, bad feelings with the manager. And when a manager feels unappreciated, when they feel that their job is in jeopardy, what do they do? Well, they mentally start looking for a different job. So what's going to happen is you're actually going to see your benefit your targets will be harder to hit. So instead of you actually taking forward advancement, to having that manager achieve the targets that you desire You're working against yourself. What about the cost of everything we just talked about? Well, complements free, small tokens of gratitude, very inexpensive. contests and commissions, not that expensive, just a mere tiny portion of whatever benefit you would have. And putting together a system of action steps and monitoring those action steps. Again, financially, very little, sometimes, yes, but not a whole lot of money involved. The bottom line is, as owners, we all owe it to ourselves, to really watch over our managers and push them to a higher level because when you push them to a higher level, you're not the only one who wins. They win because now they feel fully appreciated and fully compensated, and the residents when they get a better manager who provides them a better community and those needing affordable housing and find it readily available.

So when you worry about a manager, and how will the managers doing sometimes you might be thinking instead, how are you doing at managing the manager? This is Frank Rolfe, the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast. Hope you enjoyed this and talk to you again soon.