Most property managers know that the secret to success lies not in sitting behind a desk all day, but rather hitting the pavement and making their presence known with clients and tenants. Being out in the field used to be challenging, but thanks to today’s technology, it’s now possible for entire companies to be run remotely. Whether you’re looking to transition your entire office from physical to virtual or just need some help juggling a handful of remote employees, here are a few secrets to a smooth operation.
Establish a rapport
One of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team is keeping everyone connected. You can help in this area by taking the time to get to know your virtual employees and establishing a rapport right from the start. Think about how you engage with your on-site team and then make an effort to duplicate that with your off-site employees as well.
Take advantage of video technology
The ability to see the person you’re talking to is much more powerful than simply hearing his or her voice over the phone. Video technology creates a more united office, where employees are connected regardless of whether they’re physically sitting in the same room. When planning a meeting, skip the conference call and instead invite your remote property managers to join via video conferencing.
Schedule regular one-on-ones
It’s a lot more challenging to maintain a strong working relationship with employees who can’t simply pop into your office or stop you as you’re walking by their cubicle. Make up for this by scheduling formal one-on-ones on a consistent basis and setting aside ample time to discuss any pressing topics. Blocking out an hour every week for each property manager in the field is recommended.
Be understanding about scheduling differences
In some instances, your remote employees may not be on the same schedule as you. For example, if you’re working with remote property managers in another part of the country, you could potentially be operating in different time zones. Keep these things in mind when scheduling meetings and one-on-ones so that everyone feels their time is respected and being optimized.
Don’t forget about their career paths
When people aren’t coming into the office every day, it’s easy to begin viewing them as simply an extension of your team out there helping you get everything done. But chances are the property managers out in the field have the same desires as your physical employees when it comes to career growth and advancement. Be careful not to exclude your virtual team when opportunities for promotion arise.
Send branded swag
Another subtle yet powerful way to keep your remote workers feeling connected is to send them branded swag, such as apparel or accessories. Whatever cool stuff you hand out to your on-site employees, be sure you’re also sending to your virtual ones. They’ll appreciate the gesture and it will make them feel more a part of the company as a whole.
The ability to work from anywhere has revolutionized our industry. Now, property managers can break the chains of the traditional office and become more effective, productive employees out in the field. The tips above will help you keep everyone plugged in, engaged and working toward the same shared goal of making your company a success.