Staff Management 101 The Art of Team Building

Management of any property requires a varying degree of resources and skills. Materials, capital, and personnel are required for everything from ordering supplies to the complete overseeing of a multi-unit, high rise condominium. Above all resources, human resources, are typically considered the most important asset of any business or company, and managing those living resources is an art, and a science, and a very necessary skill set.

“I believe in the context of property management human resources are absolutely important. It’s vital that the best fit candidates or candidate employees fit with the right skill set with the right positions when they are initially hired,” says Marc Mallet, a property manager with the Miami corporate office of Atlantic | Pacific Management in Bay Harbor Islands. “When this is done it is a more cohesive team and it typically results in a more streamlined operation for the property which typically saves the property thousands of dollars in the long term.”

“HR can mean a lot of things such as interviewing, hiring, firing, training, supervision, taking responsibility for payroll and a great deal of other responsibilities as the employer,” says John Tight, CEO of Campbell Property Management in Deerfield Beach. “These things may seem simple, but making a mistake can be costly. I think it is in the best interest of the board of directors to turn over the HR role over to a professional property management company. They tend to have a much better feel about how to properly maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship. Often a board member and or members can cross the line and inadvertently ruin a healthy professional relationship.”

Well trained, motivated employees enhance the appeal and ambiance of a property, adding to both the real and perceived value. Who does the hiring, the training, and the evaluations may vary between properties, but generally speaking the board of directors, and the property management company will work together to achieve the best results. When an effective system is in place, and working well, the board will delegate to the manager on the staff’s performance expectations, the manager will develop and enforce the policies, and be held accountable to the board. The manager will generally act in an advisory capacity, before, during, and after new staff is brought on board, while the actual hiring of new employees is usually a board function.

“I believe the role of an association’s board is very important when it comes to the management of their building’s staff,” says Anthony Rodriguez of Florida Advanced Properties, Inc. in Miami. “First and foremost, I have found it more efficient when the board internally selects one individual board member to be the one communicating with staff members of the association. In some cases the entire board will need to be involved, especially when it comes to the day-to-day managing. It’s best when handled by one person in order to avoid confusion and mix-ups. The actual staff management itself should not be that complicated. When proper policy and procedures are in place, the staff basically needs to just follow their scope of work which should then just be revised from time to time by the property manager.”

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