There is a fine line between training and application. Take a trip back to your school years and reflect on the moments when you said to yourself or your teacher: “Why do I need to learn that? I will never use it.” As we made our way into the workplace, we should be able to see why advanced algebra, trigonometry, calculus, physics and other subject have served us well. They developed our ability to think, reason, multitask, and progress in our career path. It taught us the ability to emotionally handle challenges and to not just give up.
So this brings us to our current moments in life and how we view and apply our continuing education we receive at work. How can it be possible to score 100% on a multifamily leasing course but only score 60% on a secret shop? You can add as many thoughts as you want in the comments below. Follow me on this analogy. Last week I purchased some paper towel in one of those bulk packages. I left it in the hallway to see if one of my children would take the initiative to put it away for me. I left for Pittsburgh for a few days and returned to see that the package was still in the same place, which I then pointed this out to my children. One of them decides to “put it away” for me and when I opened the cabinet this morning this is what I found. Yep, the package was just “shoved” into the cabinet. Now do my children know how to reorganize a cabinet? Yes. Do my children know how to take the plastic wrapping off a package and stack the contents in a cabinet? Yes. Do I have smart and intelligent kids? Absolutely, they are both straight A students. Do I love my kids? Yes I do, and they are going to crack up when they read this.
So what’s my point, what was missing? Education is only the beginning. Application, drive, and initiative are everything. How is this achieved? It can be achieved on 2 levels. Our clients are using our performance evaluation tool to measure the relationship between education and on the job application. In other words it’s important to have a follow through program in order to ascertain if the learner is applying what they have been taught. The other level comes down to individual drive. When I had the pleasure of visiting Gerry Hunt and Tara Smiley from McKinley, this became part of our discussion. Gerry pointed out how some leasing professionals can score perfect on their guest cards and yet not be able to close a lease like someone who has their own internal drive and can be basically “human” about the whole experience. Mechelle Flowers the President of The Training Factor used the expression “Lease with a purpose”, which helped sparked some conversation on Multifamily Insiders. My thoughts are more towards a less “canned” approach to our career. In my former industry I had salespeople that could describe the beauty of the flowers over the phone so well, that had arrived at our market that morning that the client was sold without ever seeing them. Does that occur for your telephone and internet leads? Please don’t “shove” your leases. This is your career; this should be your passion. Achieve and aim high for yourself and for your company. A future blog post will talk about the “canned” approach to our leasing style, but for now I would love your thoughts on what it takes to bridge the gap between education and application.
Written by Jonathan Saar