Hoop! (There It Is)

I was a 5’7” forward playing against 6’1” girls during my days as a high school basketball player. Call me Mugsy Bogues.

Except unlike Mugsy, I was also slow and unable to jump more than three inches off the ground. But what I lacked in height and hang time, I made up for with heart.

I was that person who wore t-shirts with sayings like, “Basketball is life—nothing else matters.” While everyone else was ordering a class ring, I opted for a gold necklace with my jersey number instead. Every night before a game I watched my favorite scenes from “Hoosiers” to get me pumped up.

When I realized my left-handed lay-ups were lacking, I tried to strengthen my non-dominant side by eating solely with my left hand. Very little food ended up in my mouth.

Equally passionate about one day coaching a team of my own, I wrote drafts of the speech I would give on my first day on the job. I would challenge my girls, but we would laugh, too.

So yeah, I was a huge dork full of heart. I couldn’t dribble well and I once intentionally pulled out my contact lens during a running drill so that I could go to the bathroom and take a breather, but I was (otherwise) committed.

The foundation of the property management game is built on the same thing—commitment, not company size.

Although independent rental owners may not have the man-power or money that some larger companies possess, they can (and should) be at the top of their game when it comes to the basics of the industry.

In that vein of thought, consider this list of behaviors that apply to property management:

1. Asking for the deposit on every tour

2. Making sure the office and tour route are clean and neat and ready for company every morning

3. Calling a resident to check and see if a work order has been completed correctly

4. Following up with a prospective resident after a tour

5. Recognizing when a team member has gone above and beyond, and rewarding them

6. Calling back a resident who has left a message with the office

7. Wearing shoe covers into a resident’s apartment when completing a work order

8. Smiling at residents and prospective residents, every time

These are things that you should be doing day-to-day without thinking; things you must master to be proficient in your job. These are your free throws, your lay-ups.

And just as you don’t have to play for a No. 1-seeded team or be a 7-foot-tall center to make a free throw, you don’t have to be part of a massive property management company to do these day-to-day tasks.

You can just be a girl with a dream and a masculine gold necklace.

For more IRO Insider, check out Heather Blume’s article, “Small Owners Can Make Big Shots,” in the March issue of units, which mailed March 8.