New Manager Orientation and Mentoring Program

This idea came to us from Karen Wilson

The Idea – As part of our new manager training we have implemented a Manager Mentor Program.  After each new manager comes in for a day of training on company policy and procedures, we select a Resident Manager from the Property Manager’s portfolio to provide another eight hours of training at their community or at the new managers community.  Both managers are provided with an Agenda of topics to cover.

How It Works – The Manager Mentor contacts the new manager and sets
up a date and time within the first week of employment.  The goal is to spend at least eight hours.  Many managers choose to break this up into two four hour trainings or several two hour trainings as time and attention spans allow.  Upon completion both the mentors and the new managers sign the agenda and return it to the corporate office.  We compensate the Manager Mentors with $50 for going above and beyond the call of duty.

The benefits – This program establishes communications with one of our current managers who is doing the same job as we are asking the new manager to do successfully. They are able to share helpful hints and new managers are more comfortable asking questions of other managers.  The program provides an ongoing relationship with a manager the new manager can contact if they forget how to do something or are unsure about the process.  The Manager Mentors have reported that mentoring was a great review and refreshed and enervated their own performances.


New Manager Name
Apartment Community


Dear New Manager:

__________________________(name(s) of Manager Mentors) of the __________________________ Apartments have agreed to provide your Day in the Life of a Resident Manager Training.  Attached is an agenda of the topics for you will cover with them.

Please arrange a date and time that will work best for both of you.  We suggest that you complete this within the next week as it will help you immensely as you take on your new job responsibilities.

Once you have completed this portion of your training please sign off on the form they have to indicate completion. We are glad you are part of our management team!


Karen L. Wilson
Director, Multi Family Management


A Day In the Life of a Resident Manager

With ___________________________    (Manager Mentor)
________________________________    (Community)
(     )                           (Phone number)

Discussion Topics

¨ Setting up the office
¨ Maintaining Resident Files
¨ Renting Apartments
¨ Preparation of Turnovers
¨ Signs/Advertising/Curb Appeal
¨ Traffic Log
¨ Showing the apartment
¨ How to Complete a Lease/Rental Agreement
¨ Addendums
¨ Security Deposits
¨ Move In Reports
¨ Maintenance
¨ What to Watch For
¨ Minor Repairs – Change a lock, replacing/ordering light bulbs, etc.
¨ Vendors
¨ Market Surveys – How to Complete a Market Survey
¨ New Manager Assignment: Visit five apartments within 5 miles of your new property as a renter.  Complete a market survey

New Manager:
Apartment Community Name:
Phone Number:

Eight Hours of Manager Mentoring was completed on this (these)  date(s) ___________________________________________________________
By ___________________,  Manager of __________________________
___________________________        __________________
New Manager                    Date
___________________________        __________________
Manager Mentor                    Date

Training Tips

When I am holding a training class we discuss overcoming objections, I ask the participants to give me a certain number of objections that come up at their site.  I write them on a flip chart and assign a number to each objection.  Using a target that I’ve drawn the numbers one, participants form teams, and one member of each team shoots at the target with a Nerf dart gun.  When someone from the team hits a number, they have 45 seconds to come up with a response to the corresponding objection.  If they get it right, the team receives one point.

Another technique that I use in start-of-session introductions is to ask each participant to tell one thing that they do better than anyone else in the room.  This lets us get to know something about someone that we may never have known and  it also helps break the ice!

This next idea comes from :  Amy Aguiar

Strapped for time, I began looking for other ways to get my teams the training they needed.  I contacted the local HUD office to inquire as to what programs were offered for Fair Housing Training.  I found many different organizations that will do the training for me at my location and, amazingly, at no cost to me!  I then contacted local community colleges and universities to see what classes were offered in the area of “workplace” or “career” development.  This has worked well.  I have found that I can use these classes to help develop employees’ skills in areas where they are lacking, such as written or oral communication, financial reports, etc.  It makes for a more “well rounded” employee.  Not to mention the employee is happier in their position as they can be more helpful in the office.  My most recent expense was only $99 to $159 per

Fair Housing Bingo, from Debra Markham, Director of Training at BRE Properties.


At the beginning of the workshop, give each participant a “Fair Housing Bingo Card(sheet)”.

Explain that during the workshop, everyone should pay close attention to all the information that is being discussed, as they will easily be able to answer all the questions on their “Bingo Card”.

At the beginning of the workshop, have the group choose which type of bingo they want to play first (Ex. Diagonal, straight, 4 corners, Double diagonal, etc.).  Of course, finish the workshop with a complete blackout.

Make sure to have some sort of prizes – lifesavers, candy bars, McDonald’s coupons ($1 each), Starbucks coupons ($3 each), etc. – to give out when someone screams BINGO!


This will help to ensure your participants are getting a complete understanding of the Fair Housing Laws, while at the same time making it fun, a little competitive and enjoyable.


·    The attached bingo card.  (you can change the questions every once in a while to mix things up a bit)
·    Prizes of your choice.

Resident Of The Month

When you have vacant apartments that your trying to move simply buy the neighbor next to the vacant apartment something that they keep in front of their front door that says “Resident Of The Month”.  And when you’re on your tour, you simply add that their neighbors are the Residents of the Month.   Use a beautiful outdoor plant as the gift with a sign to stick in the plant that reads “Resident of the month”.  The apartment will lease every time!  The idea costs only around $75, and we have leased every long-standing vacant this way!

Contributed by:  Joyce Rinck


Working Towards One Goal

Front line services increases retention!  Create a 3×5 postcard (you may include a picture of a service person).  The title of the program is:  Working towards one goal – Quality and extraordinary service. Part I should include property name, date apt.# and resident’s name(optional) Part II will be a rating of service: Excellent, Good, Poor and several lines for comments. Part III, Response time satisfactory, suggestion for future improvement. They can drop it at the Leasing office or mail to your corporate office.  All Maintenance personnel are part of a bonus incentive in an effort to create retention a team effort.  Extra points will be added for employee(s) who receives good cards, increasing their bonus compensation, rewarding them for their contribution, and motivating them to continue providing excellent service.  Cards should be given to each residen upon move-in, and with ever workorder receipt.

Our original goal was to measure how we were servicing our residents but we needed to motivate the staff to see the program as a positive tool for improvement and training.  As a result of this program employees have been recognized company wide and promoted. Residents that were not sure if they would stay because the survey card sends out a clear message.  We want to make it right, because we care.

Cost: $30

Contributed by Angie Herrera, Gannon International


This is one idea that we would love to see everyone implement!  It comes from Deb Bronson, and it’s called the Commitment to Excellence Agreement:

Company Letterhead

Dear (Insert team member’s name)

As a valued member of our team, we wanted to share with you what you can expect from us, (your company) and to outline our commitment of creating a culture and environment that fosters excellence:

·    We have established an internal training program that delivers timely, on-target information available 24/7 via our intranet.
·    We will keep you informed of company wins and company concerns in a brief included with every paycheck.
·    We will measure and inspect what we expect and share honest feedback in a timely fashion.
·    We will promote from within whenever possible and work hard in our partnership with you to develop and expand your skills and capabilities.
·    We support a learning environment, where mistakes can be learned from and we can all breathe easier by focusing on resolution, rather than blame.
·    We will conduct an “If I ran the company” survey annually and include the areas requiring improvement, (based on our entire team’s feedback) into strategic planning and implementation.
·    We support our nation, community and team through supporting _____________ and giving back in spirit, time, and funds.
·    We provide time and stress management tools and training.
·    We encourage the participation of your significant others at company events.
·    We want to encourage you, inspire you and support you and have been very “on-purpose” in the way that we thread rewards, surprises and recognition into our daily work.  In the last month, we have done the following:  Foot massages, Car wash and sponsored our local Little Leagues baseball uniforms (go Lil’ Lions!).

__________________                  ____/____/____
Company Ambassador                Date
Commitment to Excellence Agreement

What can we expect from you?

You have already received your welcome kit, career description and a sample of a growth agreement, so you have a pretty good idea of what your new position requires.

But, what about your personal commitments?  How can we count on you?  Please create your commitment to your team by outlining your thoughts below.  Tomorrow, your team leader and a couple of company ambassadors will sit down with you and go over your commitment to excellence.  We are looking forward to our new partnership and we are very glad that you have joined us!

__________________            ___/___/___
Your Signature                         Date

__________________            ___/___/___
Team Leader                    Date

__________________         ___________________        ___/___/___
Company Ambassador        Company Ambassador        Date