Why Leasing Apartments Is Like Stand Up Comedy

I have a new appreciation for stand up comedy after watching this guy get crushed when his first joke absolutely bombed on Americas got talent. The beauty of it though is he never gave up. He responded to his audience and turned it around. Ever been on a tour like this?  Your prospect has their arms folded, they don’t say a word and you have to win them over? You might start out with your scripted routine but If you don’t tailor it to your audience you will bomb and not make it to the next round; but If you think quickly on your feet and read your audience you just might win them over.

These are opportunities that make us better at what we do.  If everyone signed a lease no questions asked, most of us probably wouldn’t be in this industry for too long.  At one point in this clip, Sharon Osborne says that the tough crowd brought out the best in him and raised the level of his performance.  We all feel great when we step it up to overcome a tough customer.  Also, if you notice, he tried to stay on script and the audience became louder and louder to shut him down.  The moment he diverted from his routine he started to win them back.  There is a tremendous lesson in that for us.  People want to hear about what they want to hear about, not what you want them to hear about.  While Doogie didn’t exactly have an opportunity to ask the crowd what they wanted, he was patient, felt them out and gave them exactly what he felt they wanted; a fight.

YouTube for Motivation

I discovered a great tool for inspiration and motivation recently.  YouTube.  Seriously.  Do a search for motivational speeches or business motivation or whatever you think you may need to inspire you or your team and you’ll find more than you can imagine.  Let’s face it, most of us can’t afford a life coach these days and most of our companies can’t fly a keynote speaker cross country anymore to address our employees.  I have been getting on YouTube almost every day and watching clips that I find to be inspirational.  Here are a few of my favorites right now:

Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Speech, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate….” a scene from the film Coach Carter.

“You want something, go get it.  Period” a scene fromt he film Pursuit of Happyness.

“Lose Yourself” Eminem music video.  (I may just like this one because it’s filmed in Detroit).

Bruce Lee, “Be water, my friend”

I’m telling you, a daily dose of the right inspiration can go a long way.  Give it a shot.  I have, and it’s made a big difference already.  If you find something that inspires you, share it with your team and inspire them.  Use a clip to kick off your next boring meeting and see how much life enters the conference room.  If you want to get the most out of your people, start by inspiring them.  Do that, and even your properties that are short staffed can achieve their objective.

Casual Friday with Ann Landers???

Thought I would share this article someone passed along to me recently.  Thanks Fred!  It was published in the Detroit News on August 11 year not found yet.  It was from a photo copy of a photo copy. 

“Dear Ann Landers:

As a property manager for the last 11 years, I feel compelled to respond to the letter you recently published from the “High Rent Dwellers.”  They made us all look bad.

Dear High Rent Dwellers:

 I agree that your manager should treat you with respect.  One of the cardinal rules of property management is to remember that residents pay our salaries.  That does not, however, give them the right to abuse us.  I’d like to fill you in on some of the thinkgs I’ve done for tenants.  You might then think about us in a different light.

I have counseled you on everything from bankruptcy to intimacy.  I have cleaned blood off the walls after a suicide.  I have found corpses in varying states of decay, helped Alzheimer’s sufferers find everything from their telephone to their teeth and taken apart your sink because you lost your contact lenses and thought they might be in there.   I have talked to you about your loud sex, your loud stereo, your out-of-control children and your barking dog.  I’ve had to inform you that it is against the city ordinance to keep pigs, goats or poisonous snakes in your apartments.

I have witnessed the effects of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, child abuse, spouse abuse and just about every other form of abuse there is.  I have worked on your behalf with the FBI, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  I’ve had residents who were pedophiles, pyromaniacs, rapists, poachers, convicted child abusers and armed robbers.  But through it all, I have tried to be respectful.

Remember, when you leave your job to go home at night, you can put it all behind you.  When we go home, we’re still at work.

I hope this letter will help you be a little more empathetic and respectful.  Property supervisors have bad days too. 

-Managing in Chicago

Dear Managing:

On behalf of all the people in your field, thanks for an eye-opener and a mouth-closer.”