Does your company hold office meetings? If so, do you find them productive? On the other hand, they may be generating less than favorable results. Either way, there are valid benefits for office meetings and many ways to make office meetings beneficial for your real estate/property management company.
The foremost reason for office meetings is face-to-face communication. We live in a world where people do not have to communicate directly. We use phones, email, social media, newsletters, websites, intranets, and extranets. In addition, people are now even failing to communicate verbally, with the advent of texting through cellular technology. Lack of direct communication can lead to a disorganized and chaotic real estate/property management operation.
While technology has many benefits, it still cannot replace the face-to-face meeting. Not only can you hear what someone says, but also you can observe body language and tone of voice that can lead to better understanding, training, and problem solving. Consider this – generally only 7% of communication is spoken; the other 93% is made up of tone (38%) and body language (55%).
Below are additional benefits for regular office meetings and as you can see, they all involve face-to-face communication.
- Generate training and develop work skills
- Create a working personnel team
- Increase risk management
- Solve problems and provide opportunities for brainstorming
- Clear the air and identify problems, large and small
- Allow people to help each other and learn from each other
- Unite goals and keep everyone on the same page
- Convey rewards and recognition
- Provide fun and build morale
Unfortunately, office meetings can fall into nonproductive pitfalls and negativity. There can be many reasons why company meetings fail.
- Meeting time is wasted.
- There is a lack of leadership and focus.
- People do not show up.
- There is a lack of preparation and organization.
- Attendees fear confrontation; people do not share or interact.
- No one is willing to address the current or pending problems.
- Someone monopolizes the conversation.
- People interrupt and refuse to follow the agenda.
- No one took notes and there was no accountability from the last meeting.
- Companies have too many meetings.
Don’t give up; office meetings can be a success! There is part of an old song that goes, “accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.” With all the great reasons to hold office meetings, negative results do not have to occur. Here are action items to help you with meeting success.
- Schedule regular meetings at intelligent times and consider everyone’s schedules; if it is a large company, it may require different meetings. Avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings.
- Choose a leader who can establish control and keep the meeting from wasting time.
- Intel is a large corporation and their mind-set is that meetings are real work – take this attitude.
- Conduct meetings during paid time. People will be disinclined to participate if you are infringing on their personal time.
- Make company meetings a requirement. There may be an occasional reason for not showing up but if it is happening all of the time, you need to ask “why” people are not showing up.
- Have an agenda, discuss current office issues, and cover useful topics, such as safety, customer service, property management training.
- Infuse the meeting with an upbeat atmosphere. You could provide some refreshments, start with an appropriate reading or quote, or plan an exercise, such as using a mind map to solve a problem.
- Develop an agenda template to save time in meeting preparation. This will also train people to have certain meeting expectations.
Don’t waste their time or yours – have a plan and general operating procedures in place for your meetings.
- Start with an opening. Set up the meeting by quickly reviewing the purpose of the meeting.
- Establish ground rules on how everyone will work together during the meeting.
- Keep things visible by using simple written agendas, handouts, or flip charts/boards. Too much information can be distracting.
- Allow everyone to speak when appropriate but also remember different personalities react differently to meetings and some may choose not to participate.
- Keep control by not allowing anyone to monopolize the meeting or insert negative commentary.
- Assign someone to take notes to capture the results of the meetings.
- Keep track of time to ensure all agenda items are covered and tasks completed in a timely manner.
- Evaluate the meeting by taking 5-10 minutes to obtain feedback at the end of the meeting.
- Ask what worked.
- Ask what would improve the meeting process.
- When closing, clarify and review actions; ask for commitments from personnel for tasks that identified during the meeting.
- Follow up by reviewing the completion of tasks during the next meeting.
A successful gathering of any kind takes planning, commitment, and cooperation from everyone involved. If handled properly, office meetings become an important tool that will improve your real estate/property management business. Good luck with your next meeting!
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.