Learning and Development – Trends To Watch – Part 1

Episode 43

Training is an ongoing challenge that affects every person in the property management industry. Emerging technologies and ways of “doing business” further complicate things. Jonathan and Mark sit down to discuss what trends to watch when it comes to learning and development, as well as some of the pain points that can be avoided.

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Show Highlights

In part one of this series, we will break down three specific roadblocks that can affect learning and development and discuss best practices that will ensure a thriving working environment:

  • Organization Change
  • Technology Change
  • Engagement

Key Questions/Topics Covered

Organization Change

When a change in ownership or management happens, there is an understandable amount of stress. Every company has its particular way of doing business or training its staff which inevitably leads to conflict when these changes take place. Can this be avoided? YES! 

To start with, understand that not everything needs to change. Before you go in and start shaking things up, take a step back and talk to the people who will be most affected by the changes. Form a committee with representatives from every department, from corporate to maintenance, and truly listen to their feedback. Using this information, you can determine the most critical training material needed and the amount of time it will take to complete during the workday. 

Also, consider the timing. Is it really a good idea to change up and expect training to happen at the height of leasing season? Your focus needs to be on delivering the most effective learning and development program that your staff will embrace, rather than overwhelmed.

Technology Change

New technology seems to pop up every day! LMS, CRM, the list goes on. When it comes to a technology change, the first question that needs to be asked is: Is it really needed? Will this be a change for the good? 

Understand that not everyone is a natural-born tech wiz. You will get more buy-in when your team perceives the value of the change. 

In addition to that, it is absolutely imperative that ongoing training is provided. We have seen many unhappy staffers thrown into the pool’s deep end and are held accountable when things go wrong. Or, new technology is introduced but ends up collecting dust on a shelf because no one knows how to use it, resulting in a waste of resources. 

If it is decided that new technology is in the company’s best interest, be sure to check in with IT to identify any pain points. That way, your tech training can evolve to meet everyone’s needs.


Your training and development program needs to be engaging, and if it isn’t, then it’s a complete waste of time. Another challenge to creating engaging training is that most workplaces have a diverse and generational mix of people with different learning styles and skillsets. 

When planning your learning and development program, consider how your staff learns and what they want to learn. A hybrid approach might be in order—hands-on training like role-playing, video as well as written material, synchronous and asynchronous learning. By providing a variety of training options, you ensure that every staff member’s needs are met.

Change is inevitable in property management, as we have seen in the three topics discussed here.  But it doesn’t need to be met with terror and dread. Learning and development will continue to evolve and, when properly managed, can create a healthy, happy working environment. 

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