Let’s start with an internal system, managing employees. I think about employee management primarily in terms of communication. So here's two basic principles that work well for Serene.

- Pair each employee with a mentor because they need direction.
- Provide on boarding systems (i.e., “how to” guides).

Also, here’s a few tools that work great for me as I’ve develop systems for managing employees. I highly recommend them.

- Use "T-Sheets" to track the work hours, projects, and locations of your employees (see chapter x above).
- Use Asana to track specific tasks for each employee (see chapter x above).
- Use Slack for in-house communications (see chapter x above).

I refuse to use email for our in-house communications at Serene. This is for efficiency’s sake. No one uses email within our company. That way we can streamline our conversations. For example, this system keeps our maintenance worker from getting emails directly from tenants. This goes back to efficiency. The goal is to maximize efficiency for tasks. By limiting distractions from phone calls and emails, we can keep people focused. In my experience, most of the emails and calls we get during the day do not warrant immediate attention. This is an example of “the tyranny of the urgent”—the concept that urgent requests will rule you if you don’t rule them. I suggest using these tools to take control of your communications within your team.

Advice for those who are just starting to manage employees?

1. Hire a payroll company or use a simple system in-house like Quickbooks. I recommend using a payroll company as soon as possible.
2. Perfect your systems, because if you just throw people at a problem without a system, you will end up creating a bigger problem for yourself.

Systems for Managing Resident Relationships

Let’s talk about managing resident relationships. This includes how you communicate, how you deal with management problems, phone calls, emails, sending out notices, and all on boarding files that pertain to your relationship with residents.

The most important system that you can implement right away, no matter how large or small your team, is developing excellent customer service systems.

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