Young professionals thrive on innovation and imagining new ideas or solutions in the workforce. These young and eager professionals in the workforce have an entrepreneurial mindset, where they bring new methods and concepts to the table. In the multifamily industry, this is a huge plus because the demographics of residential living are constantly changing. Allowing these young professionals to become intrapreneurials at the property level is a key component to industry growth and evolution.
Intrapreneurials are individuals within a company that are allowed to bring their ideas to the table and create their own opportunities. Encouraging employees to work on projects that highly interest them within their company helps build loyalty and promotes a positive work environment, as well as bringing success to the company. Staying relevant in the competitive multifamily industry is imperative, so how does intrapreneurialism help?
Learning in the Workplace
Intrapreneurialism provides a vast amount of learning experiences for employees. Individuals are able to learn more in environments that encourage participation and allows them to experience management duties — especially when given the freedom to create their own projects or take initiative.
Intrapreneurialism allows employees to learn valuable business skills while being their own boss. And, not only does it provide an opportunity for employees to work in things that they’re interested in, but it also ultimately brings higher employee morale.
In multifamily, employees that take initiative as creative problem solvers will be the ones to advance the industry. They’ll seek out problems and provide a solution. They’ll research statistics, tactics, and trends on the industry to benefit and improve the company’s work output. They’ll ask questions like:
“How can we increase resident retention without going over in marketing budget?” “What is the incoming generation looking for in an apartment?” “What can we do to cater to this audience in an innovative way?”
With the multifamily industry constantly changing, learning the ins and outs while working on personal endeavors provides employees a well-rounded career experience.
Not to mention, there is value from a development point of view. The front line associates hear valuable feedback from current renters in which they can turn into insight for developers. This information drives what developers will look for in new construction by knowing what renters are willing to pay for.
The work environment and investment in property management teams directly relates to the future development of lease ups. Just think, who better to sell your communities than the teams that are the face of it and have a passion to see it thrive? Let's look at how to foster and encourage an inspired team:
For a property manager running an entire team, look at how your team operates. Cater to their interests and unique thought processes as a way to implement an intrapreneurial plan. But how exactly can a leader do that?
Showing support and providing the right resources is a huge step towards promoting an intrapreneurial mindset. Employees will be able to fully develop their own projects when management provides the tools that they need, as well as the ability to spend time by themselves. Managers need to be flexible and employ a system that allows their employees to connect more with residents and the multifamily community, which will result in better employee ideas as well as better customer service.
Give employees time devoted to individual projects. Maybe this is time spent on creating a content strategy around the property’s blog or exploring an issue with property management software and diving into an innovative solution. Offer suggestions, but ultimately empower your employee to spend time working on a project that intrinsically motivates them.
Success for Intrapreneurs
A great example of intrapreneurialism at work as at Google when they introduced their “20% time” policy back in 2004. The policy encouraged employees to spend 20% of their work time on individual projects and innovation, which resulted in successful projects such as Gmail, AdSense, and Google News. Ranked as one of the best companies to work for, Google revolutionized employee innovation and built an industry based around creativity. While 20% time might not be viable for all companies, the idea can easily be modified to work for any company and its employees.
ResMan recently approved 20% Innovation Free Time for their development staff so employees can explore the creative sides.
As property managers, it’s important to recognize your employees’ entrepreneurial mindsets. Being open-minded is key to having success in the workplace, especially as a leader. Giving employees more freedom and the opportunity to express their interests ultimately gives the multifamily industry an innovative push into the right direction.