Tom's Blog

Tom Cohn

Tom's blog is written by PMA Executive Vice President Tom Cohn who shares his observations on property management, business practices and items of interest to PMA members and their coworkers.

November 1, 2016
Avoiding 4-Year-Old Behavior

Del Poling is a hero of mine. It’s hard to forget what he taught us about a 4-year-old’s behavior at a PMA Board strategic planning session and a PMA seminar more than a decade ago. He referred to the 4-year-old’s behavior, or passive dependence, to describe those who don’t and won’t take responsibility for their actions or always blame others if something goes wrong.

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October 1, 2016
In Praise of Praise

Dan Airley is a behavorial economist and one really smart guy. He teaches at Duke and studies what motivates people. His newest book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations, refers to an experiment at a semiconductor plant.

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September 1, 2016
Learning by Example

A recent Monday Morning Motivator from Rick Houcek related a story of exceptional customer service. It did not occur at a Nordstrom, Starbucks, on a Southwest flight and was not related to any other business known for exceptional customer service. Houcek was surprised and delighted visiting the Atlanta airport.

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August 1, 2016
Is Our Industry Being Disrupted?

We can’t walk into a meeting or read a business blog or magazine without somehow coming across industry after industry that is being disrupted or threatened by a disruption. Is the multifamily industry immune? Hardly, and there is evidence that the same old go-to-market strategies are not going to generate the same returns in the future as they generated in the past.

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July 1, 2016
Stand Up and Be Recognized

Chris Lee believes that the property management industry is in the midst of a monumental talent crisis. There are not enough qualified and competent people entering the profession. This places a premium on attracting and retaining the talent that you currently have.

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June 1, 2016
Mastering the Obvious: It's Not So Easy

We were tasked with finding a speaker who could open a conference for one of our clients and then conduct follow-up workshops. The goal was to fire everyone up at the start of the conference and then provide a hearty meal of compelling content that could be taken from the conference room on Thursday and applied to our members’ businesses the following Monday. 

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May 1, 2016
The Importance of Crawling Inside of the Head of Your Residents and Tenants

We have a favorite Friday night place that we go to. Most of its customers live close by. It’s not the kind of place that people would fight traffic to frequent. Many customers patronize this restaurant not just for its atmosphere, food or the generally very good service. There’s something else.

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April 1, 2016
The Challenge of Features and Benefits

At some point, anyone associated with the management and operation of income-producing real estate assets is asked this question, “Why should I lease at your property as opposed to the one next door or down the street?”

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March 1, 2016
What Can You Learn from Zappos?

Zappos, owned by Amazon, has the world’s largest selection of shoes and generates 75% of its business from repeat customers. Zappos does not offer the lowest prices. What it does provide is a customer experience like no other.

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February 1, 2016
Why Race to the Bottom?

I received an email the other day advising me that our payroll service raised its fees at the start of the year. I was encouraged to contact the emailer to presumably receive the same service at a lower cost. This caused me to pause.

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