Matt Landau
  • Founder, VRMB

How to Invest in People?

I recently came across a scene from 'Sense of Place' Blue Ridge that I wanted to share because I know a lot of our members are thinking about staffing and team building.

When I asked CJ CJ how he plans to grow, he says, "I'm going to invest in people."

Watch it first...

Investing in your people is one of the most impactful ways to allocate funds as a modern day vacation rental professional.

If demands of the job increase and talent remains low, don't forget to look inwards at people who are already proving themselves who, with some support, can become your next key player!

Since few were trained for this very particular and difficult job, when you find someone great, a smart move is to invest in that person!

Some examples of what "investing in people" looked like when I was running my vacation rental business:
  • Offering to pay for classes or courses in areas of desired improvement
  • Sending them to industry events dedicated to their craft
  • Hiring consultants for a particular skill they want to improve or need to improve
  • Becoming a mentor (or assigning them a mentor)
  • KarenB KarenB is famous for cross-training each employee so they have the capacity to do anything they want / the company needs
  • REST: Invest in vacations and downtime to avoid burnout...
Incentives can also take a unique form of "investing in people."

How do you invest in your people?
What does investing in people mean to you?
Love all this and definitely gets the brainstorm going.
Offering to pay for classes or courses in areas of desired improvement
This is one I actually started this year—to pay for courses and certifications—but then was confused when they asked if they would also get paid hourly for the time spent learning 🤔

Another people investment I make is not necessarily financial but instead one of time. I carve out time weekly or monthly to touch base with each team member, offer and ask for feedback, and show a personal interest in their wants/needs and success. I also produce training articles not just about the technical aspect of the business but also about mindset to encourage personal and professional growth.
IMHO, you almost cannot over-invest in your employees.

We have used the Outside Magazine Best Places to Work Survey to learn from our employees what we can do to help them enjoy their work, keep them motivated, and inspire them to stay with us. So much of what we learned was easy to implement and allowed us to show that we would listen and then act. We have improved benefits we didn't realize we could offer, we have improved communication, and created an employee representative committee called MM Masterminds,

We also created suggestion boxes for each of our office locations so staff could give us easy feedback and suggestions. From this, we developed new policies to govern bereavement, jury service, tuition reimbursement, and staff events.

Finally, I am most proud of our Company Culture which binds us together in why we do what we do, and how we get it done. Don't underestimate the value of investing time and energy into developing and formalizing your culture in a way that it can be seen and understood by all employees.
As Matt mentioned above, we (Sunset Properties) cross train all of our employees.

Maintenance and housekeepers can answer phones (they do not quote prices, but they do pick up the phone if they walk in while the reservationists are on other calls and more often than not they can answer questions the caller may have, engage them in a little chit-chat/banter thus making the caller feel heard and then take messages for a call-back by the intended party if needed)

Reservationists can change lightbulbs, plunge a toilet, change batteries in remotes, detectors, help with wi-fi, etc while also clean a property.

So far this has helped form the "we're all in this crazy industry together" and "we're a family" attitude:) Not just help fill a vacancy if someone calls in "sick" or needs to take the afternoon off to attend their child's school play. It's a win-win in our book!
Here's the full episode in case anyone wants to see me jump off an abandoned boat after drinking moonshine:

Matt Landau Matt Landau this is my favorite Sense of Place! I laughed out loud several times at your antics - especially slipping off the sunken houseboat, then not being able to get back into the boat after moonshine, and oh yes, bronco riding the raft through the rapids! I bet this was also one of the most fun to film.

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