GROW: Learning Management Systems in the Multifamily Industry

Few things are more important in the multifamily industry than resident satisfaction, easing everyday operations for site teams, and learning and development. The last part, however, can be difficult to squeeze in. At both the corporate and individual property level, it’s often impossible to set aside hours for training. And if you can manage it, it’s hard to retain and employ what you’ve learned. Not so with GROW Learning Management System, the learning management system (LMS) pioneering real-time training for the multifamily industry.

We spoke with Heather Jones, the President and Founder of GROW (and a veteran in multifamily training), about the future of learning and development for multifamily associates, the positive effects on residents and staff, and why shorter, digital-first learning is the ticket to success.

How did you get started with GROW?

GROW was born out of the desire to provide the multifamily industry with training that associates could get excited about. I’ve been in the industry for 24 years and have held virtually every position, but training was always my passion. It was through a few inspired conversations with various colleagues that sparked the interest to start GROW.

Why is a next-generation LMS so important for the property management industry today?

The multifamily industry, as a general rule, tends to stay focused on what has worked in the past and is slow to change. The eLearning industry started adapting to today’s digital learner many years ago by offering bite-size training that was mobile responsive, but GROW is the first to take this leap within multifamily. The way our associates learn has changed, and the industry needs to change with them.

The idea of distilling learning and development down into easy-to-digest, visual content is ideal for busy corporate staff and site teams. Could you tell us how GROW’s tidbit training works?

Our tidbit training model focuses on one specific topic of a subject at a time, rather than grouping several topics into one course. For example, rather than having a 3-hour Fair Housing class that covers the whole of Fair Housing, we have 7 bite-size classes that cover the same information in shorter, easily digestible segments. The retention rate for micro-learning has proven to be much higher than that of lengthy 1- to 3-hour classes. Plus, our classes are animated and video-based so they are entertaining and fun to watch.

How do you think an LMS can help increase employee engagement and reduce attrition?

There’s nothing worse than sitting down for the dreaded “mandatory” classes that take you away from customers for several hours at a time. It’s even worse having to take the same class over and over again every year. With GROW, you can take a quick class on your smartphone while at lunch, or while taking a walk in the park. Making training easily accessible, entertaining, fresh, and fun gives an associate something to look forward to, which in turn creates loyalty and overall increased morale. With GROW, associates have Growth Paths to aid in career advancement, and badges to stay motivated and engaged.

How do you think an LMS can ultimately lead to an improved resident experience?

When an associate has to sit down for a class for 15+ minutes, they will inevitably be interrupted by a resident walking in the door, the phone ringing, or a prospect tour. When this happens, it can take an hour for them to get back to the class, and by that time they’ve forgotten what they learned. Because we are human, we get frustrated when we are interrupted and have to redo something over and over again, and this frustration unfortunately gets taken out on our customers and coworkers.

Although you may still be interrupted, it’s much easier to get through a 5-minute class, and you have a sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of irritation. Plus, our library covers all different kinds of resident and prospect scenarios to help improve resident relations.

As a female pioneer in the multifamily space, how do you think on-the-go learning technologies like GROW can help empower women in this industry?

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. Providing tidbits of knowledge in quick, easily accessible segments fuels the mind and energizes the heart. Every woman has the power to educate herself on any subject matter, and she ultimately has complete control over her success. I hope GROW is the vessel for women to see the potential of growth in multifamily, and because of it they become better associates and in turn, more influential in the world.

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