Creating partnerships with people is a crucial part of the human experience. You might be thinking, “but I don’t own a business why do I need a partnership with someone?” Well, partnerships transcend across all aspects of life. From social interactions to the workspace, creating partnerships provide platforms for our success. Here’s an example on how I have been creating partnerships at work:
-As an Assistant Manager at an apartment complex, I have several roles. From auditing files, to creating leases, to simple mathematical calculations, I really do it all. And as we all do, sometimes I feel complacent with my job. One day I sat down and really thought about my role in property management. I do my job, and I do it well. Even though this isn’t my dream job, I thought, “How can I positively affect change within this environment?” If you are going to do something, do it with all your passion. Give it 100. Put your full efforts into everything you do and see how you are rewarded. Because this apartment complex is geared towards college students, I knew there was a lack of community present in our complex. I began with small steps such as updating the bulletin board every month with a calendar of events. I included cool instagrams to follow, including local eats, shopping, and farmers markets. But I also want residents’ time here to be fun and vibrant. I realized we needed something bigger. So I created weekly contests that the residents can participate in to win prizes. How was I gonna get prizes to align with our budget? Well, I decided I was going to ask local businesses to donate prizes.
As I have posted in a previous blog, the one thing that stops us from pursuing careers, dreams, or even simple tasks is vulnerability: more specifically the fear of rejection. As weird as it sounds, I was nervous to ask for prizes. But I realized that I wanted to do some proactive things in order to influence change in my work environment. I contacted Salut Kitchen, Hungry Howies, Jimmy Johns, Hazelrock Cafe, Noodles & Co, and Infusion Tea & Coffee to see what they could do for me. The conversation started something like “Hi my name is Natalie, I’m the Assistant Manager at The Mark Apartment Homes. We are looking to build new partnerships with local eateries and were hoping to include you in that. We are hosting weekly contests for prizes and would love to feature you a couple of weeks in the semester. We will feature you on our instragram and facebook pages, tag you, and tell residents about the contest. You guys would be the featured prize for that week, so whether its providing a free _________ or giftcard, the winner of the week will receive that as a prize.” Most places were super receptive to that. They were more than welcome to participate. Some said they would get back to me but didn’t 😦 But that’s okay! Rejection is part of the experience. Well after a couple of conversations, visits, and emails, I ended up with 4 free pizza coupons, 4 $25 giftcards, 4 noodles for a year giftcards, discounts on coffees and teas, coupons for free appetizers and entrees, and many other small victories. At over $500 in value, I just upped our resident game up by 100%. But it wasn’t just about getting these free items, but about creating partnerships with these businesses. They can now put a face to an apartment complex and build a relationship with local businesses. I help them out with marketing and they help me build a better office-resident relationship at The Mark. Now I know not everyone is in the realm of property management. But how do you create partnerships in other careers? I’ll give you a map and some general examples:
- Goal – What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish? i.e Resident-management relationships and a fun environment
- Tools- What tools will you need? i.e prizes, stronger presence at the complex, etc.
- Interaction- What is your move? How can you attain #2? i.e ask local businesses to sponsor prizes
- Results- What did you receive from your interactions? i.e prizes
- Reflection- What could you change up to keep ideas/actions fresh? What could you improve? Cast a wider net and also find clothing shops or spas that will offer gifts or discounts. Build stronger relationships w/ my partnerships like “meet the staff” etc.
If you need help or advice on creating partnerships, let me know. I’m here for you 🙂