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Trick Or Treat Door Hangers

Posted on Oct 21, 2013

Here are a few Jack O lanterns that you can give out to you residents if they welcome Trick or Treaters. There is even one for anyone that doesn’t not want any visitors. There are several to choose from and I hope you find them helpful.

Trick or Treat

Our Fall and Winter Newsletter will be coming out soon.



Mark Cukro

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What advice would you give to a new Service Manager?

Posted on Jul 31, 2013


To many people in the industry it is a long time goal or a dream come true to become a Service Manager for a property and most likely they have spent a significant amount of time learning different trades, how to make many types of repairs and get make-readies prepared for new residents.

The emphasis and responsibilities shift when you become a Service Manager. When you are a technician there is a greater emphasis on one’s technical ability to make repairs, get all the certifications required, and continue training in every relevant area possible. To list a few; electrical, HVAC, plumbing, landscaping, general construction, carpentry, appliance repair, pool care and maintenance etc, etc.

When you become a Service Manager you have to remain proficient in the trades and repairs but you are now responsible for leading a team that delivers results, completes tasks on time, and remains solution oriented.

Of course the universal standards apply such as consistently showing up on time, how positive your attitude is, how you dress for work, and if you are a person people respect and want to follow. All of these are a true indicator of the pride you have for yourself and the priority you put on working with your team.

There is a process of feeling out your new position and it applies to everyone at every level of employment within a company. The most common mistakes a newly promoted person makes is that they want to deliver results and impress everyone so badly and prove to everyone that they are the right person for the job, they mistreat their teammates, speak unprofessionally, and don’t know how to work with people to get the best out of every situation. You may find yourself being overly-reactive and hyper sensitive to the new pressures and demands of the position and unknowing putting negative pressure on your teammates.

The skills that got you promoted are different than the skills required to succeed as a Service Manager.

Most of your teammates will be glad for your promotion and will want you to succeed. They are cheering for you and want you to do well. If they know you sincerely want to maintain a great culture that gets results or make the changes necessary to become that team, they will help you as long as you treat everyone with professionalism, maturity, integrity, and set standards that apply to everyone with no exceptions.

People want to belong to a team that takes care of business, gets results, and treats everyone equally. Standards cannot become personal; ultimately, they are there to promote the success of the company and take care of residents. Just ask yourself “how does this best serve the customer and the company?” and make the best and most informed decision possible. Also, asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inability. Asking questions is a sign of intelligence and demonstrates you are seeking answers when you are unsure, so you can do the right thing. As time goes by and you gain more experience you may ask fewer questions but most likely you’ll just ask different ones.

Start learning more about the business, how you impact the property financially, and how you can better work with and help the Property Manager. Everyone wants a Service Manager that understands how they impact a property financially and makes good business decisions. Now that you have been promoted, you are more responsible for the success of the property and when you become proficient at building good teams, delivering results, and creating a team environment that people want to be a part of, you will become much more valuable.

Hire people that have better skills in some area than you do. A confident person is not afraid to build a team with people that are better at something than they are. You will not be replaced by someone just due to the fact that they can make more HVAC repairs. You are helping your Manager and the Owner run their business by taking care of the customer, managing the service department, and operating within budgetary guidelines to the best of your ability.

Be the person people can count on to get things done, take care and look out for your people, never forget you are a very important part of what makes the company successful as a business, always look for a solution and seek self improvement, fanatically send your people to training, help them grow in every area, and I guarantee you’ll get better results.

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What picking blueberries teaches about teambuilding

Posted on Jul 29, 2013

Every once in a while there is a moment or experience that you know is a lesson that will last and have an impact in other areas of a child’s life and yesterday was a day to remember. My 9 year old son and I went to a local Blueberry farm to pick some blueberries so we could get some delicious fruit and enjoy an experience together.

We each got one bucket to fill and the women that owns the farm told us that the first few rows were picked heavily and that we should go to the end and start from there. After a few minutes my bucket was about 1/3 full and my sons was about ¼ full and I noticed that he stopped and put his bucket down to pick out the few unripe berries that made it into his bucket.

At this moment I knew there was an opportunity to teach a meaningful lesson.

Me: Evan, what are you doing?

Evan: Picking out the bad ones, why?

Me: Just curious, can I ask you a question though?

Evan: Sure.

Me: If you only focus on the few bad ones, what do you stop yourself from doing and finding?

Evan: umm….. (A few moments of silence and contemplation)…well, I won’t find any good ones because I am only looking for bad ones. He said this in a way that sought my approval but I was glad to see he understood his actions could determine different outcomes.

Me: So do you spend more time looking for as many good ones as you can find and then deal with the few bad ones or do you spend more time looking for bad ones and prevent yourself from finding the good ones?

Evan: (He is quiet and thinking) “I think I’ll just look for the good ones and try to avoid picking bad ones, but I know I’ll get a few anyway, and when I do, I’ll get rid of them but I think I’ll get more better ones if I look more for the good ones.

Me: This was a nice father and son moment for me so I asked. How does this approach apply to building a team?

Evan: Well…….if I only spend time looking for bad ones, I’ll never find any good ones and I’ll work just as hard as you but my bucket will be empty. “Dad, is this you do in business when you travel and talk with people?”

Me: In many ways yes.

Evan: Why don’t business people just learn to look for the good ones and fill their bucket, I mean team faster? It won’t take long before they’ll see the ones that are no good anyway.
Me: Thanks Evan.

Evan: For what?

Me: For coming here with me, talking, and picking blueberries. Do you think Mom will make you some blueberry muffins?

Evan: I hope so. I am going to ask here as soon as we get home. Can we go now?

When we got home, we spilled out our bucket on the counter top, and there were thousands of good berries and only a few bad ones which we quickly got rid of and now we have only good ones.

I have to say, I never would have thought that picking blueberries would allow me to have such a conversation with my 9 year old son. It was clear that he genuinely understood how you get more of what you look for in life. Whichever you spend more time looking for, the good or the bad, you’ll find an abundance of it.

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What advice would you give to an individual who is just beginning his or her Maintenance career in the industry?

Posted on Jan 23, 2013

Golf Cart2This industry gets in your blood and you’ll know if it is right for you within the first few months. Often industry veterans will say something along the lines of, “I can’t imagine working in any other industry” and the constant changes and variety of challenges can make it more unique, fun, and entertaining than anything else I have ever done.

When you are new to the industry there are few things to consider if you want to get ahead and increase the chances of success and how well you compliment the team and industry you have just joined. The industry is unique in many ways but the most simple and universal “must do” rules apply first. Be a few minutes early or at the very least on time every day. Some of the biggest impressions you will make will be during your first few weeks so make sure they are all good ones that employers and teams want and hope for in a new team member.

The first few will be your ability to consistently show up on time, how positive or negative your attitude is, and how you dress for work. All of these are a true reflection of the pride you have for yourself and the priority you put on working with your new team in a new industry.

Then, a little further in the beginning of your career your technical ability and willingness to learn will become a very large determining factor for your success. Are you willing and eager to learn new trades and take on tasks outside of your job description? If you are a hard worker with a positive attitude that constantly seeks to learn how to improve you will be a hot commodity and will always be in demand.

Find someone that will teach you and learn all you can while you figure your path in the industry. In my experience the people that are truly great in the industry will be more than willing to teach an eager student. If you take sincere pride in everything that you do and work to become a proficient an ambassador of the industry success will gravitate toward you. See you in the field!

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Don’t wait until it is too late. Get Ice Melt BEFORE it is too late

Posted on Dec 5, 2012

Don’t wait until it is too late. Get Ice Melt before a storm or snowfall is mentioned on the news. Even when the possibility of a storm is mentioned you can pretty much guarantee it will be difficult or impossible to get. Be Prepared.


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Photos from Chicagoland Seminare at Maintenance Mania

Posted on Nov 8, 2012

Here are some photos from the seminars at Maintenance Mania!!/pages/Service-Team-Training/222406347424

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