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About Mark

Mark is a leading resource in the field of service team development and brings to you all of the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to promote personal and professional development. Through his exceptional leadership and industry-proven effectiveness Mark has become a highly sought after resource to train service departments and assist companies in creating a customized training program or university to achieve their goals. Through Mark’s upbeat and unique approach to delivering technical information each student is engaged and encouraged to learn how to work more effectively in the multi-housing and service industry.


Most Recent Articles

Open the Pool or you are Fired! Wait….what?

Posted on Jul 2, 2014

This thread has really turned into a hot topic!

I just had a conversation with someone that was told to open an unsafe pool or find somewhere else to work.
Unfortunately this is not an uncommon scenario and it happens far too often. How would you handle it and what would you do?

Below is an outline of the situation.

A Service Manager on a two person Service Team staff has been injured and the remaining technician is trying to keep up with the increased workload. As a result he has been working 50-60 hours a week for the past 8 weeks with no support.
The chlorinator in the pool is not working, it needs to be replaced and nobody else on site is CPO certified, which is required in the area and state.

The Manager informed the technician that “there is not enough money in the budget, don’t worry about not being certified and just open the pool. So what the water is a little cloudy, just open it if you want to keep working here.”

This type of scenario arises several times a year and it amazes me how this consistently gets handled.

I would like to know your thoughts if this was happening where you work, what advice you would give the technician in this scenario or if you even knew that this is not too uncommon.

Check out what everyone had to say and comment.

Here is the original thread on my Linked In.



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Swim Diapers & Swim Pants Might Give a False Sense of Safety

Posted on Jun 20, 2014

The use of swim diapers and swim pants might give users, parents, and pool staff a false sense of security regarding fecal contamination.

Some research has looked into how well swim diapers and swim pants are able to keep feces (poop) and infection-causing germs from leaking into the pool. Even though swim diapers and swim pants might hold in some solid feces

1. They are NOT leak proof. Swim diapers can delay diarrhea-causing germs like, Cryptosporidium, from leaking into the water for a few minutes, but swim diapers do not keep these germs from contaminating the water

2. No manufacturers claim these products prevent leakage of diarrhea into pools.


All swimmers should stay out of the water when they are ill with diarrhea, even if they are wearing swim diapers or swim pants. They risk contaminating the pool with feces and germs, which can make others sick.

Swim diapers and swim pants are not a substitute for frequent diaper changing and bathroom breaks. It is recommended that swim diapers and swim pants are checked frequently and changed away from the poolside.

Pool operators should ensure that

•All patrons understand the importance of NOT swimming when ill with diarrhea.

•Caregivers/users frequently (approximately every 30 to 60 minutes) check swim diapers and swim pants and change them away from the poolside (for example, in the bathroom). This will allow for washing hands after diaper/pants changing and reduce the chance of fecal and germ contamination of areas around the pool. It can also reduce the amount of urine in the pool that binds with disinfectant and creates irritants in the air (see Irritants (Chloramines) & Indoor Pool Air Quality).

To learn more about how you can help stop germs from spreading in the water you and others swim in, visit Triple A’s of Healthy Swimming.

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The Best Property Managers Are Accomplished Jugglers – By Ryan Harrison

Posted on Jan 1, 2014


Our Guest Author – Ryan Harrison 


Ryan is a property manager and a writer and loves everything Southwest – from gourmet enchiladas to rustic New Mexican-inspired interior design.

Even though real estate investing is not the “cash cow” that some promoters would have you believe it is, rental properties can provide a careful investor with a very nice income stream and a solid real estate portfolio. Real Estate Investing for Dummies has a “Cheat Sheet” that provides some proven tips for success.

Becoming an effective property manager, however, is a bit like being a juggler. Basic concepts are not difficult, but learning when to toss a ball, and how long to hold another one, can spell the difference between being competent and being great.

Jim Collins, the management coach who famously said ”Good is the enemy of great” is also credited with saying that “managing problems can only make you good” whereas learning to build opportunities is the only way to become great, according to

Keeping the Balls in the Air

In the field of real estate investing and property management, one path to disaster is to wait for problems. As a landlord, your goal is to always maintain your properties in prime condition, ensure that you have renters who pay you on time, and realize a fair return on your investment now and in the future. An important resource for you as an owner, especially if you’re just entering the field, is an organization such as the AAOA (American Apartment Owners Association), which has a wealth of information and tools you can utilize to screen tenants, procure documents, exchange information with professionals, and keep up with the latest trends.

A standard rule in the real estate rental field is to utilize a yearly income figure of 10 times the monthly rental rate as your target goal. If your expenses — including mortgage, repairs and maintenance, landscaping and yard work, taxes, insurance, advertising, legal fees and other costs — are in line, you should realize a positive return on your investment, according to

Over the long term, if your property or apartment complex enjoys a consistently high occupancy rate with low turnover – in effect, if your units are consistently occupied — you should see a reasonable return on your investment, as well as property appreciation.

Find Those Opportunities

A U.S. Census Bureau survey of property owners reports that the primary reason for acquiring properties was for the income derived from the rents. It becomes imperative, then, to minimize lost income resulting from vacant units. Without becoming bothersome, it is perfectly acceptable to call, or even to drop by occasionally and visit with your tenant. Ask if they have any problems or concerns. Near the end of the lease term, you can ask if they will renew the lease.

This is an appropriate time (if your tenant is moving on) to ask about showings to secure a new tenant. If the current tenant agrees, you can often reduce the “empty unit” time to just a day or two, allowing you to maximize your occupancy ratio.

Professional property managers have also had good luck contacting the human resources departments of major employers in their area. Rather than simply putting a “For Lease” sign in the yard, consider marketing a property directly to a business for use by executives on short term assignments or temporary duty. Rental furniture is available in all cities for such use.

Additional Essential Tasks

Complete a Property Condition Report before move-in, and again immediately after a tenant’s move-out. Keep copies of both reports in the tenant’s file, and be scrupulous about detailing any damage during the lease term, taking photos if necessary.

Then address any repair and maintenance items immediately by lining up repair experts in advance. Small problems only become bigger problems. Follow up is almost as important as the initial repair. Be certain that you have addressed a situation completely and, if necessary, have the tenant stipulate to the work’s completion in writing, as suggests.


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