• Jonathan Goldhill

Family Dynamics: California Property Management Firm (Name Withheld)


Staying aligned to the same goals is essential to the success of any enterprise. In the case of a family business, however, there is a tendency to get off-side a little. The dynamics at play are a bit more complicated, and familiarity can quickly stand in the way of getting things done.


Take the case of a California Property Management Firm (name withheld), a busy real estate and property management company with several family members, including extended family, involved.


On the plus side, each stakeholder is hugely engaged in the business; their lives revolve around it. However, they have little going on in the way of systems, so they are very disorganized. On most days, chaos rules.


The only thing that’s holding them together is that they’re always together, and they’re always talking about the business. It’s incredible, actually, that they seem to put so much energy into what they do, but they just can’t seem to get ahead.


What they need are systems. They lack structure, so their progress is inconsistent. They do a lot of talking, but even though they discuss a lot of things, they aren’t focused on what’s important. There is an illusion that a lot is getting done, but the opposite is actually the case.


Establishing a Meeting Rhythm

The answer—or at least the gateway to an answer—is for our California Property Management Firm to establish a meeting schedule, a rhythm, if you will.


Typically, this rhythm consists of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings, each one with a specific purpose.


Regular meetings will help to:

  • Align the team

  • Provide problem-solving opportunities

  • Make fast adjustments and course corrections

  • Eliminate communication gaps

  • Break down complexities as the company grows


Types of Meetings and How They Are Structured


1. The Huddle.

The goal of the daily huddle is to align and synchronize the team effort. It should take no more than ten to 15 minutes each day.


Here’s how you should structure your huddle time:

  • Each team member delivers their updates

  • Review goals and challenges.

  • Discuss priorities for the day

  • Review wins since the previous meeting


2. Weekly Meeting

Weekly meetings are held to align the team to quarterly goals. It’s about accountability and making adjustments where necessary. The structure is much the same as the huddle, but with a more long-range focus. Take 60 – 90 minutes to engage and focus the team.


On the agenda:

  • Wins and other good news

  • Company priorities

  • Performance indicators

  • Items that require immediate action

  • What your customers are saying


3. Monthly Meetings

Usually, the monthly meeting takes place over a half-day. It connects the management and executive teams for team-building, problem-solving, and learning.


Here’s a recommended structure for your monthly meetings:

  • Celebrate wins

  • Updates on progress toward the quarterly goals

  • Learning component

  • Discuss specific topics and make adjustments where necessary

  • Summing up, chart the path forward


4. Quarterly Meetings

The quarterly session focuses on the management team, their successes, and their struggles. Usually spread over a couple of days, it’s a chance to establish a plan for moving forward in the coming quarter.


On the agenda:

  • Review and discuss issues since your last quarterly meeting

  • Brainstorm ideas for growth and action

  • Align strategy to action

  • Plan how you will move forward

  • Walk through the plan in hypotheticals

  • Cascade planning

  • Talk about how you will communicate and report your results


5. Annual Meetings

Usually, a two-day session to discuss and strategize for the coming year. This is where you will set yearly targets, draft initiatives, establish your first-quarter plan, create a plan to cascade and communicate the mission to the rest of the company.


On the agenda:

  • Review and discuss issues since your last quarterly meeting

  • Brainstorm ideas for growth and action

  • Align strategy to action

  • The three-to-five-year plan

  • Execution plans for annual, quarterly, cascade, and communication


Tips for establishing an effective meeting process

Scheduling meetings, in and of itself, is not enough. There has to be structure and purpose or, in the case of our California Property Management Company, for example, you risk falling back onto old habits, and nothing will get accomplished.


Here are a few tips for creating an effective meeting strategy:

  • Set dates for your annual, quarterly, and monthly meetings at the beginning of the year.

  • Communicate with all stakeholders and check in often.

  • Be fully prepared before walking into the meeting.

  • Don’t lose sight of what you are responsible for. Take notes, stay focused, be accountable.

  • Maintain meeting structure. The less structured your meetings are, the less effective they will be.

The right meeting rhythm will unite your family business toward a common goal. It will help you manage the business more effectively, set priorities, and clear the way for positive business growth.


If you would like to learn more about these and other strategies to help build your family business, set up a call with me today. I’d love to show you how I can help.

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