Career Advice

2020 Hiring Trends for the Multifamily Industry

Another year has been logged into the books and now it’s time to look forward to a whole new decade. It has yet to be determined if 2020 will start the era of the “roaring 20’s” as it did 100 years ago, however new technologies are the focus, just as they were then, to define the professional trends that lie ahead. While it isn’t the invention of the assembly line and Model Ts that are ushering in a new vision for the workforce, in 2020 it is new technologies that allow better communication and more efficient management of assets that are on the horizon. This is true especially for the Multifamily Housing Industry.

Below we will discuss three major hiring trends for the Multifamily Housing Industry in 2020 which include an “individualistic” attitude, the rise of mobile job searches and professional communication, and the preparation for recession. No matter what, we are all excited for a new year of professional possibilities!

The Individual First

The shift to focusing on a company’s culture and the happiness of its employees started happening a few years ago. Now the focus is on the individual employee’s level of job satisfaction and engagement. The reasons behind the shift are fairly transparent, with the rise of the Millennial employee now comprising 50% of the US workforce. The Millennial is having an even bigger impact on the Multifamily Housing Sector because over 60% of Millennials choose to rent their housing. This means we are not only considering the needs of the Millennial employee, but also the Millennial renter.

Luckily, they seem to require the same thing: casual communication, and a lot of it.

This new generation wants to have their voice heard and they want an environment where it is easy to communicate their wants and needs. Your employees require coaching and mentorship that focuses on their individual personality traits. While your renters want to be able to communicate maintenance and other needs quickly to your team on their mobile devices.

Properties should review the way they communicate with their teams and their residents and make sure all pathways are focused on ease and efficiency.

The Further Rise of Mobile

Speaking of ease and efficiency, the mobile device continues to dominate our lives in this new decade. One sector that is pushing forward is hiring. Back in 2017 over 70% of Millennials used their mobile devices to successfully search for their employment. Now two years later, mobile job platforms are dominating the hiring field. Expect an entire hiring process from initial contact, early interviews, and candidate matching all the way to hiring paperwork and job acceptance to take place over the mobile device. Employers can prepare by digitizing all hiring paperwork and using AI on mobile platforms to match them with potential candidates.

Since the Multifamily Housing Industry often hires for some entry-level positions, properties should make sure their applications are mobile-friendly so potential tech-savvy candidates don’t abandon the application process because it’s tedious and not mobile friendly. Think shorter applications and drop-down boxes for ease of use.

Recession on the Mind

According to Glassdoor.com, there are some indicators that a recession could be around the corner in the new decade.

The yield curve — historically one of the best predictors of an approaching recession — suggests that an economic downturn is likely to occur in the near future. Additional indicators include the slowing pace of job gains, which have decreased from an average of 223,000 per month in 2018 to 167,000 per month so far in 2019, and the ongoing trade war with China, which continues to impact manufacturing and may be spreading to other industries. As a result, today’s most forward-thinking companies have already begun to develop recession-proof hiring strategies.”

So, what does this mean for the Multifamily Housing Industry? It could mean a hiring boom with more and more renters flooding the market after the downsizing of salaries.

Properties should make sure their onboarding and hiring processes are up to date and efficient. This means mobile-friendly and focused on the individual to ensure new hire retention. Now is also the time to make sure your company branding is on point so you stick out to potential employees when they embark on their job searches.

As with the years before, 2020 promises to deliver both highs and lows in the Multifamily Housing Industry. Being prepared and looking ahead can ensure another successful year for your property, and many more to come!

Posted in Career Advice |

How Technology Differentiates Your Property’s Maintenance Staff

As we continue to move into the age of artificial intelligence and automation,  it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a task or industry that isn’t improved by new technology. The apartment industry is no exception, especially when it comes to improving communications between residents and the property’s team of employees.

Perhaps the most important team members to the residents are the property’s maintenance staff. In this new age of automation and AI there are incredible ways that maintenance practices in the apartment industry can become more efficient than ever before. Below we explore 3 ways technology can differentiate a property’s maintenance staff.

1. Work Order Notification

Traditionally, when a resident has a work order they submit the request with the front office and that request is then sent to the maintenance team. This system works great, except when it doesn’t. Now with mobile technology it’s possible to submit work orders directly to the maintenance team. Notifications appear on their mobile phones and they are able to pick up work order requests in real time. For larger properties this can be a huge time saver for the front office by cutting out the middle-man and the maintenance crew by reducing the need to stop by the office before tending to their next maintenance issue.

2. Resident Feedback

Chatbots are becoming common in businesses that want customer feedback. This same technology can be used to access a resident’s level of satisfaction with a maintenance request. Once a maintenance work order is complete, a resident can receive a text on their mobile phone asking them to rate the job that was done in areas such as quickness, friendliness, and effectiveness. This type of feedback can be essential in managing an efficient and accountable maintenance team.

3. Maintenance Accountability and Performance Measurement

Maintenance is a big part of the cost of running a successful multifamily property. By implementing a tracking software for maintenance work orders and resident feedback, a property manager can see clear reports, patterns,  and identify places of weakness. Maintenance tracking software can save a property a substantial amount of money by identifying and clarifying recurring problems or poorly performing maintenance team members.

On the flip side, this type of software can highlight top performing maintenance team members that might be due for a promotion or a raise in pay to keep them feeling appreciated and loyal to their positions.

There are many companies that specialize in maintenance automation software. These tools can benefit a large, multi-property company or an individually-owned apartment community. It’s time to upgrade your maintenance staff and their capabilities in 2019, and the main reason may not be what you think!

4. Employee Retention

Millennials, today’s driving work force, prefer working with technology over tedious paperwork. According to a survey done my Multifamily Insiders (https://www.multifamilyinsiders.com/multifamily-blogs/insights-into-the-future-of-property-maintenance) it was reported that many millennial maintenance team members have left previous maintenance positions because of the lack of technological advancements in their day-to-day work activities.

Technology is not just for improving the efficiency of your current maintenance team, but it’s also for ensuring the future of your maintenance workforce.

Posted in Career Advice |

Three Ways Technology Improvements Are Changing the Game in Multifamily Staffing

As 2019 continues on, the technology rolls out keep happening leaving no industry untouched. When it comes to Multifamily staffing, the biggest impacts are being made by three rapidly advancing sectors: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chatbots, and Social Media Marketing.

Finding top talent for open apartment industry jobs means being able to scan thousands of applications for relevant skills and then connect with a candidate to see if they are going to be a personality fit for the potential employer. While many saw AI and algorithms as a threat, it is now becoming clear that they are the staffing specialists secret weapon.

Below we examine three ways that these technologies are changing the game in Multifamily Staffing.

1. Conversation systems are becoming more efficient

Texting systems and chatbots are highly effective ways of engaging with candidates, hiring managers and field employees. Next generation conversational systems are evolving rapidly, yet, many staffing firms are not using conversational systems or are not taking full advantage of the wide-ranging capabilities that conversational systems have to offer.

Imagine a chatbot that can interview a hiring manager on exactly what they are looking for in a candidate and then take those qualities and pre-screen potential hires…all before a staffing agent even gets involved? That is just the beginning of the possibilities that are available to the tech-savvy staffing agency.

2.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is creating diverse workplaces

An unexpected consequence of AI in the multifamily staffing industry is that workplaces are becoming more diverse through unbiased interviewing processes. Allowing AI to scan resumes and social media profiles for qualified candidates is producing a list of people a staffing agent can speak to that is purely based on their qualifications and not factors such as names, photos, or writing style. Unconscious bias can still affect final outcomes of the hire, however as AI becomes more capable of handling the interviewing process, unconscious bias will become less common and that will result in a workplace that employs truly qualified people.

3. Hiring funnels are keeping qualified candidates pouring in

Social media ad campaigns are driving sales for many different industries and now multifamily staffing agencies can take part in using the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram to find a seemingly endless supply of qualified candidates and potential new clients. These algorithms can track any combination of individual and industry trend data, including people who post articles about their industry and stay involved in the online conversation. A common sales funnel, such as the one below, can continuously take potential candidates through the different levels as a result from different ad campaigns targeting each color below:

(Photo: TalentLyft)

In addition to the ads driving each level, they can be set up as messenger ads that, when clicked, will activate a chatbot that will further qualify and engage a candidate based on the current open jobs that need to be filled.

This strategy can also be used to acquire new clients by changing the targeting and chatbot questions.

Technology will not stop evolving at a rapid pace and it is in the multifamily staffing industry’s best interests to utilize every innovation that results in qualified candidates being matched with amazing properties. These, like many other technologies, will keep the flow of great talent coming through smart agencies that then match them with their clients. Something everyone can be happy about!

Posted in Career Advice, Career Blog Categories |

What Key Traits and Skills Does a Successful Leasing Professional Possess?

Leasing professionals are arguably the most important team members in multifamily housing. They are the face of the property to the residents and are responsible for keeping the apartment homes full and the property profitable. Leasing professionals must possess some key traits across the board to be able to find success in their job.

“Keys skills I look for in a Leasing Professional include: Excellent communication and problem solving skills, Professionalism (demeanor and attire), Strong customer service with sales experience, Strong organizational skills, Basic computer (MS Office), telecommunication and office experience” says Maria Gonzalez, a Houston-based property manager.

Below we have listed some of the best traits to look for in your next rock-star leasing professional!

Independance

While leasing professionals work in a property’s office with the other team members, they spend a lot of their day undirected. When a potential resident walks in the door they have to be ready to take the reigns and show them the property’s features. This requires the leasing professional to have initiative and not be someone that needs to be told what to do.

Attention to Detail

A leasing contract can be a lengthy document and one that requires vast attention to details. A potential resident must be able to pass background checks and financial checks to qualify for a lease and it is up to the leasing professional to guide the entire process. Not only does the leasing professional have to have the property’s interest in mind, but they also need to be able to answer any questions from the potential resident with confidence to assure them they are making the best decision for themselves and their family.

Friendly

In addition to being detailed oriented and Independent, a professional leasing consultant must also be friendly and likeable. They are not only representing the property to potential residents, but they are also the continued representative for the residents that live there. They must have a smile ready for everyone that walks in the door of the property’s office.

According to Houston-area property manager Omar Ramirez “Successful leasing professionals have a genuine human interaction while being themselves. They must be supportive to the prospect/residents needs and wants. Being a team player and a great problem solver is a skill that is needed on a daily basis to succeed and achieve daily goals. Being able to adapt to multiple personalities and understand how to properly respond is a key trait.”

Persuasive

Many things go into being a successful leasing professional, however we can not forget that the core of the job is sales. Leasing consultants must have the ability to persuade a potential resident that might be on the fence about choosing that property to rent. Sales skills such as listening and problem solving are a must to be able to consistently close the sale.

Energetic

Working in the multifamily housing industry requires a lot of energy from each professional position, and this is especially true for leasing professionals. They must wear many hats during the day and still have energy left over to be friendly and outgoing to residents and potential residents.

Professional

Since the leasing professional is the “face” of the property, they must dress and act professionally at all times, no exceptions. This includes their online and real life personas since a quick internet search could result in their social media profiles to being discovered by a resident.

Persistent

It can be disheartening when a leasing professional has a series of rejections from potential residents. Sometimes you can do everything right and still not get the sale, and in a career where commission is sometimes on the line, this can be very frustrating. A successful leasing professional must have a level of persistence that is unshakeable so they can continue to be their best at every opportunity.

Notice that we did not list “experience in the multi-family housing industry”?

According to Houston-based property manager Maria Gonzales “Some managers insist on only hiring candidates with multi-family experience, but that’s a huge mistake.  There’s an abundance of talent out there and hiring through a temp agency opens the door for an individual just waiting for their opportunity to shine in our industry.  I’ve had ZERO turn over in 5 years [and] 4 out of our 7 long term team members came from a temp agency and they possessed absolutely no prior Multi-Family experience.”

Finding the right leasing professional for your property is an extremely important task, make sure you don’t compromise on someone that doesn’t possess these essential traits and don’t forget to look for talent outside of the industry!

Posted in Career Advice |

The Top 10 Skills All Successful Multifamily Housing Groundskeepers Must Have

Groundskeepers are an essential part of a multifamily housing community and finding a good one to hire is a very important task. An individual that is both physically and professionally in shape can be difficult to find, however by looking for the below traits you will be able to hire the best man or woman for the job!

1.Love of the Outdoors

The majority of the work day will be spent in the great outdoors so it is essential that a successful groundskeeper love being outside!

2. In Good Physical Shape

It has jokingly been said that a groundskeeper at an apartment community can cancel their gym membership because of how physically demanding their jobs are. Whether it’s hauling away debris from tree trimming, trash removal, or make-ready cleaning, they can expect to be constantly moving throughout the work day.

3. Sociable

Because the groundskeeper is out in the community everyday, they will undoubtedly run into residents on an hourly basis. While it isn’t necessary for a groundskeeper to stop and hold conversations with those they encounter, a friendly wave and a smile will go a long way to creating a sense of community with those they meet.

4. Accountable

A groundskeeper must complete the tasks that are needed to be done in a timely fashion or a property’s maintenance can get quickly out of control.

5. Problem-Solver

Not every issue that a groundskeeper will run into will be in the employee manual. A successful groundskeeper must be able to think quickly when they encounter something that needs their attention. It could be anything from a stray dog to a burst water pipe and most likely the groundskeeper will be the first to come across it in their daily rounds.

6. Integrity

Being honest and having strong moral principles are important traits in a groundskeeper as they are in close contact to residents and their private spaces on a daily basis.

There you have it! If you can check off these 10 traits during your next interview with a groundskeeper you are sure to end up with an extremely valuable and successful addition to your multifamily team!

7. Self-Managed

A groundskeeper will spend the majority of their day without supervision from management therefore a successful individual has the ability to keep themselves on track and to make decisions without consulting a contractor or manager.

8. Creative Mind

At some properties landscaping is a big part of the groundskeeper job and on occasion they get to make creative choices for keeping the property beautiful and appealing.

9. Desire for Promotion

The position of groundskeeper is a great entry to an exciting career path. The individual will gain a lot of valuable professional skills that they can use to build their career. Many employees that started as groundskeepers now work as maintenance techs, make ready and maintenance supervisors.

10. Handyman Skill Set

Along with the ability to solve problems mentally, needs to be the possession of the skill set to execute the solutions. Experience as a handyman is a great indication of a successful groundskeeper, especially someone that has experience with electrical issues.

Posted in Career Advice |