Hire Priority, leader in Multifamily staffing and recruiting is the only company, specializing in multifamily staffing included in INC 5000 list of fastest growing private companies. With offices in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, Hire Priority specializes in multifamily, healthcare, administrative and light industrial staffing and recruiting.
Unlimited PTO Policy
Encouraging team environment!
Competitive salary plus monthly commission
Medical/Dental/Vision insurance options
Retirement benefits with 6% matching
Growth opportunities within
and, Much More!
AnnualSalary Range – $37,000.00 – $44,000.00 + Monthly Commission
As a SeniorRecruiter (South Texas), you will be responsible for finding talented individuals to meet client and company needs.
Activities for this position may include some or all of the following:
Source candidates based on client needs, keep up with current recruiting trends.
Act as a candidate advocate to ensure their needs are being met.
Ensure candidates fill out the appropriate paperwork and coordinate required testing.
Daily tasks include: Taking candidate calls, scheduling and conducting interviews, entering candidate information into CRM, candidate screening, etc.
As a member of the recruiting team, you make a positive contribution to your division by:
Effective organization and prioritization of tasks and completion of objectives.
Acknowledgement of divisional needs and initiation of appropriate action to resolve them.
A willingness to work collaboratively with co-workers to accomplish tasks and projects
Your ability to multitask in a fast paced environment
Bilingual- Must speak fluent Spanish
Customer Service Experience
Comfortable speaking with candidates and prospects over the phone, and building rapport.
Working Knowledge of Office Administrative functions and software such as Microsoft office products.
Ability to anticipate needs, and a keen attention to detail.
Advanced problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Experience in sales, staffing or the multifamily industry is a plus!
Over the last year, our sense of “normal” has shifted dramatically. You owe yourself a pat on the back because you have repeatedly demonstrated one of the greatest attributes of human nature: our innate and powerful ability to adapt. You have implemented virtual processes, automated your marketing approach, and even came up with virtual solutions for keeping your team and community engaged in a newly distanced environment. You have charted the course, leading the way towards creating your very own “new normal”.
But what about closing sales? Unfortunately, this aspect of the housing industry has its own challenges, as it simply isn’t something you can plug into an app or send a quick email on. Sure, you’ve set up a killer virtual tour, best shots around, and beautiful editing, but how can we build rapport that will result in a signed lease when we’re not working with our potential residents face-to-face?
The answers to this challenge may not be as intimidating as they appear on the surface. Sure, you may not have the ability to utilize that same in-person environment that most leasing agents thrive in, but there are ways to deliver that same energy, even from behind the screen.
Closing Over the Phone
Now you are probably thinking that after a year of Zoom conferences, Google Video, and FaceTime, surely our first area to cover will be all about “face-to-face” conversations via video. While we all agree that video is a wonderful solution, it isn’t something that’s always available, and some people genuinely prefer using the phone. There is something special about simply hearing someone else’s voice, taking us back to a simpler, more trusting time. Don’t be afraid to pick up your phone when closing sales. Here are some simple guidelines to follow when connecting with others and closing with clients over the phone:
Remain Positive and Empathetic
As strange as this sounds, maintaining positive and powerful body language while speaking on the phone will help your energy stay exactly where it needs to be. Despite not being able to see you, prospects can usually hear the difference in your voice when you’re sitting down, standing up, and are even able to tell if you’re smiling. It’s hard to not have a positive attitude when you have a smile on your face. If you were speaking in-person you’d have a smile on your face, so why not now?
Another important practice to get really good at is to tap into an emotional connection with your caller. Imagine yourself in their shoes: they’re looking for a new home that they have only seen essentially online. What questions would you personally have about the property? What would you want to hear to help calm your nerves? Chances are if it’s something you would want to hear, they would as well.
Active listening is key to building rapport with your prospective residents. Focus on what they are trying to tell you; take notes of their needs, their concerns, and any questions that come up. Address them by name and repeat back what they say as it will show them you understand and let them know you care. Gentle acknowledgments while they’re speaking, such as a verbal “nod”, will let them know you’re engaged in the conversation. The more you listen, the more you’ll be able to find the solutions they’re looking for, putting any concerns aside, increasing the likelihood of signing a contract with them.
You know that what you’re offering has value, so make sure, to be honest, and direct in sharing that fact. Why is your community the best community for them? What excites you about your community? What can you offer over and above anyone else? Creating focus to move in the right direction will help you create the ending you are looking for. Do not be afraid to go for it.
Create A Sense of Urgency
The current leasing market is competitive. Many people are looking to make a move from the home they were recently quarantined in for the last year. Let them know that. Have other prospects reached out about this unit? Let them know. FOMO is real, and it has proven to be a successful sales tactic time and time again. Let them know that the offer you’re providing has a deadline; you can only hold this opportunity for so long. People don’t like to miss out on a good deal.
Closing Over Video
Virtual Tours have become LIFE when it comes to the new age of leasing. I mean, it’s the next best thing from being in person, right? The truth is, being in front of a camera can actually be a bit more nerve-wracking than you would like to admit. Just remember, the person on the other side of the screen is likely feeling just as awkward as you are. Know that there are simple ways for turning a live video tour into a successful close.
Increase Your Energy
Be excited and exaggerate your body language; you are, after all, face-to-face with someone! Utilizing your energy will help your clients connect with you more. It’s a bit more difficult to turn up your energy virtually than it is in person, so do what you can to make your presence known.
Remember to Go About Business as Usual
Virtual interaction can be a bit awkward sometimes but just remember: not much of your sales pitch has changed. Continue utilizing the strategies that were successful in person, as itwill bring a sense of normalcy and comfort to your prospects. It will also show that you have the confidence and knowledge they are looking for in the person who can help them choose their next home.
Guide the Tour
Do you know what the best part of providing a virtual tour is over an in-person one? You have complete control over how the prospect views a unit. Know they are looking for something in particular? Highlight the items that are the most appealing to them. Spend time helping them visualize how it would feel to come home to their beautiful new home. Envision exactly how you want this to go and utilize the tools to execute it flawlessly.
Ask for the Sale
Time is of the essence in a world that is ever-changing, and there is no better time than now. Feel like you nailed it? Then go for it! You have their full attention, you have their facial responses, what can hurt in asking if they’re ready to sign the lease? This is also the time to address any questions about the leasing process, and show what your team has done to make this a simple and safe environment.
The last and most important step to remember when selling from behind the screen is follow-up. Sometimes a prospect simply isn’t ready to sign immediately, and it’s ok. We all know it was no different when we were doing this in person. Not everyone likes to make snap decisions, and every situation is unique. Creating a deadline and setting up your follow-up, whether through email or a phone call, is imperative to landing the sale in the long run.
Hire Priority takes pride in providing valuable information to not only our leasing staff prospects but also to communities throughout Texas. Together we can help you to navigate the struggles in order to build a better tomorrow. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
Finding and sustaining a good maintenance team is one of the greatest challenges in the multifamily industry today. Between the increased need for this service among home developments and the decreased desire among younger generations to pursue this trade, finding dependable long-term maintenance staff can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help you navigate the journey of finding your ideal apartment maintenance team.
1. Determine Exactly What You Are Looking For
This element of the hiring process is one of the most important steps in hiring the right maintenance team. Taking the time to sit down and evaluate exactly how much assistance you need, along with getting a clear picture of what primary tasks they will be covering is key. What are the biggest issues you face with your building(s)? Is there any knowledge you would prefer your candidates already possess, or will a desire to learn be sufficient? Go through the history of issues you have encountered in the past; was there anything you wish your maintenance staff had known that would have made things go more smoothly? From asking yourself questions like these, you’ll be able to determine the knowledge and availability your ideal candidate would possess, and you’ll be better able to determine what salary you are willing to pay for this position.
2. Write a Descriptive Job Post
When posting a new job, do not be afraid to include exactly what you’re looking for. Be specific about which skills are mandatory, and which skills are simply preferred. Even if you are willing to offer some on-the-job training, making sure to honestly state your expectations will help you fine tune a better caliber of candidates who are willing and able to put in the hard work.
3. Pre-Screen Before An In-Person Interview
During the hiring process, thoroughly reviewing each of your applications should always be the first step. Create your short list based on the cover letters and resumes received, and from there you will proceed with your phone interviews. Conducting phone interviews is an excellent way to identify any obvious red flags, and get a good feel for whether the candidate would be a good fit for your team. It will also help by greatly reducing the time needed for conducting in-person interviews. The candidates you pre-screen should be the ones that hold your peak interest only. Here are some sample questions to help you in narrowing down your candidate list:
What hours are you available each day? Are there any days or times during the week you know you cannot work?
What experience do you have working in multifamily maintenance?
Which tasks do you tend to enjoy the most?
Do you have any experience in keeping track of maintenance records? How did you go about this?
What are your salary expectations?
Do you know anything about our community or company?
At this point, you will have narrowed your choices down to a much more refined list of potential maintenance candidates. Be sure to make notes of everything that happens during this phase in the hiring process: Was the candidate late? How did they present themselves? Do they have clear and concise communication skills? Are they friendly? Are they fidgety? Meeting them in person will give you some quick insights on how they might interact with residents. Here are some sample questions for the in-person interview portion of the hiring process:
Describe a previous issue you encountered while performing work in an apartment maintenance or similar position. How did you resolve it?
You realize a mistake was made early on in a project you’re working on, and it will put you behind your deadline. What do you do?
How do you typically deal with conflict? Do you have an example of this?
What is the most important quality a supervisor should possess?
How would you rate your customer service skills?
5.Send the Job Offer and Begin Probationary Period
Congratulations! You have finally found the ideal candidate to join your team. When sending your job offer, make sure to include a full job description, a salary outline, and a full narrative of company values and standards. You will always want to make sure you are clear about employment including a probationary period, because sometimes it just doesn’t end up working out (we’ve all been there). Remember to be specific regarding the time frame and expectations during the probationary period so there’s no confusion going forward. While we understand that finding the right maintenance fit for your community can be tricky, know that it’s not impossible. Being prepared with the right process and questions, and by following the proper steps, you can ensure you are creating a maintenance team that is both efficient and dependable. At Hire Priority, we specialize in multifamily staffing services. We can help by providing you with insight regarding your processes, and assist you in accessing pre-screened maintenance professionals in the Central Texas area. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can assist with all of your hiring needs.
As we approach the first anniversary of Texas’s first lockdown order, we cannot help but reflect on the long-term changes that are a direct result from experiencing our first (and hopefully last) global pandemic. A majority of industries have had no choice but to adapt to survive, and the multifamily industry is no different. Even though the move toward digital processes and services had already begun, the incorporation of physical distancing only increased the need to implement these practices on a larger scale. While we were all forced to quickly accept these changes, industry leaders are suggesting they may not change once the pandemic has come to an end.
The Normalization of Digital Processes
Over the last year, multifamily leasing professionals have been forced to come up with creative solutions to continue sales and ongoing marketing efforts while continuing to follow safe social distancing practices. This task isn’t so simple when we’re speaking of not just individuals’ homes, but their communities as well. Digital-first products can be a great means for success, including systems such as: virtual tours, on-demand delivery and concierge services, virtual communities, online contract and payment portals, and contactless access options. While these are some of the more popular options, many more are available depending on your specific needs. It has also been found that as individuals begin adopting and accepting these digital approaches, the result will be a higher sense of customer loyalty while simultaneously streamlining the communities ability to meet the needs of their residents.
Benefits of Virtual Leasing
Studies suggest that over 50% of new leases signed in 2020 were done completely virtually, giving companies the ability to understand more clearly some of the benefits to digital processes. These processes not only impact long-term tenant relations, but they improve leasing operations as well.
Quicker Rental Processes
A number of programs have become standardized throughout the industry, eliminating the time-consuming process of emailing, printing, signing, scanning, emailing back, etc. Having the ability to create, send, receive, and save documents will help to save your precious time, allowing you to focus on more pressing tasks.
Between 3D Virtual Tours and interactive site maps, prospects are learning more quickly if an apartment community is the right fit for them. Combine that with auto-generated email marketing software, and you have the ability to instantly send your available rentals out to potential residents with ease. This has not only proven to be successful on the leasing side, but surveys suggest that tenants prefer these methods over previous marketing and in-person methods.
Online services, such as automated assistance, have helped leasing professionals streamline their internal processes as well. From having the ability to automatically schedule showings, answer common inquiries, prequalify applicants, and collect and organize information, automating your leasing processes ensures you don’t miss a beat.
Reflecting Professional Appearances
In the multifamily industry, first impressions are everything. You are not just selling an apartment home after all, but a community. Online processes and experiences provide your residents with safe interactions, professional communications, and easy-to-use portals for not only their leasing process, but their living experience as a whole.
Good for the Environment
The pandemic demonstrated to us how even the smallest changes can have big environmental impacts. “Going green” with your leasing and continued management processes will not only shine a positive light on your brand, showing a “we care” attitude, but can also save you a lot of money in the long run. The reduction of paper, stamps, ink, and envelopes may seem like a small cut in comparison but businesses who have made the switch have found that it greatly reduces their long-term operation costs overall.
The “New Normal” doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Leasing professionals across the country have adapted, proving that not all changes resulting from 2020 are bad. Utilizing and incorporating digital processes in your day-to-day can help save time, increase revenue, and create a more cohesive relationship between your residents and staff alike, leading the way to the better future we are all looking towards. Hire Priority is here to help you on this journey. As one of Texas’s leading multifamily staffing agencies, we pride ourselves in keeping up with current multifamily trends, allowing us to effectively match the right candidates with the right positions. Please visit our website to learn how we can assist you along the next stage of your journey.
The “holiday of love” is right around the corner and it’s a great time to let your leasing staff know you appreciate all the hard work they put into your Multifamily Housing property and its residents.
Most times Valentine’s Day can be pushed aside in the professional world, however it is the first universal opportunity in 2021 that you can set a tone of gratitude in the leasing office that can last the remainder of the year. Not to mention you can raise the spirits of some of your staff members that might not have anyone to share this dividing holiday with which will raise the morale in the office as the weekend approaches.
Below are 5 great ways to show your leasing staff they are loved this coming Valentine’s Day!
1. Free Pass
Everyone loves a day off! Give your leasing staff Valentine’s day cards with a free pass written on them which will allow them to take one paid day off outside of their normal paid time off. You can even dub it a “love yourself” day and encourage them to use the unexpected time off to treat themselves and show self love. Not only will this be a sweet surprise, it may also promote productivity by allowing the staff members to get some much needed personal time.
Of course stipulations that apply to normal PTO procedures should apply to this extra “free pass”.
2. A Fun Workplace Theme Day
Have a fun workday theme and contest, such as “Colorful Sock Day” where no one wears shoes that day at work. This works best when the property manager wears outrageous socks and prominently walks around displaying Mickey Mouse toes.
Winner of the “Colorful Sock Day” gets awarded with, of course, socks. Residents, by the way, will think this is hilarious.
3. An Appreciation Wall
Install a white board in a common area called the Gratitude Board or the Wall of Thanks. Encourage employees to write short “love” notes to thank each other on the board. Take a picture of the board on Friday and print the picture, then give the copies to the leasing staff in cute picture frames they can keep on their desks. The maintenance staff can also be included in this!
4. Valentine’s Day Raffle
Give everyone in the workspace 10 raffle-style tickets. Ask people to write people’s names leading up to Valentine’s Day to vote for the person who has done kind things in the previous year. Declare that person the “Sweetest” on Valentine’s Day. Award with a giant heart shaped box of candy that the whole group shares. This could become a yearly tradition that motivates kindness throughout the year!
5. Hand-Written Notes
Say thank you. Sincerely, honestly, and for a specific action or behavior. Better, say thank you with a handwritten card. Even better, enclose a $5 or $10 gift card. A handwritten “Valentine” from the property manager to their leasing staff members can go a long way in making them feel appreciated.
No matter what you do, we hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day this year!
With the start of a new year many people are seeking a “reset” button on the intense issues the previous year held. While 2020 was chock full of intense issues, politics were of exceptional concern.
The attack on the Capital in early January proved that politic-related emotions are at an all time breaking point. Where once a heated argument over political parties sufficed, now citizens are taking a more physical approach to make clear where they stand on the party lines.
One of the major concerns of a property manager is keeping their residents living in harmony within their multifamily housing community. Keeping the resident’s political views at a respectful level is more important now than ever to avoid conflict on property grounds.
Below are some ideas to keep politics out of your multifamily community.
1. Keep Political Messages off the Community Boards and Public Spaces
Make it a policy that any flyers, stickers, or posters in political nature are not allowed on the community message board or in the shared spaces such as the laundry room or club house.
2. No Posting Anything Political on The Property’s Social Media
Be sure your staff knows that nothing in political nature should be posted on the property’s Facebook, Instagram, or other social platforms pages. This includes any images of the property that may contain a resident’s political sign which may be on display in a window or balcony.
3. Designate a Political Sign Area on the Property
While you can’t control what your resident’s display in their own private spaces, you can try to encourage them to instead post any political signs in a designated area on the property. Do this by sending a message to the residents that since political emotions are at an all time high, out of respect for your neighbors there is now an area on the property where you can all show your support for your political causes instead of displaying them in your windows or outside spaces.
Having them all in one neutral place takes away the identity of the people that want to share their political leanings. Be sure to not put the designated area in a high traffic place such as the dog park or near the front office.
4. No Political Discussions Between Employees Where Residents Can Hear
Ask your office staff to be sure to take political discussions to private spaces and not have conversations that are controversial in front of any residents, or potential residents.
Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of America and asking residents and staff to keep their political opinions to themselves can be tricky. Be sure to deliver any of these initiatives with a high degree of respect and sensitivity. Always present them as “options” even if they are really rules in nature.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic has dampered most of our holiday plans during a time that everyone could use some extra love and appreciation. As an employer, you may be wondering what you can do that is pandemic-safe and shows your employees you care about them in lieu of the annual holiday party.
Below you will find 5 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation during the 2020 holiday season!
1. ZOOM Holiday Party
Just because we can’t gather at a public space doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the embarrassing egg-nog fueled holiday party antics. You can through a ZOOM holiday party. Send your employees UberEats gift cards and a bottle of wine so you can all gather for a good meal and a cup of cheer online. Plan fun party games such as Zoom charades to keep the mood festive. Keep the online-party around 1 hour so everyone can plan accordingly and not feel awkward about signing off to enjoy the rest of their night.
2. Online Concert
ZOOM can also be used to put on an online concert for your employees. You can hire a musician to perform and take requests from your staff as you all tune into a personalized performance on the ZOOM app and watch together.
3. Send them a Turkey
Don’t forget about the classic way to show your employees love during the holidays which is sending them a Turkey or a Ham for their holiday dinner. Especially during the pandemic, this gesture goes a long way for making their family dinner special. Coordinating a bulk turkey buy can be a little chaotic though so there are other ways to get dinner on the table. Try giving a Butterball Gift Card or a local meat delivery service may partner with you.
4. Amazon Secret Santa
Get all your employees involved with an Amazon Secret Santa. Give your employees $25 gift cards to Amazon and then assign them all a fellow employee to shop for. Supply the home address to the employees and let them shop for each other. This provides a nice comradery between staff members without requiring them to spend their own money during the holiday season.
5. Extra Bonus from Holiday Party Savings
When all else fails you can count on cold hard cash to make your holiday bright. If you normally budget for a big holiday party you can redistribute that money to your employees in the form of a holiday bonus.
No matter what you do, don’t forget to show your appreciation this holiday season. We could all use some extra love at the end of 2020!
We all deserve a big pat on the back because we have almost made it through one of history’s most tumultuous years!
However, many businesses sadly did not make it and the ones that did have been forever changed. So if you find yourself struggling to keep morale boosted in your work environment, you are not alone!
Luckily, the Apartment Industry has not only survived but THRIVED! Now it is more important than ever to make sure your property’s work and resident culture stay optimistic and nurtured as we move into the future.
Here are 5 ways to keep your Apartment Property’s work and resident culture positive as we close out 2020.
1. Talk about The Future
Much of this year was spent in survival mode as we made big changes to our communities because of the need for social distance. While things are far from being back to normal, many of us have adjusted to new procedures to stop the spread of COVID-19. What we are all suffering from now is the fatigue of these new practices and can all benefit from a little distraction. With the new year only two short months away, it is the perfect time to start focusing on what is ahead.
This can include new incentive programs for your leasing agents and maintenance crew or training programs that will be offered along with any team events you may have planned.
For your residents, you can talk about any virtual programs for building community you will implement in 2021. It’s best to consider social distancing as a part of your normal way of getting your residents together because 2021 may be similar to the current year in terms of safety precautions.
2. Address Problem Areas
In preparation for a successful new year it is important to deal with any problem areas that your property may be struggling with currently. These problem areas could be a result of COVID-19 or they could be normal, every day issues your apartment community is facing. Nip these things in the bud now so you can have your staff and residents start the new year off from an empowered and positive place.
3. Allow For Grace
No matter what your goals and struggles are with your residents and your team, the biggest thing to keep in mind is everyone has had a really hard year. One of the simplest things you can do to keep your work and resident culture positive is to give them all grace when they are feeling stressed and helpless. This can include being more lenient on common infractions such as being late to work or being late with a rent payment for the remainder of this year.
4. Keep Your Residents in the Know With Zoom Gatherings
Social distancing has completely dismantled most apartment community events and because of this many renters feel disconnected from their property’s attempts to forge a sense of community among their residents. Regular Zoom meetings for residents to give them updates and a place to ask questions are very beneficial for a property’s culture. You can encourage attendance by offering prize giveaways which winners can be picked at random from the Zoom attendees.
5. Pay Special Attention to Social Media and Trends
Lastly, be sure to keep your property’s social media accounts active with resident information and property initiatives. An active social media account will be very helpful to your leasing agents as they are selling virtually to potential renters. Making their job easier and more effective will help to increase a general feeling of job satisfaction and keep the property’s culture positive.
It’s times like these that can make or break a property’s living and work culture. You can either start 2021 with positivity and optimism or you can start the new year with bitterness and fatigue, it’s up to you!
5 reasons You Shouldn’t be “Spooked” to Hire A Leasing Agent from Outside the Apartment Industry
We now find ourselves in October of one of the most monumental years in our time and it’s safe to say that standards across the apartment industry have changed. Our industry has not escaped the upheaval the pandemic has caused, especially when it comes to hiring.
The apartment industry has not slowed down since the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and because of this there is a high demand for leasing agents, especially ones that can sell over the phone or video chat.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent candidates in the hiring pool, although they may not come from a traditional leasing background. Below we go into detail of why you shouldn’t be “spooked” this October from hiring a leasing agent that comes from another professional industry.
1. Look for a Background in Phone Sales
Many sales for apartment homes are being conducted via phone calls and video chat with virtual walkthroughs. Because of this, a candidate that is used to selling a high-priced item over the phone would be an ideal addition to a leasing team. Look for candidates that come from a background of equipment sales, or even car sales, that were conducted via phone call follow ups. Basically any sales experience where the majority of the sale process was conducted virtually would be acceptable.
2. Seek out Experience with Video Chat for Meetings or Sales Calls
While high-priced sales experience is great, don’t ignore candidates that may have extensive experience of conducting meetings with fellow employees or clients via video chat and conference calls. Closing the sale in a virtual experience is more about establishing credibility and connection with the prospective tenant, which is a skill that is learned from extensive time communicating with people in a virtual manner.
3. Customer Service Job History can be Ideal
The customer service industry is a tough one to work in. You have to be extremely flexible with handling people at their worst times, while usually doing so over the phone or virtual chat. Being a successful customer service agent means you can keep cool under pressure, have the stamina to work long hours in a repetitive environment, and be able to troubleshoot during the customer interactions. All of these skills would equate to a great leasing agent that is selling apartment homes over the phone.
4. Check out the TimeShare Industry
An industry that is often ignored when looking for candidates to sell high-priced items over the phone or video chat is the timeshare industry. This is a huge industry that has taken a massive hit because of the reduction of tourism. Many successful timeshare agents that are used to closing big deals on high-priced vacation rentals are finding themselves on the hunt for their next opportunity. These candidates not only have experience selling rentals via virtual walkthroughs, but they also have extensive experience selling clients over the phone.
5. Consider the Non-Profit Employee
Lastly we want to mention the non-profit employee. This may not be a sector you would usually consider when you are thinking of sales, however a big part of working in the nonprofit industry is raising money for their company. Many employees spend the majority of their time on the phone with prospective donors, trying to secure funds for their cause. Being comfortable with asking for money from people over the phone is an important key in virtual sales and a component that many people are not comfortable with.
We hope you find success with seeking leasing agents from outside of the apartment industry, there certainly are many different sectors that you can look to for your ideal candidate. As we close out this strange year we can be sure that some things, such as virtual selling, aren’t going to disappear once we have a vaccine. Be prepared for the new normal!
In the 5 months since COVID disrupted our lives, virtual learning has gone from something we were frantically trying to pull together to the new normal in our children’s education. However no matter how used to the situation parents and students are now, it does nothing to alleviate the stress and frustration virtual learning causes in the home. After all, most of us were not trained as teachers and didn’t plan on taking on a second profession. Not to mention jobs in areas such as Multifamily Housing that can’t afford for their employees to work from home.
Fortunately, there are some ways to make homeschooling a bit easier. Below we discuss 3 ways working parents are tackling virtual learning.
1. Schedule Your Work Calls during Their Most Engaged Time
Assuming you are working from home, you will have to take Zoom and phone calls that require your full attention for your job. Inevitably during this important time your child, or children, will need something from you and this simple scenario could reap a big amount of stress. One way to help avoid this common situation is to schedule your calls during their most engaging school time. Perhaps this is when they are doing an art project if they are younger, or when they are in a live-streamed virtual classroom if they are older. It may not be clear initially when they will be most engaged, however after a month of instruction you will begin to see patterns of when the best time to schedule your work calls are. While you are going through this learning phase, let your supervisor or clients know what is going on so they can support you with flexibility during this impermanent time.
2. Plan on Doing Weekend Work Time
This tip isnt going to be the most popular one with working parents, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Saturday and Sunday may become the only two days a week where you can schedule some undivided attention for your job because your child will not have to ask you for help with their classwork. You would be surprised what 1 or 2 hours of uninterrupted time can accomplish for you in terms of work done. This means that you may be able to knock out a lot of activities on the weekends so you can destress your Monday-Friday daily routine.
3. Engage Your Community with a “Learning Pod”
We decided to end on a high note, especially after tip #2. The “Learning Pod” may be the absolute best life hack for virtual learning, especially if you work in a field that does not enable you to work from home such as the Multifamily Housing Industry.
The learning pod concept can be molded to fit almost any age group of kids ranging from two to eighteen years old.
Essentially you connect with 2-5 of your children’s virtual classmates that live in your area and create a “pod”. You would coordinate with the parents of those students to host the pod on certain days of the week. For example, if you are able to link up 5 students together you would only have to host your child’s pod 1 day a week and they would be out of the house the other days of the week at the other parent’s homes. You would drive them to the home and pick them up just like if they were attending school in-person.
In addition to freeing the parents to work, these groups will help hold each other accountable for classwork given by the school, handing in homework assignments, and completing assessments, as well as possible additional help as needed (including enrichment through a book club, science experiments, executive functioning games, chess, etc.).
The group may hire an educator (ranging anywhere from roughly $10 – $50 per hour, per child) or work independently if the students are older.
Of course, any group meeting in person should exercise diligence and caution to limit exposure to infection, including at least daily temperature checks, 6-foot distancing wherever possible, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing.
While all of these tips are helpful in navigating the new educational system we are all facing there is one tip that reigns supreme, which is self-forgiveness and understanding. No one is expecting virtual learning to be held to the same standard as in-person class. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed and stressed, or you see your child getting overwhelmed and stressed, make sure to stop and take a moment to forgive yourself for falling short and to congratulate yourself and your child for navigating a historic time in the world. Just by showing up for virtual learning and working from home you are already achieving something not many humans have had to accomplish.
“Work-Life Balance” was one of the most searched for terms on Google last year and it’s easy to understand why. With the rise of technology invading our homes and personal time, it is becoming harder than ever to draw a line in the sand between work time and non-work time.
This is coupled with long work hours, extreme multitasking, and the pressure to work as hard as possible to maintain career trajectory. So how do you make sure your life doesn’t become your work? We have a few strategies that you can implement below!
Block Your Time
According to the bestselling book The One Thing by real estate celebrity Gary Keller, time blocking can be the way to propel yourself to career success. The method is simple: identify what the most important activity you do that directly relates to your job’s success rate and block off time to devote to just that. If you are in the multifamily industry your most important activity may be marketing your property. If you are a staffing professional your most important activity may be finding qualified candidates.
The sweet spot seems to be 25 minute time blocks with 10 minute breaks in between. The main focus of time blocking is to not get distracted by ANYTHING. No answering the phone, no checking email, no answering your co-worker. Find a spot where you can hunker down and let your colleagues know what you are doing. As you complete your time blocks you will know how many blocks a day to dedicate to your activity in order to get results. The point is to get more results in less time by implementing extreme focus.
Put Your Phone to Bed
Most of us are guilty of coming home from a long day at work only to sit on the comfy couch and stare at our phones. This activity has a numbing effect on us and serves to help us leave the stress of the day behind and lose ourselves in the world of the internet.
The problem with this activity is the disconnection it causes between us and the ones we love. Our children and spouses get robbed of their time with us because our faces are in our phone. Even if you live alone, your mind is distracted from fulfilling activities such as reading, working on a hobby, or spending time with friends (in real life).
A way to avoid the phone trap is to literally put it to bed at a certain time. If you have children and get home 3 hours before their bedtime, putting your phone to bed when you walk in the door is best. A drawer or an out-of-sight charging station is a great “bed” for a phone. If your job requires you to be on alert after works hours, you can set a timer to remind you to check your phone after an appropriate amount of time, such as every hour.
Meditation is really an extraordinary practice. The key element to remember here is the word “practice” because it has to be done regularly and over time for it to have an effect on your brain.
The effect it will eventually have is to enable you to step back from stress and emotions and have the superpower to make decisions and take action from a place of neutral observation.
Start with sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for 3 minutes a day. Aim to work up to 10 minutes a day of sitting in purposeful silence with the goal of gently turning away from any thoughts or emotions that comes into your mind as you meditate.
In addition, during your day as your transition from task to task, try to have a moment where you come back briefly to that place of observation and refocus on what you are about to do. This mindfulness will not only increase your effectiveness, but it will also serve you when work time is done and you transition into personal time.
Achieving work-life balance is at the top of most working people’s list of priorities and with the above steps you can begin to achieve better relationships at work, home, and with yourself.
Social networking is a fantastic way to accomplish your professional goals and no other social network delivers opportunities like LinkedIn.
We know the idea of paying attention to one more social network may seem exhausting, but we assure you that by implementing these top tips for using LinkedIn you will see quick and compounding results.
Get a Professional Headshot
When it comes to an online presence you can’t get around the fact that your image is going to be the first thing people look at when considering you for an opportunity. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars with a professional photographer (although it is a great investment) if you don’t want to. It can be as simple as getting in front of a white or black background, being professionally dressed, have adequate lighting, and use your smartphone to snap a shot. The biggest thing you want to avoid is having an unprofessional photo attached to your LinkedIn profile.
Put Keywords in Your Tagline, aka Headline
LinkedIn automatically defaults this area of your profile for your job title. However, it is best to put keywords for your industry so you can stay on the radar of recruiters, related businesses, and candidates. In the multifamily housing industry you would use key words such as:
Apartment Industry Recruiter | Multifamily Staffing Professional | Hiring Specialist
Not only do these keywords explain the job title of someone that works in the multifamily industry, but they also get picked up in LinkedIn’s algorithms when a user searches for them.
Join Groups on LinkedIn
LinkedIn groups are like mini-networking happy hours online. They get incredibly specialized and can be a gathering place where you can meet industry professionals, bounce around ideas, and ask for advice. In addition to the immediate value LinkedIn groups can provide, they will also be there for you when you decide to look for your next professional opportunity. LinkedIn groups are not for selling products or services, they are for networking and should be treated with respect for the other members.
Update Your Connections
From the Clark Blog (https://clark.com/employment-military/linkedin-profile-tips-get-job/):
On a monthly basis, update your contacts that you include in your list of LinkedIn connections. LinkedIn gives you a powerful tool to expand your network. Go to My Network, click on Connections and click on the star wheel to the right to access the ability to add your Gmail contacts or import contact files to invite to your network.
Additionally, under My Network, you can choose “Add Contacts” and LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to add individuals one-by-one or choose your email provider to sync your contacts with your profile connections.
Upload Video To Your Profile
Here are some ideas:
Record a short video giving an overview of the content you’re sharing
Review a book or other piece of content and share your review.
Share videos of client testimonials.
Do an overview of a product or platform and share a few tips or tricks.
Create a teaser or trailer to a longer video or episode of a series.
Video is an amazing way to get your profile at the top of search results within LinkedIn.
There you go, a few quick tips to make LinkedIn work for you which leads to happy networking in 2019!
Being understaffed is one of the most difficult issues employers are facing today. As we covered in our recent article, “Why is Hiring Hard Right Now,” industries across the United States are struggling to find suitable hires. The multifamily industry is no different, especially when it comes to maintenance teams.
When you’re understaffed, your team members are scrambling around to make sure that all of the tasks are being taken care of. Oftentimes, this includes completing tasks that may not be in your employees’ job descriptions. Not only does this take their focus away from what they were hired to do, but it can also result in quick burnout. This ultimately causes dips in their performance and poor productivity.
Some common warning signs are stress, missed deadlines, and a decline in quality of work. If you’re seeing some of these behaviors from your staff, then it’s likely that your team is in need of some serious changes.
Solutions to Increase Maintenance Productivity While Short-Staffed
We understand that it’s hard to predict when your team may be short staffed. The pandemic is a perfect example of how life can blindside you in the most unexpected ways. But, it does happen. Though we are in unique times, being understaffed has always been an issue, especially for maintenance teams. From vacations to sicknesses to the unexpected letter of resignation and difficulty finding a replacement, most businesses have felt the sting of being understaffed. Here are some solutions for increasing productivity during these challenging times:
Revise Your Priorities
When you’re short-staffed, not everything is going to get done. Sitting down and evaluating the tasks at hand can help you distinguish which tasks need to be done versus which ones can be done later. This works especially well when you review your tasks regularly. It will help give your team a clearer picture of where your priorities lie, allowing you to adjust your expectations as necessary.
Communication and Team Development
Communication should be a top priority when your team is picking up the slack. Make sure everyone understands how appreciated they are, and encourage open communication. Talk it out when there’s an issue, and allow your team members to give some input. Working together is one of the most effective ways to keep morale and productivity up, especially when it’s positive and encouraging.
When your team is understaffed and employees are trying to keep up, they tend to forget to take care of themselves. Encouraging everyone to take their breaks throughout the day can help avoid the imminent burn out of an overworked team. Everyone needs a mental break and a moment to refresh from time to time, especially in high-stress moments.
Implementing these practices can assist you in making sure your employees are happier and more productive. At this point though, you may be asking yourself how you can best track productivity, especially for your maintenance team? Let’s explore some ideas.
Tracking Maintenance Productivity
Creating and implementing tools to help you track your maintenance productivity may be just what your team has been needing. Developing systematic ways to track your long-term maintenance productivity will help you to stay on track for reaching your business goals. Starting by documenting maintenance actions will help generate the information needed to determine your key performance indicators. This will allow you to reflect on which areas need the most improvement and lead you towards your long-term goals.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) help by measuring your team’s performance against key objectives. Some of the KPIs that should be implemented when it comes to multifamily maintenance are:
Planned Maintenance Percentage or PMP
A current PMP is essential for tracking the time spent by maintenance staff on anticipated services versus unforeseen issues. The best way to determine this is by measuring the total maintenance hours, then learning which hours were actually spent on scheduled maintenance items.
Creating a KPI for response time will help you set your own expectations, as well as setting goals for the team. When you notice a downward trend it is a clear indicator of declining productivity, allowing you to quickly address the issue. In a similar matrix you can track how long a repair takes, offering helpful data for creating your PMPs.
While it’s not bad to have a maintenance backlog, monitoring how long it takes to complete the tasks given is important. How long it takes your maintenance team members to get through their “to do” list can help determine the productivity of your team. If it normally takes 2 weeks to complete everything but you’re noticing a 4 week trend, you can once again address and correct the issue quickly.
Being Understaffed Is Temporary
Though periods of being understaffed are tough, the good news is they are temporary. You can use these periods to truly bring your team together. It is also a great time to see where the struggles in your processes are so you can address them. Practicing tracking and implementing productivity practices will give you the strength to weather any storm. I mean… we made it through the pandemic, didn’t we?
Feeling the pains of being understaffed? Hire Priority might be the solution you’ve been looking for. With our pre-screening processes and training, we can help your company find it’s next long-term hire
Living through a pandemic left us with a lot of unknowns for the future. And though none of us really thought things would get back to “normal,” we have all anticipated the day that we could begin moving forward again. As vaccines roll out and mask mandates cease, it’s easy to speculate how things will look going forward, especially within the labor force.
In April 2020, just one month after the initial lockdown order was issued, Texas unemployment rates reached an all time high of 12.9%. Fortunately, as of May 2021, the unemployment rate was reported at 6.5%. It’s safe to say that things are improving, with rates dropping by nearly half in just over a year’s time. Sadly, even with the decreasing unemployment rate, companies are still struggling to find suitable candidates to hire.
We covered a number of reasons for these struggles in our article: “Why is Hiring Hard Right Now?”. One of the biggest hurdles employers are facing is the role that government assistance programs have played. With the federal order increasing unemployment benefits by $300 a week, people have procrastinated their return to work. This has also allowed people the time to reevaluate what is important to them. This will take place even more as companies continue to return to the office.
As many have embraced the remote environments they’ve gotten used to, we’ve also seen a major increase in resignations. This has given employers the opportunity to look at their current structure while creating new ideas to help redevelop their teams. Although federal benefits are not set to expire until September 2021, Texas has opted out of all related programs effective June 26, 2021. The purpose of this decision is to help encourage employees to return to the workforce.
The Push to Have Employees to Return
The labor shortage has been an ongoing issue during Texas’s phased reopenings. Fortunately, economists do believe this is temporary. As more vaccines roll out and the government aid expires, an increase in the workforce is predicted. Governor Abbot’s decision to terminate these benefits early for Texas has many businesses looking forward to the prospect of rebuilding their teams in the coming months.
Studies are showing that the number of unemployed is currently almost identical to the number of job openings. It should also be known that many employers are now offering higher salaries to increase their appeal to potential employees. Currently, it has been reported that nearly 45% of job openings pay over $15.50 an hour. Additionally, only 2% are being listed at minimum wage. Though the higher pay may be pushing up inflation and causing a slowdown in America’s recovery, this too is predicted to balance out over time.
A Post-Pandemic Labor Force
It has been a long road to get where we are now, and we still have a ways to go to see where the economy will be. Employers across the state look forward to the anticipated labor force increase that should come with the expiration of the benefits. Unfortunately, it is still too early to fully predict what the labor force will truly look like post-pandemic. The good news is that Texas is making the first move in regards to achieving normalcy. Though there are push backs from those who may not be ready, many believe it is time to encourage people to return to work.
Hire Priority understands the struggles that this pandemic has brought, and we are here to help as we transition to better days. With our top screening and training programs, we can help your company find the right fit for your new normal. Contact us today to see how we can help!
Last year, to lessen the impact of COVID-19, landlords across the country were required to cease any and all eviction proceedings. The order, backed by the CDC’s recommendations, went into effect on September 4, 2020. The order is set to expire on July 31, 2021. Though most Texas cities adopted the CDC guidelines, not all areas have been in full agreement.
Moratorium Order Endings
Houston is one of the few cities that never put a local moratorium order into place. Even through the thick of the pandemic, they have continued allowing evictions to take place. Despite the Texas Supreme Court issuing its own statewide moratorium, over 30,000 eviction cases have been filed since March 2020. The statewide order was able to slow some proceedings down, but this ended on May 18, 2020. In addition to the conclusion of the statewide order, the Texas Supreme court ceased enforcement of national moratorium as well. Since then, Houston’s eviction numbers have steadily increased with little to no federal involvement.
Austin, on the other hand, passed their own Eviction Moratorium order as part of their March 2020 emergency ordinance. Despite CDC guidelines, the previous extension was set to expire on May 1, 2021. A day prior to it’s expiration, however, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown, announced an extension through August 1, 2021.
The main reason for this decision was to encourage tenants to seek out rental assistance if needed before lifting the order entirely. Predictions of an overwhelming number of eviction filings once the order expires are a great cause for concern. Last summer alone it was predicted that 30 to 40 million Americans were at risk of being evicted.
Even though the extension was designed to protect the majority of tenants, there are some exceptions. As of June 1, 2021, Travis County court portals opened once again, allowing for some Notice of Evictions to be filed. In order for landlords to file a Notice of Eviction, the tenants must meet the following qualifications:
Owe 5 months or more of outstanding rent.
Tenants and Landlords must have exhausted* all available assistance remedies.
Tenants must pay no more than $2,475.00 each month in rent.
Must not be a commercial tenant.
*The order defines “exhausted” as meaning that all applications for all available rental assistance remedies have been denied or pending for more than 45 days.
Rental Eviction Remedies
In light of the Eviction Moratorium orders, several programs have been made available to assist struggling renters, and sometimes even landlords. The city of Austin has provided over $25 million in federal funds for rental assistance alone. Qualifying renters for such assistance programs must meet these requirements:
Must have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and/or qualify for unemployment.
Must prove that you are on the verge of homelessness.
Must have made less than 80% of the median family income of $78,100 per year (for 2020).
*Immigration status does not come into play for eligibility.
City and County officials are encouraging anyone facing eviction that meets the outlined standards to contact the specific agencies for further information on how these programs can help.
Although the Eviction Moratorium has helped many families remain in their homes during the pandemic, it is important to remember that any and all owed rents will still legally be due once the eviction ban has been lifted. This extension is only valid throughout the Austin and Travis County areas but the majority of Texas, including Dallas, anticipates to follow the CDC’s timeline and open up eviction proceedings starting July 31, 2021.
Want to stay in the know? As the leading staffing agency for the Texas multifamily industry, Hire Priority prides themselves on staying up-to-date with the latest legislation, laws, and trends. Contact us now to learn how we can help you.
Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. was in an employment boom recording unemployment rates of 3.5% in February 2020. However, due to COVID-19, by April the unemployment rate was recorded at 14.7%, just three short months later. This proved to be the highest unemployment rate since the recession in 1948. Now, over a year later, employers are facing a new set of issues: finding interested candidates.
Earlier this year, job listings increased by roughly 8% but hiring only increased by 4%. Many employers are asking themselves, why? After everything that has happened over the last year, wouldn’t people be eager to get back to work? Unfortunately, the answer may not be what employers are hoping for.
People Aren’t Ready To Return
The newest struggle studies have found is that many people simply aren’t ready to return to the workforce. With unemployment being so high, it was no surprise that the government had to take action. Stimulus payments were released and benefits packages were increased. Many people found that despite the accompanying pay cuts, they could easily get by on government assistance alone. Taking this route offered many the flexibility to take their time returning to work. Additionally, a lot of people have admitted that they are unsure if they will return to the same industry.
Because of this, employers are facing unique challenges they haven’t encountered before. This creates the need to come up with new hiring solutions for finding their next great employee.
With the changes brought about by the pandemic, hiring strategies have been evolving. Here are some tips for helping you find your next hire.
Be Flexible in Your Standards
We understand that hiring is a process. You take value in the community you have created, and it’s easy to see the type of employee who would be the right fit. But, people are beginning to branch out and search for new career paths. Maybe your candidates don’t possess the experience you’re looking for, but finding employees who are willing to learn will go a long way. Investing your time in teaching an employee who is eager to learn will be respected and valued in a way that you wouldn’t see with your “ideal candidate.”
Creative Hiring Networks
In this digital era, the “usual” job searching platforms may not be enough. Don’t be afraid to search for alternative sources, as there are many out there. Consider offering referral programs for residents, post in Facebook groups, or scout LinkedIn. And, of course, utilizing services offered by employment agencies may also be a great solution for finding the right match!
When posting a job, remember to highlight your company’s benefits and unique traits. Showing that you’re a company that cares will help you stand out and encourage people to return to work.
Evaluate Your Offer Packages
The multifamily industry is seeing a lot of issues when hiring for entry-level positions. More and more, today’s youth have been straying from trade industries, taking positions that require less training instead. An entry-level maintenance position pays an average of $14.00 per hour in the greater Austin area. On the flip side, McDonald’s has increased their pay to a national average of $11.00-$13.00 per hour with potential growth opportunities to follow.
With the pressure that society has placed on earning a degree, many are choosing to work easier jobs while they focus on school. Society has also downplayed the opportunities available by working a solid trade-based business. Showing the value that your company holds for these positions can help take your team to the next level.
Hiring in today’s world is tough, but it can be accomplished. Take a hard look at your offerings, as well as any changes your company can implement. People are looking for security, so make sure to show them how working with you will give them exactly that. The good news is, experts predict that a hiring increase will return over the next year or so. Remain patient and diligent in your efforts and it will pay off in the long run.
Hire Priority can assist you in your efforts, connecting you with professionals who are looking for work. All of our potential candidates are pre-screened in order to connect them with the right fit. Contact us today to see how we can help with your hiring needs.
Lately, we have discussed a lot of the difficulties of hiring in today’s world. Creating a referral program may be exactly what your business has been missing. Referrals are one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods for finding valuable employees. Compared to skimming resumes, it will give you a much more personal inside scoop to a potential hire. This technique also offers the multifamily industry an advantage that no others have to offer: residents.
It’s easy to offer straight-up cash for your existing team members. But, establishing a more creative employment referral program just might be the key to finding your next great employee. Not only can you request referrals from your employees, but from within your community as well. Here are some of our favorite creative perks to revamp your hiring process!
Turning your referral program into a game is a great way to boost employee and community involvement. Quarterly drawings or raffles are fun and will entice residents and employees to be on the lookout. You may even attract multiple great referrals from a single source. You’ll never know the connections people can offer unless you ask.
Offering entries for each referral offered or extra tickets for those who make it to the interview process is a great form of encouragement. Your prizes can be things such as concert tickets or gift cards, and even Fitbits or tablets. This is a fun and creative way to attract interest while still having control over your budget.
While financial perks are a more “practical” option, many people would prefer the chance of an experience. It forces them to get out, interact and create memories they otherwise may not have considered. Getting creative with the experiences you offer may also entice people to offer multiple referrals. Feel free to tier what is being offered. For example:
1 Referral = 2 Movie Passes or Dining Gift Card
5 Referrals = A Massage/Spa or Gym Gear
10 Referrals = Concert Tickets
20 Referrals = Theme Park Tickets or Tickets to a Unique Experience
You may be surprised at how many people prefer this option to receiving cash. It allows them to show support for a passionate cause and make an actual difference. It can also be a way to show support to a cause that your community finds a passion for as well. And, as a bonus, charitable donations are a great tax deduction for any business.
Extra Vacation Time
We understand that this option is more specifically for your employees, but felt it was important to mention it. Employees tend to appreciate extra paid time off more than most perks an employer can offer. This is a surefire way to persuade your staff to be searching for the right fit to join the team. It will also add a perk when selling your company to their referrals.
Having fun with your employee referral programs will allow your teams and community to enjoy it as well. Though we have offered a few ideas, get creative. The options are truly endless. Create a program that’s unique to your property or company, and don’t be afraid to try new ideas. There are several ways you can structure these programs and even more ways to help attract participation. Be bold in getting the word out and make sure to expand your marketing throughout your properties for even more involvement. This could be the missing piece to finding your next great hire!
Hire Priority understands that finding qualified applicants can be a challenge. We are here to help. We can assist you in all your hiring needs, and also offer tips and suggestions to help you build lasting teams. Have you found a potential new hire? Check out out our payroll services!