Tag Archives: jobs

MY STORY: Patricia Paup

Patricia has been in the apartment industry for many years. She began working in the apartment industry as a leasing agent in the 1960’s. Originally, Patricia intended to only work in the industry until she could find another job but the environment quickly grew on her and she decided to make a career out of it. Patricia soon realized that if she worked hard and was a dedicated employee, she could make a lot of money in the apartment industry. She took her knowledge and started showing others in the office how they too could be successful.

Patricia says the high point of her career was working as a leasing agent for lease-up properties. She had a small team and they leased five brand new communities. She loved the fast paced and excitement of that position.

Patricia moved to Houston in 2004 and was searching for leasing vendors when she came across Hire Priority. She worked for a company that used Hire Priority as well as other staffing agencies. When she was out of work, she knew where to turn to help her find her next career.

She describes her experiences with Hire Priority and their staff as “Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!” and would gladly use their services again if she ever needs another job. She worked for Hire Priority from May-August and was permanently placed in a tax credit community. Patricia wanted that position because she wanted the experience of working for a tax credit property. She says her and the manager hit it off quickly and then she was offered a full time job as a Leasing Consultant/Assistant Manager.

Posted in Career Advice, Career Blog Categories, Hiring Tips | Tagged , , , , , |

5 Mistakes Candidates Make on their Resume

  1. Spelling, grammar, and formatting errors are absolutely the quickest way to turn a resume into the top piece of paper in the garbage pile. I recently saw a resume which said “I am very detail oriental”; this says two things, the person is not detail oriented and it is quite possible they cannot spell oriented. Cautiously use spell check, oriental is a word, it is spelled correctly; however, it is not the correct word for this sentence. Also, take a general look at your document, did the formatting change somewhere along the way? Mismatched font half way down the page is a red flag that you may not have taken a few extra minutes to look at your resume before sending it out. Have several people look over it and check your spelling, grammar, and formatting before sending it out to your future property manager.
  2. Make sure you highlight your accomplishments as opposed to your job duties. Most property managers are not looking very concerned about your day to day duties with your previous employer, instead, they want to know what made you successful in that position. So, when you were a leasing consultant, did you just show people your property and fill out paperwork or were you part of a team that increased occupancy from 75% to 96% within your first year? Which one of those job descriptions sounds more appealing?
  3. Use active verb age when describing your accomplishments. Everything on your resume should be written with an active verb. This way, you are not telling a prospective employer that you are a good employee, you are instead telling them what actions you took. For example, say something similar to “Researched and compiled active social media plan which we implemented resulting in greater engagement from residents and higher resident retention” instead of “social media plan for resident retention”.
  4. Leave off your personal details. Once you are hired it is acceptable to discuss the funny things that your 8 year old says, but listing that you are married with three kids does not highlight anything about you in regards to employment history or accomplishments.
  5. If you already have some work experience in the field in which you are applying for a new position, then “relevant coursework” is no longer relevant. It is just a filler and takes up valuable space on your resume that you could use to talk more about your accomplishments and work history.


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Intro To Leasing with Jackie Ramstedt!

Introduction to Leasing with Jackie!

Introduction to Leasing with Jackie!

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Five Ways to Motivate your Maintenance Supervisor

If your maintenance supervisor doesn’t seem as motivated as they used to be, then there may be several underlying factors that contribute to their lack of motivation. Understanding how to motivate your maintenance supervisor also requires that you understand why they may be demotivated.

There are many reasons why employees become disheartened or unmotivated in their jobs but for maintenance, we can pinpoint some specifics that are often the cause. Take a look at your work environment, your supplies, and whether or not your residents and staff show proper appreciation, the answer to why a maintenance supervisor is not motivated often lies within one of those categories. So what are some things that a property manager can do in order to help re-motivate their maintenance supervisors? Here are a few examples:

  1. Sometimes the smallest things mean the most. When was the last time you stopped your Maintenance Supervisor to say “Thank you”? Do they know that you appreciate all that they do for you and your residents? Make sure you acknowledge their hard work. Your Maintenance supervisor and technicians are what keeps your apartment community running smoothly and what keeps your residents happy. Don’t forget to tell them how important they are and how much their work is valued.
  2. One of the most frustrating things in any job is to not have all of the necessary tools to complete the task. Imagine trying to keep up with emails from prospects, residents, and vendors without reliable internet service. That is how frustrating it can be for a maintenance professional who is tasked to do a job without the proper equipment. Talk to you maintenance supervisor about what tools, parts, and equipment they need to get the job done. Try to help make sure you have all of those things available and if they are not, then make sure to talk to your maintenance supervisor about when they will be available.
  3. Are you understaffed? Does your maintenance supervisor feel overwhelmed with requests and not enough staff to properly take care of customers? Make sure to keep communication open about labor needs. Sometimes, it will help re-motivate your maintenance supervisor if they know that you understand their frustrations and are working toward a solution together.
  4. Is there a work place issue that is bothering your maintenance supervisor? Talk to them to find out if there are safety concerns you need to address together and reassure them that they are an important part of your apartment community and you will address any safety concerns with them.
  5. Try to help reduce the stress associated with their position. Do they get bored taking care of the same types of maintenance requests just because that is what they specialize in? Allow some flexibility and new challenges for your maintenance supervisor so that they get to expand their knowledge and have some variety in their position.

Most of these motivational factors can be helped with solid communication between the property manager and the maintenance supervisor. If it is simply not in the budget to fix the staffing or equipment problems, then make sure they know that you empathize and are not simply ignoring their needs. Bring in breakfast or lunch once in a while just to let them know you appreciate their work. And as always, keep the lines of communication open and professional.

Posted in Career Advice, Career Blog Categories, Hiring Tips, Jobs, Management Advice, News, Press Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

That dreaded interview question: “What is your greatest weakness?”

Every time I have ever interviewed for a position in the apartment industry, I have dreaded hearing those five words. Of course I am human and naturally flawed, but I am in this interview to cast myself in a positive light. That makes answering this question all the more difficult. How do you tell someone you are not the perfect leasing consultant, assistant property manager, or apartment groundskeeper while simultaneously conveying that you are “perfect” for the position?

It turns out, that this question is your selling moment! There is no better time during the interview to shine than when answering this one simple question.  Here is the trick:

Turn your perceived weakness into a positive attribute of yourself in a way that will contribute to the position you are seeking. The point of the question is not your weakness but how you overcome it.

How? Let me give you some examples of positive responses to this question.

“My biggest weakness is I do not have much experience with PowerPoint or Excel. However, I am currently taking a course to increase my skills and will be at or above an advanced level by the time I finish the course.”

“I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and not everyone is always on the same page.  I know that with more patience and allowing my team members to demonstrate professionalism, we can still be successful at an appropriate pace.”

“I tend to get too focused on one task so that I don’t always get around to the rest when I should; however, I overcome this by setting deadlines for myself to work toward.”

“I struggle with public speaking. However, I constantly challenge myself by taking on public speaking roles in the apartment community for increased practice, and I have improved greatly over the years.”

And sometimes, depending on the environment of the interview, your comfort level with the person interviewing you, and the position, honest humor works as well:

“I am absolutely terrible at baseball; it’s really quite embarrassing.  But with the way the Houston is playing, who would notice?”

Take a really hard look at yourself well before the interview. What is your weakness and how do you try everyday to improve on it? How you overcome is the most important part of your answer.

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