Tag Archives: katy

How Aggressive is Too Aggressive in your Job Search?

In today’s job market, everyone’s advice seems to be the same: Be aggressive. Most companies want to hire employees who want to work for them but who also do not come across as desperate. There are several steps involved in the hiring process and we will examine each one in order to understand where that line lies between aggressive and too aggressive.

Let’s begin with your cover letter. This is pretty standard for most positions and helps to demonstrate that you took the time to make this application personal to the apartment community where you are applying.

Do write a cover letter, it is important. It gives your prospective future employer an opportunity to see your writing style, your personality, and your desire to get the job. A good cover letter explains why you are interested in working for the apartment community and how your previous experiences make you a good fit for the job. If you are applying to become an assistant property manager as a move up from a leasing consultant position, talk about your experiences, how you learned from other assistant managers, what you will bring to the position, and why all of those things are good for the apartment community.

Don’t try to sound preachy in your cover letter. While explaining how you can improve the company or what value your experiences may bring, avoid sounding as if there is something wrong with the apartment community. Make sure you sell your talents without sounding as if you know it all!

During the interview, be proactive, interested, and attentive.

Do research the property and the neighborhood so that you are comfortable with the area and possibly the culture of the apartment community. Make sure you have questions in mind that will help you show that you have done your research and that you know the business. For example, if you are applying for a job in Houston or Austin for an apartment groundskeeper position then know the plants that do best in those regions and how to best accent your property.

Don’t criticize. A great example of this would be a person applying for an apartment porter position who says negative things about the landscaping. Even if you think those plants do not work in that area, you may be expressing that opinion to the manager who picked them out. Instead, practice wording suggestions as compliments, “Hibiscus really are beautiful plants for this area, I like to have a few accent ground covers around mine, maybe some trailing purple lantana would really bring out the colors of the flowers.”

Now that the interview is over, it’s time to follow up.

Do follow up! Thank you notes are not completely out of fashion, especially not in the apartment job market. Follow-up calls are also ok. This is a way of letting your prospective employer know that you are still available for work, that you value the time they took to speak with you, and it shows that you are dedicated to getting the position.

Don’t harass. One follow up call is plenty, unless you were asked to call back. You will really come across as desperate and too aggressive if you are calling the property manager’s office every day to see if they have filled the position yet.

You should always be aggressive in your job search, even though it does take a little more time to research, write, and follow-up, it is always well worth it. Just be careful not to cross into an area where you come across as desperate, too aggressive, pushy, or harassing.

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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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3 Things Santa does to keep his Elves Motivated

With all the hustle and bustle going on just before the holiday season, here are a few tips to help you keep your employees focused and motivated.

  1.  Make your Holiday Cards personalIt is so easy and cost effective these days to just have a company print up your Christmas Cards with your name already printed on them in place of a signature. This year, take the time to let your leasing professionals, maintenance technicians, and assistant managers know you took the time to personalize their cards. Personalization is becoming so rare that it will be noticed and appreciated. Use their names and write each staff member a short note telling reiterating some of the great things they’ve done for you!
  2. Decorate the leasing office and let your staff help!Often there is only one person in the leasing office who decorates the tree. This year, let your staff make it a shared event. Buy one box of plain colored Christmas tree ornaments and a Sharpie and write each and every employee’s name and job title on them. Let them hang the ornaments on the tree while serving some hot cocoa and cookies.As the years pass, you will enjoy looking back at some of those ornaments to see how far your employees have come. How about that leasing consultant who is moving up the ladder and is now your assistant manager? Or the groundskeeper who in five years runs the entire Maintenance staff.
  3. Try to consider each employee’s holiday family traditions when making your schedule.It will likely be impossible to make everyone happy when it comes to scheduling work hours around the holiday season. However, if you take a moment to sit with your staff and get to know what their traditions include, you will be showing them that you made an effort – and sometimes that is the greatest motivation.

For more tips on retaining employees, read 3 Ways to Retain the Apartment Industry Professional from Hire Priority.

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Compete for Jobs Against more Experienced Candidates

How To Compete for Jobs Against More Experienced Apartment Industry Candidates

Chances are, in the search for your ideal job you will come up against more qualified candidates. Perhaps they have greater experience, specialized skills, or impressive professional accomplishments on their resumes. So how do you compete with someone who, on paper, appears more qualified for a job?

The key is to offer employers something in addition to your own experience and resume points. While credentials are important, they are not the only determining factor in the hiring process. For example, interviewing with an apartment manager or hiring authority presents an opportunity to demonstrate qualifications beyond bullet points on your resume. While you may not be a seasoned veteran of the apartment industry, you can offer a fresh perspective and a willingness to adapt to a new environment. Or, where  your property management experience may be lacking, you are a candidate who can be molded to fit the management company. Combined with a passion for the position you are interviewing for, these advantages can contribute compensation for a lack of experience.

Interviews are crucial; however, competition for jobs begins much earlier with searching and networking. In a pool of stronger candidates, taking advantage of networking opportunities can lead to apartment job opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible. Successful networking combined with a strong interview that emphasizes your strengths, in particular those that may not be immediately evident from your resume, will give you a competitive edge against more experienced apartment industry contenders.

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Finding Apartment Industry Talent When Talent is Scarce

3 Tricks to Finding Apartment Industry Talent When Talent is Scarce

Perhaps you have exhausted your resources, investigated your networks, and interviewed a surplus of candidates for your open apartment regional manager position—and have yet to discover talent that will prove invaluable to your company. Rather than saturating the ranks of the unemployed, talented employees are most likely already employed for their sought-after status. So how do you find talent when it is scarce?

 1.)  Expand Your Search.

When you’ve already expended your usual hiring networks without luck, it is time to expand the reach of your search. One means by which this can be accomplished is through social media outlets. Social media pages are an ideal way to communicate what your apartment management company is about as well as advertise job openings. These pages offer an inexpensive means of ‘branding’ your company so that it appeals to your target job candidates and increases your company’s reach.

2.)  Hire Continually Rather than Coincidentally.

This concept is best demonstrated with a sports analogy: if you are the manager of a baseball team and one of your players quits unexpectedly your inclination is to hire the best possible player to fill that space. However, the superstar player you would like to have on your team is most likely already playing for another; and therefore you are forced to contract an unemployed lower-skilled player. The same holds true for hiring. Instead of seeking potential apartment industry employees due to the coincidence that there is an open position within your property management company, seek to continually be on the lookout for talent. Social networking is the most effective way to go about doing this, by seeking to establish connections and relationships in order to hire talent either immediately or when a position opens that interests them.

3.)  Think Outside the Box.

While talented employees look great on paper, they also have a spark that makes them successful—they are passionate about their work, innovative, and driven. Finding talent in a competitive market is about more than locating skilled applicants—as an hiring authority for an apartment management company you must also be able to recognize them. Sometimes the employees that turn out to be invaluable are those that, while they may be lacking a bullet point on their resumes, have a real passion for the company. And on the other hand, those who have impressive experience but the wrong attitude can turn out to be a mistake. Throughout the hiring process a mindset of thinking outside the box, and not limiting candidates to their appearance on paper, can lead to a talent goldmine.

Making these adjustments in your property management company’s hiring process and it’s approach to finding talent can lead to big payoffs—as talented employees can prove invaluable in the innovation, customers, and revenue they bring in.

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