Tag Archives: Press Releases

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.

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Why Choose a Staffing Company?

We are going to approach this question from both angles. As an employer, why should you choose to have a staffing company help you recruit for your next open position for a leasing consultant, property manager, or maintenance personell? As well as why should you as a job seeker try choose to use a staffing company to find your next employer.

Let us begin by taking a look at this from the employer side of things. In today’s economy, it’s great that you’re hiring. The apartment industry seems to be growing and with that growth comes the need for more employees. Whatever your reason for needing a new employee, finding them often takes a lot of effort and work on your part. You need someone to fill that void in your work place and someone who can ideal come in and stay for a while. That’s where a staffing company like Hire Priority comes in.


The worst case scenario occurs when you make the decision to hire someone and then realize later that they were not a great fit for your company. You will have invested training, time, money, and hours getting this person into their new position before knowing you may have made the wrong choice. Much like shopping and trying on clothes, a staffing company gives you the opportunity to try on different employees before making the investment into hiring them full time. They handle the screening, the interview, and they often have people ready to jump right into the next position at your apartment community.

As an employee, looking for a job is work itself. Often, out of desperation you may take the first position that is offered. Again, the above scenario may apply. What if that company culture does not suit your personality or your work style? Once you are finally hired, it is very difficult to quit and start the search over. If you choose to go through a staffing company, then you too have an opportunity to shop different companies and apartment communities to find the right fit for you. If you spend a few weeks in a position and find that it is not the perfect fit, you can contact your staffing company and have them help move you to another place.

Keep in mind that you should look for a staffing company that specializes in your industry. It creates a match made in heaven, where employees who want to work in the apartment industry apply with staffing agencies that place employees with employers in the apartment industry. Everyone is specialized these days, and when you’re simply posting your open job positions out there, you may not be targeting people who already have a passion for your industry.


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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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