Tag Archives: tips

Recruiting 101: Know What You’re Looking For


Recruiting 101: Know What You’re Looking For


What are the top traits you desire in an employee? What skills must they have? If you aren’t asking questions like these before you begin the recruiting process you run the risk of hiring someone who is a poor match for your property. Know exactly what you’re looking for and find the right match in 4 steps:

1. List Specific Skills

Be as specific as you can! If there are certain skills that will be required to fill a position successfully, make these a requirement. You want to make these clear with candidates and on job postings; otherwise you could end up falling in love with a candidate only to find out they are lacking a non-negotiable skill. Being specific upfront will also save you time—weeding out unqualified applicants and targeting those who will benefit your apartment property.

 2. Find Someone Who Fits with Your Culture

Recruiting is energy consuming. If you’ve been fishing for candidates for weeks without luck you may be tempted to pick someone who is talented—but doesn’t quite fit with your property. Talent is essential; but so is cultural fit. You could hire the most talented leasing professional in Houston, but if they represent values that clash with your properties’ then they will most likely not flourish on the job.

 3. Know Where to Look

The follow up to knowing what you’re looking for is knowing WHERE to look…you can’t find the candidate who matches your criteria if you aren’t looking in the right places. It isn’t hard to find applicants in the pools of job seekers in Houston and Austin; but finding the best of the best is harder. Posting on general job boards (Craigslist, Indeed, etc.) will get an open position out to the public; but you might have more luck finding skilled applicants by asking around your professional network, on social networks, or for referrals from current employees.

 4. Don’t Settle

Pursuing ideal candidates, even when it is time consuming, will be worth the effort in the long run. The cost of a bad hire is high, draining time and money to hire someone who isn’t quite right—and then to repeat the process when it doesn’t work out with him or her.

Hiring a dream candidate is possible, but it takes planning. These steps can simplify the process, but you should still be prepared to commit the required energy to finding a new hire. If you don’t have time to see the recruiting process through, consider hiring a staffing company, who can find and send you employees that match what you are looking for.



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Intro To Leasing with Jackie Ramstedt!

Introduction to Leasing with Jackie!

Introduction to Leasing with Jackie!

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Why a Career Appropriate Email Address is Important

These days in the business world, you are competing against people who have the similar degrees, experiences, and often similar résumés. So one important way to stand out from the rest is to be able to create a professional email address for yourself. Consider an apartment community who is interviewing three people for an entry level leasing consultant position. Everyone has the same qualifications and seemingly nothing different from the rest besides personality and attitude. A property manager looks over the resumes one last time and notices all three email addresses, two of the potential hires have not updated their email since high school and have names such as ballin247@name.com or SexyBeast69@name.com. The final candidate has RebeccaSmiles@name.com. Based on these names alone the employer would have to assume that the third person is taking her job search seriously and professionally. Would you hire the other two if that was the only difference between three potential new hires?

When employers are left with going through hundreds of applicants, your email address can get you thrown in the shredder even before the interview. While you may think your email address is cute and shows your personality, it may be simply sending the wrong message. In many circumstances, it may be impossible to interview all qualified applicants. A person who wants to sell themselves should always put their best foot forward. An employer does not want to email a potential new hire with a crazy email address that would appear to be a person who has yet to grow up. If you want to be taken as a professional in your field you need to present yourself as that. A name such as meetmexxx@name.com does not scream professional neither does iloveunicorns@name.com!

Besides presenting yourself as a professional and one who takes their career seriously, you want to make sure that employers can find your email easily in the event they wish to contact you that way. It is easier to locate your contact information if it is yourname@email.com . The employer will have no problems being sure they are contacting the right person. When trying to sell yourself to an employer over paper or the internet every small detail matters. Do not overlook the little things. They can be a difference in a call back for an interview for that leasing position and no call.

The importance in an appropriate email cannot be overstated. If you are embarrassed to tell a potential employer over the phone your email address, then chances are it is not one you should be using. Often you will have to spell or say your email over the phone. The best and easiest way to create an appropriate email would simply be to include your firstnamelastname@email.com. It will be easy to tell over the phone, no embarrassment when spelling it out, and it allows the employer to easily match your email with your application. An appropriate email as described above is straightforward and does not allow one to question your sincerity, professionalism, and maturity level.

Remember, especially in the apartment industry, YOU are the face of the company. And although your date may like to think of you as sexybeast@name.com, your future property manager does not.

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Why it is important to BOTH speak AND listen during an interview!

As you prepare for your interview with an apartment community, you will probably focus most on what to say. However, what you hear will be just as valuable to you in the process. Here are some things to listen for:

    1. Listen for clues from the property manager about the apartment community.
      1. Is the interviewer asking you multiple questions about how you handle a stressful work environment? Feel free to make a mental note about this and ask questions about the stress level associated with working at the apartment community.
      2. Are you being asked if you are independent? Will help be available to you during your first weeks as a new employee?
      3. Do they ask you about your leadership qualities? What types of questions are they asking that will let you know what type of leader they are looking for and if promotions are a future possibility.
    2. Listen to your interviewer to make sure you are answering the questions they ask.
      1.  Did you ramble on off topic? If you feel you need clarification, ask!
      2. Follow-up some questions by asking if you fully answered their question. That way they know you were listening and you wanted to make sure you weren’t off topic.
      3. Make sure you give your interviewer enough time to finish the question before you begin answering, otherwise, you will be interrupting them.
    3. Ask questions!
      1. Refer back to some of the questions you were asked to get clarification if you need to.
      2. Prepare intelligent questions before the interview based on your knowledge and research of the company and the position.

If you don’t listen to your interviewer, you are saying that what you think is more important than the questions they have to ask. Don’t ruin your great opportunity by being too ready to talk! Try to make your answers short while completely answering a question. Allow the interviewer the opportunity to decide which ones need to be elaborated. Stay calm and try to think of the interview as an opportunity to have a conversation with a new person where you are both trying to figure out what you have in common and if you are a good fit for each other and the apartment community.

For a tips on how to answer the dreaded interview question “What is your greatest weakness?” Click Here!

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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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