The current job market is posing a real dilemma for companies. First, there’s a wealth of available positions across many industries. This is causing many professionals to leave their long-standing jobs in favor of new positions or career paths. The other challenge for companies is that there are more open positions than job seekers. This means that job seekers are being more choosy with the jobs they’re applying for.
While these challenges are affecting a wide-range of industries, it’s proving especially difficult for property management companies. The average age of property managers is 47 years old. This means that most current property managers have been in their positions for a number of years. The events of this past year (COVID-9, eviction moratoriums, etc) have led many established property managers to leave their job to pursue new opportunities. This trend is leaving companies with huge gaps to fill. And many current job seekers are choosing not to fill these gaps.
To overcome these challenges, companies can take two courses of action:
Implement new policies to retain their existing property manager; Hire the next generation of property managers.
In the following article, we demonstrate how these two actions can help companies in these trying times.
Retaining Property Managers
It’s been an especially stressful time for many property managers. The effects of the global pandemic have caused property managers to bear the brunt of many issues. They had to implement and enforce various health safety protocols which often restricted certain areas and/or limited access. Residents working from home were more likely to complain of minor and major issues with their rental units (and neighbors). More residents stuck at home for longer periods of time also increased property wear and tear.
Perhaps most challenging of all was the overall loss of rental income. Many property managers’ bonuses are based on a percentage of the rent they collect. When residents cannot pay their rent, it negatively impacts the property manager’s income. Factors such as deferred rent, eviction moratoriums and lower rental rates, took a toll on many managers finances. These factors intensified the exit of many existing managers.
Now that things have improved significantly since this time last year, it’s imperative that companies retain the property managers who weathered the storm. Luckily, some of the most effective retention strategies are also relatively simple and easy to implement.
Providing greater schedule flexibility is a huge help at keeping your current property managers on board. After a year-and-a-half of putting the needs of many residents before their own, they need some time for their own needs. Allow them to schedule some time each day to take a lunch break, run errands and make appointments. Rewarding them with some time to ensure their wellbeing will do wonders for their morale – and help with retention.
Another way to ensure property management retention is directly linked to their wellbeing. Since this past year-and-a-half have left many managers physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, they may benefit from participating in wellness programs. Providing free or discounted access to stress management services, financial planning services and other wellness programs is a great way to keep your employees happy, engaged and retained.
Perhaps the most important way to retain hardworking property managers is to ensure that they are not alone. Rather than feeling that they alone are responsible for everything, let them know that they are a part of the team. Provide them with a support system and team members who can step in and help when things get too busy or when emergencies occur. Knowing that they are valued and have the support of the whole organization lifts a giant weight off their shoulders.
Hiring the Next Generation of Property Managers
As mentioned above, the average age of property managers is just under 50 years old. That means companies need to start thinking about the next generation of property managers. This can be done by targeting the newest members of the job seeking market: Generation Z. While Gen Z (those born between 1996 and 2011) may not have robust work experience, they are eager to work. And they may be the answer to filling those open positions and preparing for future gaps.
So how do companies attract these candidates? Well, offering large salaries won’t work since their lack of experience negates such practices. The good news is that many Generation Z job seekers aren’t looking for large salaries. They are looking for opportunities that will let them grow and develop in their professional life.
Pairing a new Gen Z hire with an existing property manager or property manager team provides this opportunity. The existing managers can act as mentors, teaching their craft to the new team member. This professional arrangement is mutually beneficial for both employees. The existing property manager is rewarded with someone who can assist them, cover for them while they’re out of office, and assume some of their responsibilities. In turn, the new hire enjoys on-the-job training, learns new professional and soft skills, and develops and grows. Then, when the time comes, they can step into a property manager role.
If you’re interested in recruiting your next generation of property managers, MSB Resources can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can connect your company with the best talent in today’s job market.