March 2, 2023
“Mom, I want to be a property manager when I grow up!” – said no kid ever
Have you ever noticed that most people that end up in the property management business do not do so intentionally? Almost everyone I have met over the years in this business has said they “fell into” the business. This can present a real challenge when it comes to trying to find new employees. Since it’s not a “destination profession,” I’m not expecting to be overwhelmed by potential employees coming out of the college system anytime soon. So, what do we do to find employees to fill property management roles in our firms?
I think the answer is simple but not easy. We have to start doing something different to get different results. Here are some things for you to consider incorporating into your staffing plans of the future:
- Planning. Have you developed, in advance, an entire plan for the next time you need a new person so you know exactly what you will do? It’s not a matter of if, but when, you will need a new person. The reason may be due to growth or attrition. Either way, if you already have a plan in place ahead of time, when the day comes, it will make it that much easier because you can quickly shift into execution mode instead of trying to figure out where to begin.
- Recruiting. Have you actively and intentionally begun identifying and building relationships with potential hires who may be a great hire when you are ready for them? Or maybe you build a relationship with hiring sources like staffing agencies, job fair organizations, etc. I realize this takes time and energy, but it could be well worth it.
- Remote workers – Have you considered using remote workers? They could be remote in the sense that they live in another part of the state, another part of the country, or in another part of the world. For roles that don’t require a real estate license or that the person be physically present, we have sourced people out of Mexico. They have developed into some great team members.
- Sourcing talent from other industries that require similar skills. I think this is an area that is sometimes easy to overlook, but it can be a great source for people. I’ve heard of property management firms having great experience with former Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A and other service industry employees. We’ve even considered placing specific ads to attract 911 operators. After all, doesn’t just about everyone who calls your property management firm think they have an emergency? Sure, it will take a little bit of effort to train these hires and acclimate them to the property management business, but it could be well worth the effort to do so.
- Make your firm sexy to job seekers. Create job ads that show your firm in the best possible light and target to the applicant you are trying to attract. What unique benefits can you highlight about your firm that make it more attractive to job seekers? Have you designed your job ad to highlight those items? Have you put language in the ad that reflects your firm’s unique culture and values? Does your ad stand out from all the others? Does your ad speak to the applicant you are seeking? For example, if you have an entry level position to fill, maybe you want to design the ad to speak to that audience. On the other hand, if you are looking for someone with 35 years of property management experience, then maybe you want to write an ad to speak to that audience. Using this as an example, I would suggest that those two ads should look very different and have different language.
These are just a few ideas for you to consider. To be clear, we don’t always get the results we are seeking as it relates to hiring either, but we continue to try new ideas in search of those better results. I hope there’s an idea or two here that can help you!