Topic: Am I alone in thinking that the 1 per 100 rule in onsite staffing needs to change and change quickly???

Eric Limon's Avatar Topic Author
Eric Limon
Am I alone in thinking that the 1 per 100 rule in onsite staffing needs to change and change quickly??? This is a decades old rule of practice and we live in a world where people are more demanding than ever, owners offer more services than ever and all that does is overload staff on all levels from Porters, Maintenance, Leasing and Management!!! I LOVE this industry, I LOVE what I do, but I hate seeing everyone so tired and burned out!!! What do yall think??
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Krystal Spreeman's Avatar Topic Author
Krystal Spreeman
I’m burnt out too and looking for a different profession as we speak. Companies pride themselves on doing 10 people’s jobs with just one or two people and it’s a disgusting mentality to have. You will never have a low turnover rate with this, and there is no work life balance.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Jeri Odom Green's Avatar Topic Author
Jeri Odom Green
Totally! I think a lot of the really successful companies have adapted. More needs to happen though.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Trina Flanary's Avatar Topic Author
Trina Flanary
Absolutely! 1 per 50 is about right. I have people walking off the job stating that they are too overwhelmed. I have worked the last 13 days in the office, and I can't remember the last day off that I had w/o having to work a portion of the day. It's bananas. I feel bad for my team; work-life balance is a dream.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
LG Irving's Avatar Topic Author
LG Irving
Yes now it’s about the service. If you need to add that additional person to no over kill your staff do it. Especially at time of underwriting budgets and acquisitions.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Alanna Greengerg's Avatar Topic Author
Alanna Greengerg
Especially maintenance needs more. I think they should base on unit size, turnover rate, and how old the complexes are. I believe leasing staff is more easy to manage with a regional who only focus on a few properties so any properties needing assistance or extra hands are helped. My company switched to this and it makes this much easier, much more organized, and and provides a lot of clarity. Let me know what you guys think.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Natalie Ross's Avatar Topic Author
Natalie Ross
I agree! I worked on a property that was 98 units, it was just me and a leasing consult I had two days a week. I might have had less units but I still had to play the roles of 3 jobs and the reporting/number of invoices weren’t reduced just because I had less units!

I also don’t feel like it’s fair to the residents who pay comparable rents to larger communities. I was hardly available to them and would have to close the entire office to finish reports on time, do outreach marketing, tours and even take a lunch!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Crystal Buchanan's Avatar Topic Author
Crystal Buchanan

I’m glad someone else said it. I could probably speak for hours on this.
It’s never brought up by superiors but ultimately the staff knows we are struggling - we don’t want to show weakness or let anyone know but it’s true. Even if they allowed a part-time groundskeeper or leasing consultant… anything, at this point, would be better than nothing.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Becky Mandel Currie's Avatar Topic Author
Becky Mandel Currie
I've noticed some companies reduced staff over the last 10 years, thinking that all of the new technology and automation would give back time to the onsite teams. I think it was a good assumption, but what actually happened was the same amount of tasks, but just doing them a different way. The hard part was that corporate level teams naturally made the assumption that their teams would have more time in the day and subsequently added more tasks, reports, etc., or reduced staff. There are many companies who have realized this and adjusted, I think more will follow.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Julie Still's Avatar Topic Author
Julie Still
Such an interesting question...I remember being at an NMHC conference 10-15 years ago, with speakers telling us we would see head counts in our offices decrease as technology started improving. SO, we have a ton more technology today, but everyone feels like the job is harder than ever. If technology is not making our jobs easier, should we be paying thousands of dollars to use it? On the flip side, I see companies going to a centralized model, with little or no on-site presence, and consumers accepting that they don't need the service we're providing at other communities. The next few years in our industry will be very interesting!

We terminated the use of 2 technology platforms last year that were creating more work for everyone involved. We don't use mobile platforms at all...other than the website...maybe a bit behind the times, but our team members don't feel as overwhelmed as what I'm seeing in this thread.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Jonathan Cheville's Avatar Topic Author
Jonathan Cheville
I couldn't agree more! Unfortunately, adequately staffing the amount of communities that currently exist in some (maybe most) markets is already a challenge. I hate to keep beating this drum: but we saw that this growth coming, we saw that it was going to outpace how fast we could train, and we didn't do enough to prepare. I am watching management companies stretching their most talented employees so thin that they either get so burnt out that they're not good at their jobs anymore, or they wake up and leave the industry entirely. Maintenance supervisors are easily transitioning into superintendent and project manger roles in new construction, and doubling their salary with just a few years experience. Soon the restaurant industry will rebound and be on the prowl for dissatisfied customer service talent form other industries. The window of Proactivity has closed, time for management companies to pony up $$$ to get their properties staffed or owners are going to continue making those pink slips rain
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Ashley Wallace's Avatar Topic Author
Ashley Wallace
I agree completely!!! I manage a 91 unit property that is 50 years old, and I have 1 maintenance person. The summers are INSANE, since most of our move-outs occur between May and September in addition to a/c issues (we replace units as necessary, but approximately 50% of our units are still original). Also, any other busy times are almost impossible to manage this way. I am only 1 person! I've taken 8 vacation days (1 day here and there, no solid vacation) in the last year and a half, and I am burnt out. I finally convinced my boss to let me hire some part-time help (10 hours/week) this summer, so I hope it helps!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Larry Berry's Avatar Topic Author
Larry Berry
Definitely agree. Long overdue
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Larry Bellack's Avatar Topic Author
Larry Bellack
I think an operational shift in our industry is called for. We ask our on site staff to do everything and wear ALL hats. That’s just not efficient. As many of you know, I have just joined a new tech firm that specializes in operational efficiencies. Using a lead development team and experts in leasing to alleviate over 80% of the on-site staff “to do’s”.
It’s time for a change!!!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Michelle Martinez's Avatar Topic Author
Michelle Martinez
I’ve said this for years. The 1 per 100 rule was established PRE Yardi, Onesite, elaborate PO systems, Craigslist postings, Facebook/social media requirements, event planning, and a dozen other softwares that now have to be managed.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar Topic Author
1 per hundred is great if you don’t care about your staff or residents. People these days can’t even change light bulbs or plunge toilets. Pick up after their own pets. Come get their own packages. Buy a can of raid. They basically depend on the staff for everything.
The one per rule really doesn’t work these days.
The worst part is it’s pretty much everywhere and UM doesn’t take into account the level of service they expect in a higher end property. It’s a shame that so many people are leaving the industry but the culture as a whole doesn’t do a single thing to stop it from happening. They never realize what they lost until they have to start calling contractors in and find out that a plumber or an hvac company is going to charge them more for a single call than most techs make in a week
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Laura Bruyere's Avatar Topic Author
Laura Bruyere
I agree! Often that rule doesn't apply to many communities, especially those offering a luxury lifestyle or older more challenged buildings. Investing in a larger, more well supported team, can leads to larger financial rewards! Happier team with less staff turnover, better resident service leads to more renewed leases!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Aleisha Parongao's Avatar Topic Author
Aleisha Parongao
I agree 1,000%!! Things have changed and also gotten more complicated admin-wise - plus extra services... the 1 per 100 "rule" is antiquated.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Lynn Criado Hansel's Avatar Topic Author
Lynn Criado Hansel
I keep saying you can't staff us like Action Park but expect Disney results
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Dyana Ruiz Greene's Avatar Topic Author
Dyana Ruiz Greene
I agree! But you know corporate will point out the budget.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Josh Lemire's Avatar Topic Author
Josh Lemire
We don't even meet the 1 per 100 rule, I can't imagine what great things we could do if we surpassed it!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Sally Henkel's Avatar Topic Author
Sally Henkel
How do you do a lease up of 100 to 195 units with 1 or 1.5, even 2 people? Can’t stay open 7 days a week and for a lease up that is essential.
I know! Contract Leasing!!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Kim Donahoo Garrison's Avatar Topic Author
Kim Donahoo Garrison
I have been saying this for years. It is outdated. But it seems all industries are running on fewer people. Sad but true
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Tiffany Arick's Avatar Topic Author
Tiffany Arick
At the very least, the manager and maintenance supervisor should not be included as part of the count.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Tina Pignataro's Avatar Topic Author
Tina Pignataro
Technology does not take the place of human conversation, contact or follow up. It would depend on the need of the asset vs size - for example if you are a senior community vs a 5 year old stable property or lease up
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Michael Bright's Avatar Topic Author
Michael Bright
Every property is unique and I know first hand that rule does not apply at all. I have done, leasing, managing and overseen several properties for REIT and fee managed owners. When I was a PM, we had movie rental, laundry drop off and pick up, thousands of packages, 10-15 tours per day. We were way understaffed and I had several days where I wanted to quit. I could not do the job of a PM as the leasing and application processing took 90% of my time. I promised myself that when I became a RM, I would not subject my team to what I endured. I set goals for everyone as bonuses were performance based so everyone had an equal part to play. Now that I am self employed, I hear from friends and associates that management is rarely in the office. When you call, it goes to an answering service. I guess I am just old school to where people want to interact with on-site staff and want things done yesterday. Serving our residents/clients was one of my top priorities and always will be.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Tiffany Duggan's Avatar Topic Author
Tiffany Duggan
Absolutely agree! We live in a time of instant gratification. Everyone is attached to their phones, so emails and even texts add much more to our already overflowing plates. I always want to keep service at a high standard and be able to provide all the attention my residents need, but there is power in numbers!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Nichole Lynn Parsons's Avatar Topic Author
Nichole Lynn Parsons
I agree with that statement and we are, it’s so funny because I call it microwave era because everyone wants everything right now. You are also correct because we are offering so many other services and they are wanting us to do more and more in-house
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar Topic Author
Also with so many people working from home there’s more garbage, wear and tear on apartments creating more work.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Tracy Brunetti's Avatar Topic Author
Tracy Brunetti
The 1 to 100 rule is two decades+ old. With the importance of reputation management, customer service, and the need to ensure no call goes unanswered, you’re absolutely correct! Times have changed. You just need to quantify your ask and track how long it takes you to do various things and what your time is spent on any given week in order to give ownership a better understanding. If they still do not get it, ask they come work a week with you. Suddenly you may see an enhancement in your staff
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Steve Wunch's Avatar Topic Author
Steve Wunch
I've been raging against this "rule of thumb" for years! A property should be staffed appropriately for SALES and SERVICE demand -- and with only ONE person in the office there's no WAY to deliver the type of service clients demand...and with ONE tech -- same thing...I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see this change!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar Topic Author
I’m not sure why anyone would think that technology would make the maintenance side any easier? All I see is 27 ways to submit work orders and 97 ways to complain if something goes wrong
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Susan Scharpenter's Avatar Topic Author
Susan Scharpenter
Back when I started in this industry-I was able to go on property for hours doing inspections, greeting residents ( I knew all on a 1st name basis) life was good and I was well liked by all. I waived asked how their kids, parents, or spouses were doing-brought a binder to take notes about stuff that needed attention. My last job I decided to go do that 1 day-my phone blew up because someone at corp needed a question answered NOW. I ran back to the office and it was like "where were you?" What are you doing?" did you not read the email? They acted like, I went on an unauthorized leave-I went out on the property! From that moment on I never left the office again and sat teethered to the computer just incase......6 zoom calls a week, 2 delinquecy and 2 renewal reports, Monday reports and pre month end reports, every friday by 3pm., market surveys and they set time limits on each-5 minutes late and the emails started rolling in and my residents were saying does she work here? we never see her. Oh and that one many rentals did you get today? I know that everyone has access to all sites at a Corp level and no one could look the info up themselves?
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
David Outlaw's Avatar Topic Author
David Outlaw
Companies all over, every industry want more with less. This leads to poor performance. Not to mention a the mindset of this workforce has changed. The work ethic is not the same.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Nina Kirtley's Avatar Topic Author
Nina Kirtley
Very good question/post. I am currently trying to come up with ways to explain to my owner WHY we can not run a 300 plus property with two office team members and have a floating Assistant Manager/Bookkeeper to float between 3 sites doing rent collection etc. grant you, these are B assets in tight competitive markets in Houston. He thinks with all the new platforms of using online leasing, online payment programs there is no need to have 3 employees in an office. I’ve been in the industry way too long and he thinks I’m not thinking outside of the box doing what our industry is a custom too. Residents and prospective residents are needier and more demanding these days vs. 10 to 20 years ago. I spoke to the Team on this and I felt a great sense of disappointment and pull back as expected.

I’m am to come up why we can not down size our office staff, I covered the outside teams already.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Donna Schmidt's Avatar Topic Author
Donna Schmidt
The message has definitely been that the new technology will assist and support the onsite teams. These "experts" are selling that to the ownership groups and that definitely impacts perception of what the right ratio should be. Unfortunately, every property is different and it is impossible to use a set number for property staffing! The support that you have can also make a difference. Corporate maintenance and operations support is really key!
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Alyssa Lacy's Avatar
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It has actually changed to 1 per 44 units. So 100 units would be 1 maintenance and 1 manager.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago
Karin's Avatar Topic Author
I totally agree. New software has extra information to input and it takes longer to get all of the information input.
Posted 1 year 10 months ago