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What Property Managers Can Learn from the New ‘Bachelor'

ABC finally announced who will be their new Bachelor—Arie Luyendyk Jr., a race car driver and former Bachelorette runner up from 2012. But, why am I telling you this? Of course you've been obsessively checking Twitter for days and watching Bachelor in Paradise to play amateur detective and getting into heated debates with your spouse about the merits of Eric (his suggestion, an OK one) vs. Dean (who knocked himself out after his treatment of poor Kristina) vs. Jack Stone (just me?), right? (Apparently I've come a long way since I've been a The Bachelor apologist, and learned some property management tips from it nonetheless.)

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The Importance of a Strong Lead Maintenance Person

Over the years of investing in real estate, I have learned that building a great team is one of the key items you want to focus on before you take over a property. One position that I have seen overlooked many times has been the lead maintenance person. This person is key to your success in so many ways you really want to look high and low to find the right candidate. The lead maintenance person is much more than someone who knows how to fix a leak or patch a wall, this individual will be in direct contact with all of your residents/tenants and be the person that can take a load off your office staff by being the first line in addressing angry resident/tenants that want something fixed or changed immediately. When searching for a good lead maintenance person, I would suggest seeking someone that has all the skills you need to handle the maintenance requests that your property has, but also look for someone that can be the leader outside of the office. We have found that individuals in this position have decreased our expenses by simply having the ability to communicate with each of our residents/tenants including the children on property, especially the teenagers. Here are some other things to consider: The ability to lead their team is something to take a long hard look at, get solid references from previous employers if possible as their previous team can give you some great insight. Be sure they......
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Key Notes From "Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development"

Key Notes From "Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development"
Talent development is one of the biggest challenges facing the multifamily industry, as job duration continues to shrink threatening attempts at employee engagement.  I attended the " Growing Your Own: Lessons in Organic Talent Development" session at the 2017 NAA Education Conference and Expo to gain some insights into what leaders in the industry are doing to tackle these challenges!  Here are some of the notes I pulled away from the session, presented by Virginia Means, Jennifer Staciokas, and Virginia Love, and moderated by Debbie Phillips:  (I added some of my own commentary in italics)  39% of executives report difficulties in finding talent.  This is especially true for maintenance positions!  The number one need for many property management companies are high quality maintenance pros, and how to retain them as the construction industry continues to siphon off some of our best talent. Millennials are expected to stay in their jobs less than 3 years.  How does that affect knowledge transfer?  Another concern is relationship transfer.  We always say that prospects lease most often because of the connection made with the leasing consultant.  When we suffer from high employee turnover, the relationships with those lost leasing consultants often are not transferred properly, which then has a resonating affect on our resident turnover. One of the biggest impacts on employee engagement is when a team member leaves.  Those that are left after someone quits suffer through increased workload as everybody else has to pick up the slack.  Don't be afraid to differentiate your......
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Recruiting in the Multifamily Industry

Recruiting in the Multifamily Industry
The job market today is saturated with candidates who apply to a multitude of jobs in the hopes that one will come through. With such an emphasis on quantity how do you find candidates of good quality for your property? These 6 steps will get you on your way to recruiting the best person for the job:   1. Be Specific in Your Job Postings No matter where you are posting a job opening—Facebook, Craigslist, your website, etc.—a few extra details about the position can go a long way. By making sure you outline the responsibilities and requirements of the job you will weed out applicants who are simply applying to a large number of jobs that seem vaguely related to their experience. For example, within the Multifamily industry if you are looking for a candidate with a specific background or expertise, make sure you mention it.   2. Go Beyond Job Boards Today job boards are overloaded with both recruiters and applicants. Sites like Monster or CareerBuilder may attract a high volume of applications, but they foster an environment of quantity over quality. Job boards are full of apartment job postings, making it difficult for yours to stand out. While job boards can attract excellent candidates, they should not be relied on as your main source of potential employees.   3. Focus on Social Media During the recruiting process your company should be very vocal on its social media outlets. The main advantage of recruiting via social media is that you......
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Using Social Media to Find a Job

Using Social Media to Find a Job
Social media outlets today are used by a majority of apartment properties, and as such can be a powerful tool when searching for a job in the apartment industry.   These 5 tips will help you make the most of your online presence in order to land the job you’ve got your eye on: 1. Be Deliberate about What You Put Online Checking candidates’ online profiles is becoming a routine part of the hiring process, and consequentially you must be purposeful about what you upload. Unprofessional material on your profile can hurt your reputation with potential employers, while industry-related posts or information will make you positively stand out. 2. Use Social Media to Hunt for Jobs Many companies or properties within the apartment industry will post job openings online, so keep an eye out for these on social media outlets. Doing a quick search on Facebook or Twitter could also bring up jobs that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. On Twitter, try searching by hashtags such as #tweetmyjobs, which has been used in over a million tweets that list job openings. 3. Add to Online Conversations Meaningfully Once you have online profiles, join in industry conversations and interactions in a way that is significant, and employers may take notice. Another way to contribute meaningfully online is to create your own website or blog and then link to it on your social media. Creating your own materials to showcase your talents online can set you apart as a leader in the indus......
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Secrets to a Successful Phone Interview

Secrets to a Successful Phone Interview
Phone interviews are growing in popularity as a means to screen potential candidates. For job seekers, this means that you must be prepared at any time to ace a phone interview. First impressions are crucial in this process, from the tone of your voice to the words you choose when answering the phone.   Here are 5 key practices to ensuring a successful phone interview: 1. Know the specifics of your interview Is your interviewer calling you or are you meant to call them? Clarifying the details of a phone interview will save you from missed opportunities or appearing unprofessional. Also, if your interview is scheduled in advance, make sure you double-check the agreed upon time and account for any difference in time zones.  2. Have Your Questions Ready While your interviewer will be the one primarily asking questions, often you will be given the opportunity to do so as well. A phone interview is a good chance to voice any questions you may have in order for both parties to determine if the job is a good match. But before you ask your questions make sure you’ve done your research—know all there is to about the company and position you’re applying for ahead of time.  3. Prepare Your Space A phone interview may seem less stressful than an in-person one; however, there are many ways it can go wrong. Fortunately, a little preparation can go a long way with a phone interview. For example, make sure you have a quiet, closed-d......
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Acting Like An Owner For Career Success


Note:  This post is intended for our jobs section for those looking to expand their career.  Feel free to watch it, however!

We've been talking about the idea of acting and thinking like an owner, so I wanted to put this video together explaining things a bit more.  I hope you all find it valuable!

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Seniority Just Means You Weren’t Fired

I was thinking about career growth a while back, and I remember one of my former bosses who was passed up for a promotion.  This was a boss who always handed her work off to her assistant, who would take extra long lunches and leave work early on a consistent basis, and in general didn’t really push her community to do anything special.  But when a job opening came up in the company that she wanted, she was absolutely shocked that she was passed up.  Suddenly I heard cries about how she had seniority, and I have to say, it almost made me laugh out loud when I heard that.  She wasn’t even doing her own job, let alone proving herself worthy of a promotion!  Since then, I have heard people talk about seniority all the time, and I have come to realize that doesn't tell the whole story at all.  They could be incredible employees that have been with the company for 15 years, OR they could be mediocre employees that managed to go 15 years without being fired. Hiring someone new is really not a fun task, so people are often allowed to coast quite a bit before they are fired.  In other words, people can stay at their job a lot of times by barely getting the minimum done, sad to say.  But after years, they might suddenly find themselves with seniority!  But do years of barely skirting by (or even being average) in any way make them pro......
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Are Your Job Ads Inspiring?

An effective job ad will often do at least three things:  1) Create interest in the job itself from potential job applicants, 2) Prequalify candidates so those that do not have the right background don’t apply and bog down the process, and 3) Share the job details and responsibilities.  However, many ads that we see are heavy on the prequalifying and job responsibilities, and very light on creating interest.  The problem is that this strategy doesn’t work for many types of “audiences” you want to influence!  Let’s break down the different types of people who have a stake in your job posting, and importantly, how they will react to different types of job ads. The Active, Unemployed Job Seeker This is someone who currently is not employed and looking for a job, which means they are actively sifting through job postings, have their resume polished (hopefully), and are applying for all positions that seem to somewhat fit their needs.  It’s important to stress the word “needs”, as they are in a position where they need to find something quick since they are currently without a job and need to pay the bills! With this type of job seeker, are they going to be very discerning about the job postings they see?  Of course not.  As long as your job fits the most basic criteria, such as location, job type, and general elements, they are good to go.  Most job postings we see are really geared towards this person, and you’ll see why in just a mom......
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Make Your Performance Review Work For You

Are you your community’s best asset? How do you know you are or you aren’t? And how are you making your determination? We are now entering the midpoint of the third quarter and I suspect most working adults aren’t even thinking about this. If you are a parent, you are probably thinking about getting your children ready for the start of a new school year: buying new clothes or uniforms, picking out new lunch boxes, getting those school supplies. Not to mention making sure they have had their check-ups and the required immunizations. Heck, just getting them to the dentist for teeth cleanings is often scheduled for this time of year. But this time of year is also a perfect time to make sure you are putting your own ducks in a row.   Performance Reviews are often conducted in the last quarter of the year, supposedly a kind of end-of-the-year Report Card for grown ups. If I were in charge of the world, this would not be the case. As someone who sometimes has to conduct these Reviews, I can tell you it is not usually any fun for the employee or for me. They cause stress for most people and even if you feel like you’ve done your best and have done a good job, there is still someone sitting in Judgment over you.   I think this is an archaic way of communicating with our teammates. If, at this Evaluation Ceremony, this is the first time an employee......
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