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Employee Engagement

The latest multifamily research and data regarding the impact of employee engagement on resident retention, online reputation, and revenue growth.

Why 1 in 4 On-Site Managers May Leave Their Companies in the Next 12 Months

                   While the rental industry has been brainstorming new and better ways to find or retain Maintenance Techs and Leasing Professionals, a new threat has been silently growing with very significant reach. Over the past year, our employee engagement data has shown On-Site Property Managers’ intention to remain with their company slowly shift from “Very Likely” to an increasing response of “Neutral,” and “Unlikely.”

 This rising level of uncertainty is certainly understandable. Since March 2020, On-Site Managers have dealt with new and changing situations on a daily basis, with no frame of reference or past experience to draw from. Not only did community offices close, requiring a sudden shift to a remote workforce, but policies, procedures, and processes had to be created and rolled out guiding everything from which service requests the maintenance teams would be allowed to address, to amenity shutdowns, to disinfection requirements, to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procurement, to rent collection and notice restrictions, not to mention the management of a stressed-out team, increasing resident calls/complaints/concerns, skyrocketing package management, etc., etc., etc.

It’s been a year, to say the least.

While there has always been a segment of managers who are unsure about their likelihood to remain with their company, that number has typically hovered around 12%, with one or two percent expecting to depart in the next twelve months. In 2020, however, that uncertainty increased to 15%. Unfortunately, five months into 2021 the numbers are looking even more bleak. 18% of On-Site Managers are unsure if they will remain with their company, with 7% stating they are “Unlikely” to remain. With 25% of On-Site Managers considering a departure from their current role – and possibly this industry – we have a serious storm cloud brewing on the horizon.

Based on the Q1 2021 Swift Bunny Index, some of the greatest opportunities for improvement are not uncommon among all multifamily employees: a desire for increased compensation and incentives, as well as career development. However, there are additional opportunities that are unique to On-Site Managers.

Among the On-Site Managers’ Top 10 Demotivators:

  • Unable to complete their work in the time allotted
  • Issues they raise are not responded to within 24 hours by their supervisor, peers, or other departments
  • Not encouraged to suggest new and better ways of doing things
  • Inadequate internal company communication
  • Lack of necessary resources to do job well

       On-Site Managers are the pillars of any apartment community. They set the tone for their team and their residents. These highly skilled individuals manage multi-million dollar assets and nearly as many personality types. We need them, their teams need them, their vendors need them, and their residents need them. It takes a very special and extremely talented individual to be a rock star property manager, and right now one in four of them are wondering if it’s worth sticking around.

Yes, we need maintenance and leasing team members as much as ever, but I encourage you to take a moment and check in with your managers. Find out what their greatest obstacles at work are these days, and then do what you can to remove or reduce them. You may find that you can easily solve an issue that makes a huge difference in their day-to-day responsibilities. Ask them for input on how to address a company-wide challenge that directly impacts how they operate. You may discover they have an amazingly practical and cost-effective solution that no one in the Board Room would have imagined. Show your managers how much you appreciate them and their expertise.

And to all you incredible On-Site Managers out there who have been pouring your hearts and souls into your communities every single day: I see you, and I am so grateful for all you do for your teams and your residents. Thank you!  

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks Jen, I appreciate you seeing us!. Those of us on the front lines have more holes in us then a fine slice of swiss cheese! We are trying to hold it together and serve our residents well, but some days...wow.

  Danette Kammeyer
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Dealing with Compliance in LIHTC has been my biggest challenge & frustration.
Budgets & capital items are my second headache due the CARES ACT.
The CARES ACT and how it has affected my NOI is my third frustration!

  Doris Roberts
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This article is so relevant and true. What makes this even worse is living on site AND being the property manager. My partner has lived the COVID nightmare for over a year and pretty much zero thanks from upper administration and residents. It’s so bad he is desperate to leave the profession forever.


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