The search to hire the right person for the right job is always important, but even more so in the current apartment management market. First, apartment management is growing, and will continue to grow for several decades. Second, many new people are hired from outside the apartment management industry, and it is important to determine how to assess their skills. So let’s take a long look at the skills that are important for our industry.
One of the most frequent needs is to hire a new property manager. If a person has no management history, what skills are required for the position? First, they should have a good knowledge of finances, and be able to understand and discuss it with prospective renters. Second, they need to know how to manage large groups of people effectively. Finally, they should have very good customer service skills, and be able to make people feel at home.
Since the current job market is reasonably tight, it is unlikely that many applicants will come with any apartment management experience. A number of applicants that do have experience in the field are not stable, and so may not be a good first choice. So, what other experience would qualify a prospective employee to be a good fit for apartment management?
A number of very good apartment management personnel have come from the hotel industry. They are very well trained in both customer service and in financial aspects, and a number have both experience and a degree in the field. Most people in hotel management are accustomed to dealing with a large staff, and also with a wide variety of customer requests.
Once we identified this new area to search for prospective employees, we looked for the most effective means to publicize our needs. There are a number of publications, both on-line and in print, that are focussed on the hotel management industry. The next step was to write informational articles and employment advertisements to make an apartment management career switch an attractive option to them.
In order to emphasize the benefits of an apartment management career, we looked for the major frustrations of their current jobs in the hotel industry. One of the most obvious disadvantages was the hours required at the job. Hotel service goes on 24 hours a day, and a change to apartment management gives the advantage of regular working hours, and more time for family and outside interests.
A second major frustration was the amount of time and effort to deal with food and beverage. Apartment managers obviously do not do this, and emphasizing this point made a great impact on many hotel professionals looking for a career move. Both of these points helped to paint a picture of a career move to a more structured, less stressful life.