Multifamily War for Talent
Lisa Trosien wrote a great piece for PayLease in 2015. As I read it, I nodded in agreement more than once. The War for Talent is in full motion. And the perfect storm provides tailwinds that will keep it moving for some time. Multifamily construction is off the charts, the qualified labor pool is all but dried up, and expectations are way out of alignment with the real world.
Multifamily permits, starts, and absorption are firing in unison and seeming have no headwinds to contend with. At least in the near term. And all of these new products incite leasing professionals to follow the money. In some respects, Property management companies across the land are victims of their own doing. We build beautiful new communities with the need to fill them fast to get long-term debt in place while interest rates are low. It’s a race. And it has put in place a #gameon War for Talent.
I will dispute the one point made in the article. Well-qualified talent is not hard to find but requires hard work and effort. The key is beating the streets. Stop relying exclusively on the HR team to do the job. And interview constantly.
Make it a point to shop high-end retail, restaurants, hospitality, and other service-oriented organizations. Pick companies that you know have heavily mandated customer-centric and/, or sales-oriented training in place. Yes – be ready to pay more but also be ready to expect more.
Schedule interviews constantly. Set aside 30 to 45 minutes a week to meet and talk to prospective employees, even if you are at capacity. Always be building your bench.
And be ready to restructure the way you do business. That is to suggest turning the way you drive your business upside down. Do you need a property manager? Maybe you need a Sales Manager instead. With the advent of the Internet and thus the ability to automate nearly 100% of the back office, you can void the PM title. With that in mind, you can afford to pay leasing/salespeople more through incentives or base rates.
On the point of tattoos and piercings. Stick with me on this – people like to do business with people they like. Most of the current renter pool is ripe with young talented self-expressing people. And baby boomers who like to associate with the current renter pool and their youthful ways. Suffice it to say; the tattooed-brow-pierced twenty-something is precisely who our current renter wants to do business with. They are interesting. They are people. They stand for something. They are likable. Just because they don’t look like you and like the things you do does not mean they aren’t worth every dime they expect.
About Mike Brewer
My mission is to tease out the human potential in the multifamily space.