Each April, the industry takes time to recognize residential property management professionals and their onsite teams.
The National Apartment Association Education Institute’s (NAAEI) Residential Property Management (RPM) Careers campaign is a national initiative designed to recruit talented individuals — from recent college graduates to veterans and career changers, as well as military spouses and dislocated workers—for jobs in the burgeoning field of residential property management. Residential property management is a foundational and hallmark component of the rental housing industry.
There are millions of employees that contribute their knowledge, skills, abilities and expertise to support our communities in a variety of positions such as community managers, leasing consultants, maintenance and service technicians and product and service providers. The industry supports over 17.5 million jobs nationwide, and “approximately 3.7 million units will be needed by 2035 to meet demand, about 266,000 units per year on average,” according to apartment demand research from NAA and the National Multifamily Housing Council. Meaning, these new apartment homes will require skilled talent to manage and maintain. And, NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot for the fourth quarter of 2022 reports more than 40,000 apartment job listings.
RPM Careers Week is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of the careers that support the industry, such as career growth, competitive salaries, job security, full-time, year-round work, job mobility, a people-centered atmosphere and comprehensive benefits. These positions were highlighted during RPM Careers Week, which was held April 17-21, 2023. During RPM Careers Week, emphasis to the following themes were given for each day of the week: Dream Team Monday, Maintenance Tuesday, Thank a Teammate Thursday and Why I Love My RPM Career Friday. Additionally, the rental housing industry also took time to celebrate onsite teams throughout the country by recognizing Apartment Onsite Teams Day on Wednesday, April 19.
Annually, NAAEI provides resources to support efforts to recognize staff by providing an online toolkit that offers a spirit calendar – to support planning for the week, challenges and celebration flyers, the current logo for the week, along with other shareable social media graphics and template social media posts. The toolkit also provides sample blog posts, web banners and sample promotional Visto graphics to support any discounts offered toward Visto education courses or NAAEI credentialing programs. Similar resources are also available to celebrate Apartment Onsite Teams Day.
“I love my career because I get to incorporate human connection to business productivity in a unique and engaging way,” says Monica Frazier, General Manager, Midwood Investment & Development. “I watch people transform and graduate life cycles and bear witness to their biggest moments in life. I exceeded my ancestors’ dreams by working in the capacity I do within an industry that has historically excluded people who look like me. I love my career because it pours into me like I pour into it.”
Members of the industry were encouraged to upload their challenge submissions– which entailed submitting photos with a short caption by themed day to the RPM Careers website. For Dream Team Monday, NAAEI looked for photos of teams and details about what makes them so great. Maintenance Tuesday photos highlighted communities’ maintenance team or a specific maintenance or service technician and information about what makes them valuable to the community were encouraged. On Thank a Teammate Thursday, photos and details were sought about awesome teammates or mentors and characteristics about the impact they had on one’s RPM Career. For Why I Love My RPM Career Friday, NAAEI was interested in images of the submitter at work and highlights about why they love their career in residential property management.
The enthusiasm and excitement demonstrated during RPM Careers Week 2023 was overwhelming and yielded such great awareness for the industry. NAAEI received 1,083 challenge submissions this year – a 101% increase over 2022. This vast list of challenge submissions was curated into a limited list of finalists and chosen based on their written responses and photo submissions, being sure to incorporate a diverse representation of individuals and properties. The curated list of finalists will be selected through a social media ballot, and the winner for each themed day will win a specific prize, ranging from a meal or local activity for the team to gift cards with values from $50-$250, to up to six Visto CE credits.
“Many of us fell into the industry with no clue of what it encompassed: The joy felt when someone secures their home and stays for years to come, the pride in seeing teammates flourish at new sites and new roles, the meaningful connections with supplier partners, the education, networking and opportunities for development through Association involvement (shoutout to the Triangle Apartment Association and National Apartment Association), and so much more,” says Kelli Lea, NAAEI Board Vice President and Regional Manager, Greystar. “This industry is truly amazing, and I’ve been in it for 19 years, starting in college with student housing. I too may have ‘fallen in’ but I’m so thankful I did and excited to see or future leaders choose this awesome career.”
Shellie Sims is NAA's Director of Workforce Development.