The key to success is preparation, and for the residential property management industry, that preparation requires training.
Deborah Westphal, CPM, ARM, is the instructor of the Fundamentals of Residential Property Management Certificate and executive director for the Institute of Real Estate Management of Georgia. Here, as featured in the Cobb Business Journal, she shares insight on how the property management industry is changing and what employers are looking for:
For the past 10 years, the Institute of Real Estate Management has been aggressive in its efforts to attract more talent and urge students to consider property management as a career choice. One of the key strategies for doing this is through connections with colleges and universities — supporting efforts to establish new real estate and property management certifications and degree programs.
Throughout the multi-family housing sector, retention and talent management remain top priorities for company leaders as economic conditions improve and competition for high performers increases.
Competition for top talent brings pressure for increased compensation as well as a higher baseline for performance. The use of analytics are becoming the norm to measure performance across all areas including customer satisfaction, retention, service and net operating income.
A look at industry stats:
Georgia has had a 4.9% increase in property management jobs compared to the nation’s increase of 6.5%. Females continue to dominate the industry, made up of 62% females and 38% males. In residential property management, 47% of employees are between 25-44 years of age, followed closely by 44% between the ages of 45-64, with only 3% of all employees between the ages of 19-24.
Today’s successful real estate degree programs, first and foremost, are aimed at preparing students to move directly and easily into careers in real estate. Students not only are learning the theory — they are learning how to apply it and what the theory looks like in real life. This comes from both what is taught in the classroom and internships that are required in most real estate programs. Organizations like IREM, National Apartment Association and Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation are promoting careers in our industry as a way to attract more qualified individuals into real estate careers.
As baby boomers retire over the next seven to 10 years, more emphasis will be placed on identifying, hiring and developing the emerging superstars. Successful real estate and property management programs are responsive to industry needs and the new realities of the profession.
Leaders in the real estate industry often refer candidates to companies with openings. According to longtime real estate professionals Dr. Debbie Phillips and Sherle Brown, employers want students who have the following:
- Customer service orientation
- Critical thinking skills
- Ability to understand a complex legal environment
- Conflict resolution skills
- Creative approach to problem solving
At the College of Continuing and Professional Education, we train students in these topics through a variety of methods:
- Interactive learning
- Access to industry leaders
- Case study analyses
- Lectures and presentations
We are also working will also be working with several instructors in an effort to expand the curriculum to include more legal aspects of the industry as well as a more advanced level of training.
The future is looking brighter for the real estate industry, and training students to be prepared for this influx of business opportunities is a top priority.