It’s no secret that onsite teams faced immeasurable challenges throughout the pandemic, with many leasing professionals simply trying to stay above water—even years later. And this constant “fight-or-flight” is leading to “super burnout,” as one anonymous post said recently on Multifamily Insiders.
In 2022, employee turnover at property management companies was a staggering 33%—more than 10% higher than the national average, according to the National Apartment Association. And the J Turner Institute found the average tenure for a property manager is just 19.2 months—not even making it two full lease terms before they choose to leave the property or industry.
We know that it’s more cost-effective to retain employees than having to hire and train new team members. So how can communities keep property managers and onsite workers from leaving in the first place?
There’s no easy answer, unfortunately.
Employees leave jobs for any number of reasons. Many of which cannot be controlled at the property level, like salary and benefits. But what you can do is set healthy boundaries for your employees and provide them with the tools they need to work efficiently and succeed.
How high employee turnover affects multifamily properties
- Harms community reputation: A revolving door of leasing agents and property managers does not bode well for your community in the eyes of your residents and prospects. A strong, consistent group of property leaders ensures that your residents feel comfortable approaching your team, and won’t be left wondering what is happening behind the curtain to cause frequent turnover.
- Residents feel disconnected: If your residents don’t feel connected or comfortable with your onsite staff due to heavy turnover, it will affect how they interact within the community. They will be less likely to stop into the office to chat, use amenities, or even interact with other residents. And we all know residents who feel connected to their community are more likely to renew. So not only does high employee turnover negatively impact resident engagement, but also resident retention.
- Cost and time of training and recruiting: Replacing team members is not only expensive (average $1,200 per employee), it takes time. And while you’re waiting for your new hire to get up to speed, the rest of your team suffers due to the increased workload.
10 ways to reduce burnout and employee turnover
Many people choose to leave their job due to their working environment. Whether that be an unhealthy work-life balance, co-worker relationships, or not feeling valued or appreciated. Another reason for voluntary turnover is due to unmanageable workloads or long hours.
If this is the case at your multifamily property, just keep two simple rules in mind: People come first, and automation comes second.
By putting your people first, you can help combat some of these issues and help your team feel supported and celebrated. And by providing innovative technology to help your team operate more efficiently and manage the constant stress and frequently changing multifamily leasing environment.
- Encourage open communication: Encourage honest communication with your team and provide a safe space for them to express their concerns without judgment or fear of retaliation. Many times employees are afraid to offer ideas for improvement that could benefit the company as a whole.
- Manage heavy workloads: For many onsite teams there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get through their ever-growing list of tasks. By investing in technology that will help automate and streamline workflows, you can help your team manage heavy workloads. For example, the Smart Leasing Platform CRM has the ability to automate up to 95% of prospect and resident communication, freeing up your team to focus on other tasks.
- Be flexible: The pandemic taught us that flexibility is key when the world throws us curveballs. Flexible work schedules, or giving your employees the ability to work from home, take a long lunch, or even take a ‘Summer Friday’ can go a long way in helping your employees recharge.
- Establish a work-life balance: We’ve all been there. You’re packing up to leave for the day, just steps away from the front door and that dang phone rings. But by implementing an AI leasing assistant that can talk with prospects on any channel, you can give your team peace of mind and establish a work-life balance. With ResMate AI leasing assistant, your team can go home for the day, even with the phone ringing off the hook, knowing that ResMate is there to answer all prospect inquiries 24/7.
- Collaborate: Promote a collaborative work environment by delegating tasks that allow employees to capitalize on their strengths. Teamwork lessens the load for all involved, and by prioritizing individual strengths, your employees will enjoy their work more.
- Provide your team with the knowledge and data needed to make smart business decisions: As onsite teams implement more technology it’s important to use the data collected to help make informed decisions, from resident renewals, to social media content. By giving your team the tools to dissect and analyze resident and prospect data, you can help them improve their KPIs and feel more confident on the job.
- Celebrate achievements: A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way, but you should take it one step further and celebrate milestones, weekly or monthly achievements, and help your employees feel appreciated and valued.
- Plan events: All work and no play leads to a burnt out leasing team. By planning events for your onsite team (and your residents) to enjoy you can help establish your property as a fun place to work. Tip: You can use technology like the Signup Events & Amenities Scheduler to manage events and RSVPs for your community.
- Provide training and skill development: Offering training opportunities for your team helps them operate more efficiently to save your company time and money. Plus, investing in employee’s growth and development helps them feel appreciated and can lead to a more rewarding work environment.
- Outsource tasks that can be tedious: Technology is great, but sometimes you still need a human touch. If there are tasks that are too tedious for your team to take on, and there isn’t a way to automate it (yet) consider outsourcing to a multifamily agency. For example, social media and reputation management can be difficult for many onsite teams, whether that be because of workload, staffing, or creative differences, it may be easier to outsource your social and reputation management to a team of multifamily specialists.
People and technology work together to create a happy work environment
At the end of the day, people want their job to be fulfilling and fun. Which we all know can sometimes be a challenge in the multifamily industry. But AMP Residential said implementing ResMate AI leasing assistant has led to more employee satisfaction at their properties.
“We feel that ResMate has allowed us to remain on the cutting edge of the industry by offering our website visitors a way to communicate with our prospects all hours of the day,” said Joanne Giacomantonio, Director of Marketing & Design at AMP Residential. “[ResMate] has allowed us to make the decision to close offices on weekends which has led to higher rates of employee satisfaction without sacrificing customer service.”
With the right focus and the right technology, you can reduce the risk of burnout for your team, and retain talent. For more information on our products and services that can help your team run more efficiently and reduce employee turnover, click below to schedule a demo.