5 tips for attracting Millennial talent to your property management company

Megan Wild
Megan Wild | 6 min. read

Published on February 21, 2018

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the United States workforce. Nearly one-third of the workforce is between the ages of 18 and 34. By 2030, that figure is going to be even higher—a whopping 75 percent of the workforce will be Millennials then.

That means that a lot of people interested in real estate are Millennials as well. Millennials are also at prime renting age right now, and many are putting off home-buying until later ages than previous generations.

Smart property management companies should put a premium on attracting Millennials into the property management business as a result. Renters feel comfortable interacting with people like themselves. In addition, of course, infusing the industry with young talent will ensure that it stays vibrant over the coming decades.

In many areas of real estate, Millennials are underrepresented, representing about 1 in 5 workers. Interested in attracting Millennial talent to property management? Here are five tips.

#1: Emphasize the Financial Benefits

Millennials are like every generation before them in at least one respect: When they’re considering a career, they’re interested in knowing its pay structure and its advancement opportunities. Forty-four percent of them look at whether wages are competitive when choosing a field. Fifty-two percent like to see room for advancement. What this means is that employers should emphasize your salaries and promotional structure!

For those interested in real estate, becoming a property manager has a significant pay structure advantage over becoming a real estate agent. It’s not commission-based, and the pay is therefore more stable. Many Millennials have student loan debt, to the tune of nearly $29,000 on average. They pay more in student loan servicing than any other generation. Because it’s commission-based, becoming a real estate agent is riskier for people who must make high student loan payments every month. Property management, in contrast, is a way to enter the real estate field without having to hit sales targets every month—though different types of people may be more attracted to one career over the other.

#2: Highlight the Job’s Flexibility

Millennials love flexibility. Many of them are attracted to positions that don’t have 9-to-5 routines. Property management is ideal for those who want a job that’s not the same day after day. While some office time may be required, they also do site visits, inspections, and so on. Some property managers have to be on call 24/7; but Millennials, who check in with their smartphones frequently anyway, may find this trade-off more acceptable than previous generations. You can portray the job this way: They are on call, but they won’t have the drudgery of a routine.

Some Millennials may have part-time jobs as they finish their degrees or enter into the workforce. Property management is easy to combine with other part-time work, and it can serve as a springboard into full-time work as a growing company take on more properties. Sell this aspect of the job.

#3: Don’t Require a Degree

Because of their high levels of student loan debt, some Millennials are unable to pursue higher education, or are questioning the utility of a degree. It costs a lot to earn, and may not result in a higher income or better job prospects. The cohort right behind them, nicknamed Generation Z, are questioning the need to earn a degree even more.

Property management and real estate as careers can generally be attractive to this group because neither requires a degree, either two-year or four-year, to move up and be successful. While some property managers have degrees and even MBAs, it is not a requirement in the field. If you are successful on the job, you can get promoted and move up. Emphasize this factor in your outreach to Millennials who’ve chosen not to pursue higher education.

#4: Utilize Their Tech Skills

One of the most significant traits associated with Millennials is their use of technology. They are the generation who came of age as the online world began to dominate. They are huge users of social media. More than 40 percent, in fact, would prefer to communicate online rather than via telephone.

Emphasize that many property managers use technology all of the time. People frequently advertise and rent properties online. Property managers must keep their websites up-to-date and filled with appealing photos. Tenants apply for apartments and make maintenance requests online. Social media is increasingly being used as a tool for advertising properties and vacancies. Technological literacy is essential for good property managers. Millennials are already there, so emphasize that aspect of the job.

#5: Develop Green Practices

Millennials are an eco-friendly generation. They want to slow climate change by consuming less fossil fuels. They embrace healthy and green practices, such as veganism, recycling, and biking to work rather than driving. They are concerned with sustainability in building practices, such as using natural materials rather than plastics.

Property managers can develop green practices for the properties they manage, or contribute to already existing green practices. Are your properties on the leading edge of recycling, lowering your carbon footprint, and operating sustainably? Has your office gone paperless? If they are, they will attract Millennials as renters and as property managers. If not, institute some habits, such as installing recycling bins, bike racks, or community garden space. Millennials will beat a path to your door.

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Although Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, they are not highly represented in property management. These five tips will help you to attract Millennial talent to property management. They, in turn, can help you to attract Millennial renters and keep your properties on the edge of the latest trends.

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Megan Wild

Megan is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate, home improvement, and coffee consumption. Follow her on Twitter @Megan_Wild, or subscribe to Your Wild Home's weekly newsletter.

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