We get it- a global pandemic is no time to start looking for a career change.
Or is it?
If 2020 had a buzzword, it must be “pivot”. We’ve all had to do it- shifting to working from home, homeschooling our kids, trying to manage a full-time job with full-time parenting, and limited time outside of the house with little to no contact with family or friends that you haven’t been quarantined with. The term “work-life balance” has taken on new meaning as we host video calls from our kitchen tables, while wrangling toddlers, feeding babies, and telling our school-age kids to log in to their remote classes. If there is a silver lining here (and here at BGSF, we like to find the silver lining in everything!), it’s that this year has unveiled what is most important in our lives and possible changes that need to happen. If you’ve been considering making a career shift, keep reading for the top reasons to take a good look at the apartment industry.
- You’re considered “essential.” The apartment industry, officially called the multifamily industry, due to the nature of apartment homes housing more than one family in a single building, provides housing to over 33% of all Americans. At the start of the pandemic, all personnel in multifamily housing, management, or construction were deemed “essential” and therefore necessary to continue on in the workforce while others stayed home. That job security alone is a huge plus, pandemic or not. No matter what city you’re in or what kind of apartment community you choose to work for, people will always need people to help make sure operations at apartment communities goes smoothly and doesn’t stop for the residents who live there.
- It’s a growing industry. Besides just the job security factor, apartment buildings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, apartment construction is booming with nearly 300,000 apartment units being built in 2019 alone. Metro markets like New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta, and Charlotte show that rents are rising, construction is continuing, and there is no slowdown of job opportunities. (Source: RentCafe.com) People will always need a place to live, amirite?
- It’s always changing. Not just the amount of apartment being built, but the entire industry is shifting. New sales platforms for leasing associates like AI, chatbots, and Smart Home technology are bringing apartment leasing into the future. Green and LEED certified construction measures mean a new set of processes and procedures. Operations and facilities platforms being developed also help management companies of all sizes manage service requests and help secure resident information and data. No two days are the same and whether on-site or in a corporate office, the multifamily industry offers and exciting environment for anyone who is looking for more than the typical 9-5 desk job.
- There are so many career paths. With multifamily hosting about 12.3 million employees (Source: multifamilyexecutive.com), there are many more positions available in 2020 than just your run-of-the-mill property manager and leasing agent. How about Social Media Director, Branding Coordinator, Resident Event Director, or Lead Maintenance Supervisor? Podcast hosts, blog writers (hello!), asset managers, regional directors, technology specialists, and even coffee baristas and bartenders have a place in the new multifamily industry. Departments like IT, human resources, accounting, and marketing and being brought in-house to so many apartment management firms, and the job possibilities are endless. Interested in learning more about what positions are available? Check out job sites like Glassdoor.com or Indeed. Interested in trying out several roles before deciding on one? Partner with BG Multifamily and get a taste of the multifamily industry to see if it’s right for you!
- Associations provide social and educational outlets. Apartment associations across the country have been formed over the last 40 years or so to provide a governing body to that area’s multifamily employees and communities. These associations provide the opportunity for anyone who works for a multifamily company (including suppliers like flooring vendors, advertising vendors, or staffing agencies- hello again!) to join a committee, attend conferences, participate in social activities, and continue their multifamily education with classes and provided instructors. Dinner meetings, awards galas, keynote speakers, and charity involvement are just a few of the exciting things apartment associations offer their members. Reach out to your association for membership costs. Trust us, it’s worth it.
- Networking and mentorship opportunities. Along with the association involvement with hundreds to tens of thousands of your closest friends, any association is a great place to network and find your industry mentor. Just like an orientation group at college, finding your niche with a committee that inspires you or taking a credential class helps you find your “people”- and even more importantly, a possible mentor for your multifamily career journey. Having an experienced someone who works in the same field really makes a difference in the longevity and loyalty you will have in the industry. It can get tough- hey, what job can’t? – and having that person to encourage you along the way can sometimes be all you need to get through. Plus, when that promotion or new opportunity comes along, you have someone you can call to share the good news! And don’t forget that BEING a mentor to someone else is also an amazing way to influence the next generation of multifamily leaders.
- Make a difference. You have a unique opportunity at your apartment community to make a difference in the lives of so many people. Your residents, for instance, love being able to rely on someone in the office for their needs at home. Past that, things like resident events, personalized birthday cards on their door, extra treats for their pets, and a warm smile around the community can also go so far in making sure a resident feels comfortable in their home. Providing housing means you’ll encounter people who possibly have come through a divorce, cross-country moves, or life changes. Each interaction you have is an opportunity to lend an ear, get to know that person, and give them the joy of finding that perfect place to live in your apartment community. Residents- current and future- are the reason we do what we do.
- Have that work-life balance. Unlike retail and restaurant jobs, most apartment offices close between 5-7 pm. Some are closed on weekends and most are closed on major US holidays. Plus, there are so many apartment management companies that offer additional benefits to support work-life balance, like additional PTO days, shorter workdays before holidays, and parental leave. Work-life balance shouldn’t just be on the wish list for your career- it’s a requirement. It’s necessary for survival, not just during this COVID-era, but in this permanently changing landscape. From either completely work-from-home setups to partial work-from-home days, companies across the nation are responding to their employees’ need for flexibility. Be sure to ask your interviewer about their work-life balance policies. And once you get that coveted job, don’t be afraid to suggest some ideas to your Human Resources team!
There’s never been a better time to get involved in the multifamily industry. If you’re ready to start exploring open positions, check out the roles we’re hiring for at bgmultifamily.com. We can’t wait to help you get your new career started!