Takeaways:

  • Marketing leasable space is considerably more important to apartment managers than overseers of office buildings.
  • More than 80 percent of apartment managers ranked marketing and leasing functions as an “important” or “very important” aspect of operations.
  • Hiring, staffing and employee engagement/retention is also more important for apartment managers, as employee turnover tends to be higher in the industry.

Marketing leasable space is considerably more important to apartment managers than overseers of office buildings.

A recent study conducted by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) found that more than 80 percent of apartment managers ranked marketing and leasing functions as an “important” or “very important” aspect of operations.

This includes not only developing and implementing marketing and leasing plans, but also implementing resident retention plans and developing social media and reputation management strategies.

Hiring, staffing and employee engagement/retention is also more important for apartment managers, as employee turnover tends to be higher in the industry.

irem-survey

Overall, the survey — which polled nearly 1,500 apartment and office managers — found that the most important task area for managers was enforcing, maintaining, establishing and reviewing properties’ operating policies. Roughly 62 percent of respondents pointed to this task as “very important.”

Other areas of import included:

  • Annual budgets.
  • Inspections, maintenance and repair services.
  • Investigating and resolving complaints from tenants/residents.
  • Capital improvements/replacements.

With a few exceptions, the study found sustainability and green building ranked relatively low in importance for real estate managers. Overall, less than 50 percent of all survey respondents ranked developing and implementing sustainable practices as important or very important.

The study also polled real estate managers regarding “soft skills” and found “communications,” “problem solving” and “interpersonal skills” ranked as most important.

“Industry-related knowledge about finance, maintenance, risk management, marketing and leasing, and other property operations, continue to be rated as important,” the executive summary stated. “What is telling, however, is that cross-functional skills (people or soft skills) rank even higher in importance.”

According to IREM, the survey results confirm that real estate management is still essentially a personal service profession — with real estate managers realizing that managing people and relationships is just as important as managing buildings.

Email Erik Pisor.

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