Companies are only as strong as their people. In the property management business, many of the people are boomers and nearing retirement. So, it’s vital that REITs, property management firms recruit Millennials into their ranks.
Although many people think it’s cool perks like a foozball table in the lunch room, or a free breakfast bar that appeals to Millennials – it’s not. The Harvard Business Review reports that Millennials want what most people want: to have meaningful work; to solve problems with the environment and society, to interact with a diverse group of people, to work with a best-in-class company, and to do work they’re passionate about.
When it comes to Millennials, there are a few ways to make your company stand out from the rest, and ensure they’ll be there for the long-run.
While the reports of job-hopping Millennials may be greatly exaggerated, what does matter is the right mix of opportunity for career advancement and a competitive pay. A PwC report notes, “That’s not to say that pay isn’t important – 44% of those questioned said competitive wages made an employer more attractive, the second highest proportion for any factor given. The biggest draw for millennials, though, is the opportunity for progression – 52% said that they felt this made an employer an attractive prospect.”
Millennials have grown up in a digital world. With ubiquitous connectivity to the internet through a laptop or phone, they expect to be able to access information anywhere anytime. What? They need to go into the office to get a file from their desktop? Not going to cut it. The PwC survey also reported that “41% of those questioned said they would rather communicate electronically than face-to-face or over the telephone.” Property management firms must invest in the cloud-based tools that deliver convenience to their tenants but also to their employees. With an SaaS solution, your Millennial employee can easily access reports while on the road, or respond to resident queries via email or text message.
Another study (Intelligence Group) states that 74% of Millennials want flexible work schedules. Millennials understand that the previously mentioned technology gives them the ability to work from the local Starbucks or from home from time-to-time. They don’t want to be chained to a desk from 9 am to 5 pm every day. While deadlines need to be met and there may be face-to-face meetings required with prospects, by giving your Millennial employees more flexibility in their daily schedules, you can also greatly increase their loyalty to your business.
Millennials want to know the work they do has meaning. That they play a role in the organization’s success. “Meaningful work” is a slippery term. It can mean different things to different people. But as your Millennial worker has already chosen a career in property management, you can assume they find meaning in a leadership role that requires interacting with a wide assortment of people and offers a diversity of tasks. What they probably don’t want to do is cut and paste information from environmentally irresponsible paper forms into separate systems and programs. Make sure your organization is automating as much as possible so you Millennial workers can do the job they were hired to do.
If you want your Millennials employees to stick around, be sure you are gving them plenty of ongoing feedback. They are used to a connected world, with ongoing back-and-forth through texting and IMing. They’ve grown up in a world receiving instantaneous feedback from parents and teachers. They want that same type of 180-degree communication in their work life. But they won’t always ask for it directly. Gallup shows that “only 19% of Millennials say they receive routine feedback. An even smaller percentage of Millennials (17%) say the feedback they do receive is meaningful.” Make sure your managers check in with their Millennial team members on a weekly basis, and have adequate “in the moment” coaching skills.
One Last Note
Allowing Millennials to work from a variety of personal devices can create security risks. Solutions like Property Vista’s online suite of property management tools gives your organization the necessary precautions to keep proprietary information and sensitive company data safe.
To learn more about how you can increase your appeal to Millennial workers while protecting your data and digital infrastructure, sign up for your free account today.