Network and Advance Your Multifamily Property Management Career

Will Johnson's picture
Network and Advance Your Multifamily Property Management Career

In addition to my duties as Publisher for the Rental Housing Journal family of publications and raising a family, I also do selective contract recruiting for executive, sales and media positions. Last week those worlds collided.

I was participating in an annual strategic planning event for my local multifamily housing association. At the same time, I had 3 candidates in final interviews with an out of town corporate VP for a senior media sales position. In planning, we were engaged in the sort of thought provoking team activities that are common in such events, but I had an eye on my phone waiting for texts from the people I was representing with feedback from the interviews.

Stepping out on a break, I had brief conversations with two candidates, both of whom mentioned that they knew people in common with the VP from previous positions and companies. Both were told that the VP would be following up to get references from their mutual contact. This wasn’t particularly surprising, because in my hunt for candidates, I was reminded again just what a small world media sales is.

Returning to planning, a board member was giving a presentation and made the point at what an amazing thing it is that we were sitting in a room full of competing property managers, as well as tenant screening , apartment maintenance and rental forms providers and everyone was working together for the greater good of the association and the multifamily industry. Looking across the room, I saw people I’ve known for years and many of them were representing companies different from those they worked at when I first met them. Like the media sales industry, property management is a small world. Further, it’s an industry where it is very common for people to move from company to company several times during their career. For this reason, the ability to positively network and retain a good reputation is extremely important for the advancement of your career.

Being involved with your local landlord groups and apartment associations is an incredible way to become recognized by the people who make the hiring decisions in the industry. Getting to know them by working for the benefit of the industry is a great way to build relationships with people who can give you a leg up in your career. Conversely, earning a negative reputation in the industry can kill your career. The big hitters are paying attention.

The bottom line is this: Network. Get involved. Be positive. Your property management career may depend on it.

Will Johnson is Publisher at Rental Housing Journal and a Principal at recruitPDX.

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