A new report from the National Apartment Association says apartment jobs across the country account for one-third of all the real estate jobs in the nation.
In Portland it is even higher.
Apartment jobs in Portland represent 54 percent of all the real estate jobs in the metro area according to the report which ended with the second quarter in June.
Apartments remained a favored asset class for investors and have regularly out-performed other real estate sectors during this cycle.
Continued strong demand for apartment jobs especially property managers
Over 71 percent of apartment industry jobs fell within the property management, leasing and maintenance categories.
Property managers, in particular, were in higher demand this year although all sectors witnessed increases thanks to continued strong demand for apartments.
The jobs report focuses on jobs that are being advertised in the apartment industry as being available, according to Paula Munger, Director, Industry Research and Analysis, for the National Apartment Association’s Education Institute.
“Our education institute is a credentialing body for the apartment industry. They hear often that one of the biggest problems keeping our industry leaders up at night is the difficulty in finding talent, attracting talent and retaining talent,” Munger said. “Labor-market issues are happening in a lot of industries, certainly with the tight labor market we have.”
So NAA decided to partner with Burning Glass Technologies. “They have a labor-job posting database that is proprietary,” she said, and they can “layer on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We looked at that and thought we could do something that is really going to help the industry and help benchmark job titles and trends as we go forward.”
Customer services most desired apartment jobs after property management
Other job sectors often compete for candidates with similar skills sets to those apartments need.
Outside of the specialized skill of property management, customer service is the most desired skill in the apartment industry, as it is in retail trade and hospitality.
During the second quarter, mean salaries for apartment job postings surpassed both sectors, by 12.8 and 29.4 percent, respectively.
There was also a smaller concentration of lower-paying apartment jobs (under $35,000) which bodes well for the industry in this extremely competitive labor market.
The turnover rate challenge
Ellis Management Solutions has statistics showing the national turnover rate for jobs is 19 percent but in the multifamily industry it is 39 percent.
“I think, I’ll state the obvious, with the high turnover, you are going to have to go out to the market more often to keep your positions filled,” Munger said. “I actually have another report from CEL and Associates a company out of LA, and theirs is more like 32 percent turnover rate for the multifamily industry. But the maintenance job, the on-site maintenance job, is almost consistently the highest turnover year after year.
“Like any other industry, with a lot of turnover, there is that time that has to be taken out to bring the person on board, to do other hiring activities like background checks. So it’s costly and that certainly does not help the bottom line