The apartment industry labor market held its momentum through the final three months of the year, with apartment jobs representing more than 34 percent of job openings in the real estate sector.
The latest National Apartment Association jobs report shows demand levels were well above the recent average of 28.2 percent for this quarter.
West Coast markets Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco dominated the top cities for apartment- job demand in terms of the sheer number of available positions.
Both Denver and Colorado Springs had the highest location quotients, meaning demand in these markets was three times the U.S. average.
Property manager jobs in high demand
Positions in property management were in the greatest demand, with leasing and maintenance fairly evenly split, according to the December report.
Property managers, assistant property managers and community directors were in the top five job titles, comprising more than 6,200 postings combined.
Salaries for apartment jobs more competitive than some industries
Salaries in the apartment sector have been more competitive than the retail trade and hospitality sectors, which have overlapping skill sets for some positions.
High location quotients in Denver, Colorado Springs, Seattle, and Phoenix, among others, present both opportunities and challenges as all sectors are competing for the same pool of labor.
Maintenance-tech skill set still highly sought as titles change
The change in the proportion of job titles over the past five years is not only reflective of demand, i.e. the highly sought-after maintenance tech, but of recruiters providing more focused and appealing titles.
The generic “apartment manager” has given way to “community manager,” while the surge of assistant property managers and maintenance supervisors reveals a clear career path within those sectors.
The greatest increases in skills desired for all types of positions included both specialized skills such as Yardi software, and soft skills, particularly writing and collaboration.
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.
National apartment association jobs report background
“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.”
NAA partnered 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.”
NAAEI’s mission is to provide broad-based education, training and recruitment programs that attract, nurture and retain high-quality professionals and develop tomorrow’s apartment industry leaders.