Apartment property manager positions were in the most demand during the third quarter, according to the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) Education Institute jobs report.
Austin, Portland and Denver had the greatest concentration of openings for property management professionals, each more than three times the U.S. average.
In Austin, a number of positions specifying “multi-site” or “floating” property managers was a testament to the talent shortage.
Overall apartment job openings increased
The apartment industry increased its share of job openings in the real estate sector during the third quarter, to 36 percent from 30.2 percent in Q3 2017, according to the NAA report.
New supply and a steady rate of demand contributed to strong growth and a pressing need for additional staffing.
Apartment jobs were available in markets of all sizes, but in terms of sheer numbers of job openings, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, D.C. came out on top. Over the past year, Denver and Atlanta dropped out of the top 5 for all types of positions. The pace of new deliveries in both markets slowed dramatically in 2018, according to CoStar data.
The NAAEI monthly ranking by city showed Orlando in the top 5 for the first time this year.
Of these markets, Houston appeared the most frequently, four times during the first nine months of this year with increased activity post-Harvey and improving economic fundamentals.
Apartment industry offers competitive salaries
The retail trade and hospitality sectors often compete for similar skill sets. The greatest share of job openings in those sectors fall within the lowest pay scale (below $35,000 per year). The apartment industry offered more competitive salaries with over 75 percent of jobs.
“Today, property managers not only need more technical and financial skills than five years ago, but employers who had job openings over the last quarter were looking for prior experience in the field. Baseline skills, also known as ‘soft skills’ have become far more focused on the ability to communicate effectively, the report said.
NAA a leader in education
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.”
That is why 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,” she said.
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.