10 Ways to Use the Holiday Break to Prepare for a Career in Residential Property Management
Classes may be out for the holidays for millions of high school and college students around the nation, but now is the perfect time for them to take advantage of this downtime to learn more about careers in residential property management so they can set course now for a successful career in the industry.
Many students, especially college students, have several weeks off between mid-December and mid-January. I know studying and homework is probably the last thing on any of their minds, but by spending just a few hours a week, students can learn about careers in residential property management and set themselves up for internships or entry-level jobs in the industry.
I have a son in college, so I know his semesters are full of studying, exams and research papers. Little time is left for anything else, particularly thinking about or researching possible career options. His priority is making it through the semester with the grades he wants.
Jamie Preski, a recruiter for Equity Residential, has come up with the following list of 10 things students can do over the holiday break to help prepare them for internships or entry-level jobs in residential property management. Even if they’re not interested in residential property management, students can easily adapt these tips to any career in which they’re interested.
- Study multifamily companies to determine which ones might make a good career fit for you. A lot of company websites have great information not only about the properties they own and manage but also about the company’s history and what it’s like to work there. Consider setting up an informational interview with someone at the company.
- Go apartment hunting. This is “shopping” in our business. You can get a glimpse of a property management career, learn from leasing professionals’ sales tactics and learn about the best (and maybe the worst!) sales and customer service practices from the people you meet.
- Educate yourself on the real estate industry. Read up on market trends and hot industry-related topics in your area. Browse websites, blogs and publications, such as Multifamily Insiders, Urban Land Institute, UNITS and RPMCareers.org. You may want to consider joining some online newsletters and LinkedIn groups.
- Become familiar with your targeted geographic market and know the local economy. Consider why people would want to live in certain areas. Try starting your day by skimming the Wall Street Journal and local business journals to stay up to date and informed.
- Perfect your resume. Have as many people as possible (parents, English major friends, working professionals–especially recruiters!) review your resume for mistakes you might have overlooked. Tailor the language on your resume towards the type of position you are looking for.
- Freshen up your LinkedIn profile. Ensure your information is up to date and your picture is professional. Join industry-specific groups and connect with professionals in your area.
- Consider upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account while you are job searching. This will allow you to contact recruiters/hiring managers directly with InMails rather than just sending connection requests.
- Clean up your social media presence. Check your privacy settings on Facebook, Instagram and any other sites where you wouldn’t want a potential employer poking around.
- Listen to your outgoing voicemail message and make sure you sound clear and professional, not casual or jokey. Get rid of that funny ringback tone–it’s time for your favorite party song from sophomore year to go!
- Look up your local apartment association and attend a meeting to learn more about careers in residential property management in your area.
Another good online resource is our own National Apartment Association online career center at http://www.RPMcareers.org. We offer a wealth of information for high school and college students wanting to learn more about our industry.
Happy holidays everyone!
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