Entry-Level Employees Find a Home for Their Career in Residential Property Management

Part of what I try to do with this column is give readers a glimpse of what life is like working in Residential Property Management (RPM). The best way to do that is by sharing stories and anecdotes from people like you who are actually working in the industry.

I have found that people, especially high school and college students, often don’t realize the exciting career opportunities that await them right down the street at their neighborhood apartment community. In fact, many college students live in apartment communities but don’t even consider working at one.

Our industry welcomes people from a wide variety of backgrounds, experience levels and interests. All of them have found in RPM an exciting career that is challenging and rewarding. This month I’m highlighting one of these individuals and letting him tell his story in his own words.

Shun Cameron has been in the industry since 2013 and holds a master’s degree in residential property management from Ball State University. He currently serves as community director for Featherstone Apartment Homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., which is a property managed by Weidner Apartment Homes.

He offers the following advice to people considering a career in the industry:

  • What are the job requirements, hours, pros and cons of beginning a job in the industry? 

“The job requirements for a community director in property management are vast and hard to list out. I would say being flexible and versatile at a variety of tasks would help you become a great property manager.  Attention to detail, quick responsiveness, dependability and an emphasis on customer service are vital. The pros of this job are that every day is a new adventure.  I enjoy the fast-paced environment with a variety of tasks that must be completed each day. A con of this industry is that you are required to wear many ‘hats,’ which can cause stress since some of these hats may not fit your personality."

  • What should someone expect from their first, entry-level job in Residential Property Management? 

“You should expect to pour everything you have into your first position. You will need to show your management company that you are capable of handling a multi-million dollar asset. Expect to work longer hours than you are scheduled, which you will not even notice since you will love what the industry offers.”

  • Are there any RPM industry job myths that first-timers should know are false?

“One myth about my position as a community director position is that you have a housekeeper or maintenance technician to fully turn an apartment. Expect to clean apartments! This is a vital component to satisfy your residents.”

  • What advice do you have for students who are considering a career in Residential Property Management or who want to learn more about it?

“I would share one piece of advice for RPM majors — involve yourself in an RPM organization to develop your interest about the industry. If you are the right fit for the industry, RPM turns into your favorite hobby!”

Shun serves as an ambassador in our Residential Property Management (RPM) Careers Ambassador Program in which we feature young professionals who are relatively new to the RPM industry on our RPM Careers website.

You can read about others like Shun by visiting this site or by stopping by the National Apartment Association’s APTly Spoken Blog and looking for entries tagged with “My RPM Story.” These entries feature RPM ambassadors telling their own stories about how they found their place in the industry.

Follow NAAEI on Twitter @NAAEI.

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