Some Skills for Residential Property Management Career Success Can’t Be Learned Behind a Desk

While people working in the Residential Property Management (RPM) industry come from a wide variety of backgrounds, they have learned that being successful in our industry requires a certain type of personality and skills that can’t always be learned by sitting in a classroom. However, you can still gain these skills through experience and the right attitude.

Lisa Odle serves as director of sales for BG Staffing, which helps people find jobs in the industry. She has worked in the RPM industry for 30 years and knows first-hand what it takes to succeed. Flexibility is key, she said.

“You must be able to roll with the punches, deal with pressure and switch gears while not losing your place,” she said. “Jumping back and forth between people and projects all day is the norm and juggling people and situations at the same time with very different priorities is a requirement.”

People who have “sales personalities,” who enjoy a fast-paced job and who are business-oriented tend to do well and advance quickly in the industry.

“These people are ready to jump into the fire and get rolling right now!” she said. “This industry is fun and fast-paced and in need of quality candidates, so it will get a hold of you and start moving you along right away if you are a performer!”

Lisa said RPM companies also look for the following qualities in entry-level employees:

  • Sales ability
  • Confidence
  • Professional image
  • Willingness to work weekends
  • Love of a fast-paced environment

Expertise in computer use, customer service and marketing also can help RPM entry-level employees succeed on the job, she said. High school and college students can receive help in obtaining some of these skills by applying at their local property management staffing agency. They can usually receive free training if they are determined to be a good candidate.

Many entry-level employees start as leasing consultants. “Secret shopping” an apartment community can help people interested in an RPM career obtain a true frame of reference for the leasing consultant role, she said.

They also might want to consider taking the National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) course through my organization, the National Apartment Association Education Institute. Our leasing consultant careers page also offers helpful resources.

Lisa encourages students to visit and connect with one of the mentors there – of which she is one. She serves as an ambassador in our RPM Careers Ambassador Program. You can learn more about her and others working in our industry by visiting our RPM Careers website.

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