For many property management executives, employee engagement is often an afterthought. Between ensuring tenant satisfaction and keeping track of key metrics to increase NOI, the never-ending to-do list does not leave much time for boosting employee morale.

Recent studies show that nationwide employee engagement is at 32%, and 51% of workers across all industries are actively seeking a new career or watching for job openings.

In the multifamily industry, in particular, property management turnover has increased one percentage point year over year up to 11% in 2018. Meanwhile, turnover for leasing professionals increased two percentage points up to 21% between 2017 and 2018.

According to the NMHC Industry Compensation Survey, high rates of employee turnover are typically due to:

  • Salary — Amid a tight market, many property managers are scouting other multifamily roles for higher salaries.
  • Benefits — Many multifamily professionals have to pay a greater amount for healthcare due to rising insurance costs.
  • Aging population — High property management turnover is also caused by an aging population, with many property managers reaching retirement age.

Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

While salary and benefits are important in retaining staff, a major cause of employee turnover is a lack of employee engagement. Establishing a positive company culture can inspire employees, mitigate turnover, and ultimately lead your multifamily organization to greater profits.

Employees are less likely to stay with an organization where they are not rewarded for accomplishments, do not relate to or believe in the company’s mission, lack a connection with colleagues, or are not offered a path for growth. Each of these aspects is at the core of building a positive company culture that engages and inspires your team. As such, engaging your employees should be a high priority and practiced at all levels of the organization (not just within the leadership team).

The Costly Impact of a Negative Company Culture

Turnover can be costly considering the time, resources, and money spent on recruiting, hiring, training, and administrative expenses. However, negative company culture causes an even more important “cost”: the cost of your business’ reputation. As residents and vendor partners begin to notice your high turnover, they may begin to view your organization as unreliable and unpredictable. This intangible cost can impact current and future partnerships on many levels.

While turnover will never reduce to zero, intelligent hiring, competitive benefits, career growth opportunities, and enhanced employee engagement, can better position your company for success. It is important for multifamily professionals to recognize that just a small decrease in turnover can result in long-term cost savings and improved company culture.

Discover Ways to Retain Top Talent

Think of it this way: resident retention has always been a top priority for multifamily organizations, now it’s time to give employee retention a seat at the table as well. How can that be done? Stay tuned for Part II of our company culture series to learn practical and creative ways to retain top talent.