- A majority of respondents to a new survey of property managers cited dealing with abusive and aggressive residents and tenants as the most difficult part of their work. Nearly 75% consider their work detrimental to their physical and mental health.
- At the same time, the vast majority of property managers — over 80% — are satisfied with their work, proud of their positions and enjoy the people they work with, according to the Voice of the Property Manager report by the National Apartment Association, sponsored by Cleveland-based proptech firm MRI Software.
- Out of 1,600 property management professionals, over 60% reported that they had a good work-life balance. Forty-three percent said their work was “on the busy side,” while 13% said that their work was far too busy. Of the overburdened, only 52% expect to still be working in property management in three years, and 25% expect to change industries with their next position.
The survey comes amid a labor shortage and historically low unemployment rate across all industries.
Not only are there 3 million fewer employees in the labor force today than in February 2020, but the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased workloads, raised demand for property management services and in turn raised workers’ salary expectations, according to the report. Respondents cited maintaining adequate staffing levels as one of their most difficult tasks, and expressed concerns in the survey’s open-ended comments about increased industry turnover in the next five years, driven by seasoned employees leaving due to low pay, high workload and overall burnout.
Property managers' biggest challenges
|Challenge||% of respondents|
|Dealing with aggressive/abusive residents||24.3%|
|Mental health, inability to switch off after hours||16.1%|
|Proper staffing levels||15.7%|
|Working with residents at risk of eviction||8.6%|
|Keeping up to date with new legislation||7.0%|
|Training and onboarding new hires||5.0%|
|Dealing with fraud||4.4%|
|Dealing with aggressive management||3.5%|
|Dealing with technology||3.4%|
SOURCE: MRI Software
“What owners and operators need to do better is providing solutions to manage workloads to enable better work-life balances, offering more career opportunities, augmenting training on future trends and technology and furnishing plenty of mental health resources,” the report concluded.
The report follows the Voice of the Resident report published by MRI earlier this month, which asked multifamily residents a series of questions about their living, amenity and technology preferences. High-tech features were a big draw for this survey’s respondents; more than half want to communicate with their landlord through digital means and would rather pay their rent online than by check or cash.
In line with this desire, property management companies are catching on quickly with new adoptions, both on the back end and in customer-facing services. Only 7.8% of respondents said that their companies had not adopted any new technologies within the past 18 months.