Creating a Career Path for Condo Managers
From the Winter 2023 issue of the CCI South Alberta CCI Review
If you take a moment to research job fairs or review the career paths that guidance counselors share with high-school students, you would be hard-pressed to find much on the topic of property management. Instead, it’s often described as an addition to the “main event,” such as real estate agent or asset manager. Condos across Canada need more property managers in the field. Unfortunately, there are not enough to effectively support the current number of corporations and the constantly growing market. Property management can be a very rewarding career. As a growth industry, the sky’s the limit, from property administration to vice president of operations.
But in an industry that doesn’t necessarily promote itself as a career path, getting people to join the profession, including young professionals, requires a great deal of awareness, which is currently lacking. How can the industry collectively evolve and bring more attention to property management as a rewarding choice?
Condo managers oversee homes and communities to ensure they are in good working order— compliant, clean, and safe. Thinking of such responsibilities spotlights the critical aspect of this role, one that is often misunderstood.
Often, the perception is that condo managers work exclusively for the board of directors. The role can be seen as a bit of a “paper pushing” role when, in fact, there are various facets that shape the everyday reality of a condo manager—one that is far from dull. Knowing one is a trusted member of a community, invited into people’s homes, brings a sense of appreciation and accomplishment. Perhaps more people should understand this when considering joining the field.
To attract new hires, those in leadership roles can collectively share success stories, promotions, and their personal growth journeys within the industry. Social media is a great start, and one way to track views is to include meaningful hashtags, such as #wearehiring and #joinourteam.
Try and get front-and-centre at career fairs, held in regions across Ontario, including post-secondary institutions. When property management firms participate in them, this helps create awareness. Also focus on hiring co-op students from both high-school and post-secondary school. Posting a job as a property administrator in an institution’s with participants the process of becoming licensed, growth potential and salary expectations would be interesting topics to include.
Property management companies looking to attract the best talent should also focus on mentorship opportunities to promote the profession and help young people gain experience.
In fact, younger people entering the workforce crave mentorship opportunities. In the Colliers Post Pandemic Student Workplace Preferences Report this past summer, post-secondary students surveyed in Canada expressed what they value about the office. Strong bonds with mentor relationships and professional development figured highly into their preferences. The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, which offers insight to attract and retain this talent, found the exact same sentiment, with additional insight into reverse-mentoring where young voices want to be listened to as well.
There are also many organizations looking for speakers to share perspectives on the industries they work within. They are a great place to connect with young professionals and those looking to make a career change. The Dream It — Be It program, for instance, from an organization called Soroptimist, partners business owners with secondary job bank may help bring forward interesting candidates.
Another option is to hold virtual career sessions. Ideally, it will attract talent to your firm. However, looking at the larger picture, it may also help shine a light on the career. When sharing school female students to help them navigate career options. This group also holds a fair where students can learn about each mentor’s business.
Mentorship is also a great way to transfer skills and knowledge in an industry where skilled condo managers are becoming more scarce, and the generations that follow are keenly interested in upping their skills. Reaching out to vendors and partners and asking them to hold educational sessions or lunch-and-learns can help new hires better understand the many facets of property management and gain confidence to thrive and grow internally. Likewise, various organizations offer free or paid hybrid sessions for this same reason.
Finally, tapping into what drives future condo managers is key. As the Deloitte survey revealed, Gen Z and millennials are “deeply worried” about the state of the world and such issues like climate change, of which buildings are large contributors. As one example, the property management sector can empower this socially-minded group to become a part of driving change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment. Since this group also wants to work for an organization with purpose, one that cares about making a difference, try promoting those green initiatives and charitable events.
Collectively celebrating those who are currently in the condominium property management industry and welcoming with open arms those who are looking to join has never been a more crucial pursuit.
By: Angel-Marie Reiner
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