Recent Shifts in Job-Search Sentiment: What the Rental Housing Industry Needs to Know
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4 minute read

How to attract the best candidates and retain valued employees in light of changing multifamily employment landscape. 

It’s no secret that the job market has dramatically changed during the past couple years.

The employment landscape, which already favored candidates before the pandemic as companies competed for top talent, quickly morphed into a tight labor market as The Great Resignation continues. Adding fuel to the fire are unprecedented shifts in employees’ job expectations, as working from home became the norm almost immediately.

In the commercial real estate industry, these trends remain in play. According to a recent survey from RETS Associates of more than 200 individuals across the U.S. spanning a variety of roles and tenures in the industry, more than 75% of respondents intend to or would consider searching for a new job outside of their current company this year. And more than 55% of respondents noted they would not accept a position at a company that did not offer the option for remote work at least some of the time.

What does this mean for jobs in the rental housing industry? Based on the survey results, here’s what rental housing employers and employees need to know about these shifts in the coming months.

Employers Must Offer Flexibility

We are simply not going back to five days a week in the office any time soon—if ever. Employees who can do their jobs remotely will be looking for companies that offer this option at least a few days a week. Multifamily housing firms must realize this applies to anyone other than those involved in day-to-day onsite property management.

Companies that don’t offer this option may see poor retention and hesitation among candidates to accept offers, no matter how attractive the job may otherwise seem. Today’s workers are much less likely to stick around if they’re unhappy in their job.

The truth is, flexibility has become one of the most important characteristics today’s job candidates are seeking, and it is likely to remain a permanent requirement for most of them. 

There is Good Reason to Keep Employees Growing and Satisfied

In the current candidates’ market, companies must provide a clear career growth path for their team members or risk losing top talent. Approximately 20% of survey respondents noted a lack of opportunities with their current employer as the reason for considering searching for a new role. With only roughly 25% of respondents solid in their present positions and not considering other options this year, that leaves a lot of potential for people to exit their jobs.

What’s more, dissatisfaction with their current employer was cited as the reason for another 25.6% of respondents to consider searching for a new role. With nearly three-fourths of people surveyed considering leaving their jobs this year, it makes sense for companies to assess their teams’ satisfaction level and ensure they are working to optimize it. This means examining everything from company culture to opportunities for advancement to office amenities and more.

Keeping team members happy and thriving is more than just a good sound bite for multifamily companies–it’s a tenet by which they must operate to be successful.

Employers’ Interview Etiquette Matters

In today’s hiring climate, companies simply can’t afford to put candidates through an extensive series of interviews. More than 65% of survey respondents said when interviewing for a new job, three to four interviews is acceptable before an employer decides to extend an offer. 

This means whether a company is interviewing to fill a Director of Multifamily Development, Vice President of Acquisitions or Property Manager position, it’s important to make decisions after a limited number of interviews and within a reasonable time frame. Ninety-eight percent of the respondents felt the hiring process should last no more than two months, with 65% wanting less than a month from first contact to an offer letter.

In addition, all in-person or all-remote interviewing is frowned on by half of survey respondents, who noted they prefer a combination of virtual and in-person interviews as part of the hiring process. COVID restrictions notwithstanding, employers should be sure to include both types of interviews during the hiring timeline.

Be Prepared for the Future

As the multifamily sector prepares for a post-pandemic future, stakeholders must take stock of the new job landscape. By offering flexibility, keeping employees growing and satisfied and being cognizant of interviewing etiquette, multifamily employers can retain valued employees and attract the best candidates to their companies.


Kent Elliott, Principal, RETS Associates, can be reached at [email protected].