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Be the Next Room to Grow Ambassador: Maintenance Edition


Be the Next Room to Grow Ambassador: Maintenance Edition

 
What a great way to kick off the New Year!  I’m excited to announce that the “Be the Next Room to Grow Ambassador” video challenge is back. This year we are highlighting our maintenance professionals and we need your help in encouraging submissions.
 
Our maintenance professionals are often the unsung heroes of the multifamily industry keeping our properties in working order, especially in times of crisis like we’ve had this past year. This is a great opportunity to recognize them and let them know what they mean to the success of their properties and your company. Please reach out to your teams to encourage your maintenance professionals at all levels to consider submitting their stories as part of the video challenge.
 

Download this flyer to share with your team

 
The submission process is short and simple – just visit this website for more information and to submit videos. Submissions will be accepted
through January 26th so don’t delay!

A committee of industry leaders will select 3-5 finalists. Then, each finalist will be notified and announced for a public vote (share this widely with your own network as friends, family, colleagues and more can all vote) and a winner will be announced as the next Room to Grow Ambassador. The winner will receive a professional video of their story, professional photos, entry and expenses paid for the 2021 TAA ONE Conference & Expo, statewide recognition on social and print media and much more. 
 
The “Be The Next Room to Grow Ambassador” video challenge, part of the Room to Grow campaign, is an internal video challenge for industry employees in maintenance positions to tell us their stories and to be an Ambassador for the industry. Please help us as we work to raise awareness about our industry, especially during a time when so many could benefit from considering our career paths but have yet to find us.
 
For any questions, please reach out to TAAEF staff at taaef@taa.org. We can’t wait to hear stories from our maintenance professionals and to see who will Be the Next Ambassador!

Mike Clark, HCCP
TAA Education Foundation President
 

Executive Summary: COVID Relief Bill Includes Top NMHC and NAA Priorities


On December 21, Congress finally passed a much-needed $900 billion COVID relief package. The bill, which was combined with a $1.4 trillion spending bill to fund the government through next September, included several priorities for the apartment industry. Most importantly, the package will provide $25 billion for rental assistance, which NAA and NMHC have advocated tirelessly in support of for nearly 10 months.

In addition to the general financial support the measure provides to Americans through additional stimulus checks and an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, the measure also includes important tax victories for apartment firms and $284 billion for a new round of forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The primary multifamily-specific provisions are detailed below. (NAA/NMHC also summarized the tax provisions in the bill and the multifamily-related provisions in the government funding bill.)

Rental Assistance

The measure allocates $25 billion to the Treasury Department to create a new Emergency Rental Assistance program. NAA and NMHC’s top priority in 2020 has been securing dedicated funding for rental assistance. We are pleased that Congress elected to fund this program through the Treasury Department as we believe that will be the fastest and most efficient way to get funds to renters. Many states and localities have already established their own rental assistance programs using prior CARES Act funding, and this model will replenish those programs (with some modifications) instead of trying to create a new federal program from scratch.

Under the terms of the legislation, the Treasury Department will distribute the funds to the states, with no state receiving less than $200 million. Cities with populations over 200,000 can request to receive their allocation directly.

Jurisdictions are required to use no less than 90 percent of the funds for rental payments and are encouraged to prioritize rental and utility arrears. Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional three months if necessary, to ensure housing stability. Assistance can only be allowed in three-month increments, after which point an eligible household must re-apply for funds.

Funds are to be paid directly to the property owner on behalf of the renter and also allow for a property owner to apply for rental assistance on behalf of the resident. If a property owner does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the renter for subsequent payment to the property.

Jurisdictions are directed to prioritize households that are currently unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 days as well as households earning 50 percent of area median income (AMI) and below. Importantly, the measure bases qualifying income on the income the household is receiving at the time of application for assistance and not their prior income. Despite this preference, jurisdictions do have some flexibility to serve those with incomes up to 80 percent of AMI and can establish additional criteria.

Beyond these guardrails set by Congress, states and localities will have flexibility in how the funds are ultimately distributed. NMHC and other stakeholders have encouraged jurisdictions to look toward successful models that get the funding to the property level quickly, such as the Mississippi State RA program.

Congress also extended the ability of states to use previously allocated CARES Act resources to fund rental relief programs. Without that action, states faced a December 31 deadline to fully allocate their funding, and many states found themselves with meaningful surpluses of funds that have yet to be distributed, in part because of the overly narrow targeting of those programs

NMHC will track successful programs, but given the scope of the numerous state and local programs, members are encouraged to reach out to their state and local housing officials to learn the details of the programs where they operate.

Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Funding Extension

Extends for one year (until December 21, 2021) the availability of funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act. The CRF through the CARES Act provided $150 billion for states to use for a variety of needs and provided jurisdictions flexibility to use a portion of allocated funds to set up rental assistance programs. Without this action, the authorization to commit those funds was set to expire on December 31, 2020. NAA and NMHC urged Congress to extend the current-year end deadline for state and local governments to use CRF funding.

Additional Financial Assistance for Renters

While a dedicated rental assistance program was NAA and NMHC’s top priority, we recognize that all sources of financial support for unemployed citizens will help renters cover their household budgets. To that end, we advocated for additional direct assistance and were pleased to see that the legislation included the following:

  • $300 federal unemployment assistance through March 14, 2021.
  • An extension of the federal unemployment program that supports gig workers through April 5, 2021.
  • Direct payments (stimulus checks) of $600 for individuals earning up to $75,000 per year and married couples earning up to $150,000 per year. Each child dependent is additionally eligible for $600

Eviction Moratorium Extended

The legislation extends the current CDC eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021. The mechanics of the moratorium remain unchanged and continue to require that residents submit a signed declaration of COVID-related hardship to qualify for the protection. NAA has provided guidance on the moratorium.

We continue to educate policymakers that eviction moratoriums do nothing to address renters’ financial issues and actually exacerbate them.

Paycheck Protection Program & Small Business Support

The relief bill provides $284.5 billion in additional funding to allow the hardest-hit small businesses to receive either an initial or a second forgivable PPP loan of up to $2 million. Businesses eligible for a second-draw loan must have 300 or fewer employees and have sustained a 25 percent revenue loss in any quarter of 2020. In addition, forgivable expenses are expanded to include supplier costs and investments in facility modifications and personal protective equipment to operate safely.

For firms that have previously received PPP loans, the bill clarifies that business expenses paid for with the proceeds of forgiven PPP loans are tax deductible, consistent with Congressional intent. The loan forgiveness process is simplified for borrowers with PPP loans of $150,000 or less.

Liability Protections

NAA and NMHC have called for targeted and limited liability protections related to COVID as apartment firms have raised concerns that despite doing their best to follow applicable guidelines, they could be forced to defend against an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits which will drive up operating costs at a time of great financial stress in the multifamily industry. Unfortunately, despite concessions from both sides, lawmakers could not reach agreement on providing COVID-19 liability protections for businesses that follow public health guidance in operations.

Congressional Leaders have agreed to debate this and other contentious COVID relief efforts, like additional state and local government financial assistance, in early 2021.

NAA and NMHC will continue to advocate in 2021 for additional relief for renters and housing providers given the tremendous backlog of unpaid rent and the ongoing economic crisis.

The 7 phrases you should never say to anyone.

 

When it comes to both relationships and communication, I never would have imagined that the most valuable book I’d ever read would be written by a cop.

But the late George J. Thompson — aka “Doc Rhino” — wasn’t just any cop. The man was seriously accomplished and the true definition of a “Warrior Poet.”

Prior to joining the force, the talented martial artist — holding a Black Belt in both Judo and Taekwando — taught English at both the high-school and university level before receiving his post-doctorate from Princeton in rhetoric and persuasion.

Due to his love of education, martial arts, persuasion, and law enforcement, George created the only true Tactical Communication Course in the world which would later go on to form the work he is most known for — his book “Verbal Judo.

Although originally intended to better arm police officers with more effective words to de-escalate potentially violent situations instead of resorting to force, George’s teachings can also help us to properly navigate stressful situations both at home and in the workplace.

Throughout his work, George gives plenty of advice regarding what to say to simmer down hot situations.

Of equal importance — and recommendations you can begin to implement immediately to improve your relationships — he also shares his wisdom of which phrases should be avoided at all costs.

If there was ever a time to take the hard steps to make difficult conversations easier on both parties, this would be it.


To get you started, below are 7 of the phrases George recommends not saying.



1. “Come here!”

Imagine you’re sitting at your desk and your boss steps out from their office and says “Come here!” to you in front of your co-workers.

If you’re anything like me, no matter how high you were holding your head prior to hearing these words you’d feel pretty small.

Ordering someone to come over to you may make you feel like you have authority. But when it comes to having people respect you phrases like “Come here,” have the opposite effect as even kids don’t want to be spoken to like they’re a child.

When most people hear the words “Come here,” their first instinct is to turn around and run as it’s a massive signpost they’re in trouble.

Remember this the next time you have the urge to say, “Come here!” to anyone. Remind yourself that if you don’t like to hear these words the odds increase tremendously that you are not the only person who feels this way.

Saying in a calm voice, “Would you mind if we chatted for a moment?” or simply “May I talk to you?” is much more effective as it gives people the freedom to make their own decisions.

And if people want anything, it’s the choice to act on their own free will.


2. “Because those are the rules.”

In George’s work, he outlines 5 truths that apply to all people no matter their age, culture, or race.

  1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect.
  2. All people want to be asked, rather than told to do something.
  3. All people want to be informed as to why they are being asked or ordered to do something.
  4. All people want to be given choices rather than threats.
  5. All people want a second chance when they make a mistake.

The words, “Because those are the rules,” don’t directly hit all of these 5 truths. But they do touch upon most of them. They show a lack of respect. They do not give people a choice. They are not informative.

A good rule of thumb is if you’re about to say something and it goes against any of “George’s 5 Truths” — let alone three — it’s best not to say them.

According to George, the words “Because those are the rules!” — or the super annoying: “Because I said so” — makes you sound weak and it shows you do not have the knowledge to support your order with logical reasoning.

On the flip-side, by explaining why something is the way it is you offer people a neutral piece of ground for them to stand on while opening the door for them to save face if they do end up complying with your explanation.

In short, if you are going to give people anything, let it be your “Why.” And if you don’t know the answer — find out.


3. “Calm down!”

If I’ve learned anything in my life it’s that rarely is my first response the best response.

That being said, no matter how many times I remind myself of this and try to remove the words “Calm down” from my vocabulary, I still let these words slip from time to time. This is especially true when either of my kids turns into a Gremlin.

Regardless of it being a difficult phrase to swallow, it’s in your best interest to work to break the habit. According to George, instead of helping us to reach the desired outcome of getting someone to slow their roll, the words “Calm down” makes people feel like you are criticizing their behavior and suggests their reasons for being upset aren’t valid.

Not only that but like many of the phrases on George’s list, it makes people feel like they have to defend their actions.

The next time you feel the urge to say “Calm down,” to either your kids or anyone else for that matter, try this instead: “It’s going to be alright. Talk to me. What’s the matter?” Or simply, “What’s the matter?”

These phrases are not only much softer. But they serve as a signal that you want to better understand what the person you are speaking with is going through and are open to talking things out.


4. “I’m not going to say this again.”

Besides making people feel threatened, according to George, this phrase is especially useless because it’s almost always a lie as most people say it over and over again in their arguments.

When it comes to communication during tense situations, repetition shows weakness.

Depending on the situation, sometimes we will have to stress our words and take a firm stance. Instead of saying, “I’m not going to say this again,” try saying in a calm voice — “Listen, it’s important that you get this point, so pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you.” It too may sound strong but it’s not threatening.

Or another technique is to list out what you want the person to do and encourage them to be willing to think it over.

The words, “Is there anything I could say that would get you to do A, B and C? I’d like to think so?” can be extremely persuasive as they imply that the person you are speaking with is indeed someone who is willing to calm down and have a civil conversation.


5. “What do you want me to do about it?”

Take a moment right now and say the words, “What do you want me to do about it?” in a variety of tones.

No matter how you say it you sound sarcastic, right?

If there was ever an opposite of a “problem solving” response, “What do you want me to do about it?” would be it.

Not only does it do absolutely nothing to positively advance a conversation. But according to George by saying this phrase you now have two problems: the one you began with and the one you just started by appearing to duck responsibility.

So instead of saying the words, “What do you want me to do about it?” take the hard steps of thinking creatively to help the person solve the problem they are facing. Or point the person in the direction of someone who can better help if the problem they are facing isn’t in your wheelhouse.

If neither of these options is available to you, offer an apology. An “I’m sorry, I really do not know what to recommend, but I wish I did, I’d like to help you,” goes a long way in establishing trust while taking some of the heat out of a stressful conversation.


6. “What’s your problem?”

Have you ever had a productive, civilized conversation after someone says the words, “What’s your problem?” or it’s dirty cousin “What’s up your *ss?”

Again, if you don’t like to be on the receiving end of other phrases don’t say them to other people.

The glaring problem with phrases like “What’s your problem?” is they put the problem immediately back onto the person who is in need of assistance.

Not only that but according to George, it signals this is a “you-versus-me” battle rather than an “us” discussion which can only escalate the temperature of an already hot situation.

No one likes to admit we have a problem or we are a problem. It makes us feel helpless and that we are a failure. So instead of going straight at someone like they are doing something wrong, choose to pad your language.

This is where the question, “What’s the matter?” can come in handy again. Or simply, “How can I help?”


7. “Why don’t you be reasonable?”

Have you ever suddenly become more reasonable when someone tells you to act more reasonably? If you’re anything like me, your answer is a resounding “NO.”

Much like the words, “Calm down,” the question “Why don’t you be reasonable?” implies someone is acting out of line and has more potential to only add fuel to an already hot fire.

Instead of having your words put people immediately on the defensive, George suggests first choosing words of reassurance then paraphrasing what the perceived problem is of the person in front of you.

According to George, the words, “Let me see if I understand your position…” or “You are feeling X because of Y, is that correct?” are worth their weight in gold.

This switch not only lets the person know you are working to better listen and understand them. But it also gives them the opportunity to clarify their stance so you can get to the true heart of their concerns.


Tying it all together

The theme that runs consistently throughout George’s recommendations is that empathy is the key to all successful human interactions.

According to George, empathy absorbs tension and if you take the time to not only listen to people but work hard to see them in the way they see themselves you can turn any negative situation into a positive outcome.

Our words hold power, both good and bad.

If you want to want to improve your relationships few exercises are more valuable than keeping track of the words that lift people up while working to do away with the words that bring people down.

This article first appeared on Entrepreneur.

Michael Thompson is a career coach who works with business professionals to open more doors and receive greater satisfaction from their work. His career and communication advice can be found in places like Business Insider and Fast Company. He writes to meet people so feel free to say hi here.

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot November 2020

December 29, 2020

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot November 2020

In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the multifamily sector comprise nearly 44 percent of positions available in the real estate industry.

10,847 rental housing jobs were available during November, representing over 39 percent of the broader real estate sector. Virginia Beach, Kansas City, Seattle, Dallas and Houston ranked top 5 markets for apartment job demand. Kansas City ranked top 5 for the ninth month in 2020, where time to fill available positions was 42.9 days. November’s edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot highlights the Assistant Property Manager. In addition to requiring property management skills, employers are looking for talent with customer service, Yardi Software, budgeting and accounting skills.



NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot October 2020

November 18, 2020

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot October 2020

In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the multifamily sector comprise nearly 44 percent of positions available in the real estate industry.

In October’s edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, over 13,300 apartment jobs were available, accounting for 40.4 percent of the broader real estate sector. Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City, Portland, OR and Seattle had the highest share of apartment job openings. This month’s edition highlights property managers/community managers, with median market salaries reaching $38,529. The demand for experienced property managers was highest in Durham, Austin, Charlotte, Raleigh and Seattle. In addition to requiring typical property management skills, employers are seeking talent with budgeting, Yardi Software, communication, Microsoft Office, and organizational skills.



5 things you should always negotiate in a job offer

November 18, 2020

  When you think of negotiating a job offer, most people immediately think of salary and getting the most money. Unfortunately, money only goes so far, and corporations are limited by the amount they can pay you.
Because of this, understanding some of the less asked for but extremely valuable benefits that can be included in a job offer is essential to getting the most out of your next contract.

The importance of negotiating a job offer

Unfortunately, the majority of people accept a job without any attempt to negotiate a better job offer. According to this article by The Washington Post, only 38 percent of millennials negotiated their first job offers, 48 percent of Baby Boomers negotiated their job offers, and 46 percent of Gen Xers negotiated their current job offers. However, the vast majority of employers expect potential employees to at least attempt to negotiate a better job offer. With so few being willing to negotiate, NPR estimates that failing to deal can cost you between 1 million and 1.5 million dollars over your lifetime!

5 things you should always negotiate in a job offer

Now that you see how much money and benefits you may have been leaving on the table, it’s important to look at negotiating some of these essential items in your next contract.  

1. Higher salary

  It obviously needs to be listed but should not be your only focus. When negotiating a salary, always aim for more than you feel you’re entitled, and be ready to support your request with supporting information. Information presented should include industry norms as well as your experience and the value you will bring to the company.  

2. Sign on bonus

  Because salaries are commonly tied to a company’s pay structure, hiring managers often have more flexibility in the form of a sign-on bonus rather than permanent salary increases. Because other people within the company can be negatively affected by you having a higher starting salary, hiring managers are more willing to offer you a lump sum sign-on bonus to sweeten the job offer.  

3. Education reimbursement

  With the increasingly high cost of post-secondary education, many employers offer job offers focused on reimbursing employee education expenses. Some employers may offer to help pay off your student loans, while others will agree to pay for additional education and certifications. Don’t dismiss the benefits of educational reimbursements because the most significant investment you can make is in yourself. If your employer is willing to subsidize or pay for your education, that’s a win-win for everyone!  

4. Additional vacation time

  Even though most Americans are reluctant to take vacation time, some of the most well adjusted and successful employees have an outstanding work-life balance. It’s essential to make time for yourself outside of work to regroup and relax so you can come back to your employer refreshed and energized. Because attaining additional vacation time is often easier than additional salary, asking for a week or two is certainly something you may be successful in receiving.  

5. Vehicle allowance or a flexible schedule

  Depending on how far away you live, your employer may be willing to subsidize you with a vehicle allowance or a company car. With the increase in telecommuting options, a flexible schedule may be a more viable option for your situation. Rather than coming into the office five days a week, you may be able to negotiate to work from home three of your five days, which can save you significant commuting costs.  

Don’t sell yourself short

  Most of us don’t realize the amount of value and benefit we can bring to a company. During a negotiation, the employer is trying to entice you to work for them while offering you the minimum. Don’t be afraid to show your worth to the company and back it up with statistics and your experience to get the best job offer you deserve.

Apartment Jobs Snapshot for Q3 2020

November 4, 2020

In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the multifamily sector comprise nearly 44 percent of positions available in the real estate industry.

A resurgence of apartment leasing activity during Q3 2020 yielded strong demand for skilled professionals. In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the multifamily sector comprised nearly 44 percent of positions available in the real estate sector, surpassing the five-year average of 30.9 percent.

Maintenance talent was the most sought after, as residents are spending more time at home, the need for repairs and maintenance has increased significantly. Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston lead the U.S. for apartment job demand. Leasing activity was also resilient for student housing sector, as students are in search of housing nearby their campus.



How to Resign from Your Job and Leave on Good Terms. Hello New Opportunities!

October 5, 2020


So you’ve decided to call it quits and look for greener pastures. 

In fact, you’re contemplating the idea of coming into the office with a resignation cake and putting it on your boss’ desk.

Peace out!

But—you’ve got to be careful. If you fail to quit your job gracefully, it might ruffle some feathers and prevent you from securing a glowing reference letter.

Take heart.

You’re a quick scroll-down away from learning how to say sayonara in class and enjoy the smoothest future you can have.

Look before you leap

Picture this:
You hand in your notice before you find a new job. Three months later, you keep spiraling downward into a jobless vortex and exhaust your lifetime savings.
Do you catch my drift?
The point is, always quit your job only after you have another offer in hand.
Below are three quick and dirty tips to help improve your hirability chances and prep for the leap.

  • Update your LinkedIn profile. Most recruiters look up prospective hires on LinkedIn before scheduling an interview. So, make sure your online presence is spotless. 
  • Brush up your resume. Learn how to write a robust resume and read about small things like how to email a resume or how to format your resume for maximum impact.
  • Always provide a cover letter. Despite the talk in the industry that cover letters are dead in 2020, they aren’t. So always submit a cover letter along with your resume.

Do the three, and you’ll land a new job in a heartbeat.

Have the talk with your boss

I wouldn’t hire him again.
That’s the last thing you want your ex-boss to say to your prospective employer.
So—
Before you break the news to your manager, make sure you don’t goof and tell your peers you’ve decided to jump ship.
Why?
If your boss finds out about your plans through the grapevine, it’ll make you look bad. 
So—mum’s the word and wait until after you’ve had the talk. 
Below are a few rules for it:
First, don’t quit your job over email or Zoom unless your company is still working in a remote capacity. If you quit in person, you’ll probably enjoy the sweaty palms time, but it’s the only way to do it right.
When you do tell your boss you’re leaving, make sure to be polite and don’t vent about the job (remember, you need a solid reference letter.) 
Lastly, focus on the positive aspects of your soon-past job and pick a few things to thank your boss for.
But—
What if they make a counteroffer or beg you to stay?
If more money can fix the problem, consider asking for a raise first, and see if your employer can match or exceed the offer.
If you’re quitting your boss and not your job, say you’ve already accepted the offer.
Pro tip: Give at least two weeks’ notice. Your boss will be grateful, as they’ll have enough time to prep the transition.

Pen a letter of resignation

Did you really need to write a letter of resignation if you just had the talk with your boss?
Well—
If you want them to remember you fondly or you ever need the job back, do it. Plus, it’s fairly easy to pen it.
Below are some rules for writing a resignation letter:

  • Explain why you decided to resign.
  • Give your exit date.
  • Show gratitude and say something good about the company or job.
  • Offer help with the transition.

Need a real-life example of a resignation letter? Check out this Hubspot guide.

Clear out formalities

You have got a brand-new professional life ahead of you.
But—
If you fail to sort out formalities with your current job, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot. 
So—before you leave, there are a couple of things you need to do.
First, ask the HR team when you can pick up your last check and if there will be another one coming.
Next, check your company policy to settle matters with your vacation days. Do they vanish, or do you have to use them up before you can quit? Figure this out.
Lastly, make sure to return the company property (e.g., laptop, mouse, monitor, phone.) You wouldn’t want to come off as dishonest.
Do these things, and spare yourself the hassle later.

Bid adieu to peers

I need to warn you about him.
Sounds like a nightmare, right?
That’s what your peers might say when the new employer calls up your references. 
So—
To avoid it, write a solid goodbye email to coworkers. Not only will they have a better memory of you if you do, but it’s also great networking. 
Who knows, maybe one of them is holding a ticket to your future dream job.
Below are six tips to write a solid farewell letter to coworkers.

  • Keep things nice and short.
  • Always send personal emails.
  • Say something positive. 
  • Don’t talk about your plans or brag about the new job.
  • Mention you want to stay in touch.
  • List your contact info.

Need a sample goodbye email to coworkers? Check out this Indeed guide.

So—what do you think?

There you have it.
A whopping five tips on how to quit your job on good terms.


Max Woolf is a writer at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.

Why Work With Us? Hot Tips to Enhance Recruitment On ApartmentCareers.

Your Why Work With Us section on Apartment Careers is a dynamic tool exclusive to employers with an Enhanced Profile. This blank slate is your opportunity to show job seekers, investors and competitors what your company is all about. Here’s what you need to know about your Why Work With Us section and how to use it to your advantage.

Where Is the Why Work With Us Section in the Employer Center?

Once in the Employer Center, click the “Employer Profile” card > “Company Story” > “Details” on the top navigation.

Create Custom Sections to Showcase Your Company’s Unique Employer Brand

How to rename your tabs:

Add up to five tabs for your audience to explore. Select the tab you want to name and enter a name in the “Section Title” box.

What to name your tabs:

These tabs should represent your employer branding initiatives as well as highlight your company culture. We recommend tabs like “About Us,” “Culture & Values,” “Testimonials,” “Community Involvement” or tabs dedicated to a department you’re hiring for, e.g., Engineering or Sales.

What to Say in Your Why Work With Us Section

It’s tempting to simply copy and paste content straight from your company website or Facebook page into your Why Work With Us section, but it’s important to write for your target audience on Apartment Careers: potential employees. Tell them what your company is all about and what makes it different. Use “you” statements. Job seekers want to know how they’ll fit in and grow with your company.

Other ideas of what to include in your Why Work With Us section:

  • Diversity & Inclusion: Show candidates your initiatives and goals that advocate for a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace with a new section on your profile dedicated to D&I. Update your D&I tab now.
  • Hard-to-fill roles: Build out a whole tab dedicated to engineering, or sales, to influence these candidates.
  • Office location: If you’re doing a hiring push in one location or just opened a new office, it may be worth building a new tab.
  • Grad and Intern Opportunities: If you have a grad or intern program, tell your candidates about it!

A few other ideas include – an open letter from the CEO, upcoming events or employee testimonials!

Adding Photos to Your Why Work With Us Section

Don’t tell your audience why you’re a great place to work, show them! Use one of our optimized templates or create your own custom template.

How to add photos:

  1. Select image as your media type
  2. Drag and drop your image or upload. You can use PNG, JPEG or GIF Files. Be sure to resize the photos so they are under 5MB and under 600px in width.

Which photos to use:

The best photos spotlight your employees, show off your office space and showcase day-to-day activities as well as special occasions like offsites or in-office celebrations. Photos are a great way to give your audience a glimpse into your company. We recommend adding one to three photos per tab.

Here are a few examples of great photos in Why Work With Us sections:

Adding Videos to Your Why Work With Us Section

Engage your audience by adding video to your Why Work With Us section.

How to add videos:

  1. Select video as your media type.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.
  3. Copy the embed link from Youtube or Vimeo, it can be found under the share button on YouTube or Vimeo.
  4. Paste the embed code into the “Video Embed Code” box

Which videos to add:

Any video that speaks to job seekers and focuses on culture, values, day-to-day activities or benefits at your company is appropriate. Be sure the video you add fits with the theme of the tab it lives under. For example, you wouldn’t put an engineering-focused video on your “About Us” tab. Product videos or commercials aren’t appropriate for your Why Work With Us. For best results, keep your messaging targeted to a job seeker mindset. We recommend no more than one video per tab.

Managing the entirety of the employee lifecycle should include protocols for the offboarding process.

By Stephanie Anderson


Terms like “onboarding” and even “pre-boarding” have made their way to the forefront of focus for many businesses as the war for top talent continues for many organizations. But one topic heard about less often is that of offboarding.

The idea of a business making a great first impression, setting the stage for the entirety of a prospective employee’s tenure, is critically important. But what if the impact an organization makes when an employee departs was just as powerful?

Offboarding is the last opportunity your organization has to show employees value. Former employees are destined to be a part of your organization’s word-of-mouth marketing. How they perceive your company, especially in their final days, will be shared with their friends, family and even strangers on the internet. Following is guidance on how to make a significant impact during a staff member’s final days of employment.

Communicate the Change. Employees want to feel valued; preparing to leave a company is no different. It is important for the company to announce when an employee has given notice and thank the exiting employee for contributions made during their tenure.

Create a Checklist. It is critical to ensure that the exiting employee receives clear instruction concerning expectations prior to departure. A checklist of expectations should cover standard items like return of keys, transition of job duties and removing access to company systems. Other items such as the cessation of benefits ending and receipt of last paycheck also should be addressed.

Celebrate the Employee. When a departing employee gives notice, there will be emotions that, left unchecked or unacknowledged, will dampen the overall employee experience. While not convenient for all parties, the exiting employee has made their choice for reasons of their own and careful consideration should be given to ensure that this decision does not sway your opinion regarding their work ethic or the quality of work produced during their time with the company. Instead, the employee should be celebrated for their accomplishments and progress achieved. This may be social time spent together with the team or sending a thoughtfully crafted, handwritten card. Whatever the budget allows, make the time to send a message with impact.

Conduct an Exit Interview. It is insufficient to treat an exit interview as an item to be crossed off a to-do list; rather, focus on the information shared within the interview and dedicating effort to understanding how it can applied to improve the organization (further information below). Determine whether the company has the resources to conduct the interview in person or on a survey. Offering both options to exiting employees may increase the percentage of interviews completed.

Analyze Turnover. It is not enough to just gather feedback from departing employees via exit interviews, instead, the information gained should be applied to identifying enhancements and changes to company programs, where applicable.

There will be employees who leave for reasons outside of the organization’s control, such as moving out of state, graduating college, a life-changing event such as marriage, having children or death, or simply a change in career. These are unpreventable of course, but the real strategic understanding can be learned from employees leaving for reasons like compensation, poor leadership and lack of growth potential. It is up to the organization to leverage that information to identify where improvements can be made.

Offboarding Is Critical to Future Success

As your final opportunity to show exiting employees how much they are valued, make sure to put a strategic offboarding program in place, understanding that it will evolve over time as feedback is received. Removing negative energy and administrative burden from your offboarding process will allow you to review its effectiveness and help you put the employee at the center of the experience, to the great benefit of the organization.

Consider offboarding as risk mitigation for the organizational reputation, in that first impressions are important, but so are final impressions. Everyone suffers from recency bias, in that we instinctively bestow greater importance on recent events (offboarding) rather than past ones (onboarding). Additionally, everyone generally gives more credence to word-of-mouth recommendations. When considering both in conjunction, a departing employee with a positive offboarding experience is more likely to speak highly of the organization than they would otherwise be inclined to absent strategic offboarding efforts.

Stephanie Anderson is NAA’s Industry Operations Manager, and can be reached at sanderson@naahq.org.