Magazine article Journal of Property Management

A 'Senior' Moment

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

A 'Senior' Moment

Article excerpt

In a recent IREM blog, we reported that there are actually companies that appreciate, rather than devalue, the experience that comes with age. The blog also enumerated a number of ways to keep the more seasoned professionals in your organization engaged. In many respects, it's countercultural thinking, especially if the culture is as youth-oriented as ours.

Kimberly Morgan, CPM, is the IREM Diversity Advisory Board chairperson, so not surprisingly, she has definite thoughts on the subject. As a self-described borderline Baby Boomer/GenXer, Morgan said she has seen life from both sides, and she believes that in the Austin IREM Chapter, "We've done an incredible job over the past five years of diversifying to make the Chapter more youthful without pushing older managers out.

"In fact, it is imperative that we have that senior leadership," she continued. "Our more senior members are absolutely key to the success of our chapter and our industry as a whole because they are the ones with all the knowledge."

CUTTING SALARIES CUTS QUALITY

Despite the rationale of many employers to hire youth for their growth potential and lower salaries, Morgan has seen none of that in her market. "The reason why, I think, is because of the market we are in," she said. "Austin is growing. We are always in the top 10 percent of every growth chart there is. So we are always looking for people to come in and manage our buildings. We are not at a place where we can say, 'Out with the old and in with the new,' to keep salaries low. We are still short and looking for people with at least three to five years of experience to manage those buildings. If you contacted someone whose market is not growing, you will probably get a different answer."

But there's something more. Morgan said it's Austin's small-town mentality, even though it is as large as it is. She cited one local company whose "senior director of property management has been in the industry for 25 or 30 years. She is not going anywhere and she makes sure she hires the best people. She believes in that experience when she hires and the necessity of having someone who knows what they are doing rather than just keeping operating expenses low." That money spent, Morgan added, ultimately saves money.

DIVERSIFYING THE GENERATIONAL MIX

Each group-Boomers and Millennial-have their reputations, the former charged with being too set in their ways and the latter disloyal, ready to jump jobs in two or three years for the next opportunity. Morgan said yes to the first, no to the second, with qualifiers for both. …

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