Implementing a Successful Intern Program

By Robinson, William L. | Journal of Property Management, January-February 1990 | Go to article overview

Implementing a Successful Intern Program

Robinson, William L., Journal of Property Management

Implementing a Successful Intern Program In early 1989, a review of the capital projects for the 26 properties managed by Realty One was completed. The review indicated that several major projects, ranging in estimated value from $80,000 to over $1 million, were scheduled for completion through the balance of the year.

Our managers each had full portfolios and burdening them with capital projects of this magnitude might endanger their effectiveness. A decision was made to provide some type of temporary support for these managers.

At the time this decision was being made, we had been receiving a number of resumes from young adults who were interested in pursuing full-time careers in property management. We reached the conclusion that by instituting one or two temporary internships, we could take advantage of the talented applicants who needed to gain some work experience while at the same time providing our managers with assistance.

Budget estimate

Once it was determined that there was some interest in employing interns, the rest was easy. The budget was drawn up for the program as follows:

The program was presented to Joseph Aveni, CPM [R], president of Realty One and former national president of IREM. He appoved the project, and we were on our way.

Announcing the program

The next step involving notifying the public about the program and providing sufficient detail to attract interest from potential candidates. We had not budgeted any funds for advertising the program. However, we anticipated that a properly worded news release, which would focus on the benefit of this free educational opportunity, would be sufficient to attract media attention.

A one-page letter explaining the program was forwarded to Habitat, Cleveland REALTOR [R], and Properties magazine, all local real estate publications, Crain's Cleveland Business, a local business weekly, and the Plain Dealer, the major daily in the Cleveland market. The Plain Dealer picked up the story five days later and printed it in their Saturday real estate magazine. The response was terrific. Within a few days, several dozen telephone calls were received and in a little over a week 18 resumes had been accumulated.

Interviewing and hiring applicants

Responses were varied although all were from college graduates or college juniors. Among the respondents were an attorney, a third-year law student, a practicing pharmacist, a recent M.B.A. graduate, and several candidates with backgrounds in advertising and public relations.

Our selection process reduced the number of candidates to five applicants who through their work experiences and cover letters indicated a genuine interest in establishing themselves in property management. All five candidates were called in for interviews, and two were selected for the program.

John V. Hribar was the first candidate hired. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati where he earned a degree in business administration. Following completion of his education, Hribar worked on oil exploration vessels for several years. He then began a brief carrer in property management. When the permanent position for which he was hired failed to materialize, Hribar obtained a real estate license and began selling real estate. He remained active in sales while working through his internship.

Lisa Virost was our second intern. Her hiring was delayed while she completed her bachelor of science degree at Kent State University: Virost came to us with considerable previous property management experience, having worked her way through college in the positions of resident assistant, coordinator of maid services, rental agent, and finally resident director of a student housing complex.

When both interns were hired, a second news release was forwarded to the local media. THe second release provided information on the two interns, discussed their future duties and responsibilities, detailed the interim program, and included a brief outline of the services provided by Realty One. …

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