So, you’re finally doing what we’ve basically been telling you to do all along; you’re interviewing to kick-start your career in property management or real estate more broadly. Finally.
But seriously, a) about time! and, b) welcome. We couldn’t be happier that you’re joining our profession and committing to improving the lives of the people you work with through property management. The good news is that our industry is full of creative, innovative and empathetic people who do an insanely good job at not only servicing clients but building a supportive and positive working environment, too.
So, within a dynamic and fast-paced industry, how do you stand out? How do you approach that all-important interview with the confidence that you’ve got what it takes to take on a challenging role in property management?
Here, we’re going back to basics and giving you our top five tips for absolutely nailing your property management interview.
Well, we told you we were going back to basics! That phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Unfortunately, this doesn’t tend to apply when it comes to interviews. Your prospective employer needs to have confidence that you’ll present well to their clients (landlords and tenants alike) and you’re unlikely to convince them of that if you don’t rock up looking neat, tidy and smart.
Your interview is no fashion parade and you won’t be judged on your style, but it will be expected that you turn up looking professional.
To continue on the cliché theme, remember that saying ‘to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail’? This can mean many things, but in this context, it definitely means do your research. What does the business do (and not just property management; get familiar with other services, too)? What is its point of difference? What are its values, its brand, what does it stand for?
Get really down in the detail of the company’s website, read reviews, stalk its social media and form some ideas around how you would answer the most fundamental question in interview history: ‘why do you want to work for us?’
In the property management context, it can also be really useful to take stock of the company’s competitors and to take the time to understand the landscape of companies that make up the local market.
One thing that employers will expect (in real estate and almost every other industry the world over) is that you will be able to speak about examples of when you have experienced a particular scenario in real life. Using examples in your responses give the interviewers confidence that you have the experience and the ability (or both) to excel in the specific role that you are applying for.
Don’t fret if you haven’t worked in property management before; what interviewers are looking for is your ability to demonstrate core skills such as communication, problem-solving, time-management, self-motivation and many more. Think of examples from life; in any work experience you’ve done or extracurricular pursuits that you’ve got under your belt.
Whether you’re a seasoned property management professional, switching careers or brand new to the industry, think outside the box, and be prepared to speak confidently about your experience and skills, using real-world examples.
Ever been in an interview where an interviewer has asked ‘do you have any questions for us?’ and absolute crickets have ensued? Yeah, real awkward. An awkwardness that we recommend you avoid, at all costs. So, have a think beforehand about what you’d like to know from your prospective employer.
An interview is just as much an opportunity for you to get to know them; to find out about their culture, what they are looking for and how they facilitate professional growth as an organisation. Preparing questions beforehand is also a really great way of demonstrating that you’ve done your research (see point 2!)
One thing your future employer is certainly not looking for in a property manager is…a robot. They are looking for people, because it’s the human touch and the ability to foster relationships that is so central to our industry. So, take the interview as an opportunity to share who you are; what it is that makes you tick, what motivates you and what it is that makes you perfect to tackle the challenging (but incredibly rewarding) role of property manager. Be confident, open, friendly and engaged. You’ve got this!