Applicant Tracking in Property Management | ExactHire

Applicant Tracking in Property Management: Tenant vs. Job Applicant

For a landlord, picking the right tenant is similar to picking the right applicant for a job posting. The line of questioning is similar:

  • Why are you moving? Why are you changing jobs?
  • When can you move? When can you start?
  • What is your current income? What is your expectation on income?
  • Can you provide references from your past landlord? Past employer?
  • Have you ever been evicted? Have you ever been fired?

Screen Applicants Like Potential Tenants: Identify Past Behavior

Once a potential tenant or applicant makes it through general screening questions, a property manager or recruiting professional, depending on the situation, can ask more specific questions to narrow down the finalists…

  • For the landlord, these questions may concern the number of people that will live in the house, whether there will be pets, is the resident a smoker, and are there any objections to running a credit check. Any red flags will surely alert the property manager to proceed with caution and/or to collect more detailed information about potential areas of concern regarding this person’s residency.
  • For the employer this next step is very critical, as it allows one to get to know the applicant more and see if he/she will be a good fit for the company and the position. It’s important to ask the applicant detailed questions about performance and results in past job experiences to obtain facts about how they handled situations. This helps an employer to infer how the applicant might handle a similar scenario in the future within the potential employer’s environment. After all, past performance is the best predictor of future performance.

Do your best to collect data to determine if an applicant’s behavior and experience fits your company’s culture and job requirements. This is the time to be specific in your questioning. Asking detailed, past tense questions does not allow the applicant to generalize and gloss over important facts (i.e. What was the outcome of the project that you worked on at XYZ employer? Was it delivered on time? What was your specific role on the team? Who else was involved?).

Knowing the right questions to ask is, of course, only half the battle. Depending on the size of the organization and the scope of individuals to screen, any organization – whether it be a property management firm reviewing tenants or an employer recruiting future employees – can be more productive with paperless software tools that allow individuals’ information to be collected, processed and reviewed quickly and easily.

Make Applicant Screening Efficient & Paperless

An organization should consider the benefits of employing such software applications, and weigh them against the potential cost and/or time involved in implementing and supporting the tool. If we focus on the employer/applicant relationship, an organization might consider applicant tracking software to leverage technology in the hiring process. For example, in the property management industry, an applicant tracking system offers many features that are beneficial to the recruiting side of the housing management firm’s business:

  • Utilize a web-based portal that allows users access from multiple office locations
    • The property management industry is often decentralized and most companies have multiple locations for their offices. An electronic employment application allows you to automatically score or disqualify applicants that answer basic requirement-geared questions unfavorably
    • This promotes an efficient hiring process and reduces staff time necessary for screening applications.
  • Special features like search engine optimization for your careers portal and automatic posting to external job boards can help boost applicant volume for hard-to-fill positions.
    • When a company has jobs that have traditionally remained open for long periods of time (perhaps due to high turnover or poor awareness of the job openings), using an ATS can enable an organization to post jobs to free and paid external job boards with a few simple clicks.
    • A recruiting software portal with savvy technology is built in such a way that job listings are featured on multiple different careers portal pages so that they are more likely to be found by search engines; and therefore, applicants doing different keyword searches.
  • Take advantage of an unlimited number of user logins.
    • Give multiple office sites’ hiring managers access to log in to the ATS and review applicants and job listings assigned only to their respective location.

The property management industry traditionally hires frequently for certain types of positions due to high levels of turnover. With an applicant tracking system, a company would be able to keep an accurate record of who has applied for jobs in the past (and failed to meet minimum basic requirements…or who has been marked ineligible for rehire), as well as build an adequate pool of engaged applicants who are interested in learning about future positions as they become available.

And, with the right employees in place within a property management company, an organization has a much better chance of getting reliable tenants to live in its properties. After all, today’s applicants are tomorrow’s employees who will be screening tomorrow’s potential tenants.

For more information about whether an ATS may be a good fit for your industry and organization, please contact ExactHire. 

Image credit: Future Tenant Sign by Nick Smarto (contact)

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