Managing investment properties can be a gargantuan task. In the hospitality industry, it requires an army. High staff turnover may be manageable on single-family properties, depending on how many properties you have in your portfolio. Multi-family properties, however, are a completely different ball game.
Recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that hotels and motels experienced a staff turnover rate of almost 74% in 2018.
Finding qualified, reliable, loyal employees is not an easy feat in any industry, but it becomes especially important when you're offering extended stay accommodation to a clientele that appreciates consistency in their day-to-day experience.
Over the years, I've discovered that partnering with nonprofit organizations can be a great way to find the right kind of personnel.
A perfect example is The Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (ACSS), a nonprofit organization that helps transition individuals facing situational homelessness. They work with private employers to help qualified people find steady employment. More importantly, ACSS works with homeless individuals personally to reorient them to the expectations of the workforce and remove barriers that would prevent employment.
Through my work in real estate, I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with many such people. A few years ago, for example, a couple from out of state came to one of my company's hotels in search of work and accommodation. They did not have enough money for rent, but they were highly skilled renovators and wanted to help us maintain our properties in exchange for room and board. My company is focused on tenant improvements, so we had a lot of work for them to do. Within two years, the couple managed to save up enough money to move into a bigger house with their children, register their own construction company and work as our preferred vendor on construction contracts.
If you're a property owner but can't afford to offer accommodation, don't be deterred — you can still work with nonprofits in ways that benefits both parties. Many individuals seeking employment have already worked with nonprofits to find housing. Finding steady employment for them, however, remains a challenge for various reasons, such as previous criminal records or lack of higher education. My advice is to seek out nonprofits that align with the same causes and serve the same purpose as your company. In our case, the nonprofit we sought out aims to provide people with affordable housing, and so do we.
Another great organization is Georgia Works, which is one of many nonprofits that offers a consistent, reliable and loyal workforce in exchange for a commitment to employees' sustainability. Property investment firms that partner with them could benefit from a qualified and reliable workforce; in addition, other investors are more inclined to invest in a company that is doing good for the community while maintaining a strong ROI. Employees benefit by finding gainful employment in a market that is not always kind to people who are going through life's challenging transitions.
Finally, on a more macro level, a successful, steady workforce benefits the local community in which it is based because it helps spur the local economy.