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Are Your Apartment Staff Quiet Quitting?

Your on-site apartment staff might not have handed in their two weeks’ notice, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t left. Many of them are dissatisfied with their jobs but aren’t ready to move on. Instead, they’ve mentally checked out, doing the bare minimum their jobs require. They’ve become quiet quitters.

The question is: Have you noticed?

According to Gallup, at least half of U.S. workers are quiet quitters. Another 18% are “loud quitters,” meaning they’re actively disengaged. You don’t have to wonder if or why your on-site apartment staff is quiet quitting. Look up several of the Top 50 multifamily property management firms on an employee review site. Before long, you’ll notice a few themes revealing why multifamily employees are unhappy in their jobs. Let’s look at the most common complaints and how you can respond.

1. No Work-Life Balance

Lack of work-life balance is the number-one thing property management employees complain about. The multifamily industry is demanding, requiring someone to be available during late afternoons and weekends for tours and emergency maintenance requests. It’s easy for employees to get overworked and overwhelmed.

What Employees Said

Can be hard to get time off if you work at a smaller site.

The pay is good at first until work catches up to you and you’re killing yourself with extreme overtime.

The stress of being so overworked (consistently pulling 50 hour weeks while the property manager was there 3 days a week) LITERALLY gave me shingles and if there is such a thing as ‘workplace PTSD,’ I’d have it.

Escalations with residents can get very difficult and upper management don’t realize how much the first line employees can struggle emotionally and mentally.

What You Can Do

  • Automate, simplify, or eliminate tasks. By spending less time on mundane tasks, employees will be able to focus more on meaningful work and decrease mental fatigue.
  • Respect their time off. Save non-urgent work questions or requests for when an employee is on the clock. When employees want to take vacation, grant their requests as often as possible.
  • Prioritize mental health. The pandemic triggered a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 rental housing employees doesn’t know if their company offers mental health benefits. Make sure you let employees know what resources are available to them. NAA’s mental health library is a good place to start.











QuietQuittingBlogPostGraphics - CopyEliminate



If you have a manual key log, use an electronic key control system to automatically capture who’s using keys, when, and why.



  Are your property managers spending half their time on reports? If so, consider trimming down the data included in the report, reducing the frequency, or even eliminating them altogether.     Do you have too many meetings your on-site staff need to prepare for? Evaluate if they’re all necessary and eliminate the ones that aren’t.  


 2. Poor Communication

Employees feel valued and empowered when they know how the business operates and how they’re performing. Communication is challenging when employees are spread out across multiple locations, as are on-site staff, regional managers, and corporate management. However, poor communication leads to inefficiency — and often turnover.


What Employees Said

Upper management have zero communication, and it doesn’t matter how hard you work to show results they will find ways to undermine you and cut corners.

[There’s] no leadership of administrative staff or standard practices so that they are forced to constantly reinvent the wheel and negotiate every interaction.

The communication between us, management, and residents is awful.

Management is completely out of touch and disregards important ground level issues.

What You Can Do

  • Check in. Even if you have an open-door policy, employees won’t always take the initiative to let you know what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Reach out to your staff to ask how they’re doing, what challenges they’re facing, and how you can help them succeed in their jobs. When they respond, listen and take their complaints or suggestions seriously. Ask your managers to check in with their direct reports as well.
  • Keep them up to date. Between pandemic-related policy changes and staff turnover, employees often feel uninformed. Clearly communicate organizational changes, remind employees of the current policies, and be open to feedback from the ground. When possible, use technology to reinforce your policies. For example, if you have to collect certain information on your key log, use a key management system to do it automatically.
  • Be aware of how you communicate. Do you second guess employees’ work? Disregard new ideas? Criticize instead of providing constructive feedback? Chances are, you only want to help employees improve, but these communication styles are demoralizing. Employees are less likely to give their job 100% if they’re constantly met with pushback and criticism.

3. Inadequate Training

Employees want training, but they aren’t getting it (or at least not the right kind). There’s no doubt that training requires time and resources. But if you want high-performing, engaged employees, they need training tailored to their specific roles and the tools they use. Untrained staff end up feeling unequipped and frustrated.

What Employees Said

New associates get no training even though they assign you ‘mentors’ (I called my ‘mentor’ and they sent me to voicemail and never returned my call).

[There’s] no training for people who are promoted to managers that have never been one.

You are constantly on call since the temp concierges are not properly trained.

Offering more ongoing sales skills training to our leasing teams would be great.

Training is hyped up and robust but does not address the true training needs of the employees in the field.

What You Can Do

  • Provide training at all levels. Whether it’s part-time employees, new managers, or temps, provide training appropriate for each person’s role.
  • Offer a variety of training. Training should be more than a policies and procedures crash course for new hires. Skills-based coaching and technology tutorials are important too.
  • Provide training regularly. Do you remember what you learned when you were onboarded? Is what you learned still relevant? Odds are, the answer to both questions is no. Whether an employee has been with the company for a day, a year, or a decade, they’ll benefit from regular training.

    What types of training do on-site staff need?

    Personal Development One-on-one coaching, certifications, or continuing education
    Career Skills Sales skills for leasing agents, leadership training for managers, or technical courses for maintenance technicians
    Technology Tools In-depth training on how to use property management software, key control systems, package management software, and more


 4. Lack of Appreciation and Support

In Businessolver’s 2022 State of Workplace Empathy report, around 70% of employees and HR professionals said empathetic organizations drive higher employee motivation. But in 2022, employee empathy ratings dropped nearly to all-time lows. This trend is especially clear in the multifamily property management industry, where employees feel unappreciated and unsupported.

What Employees Said

The PM software is extremely inefficient and doesn’t work half the time.

Save yourself the long hours and hard work because it goes unnoticed and isn’t appreciated by upper management.

You’re just another stat for them but the pay is good and rent discounts are nice.

Left work in tears many days because I was left drowning answering phones and helping residents while management refused to help take calls or leave their office.

The regional managers and above do not support the onsite staff.


What You Can Do

  • Give them the resources they need to do their jobs. What do your staff members need to succeed? Maybe it’s help juggling an increased workload, a technology tool to automate mundane tasks, or more clearly defined job responsibilities. If you don’t know, ask them!
  • Acknowledge their accomplishments. Don’t let your employees feel like “just another stat,” as one reviewer said. When employees know you’re seeing and appreciating their work, they’ll stay engaged.
  • Help them grow in their careers. A common refrain in employees’ online reviews was that there were no opportunities for advancement. You can’t promote everyone, but you can invest in each employee’s career. For example, providing training and tools to help them succeed shows you’re committed to helping your employees grow.

You’ll find that when you value and invest in your employees — both personally and professionally — your employees will be more engaged. Instead of quiet quitters, you’ll have a team of vocal advocates.

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