Apartmentalize 2023: Key takeaways on property managers and mental health

Earlier this month, thousands of property managers from around the nation gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for this year’s Apartmentalize 2023 by NAA to socialize, build connections, and learn about the latest trends in the rental housing industry.

Though many exciting and engaging panels, networking events, and seminars were held throughout the conference, a hot topic was the conversation surrounding the importance of mental health and wellbeing resources for property managers.

This year, MRI Software was proud to support the NAA Mental and Emotional Health Survey, which provided insight on the thoughts and opinions of multifamily professionals regarding mental health and wellness. MRI released a similar report earlier this year entitled The Global Voice of the Property Manager, which was featured during a panel discussion at Apartmentalize.

Missed out on Apartmentalize this year? Continue reading for some key takeaways on these reports.

Large workloads, lack of support identified as main issues for industry professionals in 2023

The NAA Mental and Emotional Health Survey is a survey in which participants are asked to evaluate their mental and emotional wellbeing regarding their profession through a set of twelve questions. For 2023, the survey garnered a response from 2,512 industry professionals, with results released during the conference.

This year, almost 40% of respondents agreed that they are more stressed than they were a year ago, citing concerns such as staffing shortages, rising inflation, and a lack of flexibility.

“Email culture needs to be assessed,” stated one respondent. “Emails are flying between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. and many expect answers despite someone maintaining ’normal’ or standard working hours, who is trying not to answer/monitor emails outside of working hours.”

Another notable statistic is that only one-third of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that they rarely feel stressed about their workload. Comments from employees also mentioned staffing shortages, as well as pressure to work on days off due to unmanageable workloads.

The results of this survey reflect a sense of dissatisfaction regarding work-life balance and employee wellness for individuals working in the multifamily industry.

The industry is changing, and so are the needs and aspirations of property managers

MRI Industry Principal Brian Zrimsek continued the conversation at Apartmentalize while speaking at a panel entitled “Revelations from a Property Manager ¬- A Benchmarking Survey.” While touching on data from MRI’s Global Voice of the Property Manager report, Zrimsek and other panelists discussed the implications of these statistics, as well as the demographic details of the results.

According to the report, the top three areas of concern for property managers in the US are dealing with aggressive and abusive residents, being unable to “switch off” after work, and workload management. These issues can all lead to increased stress as well as a decline in mental health.

Despite this, the report also states that property managers worldwide generally feel positively about their industry. In the US particularly, property managers appreciate the career opportunities that arise with the growth of large purpose-built property portfolios, while the build-to-rent market is still emerging in the UK and Australia.

In terms of demographics for property managers, panelists reported that most of the respondents were females between the ages of 35-44 and were seasoned professionals who loved their jobs.

To summarize, this year’s Apartmentalize served as not just a gathering for fun and fellowship, but a place where property managers had the opportunity to listen and engage in important and constructive conversations regarding their mental health and wellbeing.

View the results of the NAA Mental and Emotional Health Survey here.

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