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New South Carolina Apartment Staffing Office


Greetings from South Carolina!

The Liberty Group is proud to announce the opening of their South Carolina Apartment Staffing Branch office spanning the entire state with emphasis on the three major rapidly growing markets in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston.

We have had a high demand for qualified candidates in South Carolina that our valued clients have come to rely upon.  You can expect the same quality service you have known over the last 40 years with our talented staffing coordinators, who know multifamily better than any other firm, now will be recruiting positions for South Carolina.

Liberty is ready to answer the bell!

When the decision to open The Liberty Group Apartment Staffing Branch was made, we chose Brent Foster to lead our team.

Meet the branch manager: Brent Foster

Brent, an 18 year veteran of the multifamily industry, has held numerous executive level positions in the multifamily industry including Regional Director and Regional Marketing Director as well as being an Account Sales Executive with CoStar Group.  Brent is active in the National Apartment Association’s local affiliates and is currently serving a sixth term on the Executive Board of Directors for the Upper State Apartment Association in Greenville.  He is also an active member of the Columbia and Charleston Apartment Associations.  We are thrilled to welcome Brent to the Liberty team!

Email Brent today at BrentF@thelibertygroup.com or call 864-326-3922 and or Toll Free at 855-961-7666.

The Liberty Group is a National Executive Search and Temporary Staffing firm specializing in the multifamily housing industry since 1977.  If you would like more information about this topic or any other topics, please email Shonna Schneider-Marquis at shonnas@thelibertygroup.com

Feb 3, 2017 | Posted by | 0 comments

Using a Job Search as the Perfect Opportunity to Tell Your Story


Looking for a job can be a time consuming, stressful time for just about anyone. It’s an incredibly pivotal moment in one’s life – looking for not only a source of income but also trying to maintain as much control over the place where they will spend the majority of their time each day. Because of these factors, people tend to approach the search from the wrong perspective. While it’s always important to give as clear of an indication as possible of who you are, what you can do and why you’re the best fit for a position, these things aren’t necessarily what you’re trying to accomplish.

What you’re really doing is trying to tell your story.

What’s In a Story?

As long as time, people love stories! Whether considering the New York Times Best Seller list or the weekly top ten films at the box office, they all share the same core quality – a strong narrative. This goes beyond just a beginning, middle and end. A great story is compelling. It resonates with people. It stays with people long after they’ve heard it and captures their attention in a way that is difficult to forget.

In job searching, you are attempting the same goal – to resonate with people. Instead of using words in a novel or a screenplay, you’re doing the same thing with your cover letter, your resume, your interview style and more.

Building the Perfect Story

As you sit down to start designing your cover letter, resume and other materials, think about things in these terms: “Who you are, where you are, how you got there and where you’re going.”

These are the pillars that will make up the story you’re trying to create, all of which will go a long way towards letting you tell a better story and making the job search as easy as possible.

Take your cover letter, for example. Submitting a form that looks identical to the template you found online doesn’t just overlook an opportunity for creativity, it’s also derivative. As the first thing that many hiring managers will see as they begin to consider your candidacy, consider the cover letter the first chapter in the book you’re writing – what is the impression of you that someone needs to know in order to understand the rest of the story?

Create a unique introduction of yourself that not only sets the stage for the type of employee you are, but that also begins the narrative you’re trying to tell. Tailor it to the specific company you’re applying to so that it seems like the natural “next chapter” in your story involves working at this particular place in this particular position. This is Storytelling 101.

Write With an Ending in Mind

Another technique that writers of all types use is to write with an ending in mind. If you know exactly where you’re going, you get a better idea of what your characters need to do to get there. The same basic concept is true of your resume, which means that to properly tell your story you’re going to have to arrange information in such a way that it seems like getting a particular position is an inevitability, not just “one in a series of many, many options.”

Arrange the information on your resume in a way that broadcasts a clear beginning, middle and end. Pick the elements that make the most sense for the job you’re applying for. Paint a clear picture of your educational background and personal life (“who you are”), your previous work experience (“how you got there”) and the skill set you’ve been building over time.

This sets you apart to show someone that you’re an ideal candidate, and why it is important that this position becomes the next part of the story that is in the process of being written. If you can master techniques like this, you’ll find that you don’t just make an impression – you connect with someone in a powerful and long-term way, the same way a great story does.

Feb 9, 2017 | Posted by | 0 comments

The Top Time Management Tips for Property Managers


To say that the life of a property manager is a busy one is something of an understatement! At any given moment you seem like more of a firefighter than a real estate professional, always trying to stop small problems from becoming bigger ones while trying to find the time to do what your day-to-day life requires in the first place.

Keeping this in mind, here are some of the top time management tips for property managers which can be put to good use moving forward. You may not be able to fit more hours into a single day, but with these tips, you can do the next best thing.

Automate Wherever Possible

Technology has come a long way in the last few years. In fact, it seems to change on an increasingly frequent basis.  One thing to keep in mind is not to become too distracted with all the advances that are available as they can become overwhelming.  Choosing the right tools and using them in alignment with your company’s guidelines can ease the burden tremendously.

As residents and potential residents utilize automated functions on their computers, tablets and smartphones, the resulting time savings could increase availability for resident relations, customer service and staff development.  You increase your competitive edge by being able to provide instant solutions that so many are seeking at an ever increasing pace.

Communication is Key

If you’re a property manager who also happens to have staff working with you, one of the most important things to realize is that your team is here for a reason. They want to help – and it’s time to let them. As a leader, it is important to remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Learn how to become better at delegating responsibility, particularly when it comes to resident relations. A friendly face goes a long way in resident relations.

When delegating, however, remember that you can make your life a lot easier by just embracing open and honest communication. If you want to make sure a job gets done right, people need to not only know what to do but how to do it and it’s importance. If you can get more efficient in terms of communication, you’ll quickly find you have a lot more free time in your day to focus elsewhere.

With delegation, comes the responsibility of follow up as it is a crucial element! Delegating doesn’t mean unloading your burden on someone else.  It can be an effective tool in staff development.  Don’t assume that just because clear instructions were given that they were completed.  If a task isn’t finished as assigned, this can be a great opportunity to develop and coach your team.

Morning (or Evening) is the pacesetter

Studies have been conducted showing that people are often most efficient or productive during the first few hours of the work day. As a result, consider trying to get as many of your most challenging and important tasks done as soon as you get into the office each day. If the morning is all about “quality versus quantity,” you can then ride the “quantity” wave of shorter tasks on into the afternoon and into the evening or perhaps certain tasks may need to wait for the next day.

For some, morning may not be the most productive time of day.  Ending the day with a planning session for the next day can prove most effective as it allows you to arrive refreshed and ready to take on the new challenges that await.

Stop Splitting Your Attention

Chances are that you may feel at times like your days are constantly being split into a million different directions.  Try not to let yourself get bogged down by too many things at any one time – stick to one task and see it through to completion before moving onto the next one.

Eliminate the “One Size Fits All” Approach to Property Management

Finally, in order to better manage your time, remember that no two residents are created the same. Each person is unique, with their own specific likes and dislikes. As a result, they’re each going to require their own approach – particularly when it comes to customer service. If you take the time to get to know your residents as individuals, you’ll have a much easier time getting to the heart of the matter when your expertise is required.

Feb 9, 2017 | Posted by | 0 comments

3 ways to provide compelling proof in a job interview


Congratulations — you got the interview! A job interview provides employers a terrific opportunity to find the best candidate to fill a job opening. Now it is up to you to prove you are the ideal candidate.

Let’s look at three ways to do this.

1. Proof is in your examples

Questions that interviewers ask to better understand your qualifications are opportunities for you to provide examples of how you delivered results, achieved objectives and solved problems that were both meaningful and measurable. Examples serve as credible proof for most interviewers.

Suppose you were asked about how you work under a deadline. Your example could describe:

  • A general statement of the result (quantity and quality) to be delivered and its deadline
  • Why achieving it on time/within budget was important (to the employer, team or resident)
  • How you went about accomplishing the assignment
  • The result you delivered (compared to the expectations)

“During my time with [employer], I was asked to provide market surveys for our properties. The data was to be given to our marketing and development departments for our winter campaign, which gave me six weeks to complete the assignment.

“After familiarizing myself with our properties and amenities, I did the first part of my research online. I used keywords associated with the competitive communities, the features offered, a radius of the locations and similar criteria. Then, I spoke to about a dozen of our newest residents on each property to learn why they chose us, and who else they considered. I also spoke with about 15 prospects from each property who chose not to lease with us, to learn where they chose and why.

“I narrowed in on the top four competitors for each property and shopped them, learning how they positioned their apartment homes. I beat my deadline by three days. When I delivered the market survey, the VP of Marketing emailed the entire company, stating that it was the most thorough information she had seen on the portfolio.”

2. Proof is in your documents

In the previous example of the completed market survey, the commendation from the VP of Marketing would be an effective proof document.

Effective proof documents are ones such as letters of recommendation or commendation that bear the author’s original ink signature, certificates of award or achievement or published blogs and articles. They should be original documents on the issuer’s letterhead, stationary or form. A best practice is to use a three-ring portfolio equipped with clear plastic sleeves into which original proof documents can be placed. It would serve you well to arrange your awards in such a manner that displays your organizational skills. For example, they can be arranged chronologically, or by category. View every possible interaction as an opportunity to push yourself to the top spot.

During an interview, proof documents can be briefly shown at appropriate times, directing the interviewer’s attention to the appropriate section of the document. Show the original and indicate you will give them a copy at the end of the interview. Make sure you have a supply of high-quality photocopies for each proof document to leave behind.

Only include those documents that are excellent samples of correct, complete and high-quality work. Verify that all spelling, grammar and punctuation is correct.

3. Proof is in your references

A job search best practice is to assemble a pool of a dozen or more credible individuals who can attest to your work, talents, capabilities, soft skills and character. These can be former supervisors, respected community and business leaders, and other individuals who know you well (but not family members).

Ask for letters of recommendation from each reference on their organization’s letterhead. When a prospective employer asks for references, select the top four who can provide information most relevant for the position you are applying.

An example would be if you are going for a position as a Property Manager, focus on references from your previous Regionals who can attest to your skills, reaching property goals and managing teams. These types of references have a much louder voice than, say, a Property Manager you worked under at the start of your career as a Leasing Professional.

Reach out to each reference you plan on providing, and ask if he or she is still comfortable being a reference for you. If yes, tell him or her a bit about the job and the specific qualities the employer is seeking. Ask to be notified when the employer contacts him or her.

Bottom line: Compelling proof convinces employers you can perform the job effectively because you’ve done it successfully in the past.

 

Jan 10, 2017 | Posted by | 0 comments

EPA info HVAC techs should know


Looking ahead to 2017, our industry will face new changes that will directly impact how our maintenance teams do their jobs.  These changes not only represent added costs but the potential for your properties to be out of compliance if new standards are not met.

Maintenance techs will continue to deal with new regulation changes from the EPA with changes to Section 608.  Additional changes for Section 608 will occur in 2018 and we have attached information on those changes to help you better prepare your teams.

Effective January 1, 2017

Changes to the EPA’s Section 608 go into effect. Additional changes will be phased in over the next two years.

CFC, HCFC, HFC and HFO Reclaimed refrigerants may not be resold unless it has been reclaimed by a certified re-claimer.

For a more detailed explanation, please visit the EPA website explaining these changes.

Effective January 1, 2018

The sale of CFC, HCFC, HFC and HFO Virgin refrigerant’s is restricted to technicians certified under EPA Sections 608 and 609.

Note:  The EPA is allowing the continued sale of small cans, two pounds or less of refrigerants intended for use in MVAC systems and equipped with a self-sealing valve. However, this exception is limited to individuals who perform work without monetary compensation.

Wholesalers must keep invoices that indicate: purchaser name, sale date, and the quantity of CFC, HCFC, HFC and HFO refrigerants purchased. These records must be maintained for no less than three years.

Employers must maintain Proof of Certification (EPA-608) for technicians along with a copy of their certification at their place of business and maintain them for three years after a certified individual leaves the employer.

Technicians must be certified in order to maintain, service, repair, or dispose of appliances containing CFC, HCFC, HFC and HFO refrigerants.

The EPA has developed new certification exam questions reflecting the new rules. The new exam is scheduled for pilot testing during the first quarter of 2017.  After the pilot testing is complete, certified test administrators will be provided the new testing material.

The EPA will require new wording on the new certification cards, which will result in all new and replacement certification cards having a new look.

The new wording includes: “[Name of person] has successfully passed a [Type I, Type II, Type III, and/or Universal, as appropriate] exam on how to responsibly handle refrigerants as required by EPA’s National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program.”

Currently certified Section 608 technicians do not need to be re-certified.

New recordkeeping requirements for appliances containing 5 to 50 pounds of refrigerant become effective.  Technicians must keep records of; the location, date of recovery, and type of refrigerant recovered for each disposed appliance, the quantity of refrigerant by type recovered from disposed appliances in each calendar month. In addition, the quantity of refrigerant, and type, transferred for reclamation or destruction, the person to whom it was transferred, and the date of the transfer.

All requirements for the maintenance, service, repair and disposal of CFC and HCFC are extended to HFC and HFO refrigerants.

We can assist your maintenance teams by earning their Universal EPA Certification. Please call toll free 866-961-7666 or email TrainMe@thelibertygroup.com for our next testing dates.

Jan 5, 2017 | Posted by | 0 comments