What makes a strong real estate project manager?
A highly effective project manager is strategic and mindful of what’s happening at every stage of a project, all while keeping a proactive mindset. They are focused on the tasks at hand and look out for any potential changes on project costs and prepare for how those changes might affect the project schedule and overall budget. By adopting the right tools and taking a proactive approach to project delivery, these project managers differentiate themselves from average project managers.
What are project managers looking for?
Project managers want to feel in control of their projects. From the inception to the completion of construction on a project, project managers want to be active decision-makers that drive the strategic direction of their project. This includes value-add tasks like:
- Design direction
- Financial field oversight
- Financial partner relationship management
By establishing a successful track record, teams can take on interesting and complex real estate projects in the future. Project managers want to build exciting projects and meaningful, long-lasting relationships with teammates and partners that will propel their careers in the real estate industry.
What are project managers not looking for?
Project managers don’t want to waste time doing administrative tasks when they could be managing potential risks and critical events on their projects. Who wants to spend the last day of the month rushing to fix inconsistent spreadsheets and entering data when there’s modern technology out there that does that more efficiently and without error? There is inherent risk involved when people spend hours scrutinizing over hundreds of numbers, resulting in version control issues and manual data entry. That in and of itself is enough to automate these tasks and utilize modern tech tools made with this purpose.
How to hire the best project managers:
By understanding what project managers want, development teams will be better suited to find and retain the top talent - but how do you attract the talent in the first place?
Here are five critical factors:
1. Brand Image
First, you need a positive brand image to attract talent. A great place to start is by improving your company website. This is a prospect's first impression of your brand and should accurately represent your company.
Second, clearly articulate and explain your mission statement:
- What is your firm passionate about?
- Who is it trying to serve?
Explain your niche, whether it's creating beautiful urban places, building meaningful experiences, or providing quality, affordable spaces for living and working.
You need to demonstrate that company leadership operates from a place of integrity. Respected leaders are those who consistently prove their worth ethic and set the standard for others. When your coworkers respect you, they are more likely to work harder to achieve a shared goal.
Understand and articulate your company culture. Healthy work culture will attract and retain top talent, increase employee productivity, promote collaboration and friendly competition, and improve motivation. Think about some cultural values that are being promoted within the organization and how employees work together. If your culture is not attractive for any reason, make an action plan to improve. If you aren’t quite sure how your employees feel about your organization’s culture, conduct anonymous surveys among existing and former employees. If no one is willing to take a 2-minute pulse survey, that could signal that attention is needed.
4. A Clear Hiring Path
Take a proactive approach to hiring. Have a deliberate plan to recruit instead of passively waiting for applications to arrive in your inbox. You can reach potential candidates by direct emails and LinkedIn messages. Establish your pace and set a metric, such as sending ten outbound emails per day and scheduling five initial conversations per week – the goal is to build your pipeline with quality candidates. Be transparent and make the process clear if they are interested in the next steps of the hiring process. In the following meetings gauge their alignment, and receive their feedback on the hiring process. Make sure each step is thoughtful and creates a good impression of the company.
5. The Right Tools
You need to give project managers the best tools for them to succeed. Most real estate companies are still operating as they did 30 years ago - requiring employees to manage complex projects using legacy software and Excel spreadsheets. Giving new employees a computer is like giving a foundation contractor a shovel - you’re doing the bare minimum. New employees bring in valuable experience and effort, so try to match their energy by giving them the right tools-- they will opt for the firm giving them an excavator over a shovel. The best, brightest, and most productive employees will choose a role that utilizes technology to work more efficiently and allows project managers to be challenged with problem-solving tasks and critical thinking instead of monotonous administrative work.
If your organization has checked the box on all of the factors above, you’ll begin to see the right kind of resume come through your inbox, start hiring top talent, and begin to manage more large-scale, complex projects with a high-value team.
Northspyre helps facilitate the project management process by utilizing automation to eliminate administrative work for your top talent and allows them to focus on the tasks you hired them to do. To ensure you provide your team with the tools that’ll allow them to flourish, learn more about Northspyre.