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A new National Multi Housing Council Compensation Survey finds property management, leasing and maintenance are in high demand.

Reflecting the growing demand for apartment homes, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of multifamily firms grew their staff last year and 62 percent increased their merit bonus pool, according to the NMHC 2012 Apartment Compensation Survey.

The annual survey, based upon the data of over 50,000 employees at 93 major apartment firms, provides detailed analysis of industry hiring practices — including salary, variable pay and total compensation of nearly 100 industry positions.

Firms that added staff increased their total number of employees by an average of 11 percent, with maintenance, leasing and property management positions being in the highest demand. These same positions were also most likely to receive a salary increase, typically 3 percent. Overall, 81 percent of firms reported an increase in their total compensation budgets.

The uptick in hiring comes on the heels of a strengthening multifamily market. Over three quarters (77 percent) of firms rated their financial performance better in 2011 than 2010, and 78 percent expect 2012 to improve further. The optimism also feeds into projected 2013 budgets, as 69 percent expect their merit budgets to grow next year.

Staff turnover rate was a steady 30 percent in 2011 and 31 percent over the three year period of 2009-2011, according to the study.

In addition to salary, bonus and health benefits, 53 percent of apartment firms offered a wellness program, nearly half (49 percent) of firms allowed telecommuting and 23 percent provided a flexible hours program.

More than 60 percent of firms offered education assistance to various staff, and more than 74 percent offered housing discounts to on-site property management or maintenance staff. The survey also notes multiple new positions, like Head of Marketing, VP of Application Development and IT Manager.

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