Report identifies the greatest threats to employee retention for rental housing operators

Swift Bunny, providers of multifamily-specific talent management solutions, today published the 2022 Employee Engagement Risk Report which identifies the top risks to employee retention for owners and managers of rental housing. The analysis spotlights what matters most to apartment management employees and where the greatest opportunities lie in recruiting, retaining, and promoting talent.

The findings are based on an analysis of confidential employee engagement surveys completed by over 6,500 multifamily employees nationwide last year. Survey topics were positive statements and employees were asked how much they agreed with each as well as how important the topic was to them. The results of the two-dimensional survey approach and correlation analyses reveal drivers of employee engagement and disengagement as well as an employee’s likelihood to remain with their company in the next year.

Here are some of the noteworthy findings:

  • Overall employee tenure has decreased 14% since Q1 2021. For some key positions such as On-Site Leasing, average tenure has decreased an alarming 33% in one year.
  • Employees are experiencing the strain of increased workload and decreased staffing with 12% reporting they are unable to complete their work in the time allowed. Regional Operations employees are the most affected, with 28% listing this as a top concern.
  • Only 69% of employees agree that issues they raise are responded to within 24 hours by their supervisor, peers, or other departments. A lack of responsiveness is a top frustration for employees in all position categories.
  • Only 40% of employees indicated that they understand their career or promotion path, which leaves the majority of team members lacking clarity about their futures.
  • On a more positive note, 91% of respondents say they have a positive working relationship with coworkers, and 90% say they respect their organization’s leaders.

In a 2021 survey of rental housing providers conducted by the National Apartment Association, respondents were asked to identify their top challenges. 74% of respondents chose HR, staffing, and recruitment as their biggest area of concern with high salary demands, low morale, and labor shortages among the specific concerns cited. Employee attrition is a costly problem. According to Work Institute, each employee departure costs about one-third of that worker’s annual earnings, including expenses such as recruitment and replacement costs, temporary workers, and lost productivity. Reducing employee turnover can have a major impact on multifamily employers’ bottom line.

Joe Bailey, Swift Bunny’s Chief Executive Officer, observed, “In today’s hyper-competitive labor market, the best approach to being fully staffed is to hang on to your current employees. Listening to what associates say is working well and what’s frustrating them can guide multifamily leaders to improved team satisfaction and retention.” Jen Piccotti, Swift Bunny’s Chief Learning Officer, agreed: “Our findings provide a practical set of conversation starters for rental housing leaders to address the greatest opportunities for improvement and to positively impact their team members.”

Download the complete 2022 Employee Engagement Risk Report here.

About Swift Bunny

Swift Bunny offers Ingage by Swift Bunny™, the apartment industry’s first employee lifecycle feedback system. Ingage by Swift Bunny™ is an event-triggered, ongoing feedback system that is more than a survey tool. The solution pairs meaningful data with personalized insights and planning, empowering you to take specific action to solve your greatest workplace challenges. Focus on the issues that matter most to your team members and improve satisfaction, retention, and performance across your entire multifamily portfolio. Learn more at

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Kara Rice