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

Swift Bunny, provider of multifamily-specific talent management solutions, today published the 2023 Employee Engagement Risk Report. This is the second annual report which identifies the top risks to employee retention for owners and managers of rental housing.

The findings are based on an analysis of confidential employee engagement surveys completed last year by apartment industry associates representing over 300,000 multifamily units nationwide. The report spotlights what matters most to apartment management employees, reveals drivers of employee engagement and disengagement, and provides insight into where the greatest opportunities lie in recruiting, retaining, and promoting rental housing employees.

Here are some of the key risks to engagement and retention identified by the research:

  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, compensation tops the list as the greatest risk. This topic also topped the list of risks in 2022, and unfortunately, the level of dissatisfaction has increased by two points over last year. Employees express concern not only with wages but also with performance incentives and benefits.
  • Communication challenges also lead the list of frustrations for the second year. Only two-thirds of employees agree they are responded to within 24 hours by supervisors, peers, or others in the organization when they request assistance. More than one in five Regionals express dissatisfaction with response times.
  • While significant improvements have been made since last year, employees continue to feel they are not informed of advancement opportunities within their organizations.
  • New this year, topics related to onboarding have become a serious risk to employee retention. For example, only two thirds of new hires agree they are given adequate time during office hours to complete required training, and 13% say the training provided has not helped them become effective at their job.

Hiring and employee retention are likely to remain significant challenges for rental housing operators throughout 2023 thanks to the ongoing, record-breaking labor shortage. Said Paula Munger, VP of Industry Research & Analysis with the National Apartment Association, “As of October (2022), there were 1.76 jobs available for every unemployed person. The job opening rate in the real estate sector increased by over 3 percentage points since the onset of the pandemic, second only to the leisure and hospitality sector and tied with education and health services.” Understanding the factors that drive individuals’ employment decisions is critical to recruiting and retaining staff.

Joe Bailey, Swift Bunny’s Chief Executive Officer, observed, “The best way to safeguard your multifamily workplaces against being short-staffed is to hang on to your existing teams. Having vacant positions is burdensome to the other members of the team and impairs your ability to deliver good service to your residents and prospects. It also seriously impacts the bottom line because finding, hiring, and training a new hire takes a lot of time and money.” Jen Piccotti, Swift Bunny’s Chief Learning Officer, added: “Employees will tell you what they need if you take the time to listen to their feedback. Our analysis of employees’ candid survey responses provides practical guidance for rental housing leaders to safeguard their own teams from disengagement and excessive turnover.”

Download the complete 2023 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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