In my 26 years of experience in rental property management, I have come to understand that this profession is not for the faint of heart. While the general public may not fully grasp the depth of our commitment, property professionals are deeply invested in the success of their communities. We strive to ensure the happiness of residents, owners, and employees alike. However, the past few years have brought about significant challenges, leading to a growing concern about mental health within our industry. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s delve into this topic, shedding light on the struggles faced by rental property managers and the importance of prioritizing mental well-being.

The Impact on Mental Health:
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our industry has undergone a dynamic shift, forcing operators to adapt swiftly. While many have successfully adjusted, it is crucial to acknowledge the toll this has taken on our mental health. Personally, I have reflected on my own experiences and discovered that the past couple of years have been particularly challenging, causing increased anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and fear of failure. The constant stream of new legislation, often hindering rather than helping residents, has added to our stress. Additionally, with more residents working from home, demands on the office team have surged, leading to burnout and chronic open positions. However, perhaps the most taxing aspect has been the growing hostility and animosity within the political landscape. Encounters with activist groups, who fail to understand our industry’s impact and contributions, have escalated into aggressive confrontations. These incidents have instilled fear and escalated anxiety, even at conferences that were once exciting opportunities for professional growth.

Noteworthy Findings from Swift Bunny Study:
In light of this discussion, it is essential to consider the findings from the Mental Health Study conducted by Swift Bunny in collaboration with the National Apartment Association. The study provides insightful statistics that highlight the prevalence of mental health concerns within the rental property management industry:

The study revealed that the lowest scoring topics were related to stress about workload and respondents’ mental health interfering with their personal lives.

Notably, the study found that nearly one-third of all employees (32%) reported their mental and emotional health interfering with their personal lives in the last month. This figure shows a decline from 42% in fall 2021, indicating a potential positive trend.

A significant finding from the study is that 40% of respondents had to take time off in the past year due to not feeling emotionally well enough to perform their jobs. Among them, 15% took one week or longer to recover.

The study also highlighted that over 38% of respondents did not agree or were neutral regarding their company’s provision of resources to support employee mental and emotional health.

As Mental Health Awareness Month unfolds, let us bring attention to the mental health struggles faced by rental property managers. Acknowledging the toll of our work and the challenges we encounter is a significant step towards creating a more empathetic and understanding environment within our industry. The Swift Bunny study’s statistics further underscore the importance of prioritizing mental well-being.

By actively addressing stressors related to workload and improving access to resources for employee mental and emotional health, we can foster a healthier and more supportive work environment. Let us remember that rental property managers are not just professionals; we are people too, deserving of care, support, and understanding.

Check out the Swift Bunny, NAA study here: