Since 2008, Jen Yick has been the Property Manager and a licensed Real Estate Agent for AvenueWest Corporate Housing in San Francisco. As a veteran working in the corporate housing industry, Jen is keenly aware of how military training and service is great preparation for this non-traditional job. Jen connects people seeking short-term furnished housing with unique, privately owned properties managed exclusively by AvenueWest.
According to the Department of Labor, unemployment rates for veterans are 20 percent higher than the national average.
“This figure makes no sense to me as I believe veterans have not only made extraordinary sacrifices in their lives to serve their country, but also have received invaluable training and leadership experience that could greatly benefit the business world,” says Jen. “For a veteran trying to figure out a business to own or start or an industry for employment, I want to encourage him or her to take a close look at the corporate housing industry.”
On any given day, Jen is running from client to client, preparing homes for their next tenants, solving problems, and helping tenants and clients with various questions and concerns. This job takes organization, attention to detail, a wiliness to get the job done – especially under pressure, and great communication skills. These skills are exactly what the military prepares their men and women to do.
Jen adds that corporate housing companies should be looking to hire veterans when hiring future business leaders and employees: “Their skills will serve you and your business well and poise your business for long-term, continued success.” Below are five reasons why veterans make great employees and successful business leaders:
Veterans Operate Well Under Pressure:
Working in corporate housing is very exciting but extremely demanding. Everything needs to be completed quickly and someone always needs to be available round the clock to meet the needs and demands of tenants and property owners. Generally, tenants stay an average of 30-90 days – this means every 30-90 days, the property needs to be completely cleaned and inventoried so it can be rented to a new tenant. For the past seven years, Jen has successfully managed about 30 properties at any given time! Utilizing the many skills that the military taught, Jen has been able to make quick decisions, work fast and efficiently, and is willing to help any one of their tenants and owners on a moment’s notice; after all, when a toilet is leaking, or the refrigerator stops working, these items need to be addressed right away.
A job in corporate housing is reminiscent of the pressures faced while training in the military: operating under a lot of pressure and relying on training to make the best possible decisions as quickly as possible. There isn’t time to question what needs to be done. Such training serves Jen well every single day, and it will serve other business leaders and entrepreneurs in corporate housing too.
Veterans are Organized and Detail Oriented:
It’s important to be organized and pay attention to every single detail when you’re in the military. There are operating procedures to everything. Everything is inspected. A bed must be made in a certain way or it needs to be redone. Socks and underwear need to be folded in a specific way too.
This organization and attention to detail translates well in the corporate housing world as detailed inspections need to be done on properties daily, including checking every crevice for dings and damage before the next tenant arrives. Specific details about each property need to be given to every tenant to ensure they have everything they need for a successful stay. These details matter to tenants and ensure a great experience with AvenueWest.
Veterans Thrive at Non-Traditional Jobs
Military veterans thrive in non-traditional jobs because their training teaches them to be flexible and to work out in the field. Veterans are doers; they are the ones rolling up their sleeves to do the job, no matter how messy it may be. Veterans are not afraid to get their feet wet or hands dirty. In fact, no job is beneath them, they just do what needs to get done.
Corporate housing offers non-traditional jobs that require flexibility and a willingness to do the job at hand. Showing properties, meeting new tenants, bringing on new clients, and operating at all hours, even in the middle of the night, are just some of the daily tasks. “I had a tenant once call me at midnight asking me to come over and fix a leaky faucet…I found the task reminiscent of ‘fireguard duty’ in the military where I’d be awoken in the middle of the night and assigned to guard the barracks.” Recalls Jen.
Veterans Excel at Communication
Soldiers have to communicate every day with their fellow soldiers, leaders and civilians, even in the most pressure-filled of scenarios. Along with good communication, veterans have to be personable and able to interact with people with different viewpoints and cultures, just as U.S. soldiers must do today when interacting with Iraqi civilians. Organization does a person well in the corporate housing industry. Jen interacts with tenants and clients on a daily basis. Creating clear contracts, articulating well, and staying positive and client-service oriented even when an owner or tenant is being unruly or unreasonable are some examples of communication skills Jen learned from the Army. “I have been trained to stay calm, collected, and communicative even when the going gets tough.”
Veterans are Trustworthy
Trust is a strong value instilled in military personnel charged with protecting and serving a nation. Teams must not only trust one another, but they must look out for and trust one another.
Business owners looking for excellent people to care for their business should consider hiring a veteran to lead it (or work with a veteran to franchise your business in a new market). Veterans are team players and have a strong sense of discipline, responsibility and duty to serve those who entrust them to do the job. They will not only serve any business well, but will serve clients and tenants well too. When things need to get done, trust a veteran to do it.
Overall, veterans make great business owners, franchisees and business leaders. They operate well under pressure and are organized and detail-oriented. Veterans thrive at non-traditional jobs, communicate well with others, and have a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Jen’s job within the corporate housing industry complements all military training. Other veterans should seek employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in this industry. It’s a win for the corporate housing industry and a win for veterans too!