In this month’s “Five on Friday,” we are spotlighting Gretchen Kramer, Director of Recruiting. She finds skilled service pros and companies that fit the Rent Ready platform to continually build out our professional provider network. With extensive experience – from Amazon and BP to Ernst & Young and Ikon – she is a proven leader, talent professional and change agent.
Rent Ready (RR): Do you look for a certain company size when searching for service professionals? What about service type (e.g., painter, cleaner, etc.) – do you have a need for one type more than others?
Gretchen Kramer (GK): We look for experienced, reliable service providers who take pride in their work – that could be a single painter or that could be a paint company with multiple crews. Whether a sole proprietor or a company, if they can consistently perform their skilled service reliably and meet our high-quality standards, they can absolutely fit onto the Rent Ready platform.
We constantly recruit to meet the demands of current customers and new customers that our sales team has partnered with, as well as the demand that seasonality brings. Based on the data that we have collected over the years, when a unit turns over, 95% of them need to be painted, cleaned, and punched while 75% need carpets cleaned and around 15% need counter or tubs resurfaced. Given those stats, which translates into work order requests, we continually look for more painters and cleaners and continually look for resurfacers, carpet cleaners and maintenance techs. But we will always take and consider applications from any outstanding service provider!
RR: What are key qualities and characteristics that you look for in Rent Ready service professionals/companies? What makes a “stand-out” candidate?
GK: It really depends on the service type. When we vet painters for example, we look for individuals who pay close attention to detail and cleanup; work well with sprayers and are familiar with apartment paints, which tend to be quicker than house paints.
When we interview cleaners, we look for detail-oriented cleaners who have experience doing move-out cleaning projects. Carpet cleaners and resurfacers should have professional equipment and maintenance providers should be familiar with punch lists, and ideally have exposure to working onsite at apartment communities.
Simply put – we seek experts in their trade – if they can do the job and are aligned with Rent Ready’s culture of quality, reliability and communication, they are the right fit for the customers!
RR: How do you vet candidates / what is the process?
GK: We have a quick, streamlined process to find and vet candidates. Candidates in the process go through a thorough phone screen and in-person interview to review processes and equipment, and finish with a skills assessment. The skills assessment allows our candidates the opportunity to display full capabilities; we have them perform a complete service in an apartment unit (and they are compensated for their time). Once they pass that final evaluation, we onboard them to the platform, set expectations for being a successful Rent Ready pro, train them on the Rent Ready pro app and introduce them to their primary contacts. They start receiving work directly on their phone the next day!
RR: How can service professionals grow their business with Rent Ready?
GK: Rent Ready finds jobs for service providers so they can focus on producing quality work. We take the burden of bidding for work off their shoulders and allow them to recruit more team members to expand their number of crews and receive more Rent Ready work orders. Essentially, we provide a platform for service providers to grow and prosper without having to worry about the stress of the ”business.” We have a great blog that describes it more in detail here.
RR: Fun fact about yourself. Go!
GK: Like many, this pandemic gave me extra time at home and added undue stress to my life. So, I sought a hobby to help with both (besides “wine tasting”). While I have never been artistic, I took up painting thinking it would be fun and relaxing only to find out I am a decent artist. I love the work and have sold several paintings to folks who are not my mom!