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AvalonBay Communities Reviews

Updated January 2, 2018
26 reviews

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AvalonBay Communities President and CEO Timothy J. Naughton
Timothy J. Naughton
11 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • AVB is a great collaborative environment where everyone is respectful and honestly concerned with work / life balance (in 35 reviews)

  • great benefits, great team nice company (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • Not the best work-life balance, but that's standard in the industry (in 12 reviews)

  • Not a lot of communication from upper management (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Customer Care Center does not care at all!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Virginia Beach, VA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The “little” people working the floor. Great teams and floor managers.

    Cons

    Senior management is disconnected from its employees. Only care about bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. It’s time this sector of AvalonBay really tries to put its employees first. Residents and money always come before the well-being of the employee within the Customer Care Center. Employees are overworked, over-stressed, underpaid, and undervalued. The atmosphere within the Care Center feels very demoralizing. Your duties may be explained during your interview only for them to throw you on the phones because of the high turnover within that department of the company. There is no differential between roles unless you’re considered a corporate employee. Employees who came in as processors will still be graded on the same scale as those who are on the phones full time. A processors job can contain various roles such as statement creation, balancing ledgers, researching disputes, reviewing invoices, void and reissuing of checks, payment reversals, financial breakdown creations, etc. And with all of this going on the senior managers will still pull you from your main duty to assist on phones and they will tell you “it’s business need” as if they are running some kind of plantation. Mind you, most of the companies workers are black/minority and all senior managers are white and have no connection to those working under them nor do they care about their feelings. Recently the company did employee surveys, and the center found out just how upset its employees were with the direction that the company was going. If you are going to constant add on additional duties to an individual that was not discussed upon at the time of hiring... then maybe you should consider increasing their already measly pay. The scorecard systems used to determine who gets bonuses each month is a constant failure for those on processing teams because it is extremely hard to measure the amount of work one does when they complete so many tasks/roles a day. Imagine completing multiple duties a month only to receive a scorecard that tells you that you amount to pretty much nothing within the company, and your manager having to reassure you that your job is not on jeopardy because he too knows that scorecard system is flawed and bogus. This is why the scorecard metrics were changed monthly because either we exceeded their goals too much or the new goals set in place were so unfair that no one could reach them. The Customer Care Center was a fine job when I started in 2013, but after two years it only got worse. This can be attributed to the new program for promotions and raises that is not based upon the work you do or your managers word, but on books that the senior managers themselves should be reading as none of them no how to be effective leaders. You will only find horrible bosses in the Customer Care Center. This is a job focused more upon quantity than it is quality. I am grateful for the team I had as they made the day go by smoothly despite the dirt constantly thrown at us by senior managers. I do believe AvalonBay is a great company to work for but the Customer Care Center does not hold true to it’s greatness. I would advise anyone interested to work for the company to work onsite within the communities. As a customer care center employee you are treated as a stepchild of the company and you are held responsible for all the mistakes made at the community level, which is an abundance of mistakes. You will reprimanded if you ever voice that associates at the community level are poorly trained. It sucks to know you’re more knowledgeable in your role but being paid less than onsite employees who make more than enough mistakes to be fired, but they never are. Working on the customer care center is very high stress, and you are micromanaged all the way through. There is no freedom here. The system Verint will be sure of that. Working here showed me exactly what I did not want from a company I was working for but due to all the crap I put up with there for almost 5 years I can say I was overly prepared for my new role within a new company who treats its employees with the upmost respect. Once the Customer Care Center learns to put their employees first and then it’s clients it will thrive. Until then it will remain a place of high turnover and angry/upset employees. I understand that jobs can be hard to come by so if you draw the short straw and must work in the center please use the position as a stepping stone to something greater. You will sit in town halls to hear about how the company is building $100 million apartment complexes in high cost of living cities while you’re breaking your back for a company who won’t give you a raise unless you complete courses through the pointless career atlas which is a map to nowhere. There is a reason that the Customer Care Center was built in an area vastly different from the cities the company builds its communities. It’s that way so they can pay you less while you work like a slave and still struggle. Welcome to the Customer Care Center where they do not care at all!

    PS. It says a lot about a company who has majority minority/black workers who wholeheartedly participate in work culture such as celebrating Mardi Gras and dressing in green St. Patrick's Day (holidays not culturally relevant to them), then denying them the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month because "it will cause issues".


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Do not work for this company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    None to list other than benefits

    Cons

    Compensation, management, integrity, employee appreciation

    Advice to Management

    You should actually pay your employees as if you value them rather than taking them for granted. You should also be exemplary examples of your core values.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Aug 15, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and I'm sorry that your experience was not a more positive one. AVB is committed to providing associates with competitive compensation and acknowledgement... More

  3. "More of The Same, But From One of The Best..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Manager
    Former Employee - Community Manager
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    On-site Teams - have the potential to be truly great. On-site managers have the ability to create a positive work environment, and buy lots of food for everyone.

    Customer Focus - for the most part we are empowered to make resident's lives better, assist with issues that come up, and close the loop. In most cases, were I an apartment renter, I'd absolutely rent with AvalonBay.

    WAG, fit, etc. - promoting basics makes sure on-site teams are delivering with a sense of consistency, and are being held accountable by residents.

    New Ideas - they will try almost anything, but don't adopt immediately.

    Values and Norms - on paper, these are great. They actually line up pretty much with what I believe in, so it makes it a bit easier.

    Colleagues - many people in your same role are decent, helpful, and fun people. You can always reach out, and bounce ideas off of them.

    Cons

    I spent a few weeks rewriting this review, as I didn't want it to be knee-jerk, or completely negative, the one star is because most of the dissatisfaction comes down to decisions, which ultimately are ill conceived, and improperly executed. I believe these decision points are when the true test of our character is revealed, oftentimes the end result is safe, regressive, and benefits only a few. I write this part with a bit of a broken heart, and a somewhat foolish idea that this feedback could make a difference... I can't imagine it's like this just on the West Coast.

    Big on Phrases - not so much on action, or acknowledgement ("Keep doing what you're doing.", "Thank you for all that you do."), when you hear that, and you're not moving anywhere in the company, it sends mixed messages. These are usually said at large company events, or in passing in the rare occasion your superior takes time to meet with you. The first time you hear it, it makes you feel good, after that, it's just empty words coming from someone who doesn't really understand what it is that you do.

    Experience vs. Development - experience is sought in lieu of actual development. Upper management would much rather have you tread water, and struggle rather than actually teach you something, or help you develop into a new role. I guess through this struggle you "develop" into a better associate? Maybe, but focusing skills, and incorporating new ideas is also pretty key. They claim to have talent meetings, but haven't seen much come from them. Developing yourself is pretty much the only thing you've got, besides trainings, and meetings that don't offer much. Others have mentioned they're good at counseling which is true, but coaching is almost non-existent, and counseling without coaching is pointless.

    Tenure - is a key factor in promotions. If you've been there a while, they kind of just "take care of you". If you actually contribute, and work hard, and are looking for that promotion, you can actually be better than another candidate with more tenure, and tenure seems to trump, have observed this many times. It's easy to choose something familiar, but paying attention to what someone is actually doing in terms of output is a bit more important. Political, or personal decisions are made in promotions, but management is too scared to actually acknowledge this, and makes up a reason so far from the truth to explain it. When this happens, it leaves you frustrated, and conflicted. Just be real with people.

    Compensation Plan Rollout - sales goals, and metrics were introduced. Overall a great, and logical idea. One of the more progressive moves AVB had made. Part of this was that Sales and Service Supervisors were given a target dollar amount once the community goal was hit, but there wasn't clarification as to whether they would get individual payouts for leases they actually got themselves. Since this wasn't obvious, or spelled out, the company sent out a "reminder" email (not sure how you pass it off as a reminder if it's the first time you're hearing about it) stating an SSS would NOT be eligible for individual bonuses. This upset a lot of people, rightly so. It's money. It's their livelihood. No one acknowledged the error, and just acted as if. A simple apology would have gone a long way.

    Bad Management Decisions - have seen some absolute monsters be put in charge of communities, and/or other managers as directors. When I say monsters, I mean people with pure ego, no people skills whatsoever, and engage in behavior that caused associates to leave the company. It's true. They do personality assessments upon hire, but in many cases people must just be ignoring the results, or they're not very telling. Had a manager who rarely ever put their phone down, even when having a conversation with me.

    Colleagues - tying into the above, have had conversations with colleagues that left me questioning why they're here. They say very mean, and inconsiderate things about their staff, but do nothing to engage them. They also feel that associates should just "know" things, instead of taking the time to lead by example and actually teach, and engage them.

    Packages - the company's response to the absolutely overwhelming demand has been sluggish, and an afterthought. They claim to have knowledge of future trends, etc., but didn't see e-commerce coming? Even as they're building new communities? Get ready to be blamed, get yelled at, and receive non-stop calls and emails asking where the package that hasn't been delivered yet is, if you can leave it out, or other accommodations. They heavily downplay this problem, it bogs staff down, when they should be focusing on sales goals, and other, more meaningful customer service.

    Podding - they claim it's for "development" and "growth" purposes, but it's really just to save money on a salary, and make some poor soul's life miserable. They do it to the most nonsensical properties too. It's bad for business, bad for coverage, and bad for residents. Not all, but most.

    Politics - perhaps egotics is better to say. If you don't buy into the absolute BS (and that's what it is, it's not strategy, or anything like that) that your POD is selling you, then they make certain to punish you by simply ignoring you. The egos about are fragile, but in full-force. I've rarely seen a decision made that actually is based on merits, and logic.

    Every company has a clique, AVB is no exception. They preach about results, but don't base many decisions upon them. If you're into that kind of culture, and can stomach it, then go for it.

    Advice to Management

    Respect input from onsite teams when it comes to pricing and revenue strategy.

    Stop viewing complacency as an asset.

    Learn to engage your subordinates, and stop playing favorites. Ever heard of Team of Rivals? A culture of sycophants keeps the company stagnant.

    Cool it with the empty encouragement. Stop thanking us for all that we do, and thank us for specific things. Please stop telling people to keep doing what they're doing.

    Hire managers that are actually decent people, can be challenged, and make fair decisions. The favorite game ruins this company. Look at merit, look at what people are actually doing. Actions speak louder than words.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    May 5, 2017 – Debbie Coombs, Sr. VP, Residential Services

    Thank you for taking the time to pass along your thoughts and suggestions for improvements here at AVB. While your role with AVB has ended, it is easy to see that you care deeply. I hear you. I would... More


  4. "Community manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits and locations are close

    Cons

    Wages are very low

    Advice to Management

    Increase wages


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Slave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Slave in Virginia Beach, VA
    Former Employee - Slave in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Management starts out acting like they want to help you. But there really isn't any upward mobility. They know who they want to promote or advance into upper positions. It takes about 4 to 6 months, butin that time you will learn where you really stand.

    Cons

    Management attitude. If you make a complaint or have a question about anyone they find is a friend.... forget a career. Even though retaliation is considered unacceptable.... management does it ALL the time. So sad to see they push associates into a non-caring attitude.

    Advice to Management

    Everyone has feelings. And remember treating others as lesser people will eventually bite you in the but. The only acceptable culture is theirs.


  6. Helpful (22)

    "Complete Waste of Two Years, Advancement is Non-Existant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Community Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time

    Pros

    The team at my property was great. Solid benefits.

    Cons

    Ladies, you know that one relationship you regret. You wasted a two years on a guy hoping that someday (SOMEDAY) he would appreciate how wonderful and talented you were, how smart you were, how much you took tasks on that he'd never had to worry about, how little you asked for in return...how much you really cared. How LOYAL you were.

    Welcome to my relationship with AvalonBay. If AvalonBay were a boyfriend, I should have dumped his worthless behind long ago.

    I interviewed with multiple years experience in property management under my belt, coming from a management role. I accepted an entry level sales position with assurances of quickly forthcoming advancement that never materialized (all the while watching non-industry, outside candidates be placed straight into management).

    Lots of favoritism for the corporate brown nosers at this company. Watch out for those people because they will quietly stab you in the back to look golden to management -- also to hold you down because they're terrified you'll leap-frog them a promotion. Once that happens, you can forget about any kind of advancement. As others have mentioned, if you're not a POD favorite you may as well start seeking alternate employment.

    Pay at AVB was always low for the respective industry but now they've introduced a sparkly new compensation program that they've billed as our opportunity to make more bonus. In short, they reduced the hourly pay of all employees by 12% (with the exception of managers, of course) in exchange for what they claim is a massive opportunity to make more bonus on leases. Best wishes to AVB hiring good talent at $13 an hour because this bonus structure only benefits the company, not the employees. And good luck finding a manager who can actually even explain the bonus calculator in a transparent way. Smoke and mirrors.

    What AVB's essentially done is create a culture of teams scrambling, clawing and stepping on each other to claim the best leads and making shady exceptions to get leases on the board -- I mean, if the Senior CC's going to hold out an apartment seven days instead of the mandated three, why wouldn't I? #GREAT

    Additionally, the bonus goals are set borderline unattainable, so corporate, who set them, is banking on one or more consultant on a team missing in any given month. What's that mean for shareholders? $$$$$ Yup. Hey investors, hope you're enjoying riding the backs of AVB livestock!

    Avalon employs corporate sheep for a reason. Plod along, don't ask questions, don't challenge authority, brown nose at every turn, do your manager's work, accept pay decreases with a smile. Bow to corporate. Bow to abusive residents. Get this! Our manager was so afraid to get a bad review on social media that he actually waived a person's move-out charges to get them to remove a one-star Yelp. How do you look up to or aspire to be a manager like that???

    Cute for a company that benchmarks integrity as a core value, isn't it?

    Opportunity abounds at other PM companies...don't waste your time with Avalon unless you enjoy the corporate game as opposed to being valued for your intelligence, entrepreneurial spirit and experience.

    Advice to Management

    Stop basing advancement decisions on who kisses your tail the best. Honestly, you're blindly accepting mediocrity and losing excellence because you don't like hearing about those who challenge the norm and/or challenge the status quo set forth by managers. Let a smart and ambitious employee sit stagnant for enough time and they'll burn out and leave you for better opportunities. Shame.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Sep 13, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective with us, and while I'm glad you enjoyed working with the team at your community, I'm sorry to hear that your experience with us was not a more... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "A joke"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AvalonBay Communities full-time

    Pros

    Money is money and if you are there they will pay you. Also you get your Oshawa 30 and first aid certificate

    Cons

    The construction side is oblivious to corporate structure. Signing up here requires sighting away your home life. If you don't like your wife or family this is your dream job.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Sep 12, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your review and I'm sorry that so far your time with AvalonBay has been anything less than excellent. A good work/life balance is imperative for all of us at AVB and I encourage you to... More

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Unhappy with new bonus and pay cuts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Supervisor
    Former Employee - Customer Service Supervisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AvalonBay Communities full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I can't think of any. I dedicated 5 years to this company to get one promotion. Our titles were assistant manager then change to customer service supervisor to sales and service supervisor essentially all the same job description but with the new bonus structure we went from getting paid in the mid $20s to less the $20 an hour. A 12% pay cut for all employees.

    Cons

    New bonus structure is horrible. Level of stress has risen and it feels like we have become pushy to close leases. 12% pay cut was upsetting and more insulting is they want us to believe we can potentially make more if we hit sales goals. Sales goals are too high so I've missed goal 3 months in a row and taxed on bonuses. Associate housing treats us worse then regular residents. I'm working more, stressing more and getting paid less.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management needs to stop playing favoritism. They promote who they like and not who's qualified. Training is not their strength. They counsel well but do not provide any coaching.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Aug 11, 2016 – Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Thank you for offering your feedback. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your time at AvalonBay. The new bonus plan has been widely embraced by many but we realize that not all associates... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Changes in Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AvalonBay Communities full-time

    Pros

    Before company changes were made, it was a great company with great benefits and work/life balance. You felt like you could build lasting friendships with the people you worked with and it was an comfortable atmosphere where you enjoyed going to work every day.

    Cons

    Company came up with bonus compensation overhaul where they told the employees they would make more money but once it rolled out, all employees (except management) received pay cuts only to be told they would be working under more stress and pressure and more work overall for less pay even with the bonuses due to the pay cuts.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest, be upfront, before you try to explain changes make sure you fully understand and can explain changes to your team.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Aug 11, 2016 – Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns, and I'm sorry to hear that your experience at AvalonBay has diminished since the introduction of the new bonus plan. We made the changed based... More


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Worst Company Ever!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Community Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Not one pro for this place.

    Cons

    This company is an absolute joke. The pay was low to start with and then the bonus structure made it even worse. Our base pay was cut, which didn't help because the amount of consultants working made it impossible to get leases. Management just sits there and does nothing. They say they have our back, but they're just looking to get promoted. Everyone here just bends over backwards to move up.

    Managers are not even close to being qualified and are condescending to all employees.

    Associate housing is a mess. They treat you worse than a resident and could care less that you're an employee.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking about how much money the company makes when employees are not reaping any benefits.

    AvalonBay Communities Response

    Aug 11, 2016 – Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Thank you for sharing your perspective with us, and I'm sorry to hear that your experience with AvalonBay has not been a more positive one. The new bonus plan was introduced in response to feedback... More


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