AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
If I had a twin, Amanda Maclin would fit the mold! We share several commonalities, including; having tough childhoods, loving our Peloton, how we got started in the multifamily industry and what sets us apart from others in a very crowded supplier space. If you are looking for a no-nonsense, well-networked, tenured multifamily professional to learn from, Amanda is a perfect role model!
I love dissecting words and looking for greater meaning like the word Apartment. What sets you “Apart” and why are you “Meant” for the multifamily industry?
I believe relationships set me apart. I have a genuine interest in people, their stories, what makes them tick, and so on. I have a really good memory and will remember special things about that person, like their likes - or dislikes- kids' names, where they went to school, and so on. I love to give very personal gifts or experiences based on those things too. I have experienced some really great personal milestones (and not-so-great events) with many of my clients - who are now called my friends too. I feel like I was meant for this industry because of the deep love of being around others, helping others, and building more than just a resident or vendor-partner relationship.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
This is so interesting. In 1995, I was living in Atlanta and working hard to become a police officer, going through all the rounds and steps to get into the police academy. At the same time, I had become friends with the team in the Leasing Office where I lived. Each step I took and passed, I would report back to my friends in the leasing office (they seemed to be very excited & proud of me as I went through the process). As I neared the end - I went for my physical & drug test. When the result came back, I was notified that I was pregnant and would not be able to move on in the process - but I could come back once I had my baby. Needless to say - I was SURPRISED! When I reported back that I would continue being a dispatcher and wait this one out, the Property Manager said, “Amanda, you have a great personality, you are funny, and I think you would be awesome with our residents - why don't you try property management”. “You can quit the evening shift, not have a commute, and you could even get a discount on your apartment here”. SOLD. All I had to hear was “discount”. And that is how my career began in Property Management. I never thought about a law enforcement career again.
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
I have so many favorite songs, for different reasons. A great party tune, if I want to dance, something motivational, or to remind me of a special time in my life, etc. But, If I must pick ONE, it would be Sweet Home Alabama. Some of my favorite memories have been around Alabama Football, my daughter graduating from The University of Alabama, and with a few Rammer Jammers in my hand (if you do not know what that is - Google it!)
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
If you are considering a career in multifamily - take it seriously. This is not just a job, but if you are willing to learn and grow, there is a lifetime of opportunity.
On-site careers are awesome, I became well versed in operations, before moving to the vendor partner side, it has helped me tremendously. I am successful because of what I learned over the 17+ years that I worked in operations.
Patience. This industry is ever-changing, and you must be agile and flexible. I began my career when we hand-wrote work orders, typed (on a typewriter) the lease agreements, and paid human directions to get traffic. All those practices have changed - and you must be willing to adapt.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
This probably sounds odd, but in 2008 - there was a real estate market crash - and I lost my job. It was a very difficult time for me, and my family as I had just had my 2nd child. I had to leave an Executive position, to work back on-site, as a Property Manager & I also worked evenings at a grocery store, to help make ends meet. Those times made me more resilient and work harder to prove myself. Within 4 months, I was hired in a more senior role, and that helped me understand and value my hard work even more. Hitting Rock Bottom will teach you the lessons that a mountain top never will.
Who is your mentor and why?
Oh, good question. You likely are thinking “does this chick have a solid answer to anything”. Well, I do - but I have various mentors too, for various aspects of my life. But if you are asking me if I have a mentor in this industry - YES. I would say that Donna Olson (Trainer Donna) is the one. Early in my career, I went to a conference and Donna took me under her wing, introduced me to everyone at the conference, taught me the art of networking, was sweet, kind, inclusive, and a true friend. She had dinner with me because she knew I was alone, she talked to me about my life, my family, everything. That has impacted me throughout my career. Donna and I are dear friends to this day. We have been through many milestones together, and when I need good honest advice, Donna is who I call.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
I have become an avid reader over the last few years. Maybe it is because TV does not do much for me anymore. But over the last year, I have been digging in more to social justice issues, American history, and racism. I was a co-host on a streaming show with two friends, Melissa D. White and Kate Good. On Color Outside the Lines (the show) we had the opportunity to speak with leaders, educators, industry counterparts, friends, and authors. I read and interviewed Christian Picciolini, author of Breaking Hate, Confronting the new culture of extremism. I read that book and could not put it down. The book taught me a bit more about how naive I really am. I still have a lot to learn.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to take part in creative services like naming apartment communities. In fact, it is one of my favorite tasks. If I ever owned my own community, it would be in Seaside Florida. I would name it “The Surge”. It would be an oceanfront midrise, and it would offer concierge-level services, incredible amenities, and be full of energy. It would be the hottest spot on the beachfront. The reason I chose The SURGE is because of meaning (a rush, a blast of energy, an outburst of excitement). That is what my community would offer its residents!
What is your most memorable vacation?
I had a tough childhood (that is for my therapist, not this interview), but one thing that my Grandparents did for my sister and me was to expose us to great vacations. Many of those were at Walt Disney World. We would go about every 4 years - and we did Disney right! It has fostered my love of Disney and continued the tradition with my own family. So, although I have a list of wonderful cruises, all-inclusive vacations, and Caribbean destinations that I love - Walt Disney World holds a special place in my heart and memories to look back on.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
I would do a few things on my 5th day:
Get up early.
Ride my Peloton.
Work a shift at Grace Community Center (local food pantry).
Get a relaxing foot massage.
Do all the errands that I would normally do on the weekends so that my weekend is FREE.
Finish up the day by making dinner and spending the evening with my family.
Vice President of Sales, Multifamily