AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
Connecting with Barbara should come with a warning label (in a good way). It would read:
Caution: knowing Barbara will cause you to “Sprout” ideas, redefine your purpose and not live so compartmentalized. She and I claim to be James Clear’s biggest fans and share a love for Paul Simon. She puts out fantastic content via her monthly newsletter and podcast.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
I was looking for a job while attending college. I was hired as a leasing professional and never looked back!
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
I LOVE this question! My dad used to wake me up to "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" by Paul Simon. So, it's an instant mood booster for me!
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
Develop a real appreciation for people. All people, not just the ones that are easy to like. Train yourself to find a quality you like in everyone you meet.
Be willing to learn ALL the things, even one's that aren't "part of your job." (Also, never say, "That's not part of my job!") You never know which experience will launch you into the next opportunity.
Become a strong communicator. Practice talking to people wherever you are at. Hone you're writing skills. Get comfortable with video. All these things are the way of multifamily now. The sooner you embrace them, the better!
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
When I was accepted to speak solo at NAA in 2012. It was my first time summiting a proposal and I presented solo to a room of 750+. My husband was in the front row, and I was beaming the entire 45 minutes!
Who is your mentor and why?
That's hard to narrow down because my hobby is learning. I've had many different mentors at different stages of my life and my career. As a child, my father had the biggest influence on me. I had an incredible mentor named Britton, that helped me early in my career. I also had a business coach I worked with closely for many years. Right now, I'm finding mentorship through books, podcasts, and connections I've made in and outside of the industry. I invite guests on my podcast that I would love to be mentored by and for that hour, it's like I'm in school. Most recently I got to spend an hour with Bonaventure's CEO, Dwight Dunton and I felt like I was back in school. I learned so much in that hour!
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
The Bible. My parents introduced me to Bible reading early and it has shaped the person I am.
In terms of business and self-improvement books, I keep going back to Atomic Habits by James Clear.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
Ugh...this one is so tough because we kind of do this as part of our branding process in our creative service department and we OBSESS over the name. I don't do as much of this personally anymore, but many times I would wake up at 2 am and have to jot a name down that popped into my brain. So maybe "Schnell," my mother's maiden name. It means fast in German. It would have to be somewhere in New York or Chicago to match the pace of life!
What is your most memorable vacation?
My husband and I spent 3 months on a volunteer project in Colombia. We fell in love with the country for its beauty, but mainly for its people. They smiled when they talked, they danced when they walked, and they made us feel so loved and welcome.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
Kind of a fun fact...most on our team don't work full-time, me included. I use this time to garden, hang out with my two little nephews or read. I live in the country, and I enjoy a really quiet pace of life.