AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
Vice President, Facilities
GK Management Co., Inc.
Chad is the type of person that everyone needs in their network. He’s a wonderful mix of humble, hardworking and compassionate. One striking thing from his interview is that he admits that at one point, he didn’t have such a great attitude. Chad constantly looks for the potential in people and doesn’t judge them by where they are, but considers where they could go, a lesson he learned from his mentor. I particularly love his comment about what to do when you have nothing to do – is that even a thing in multifamily?
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 think what sets me "Apart" is my passion for our industry, to be more accurate my passion for the service and facilities side of our industry. Why was I "Meant" for multifamily? It is because I had tried several times to get out of the industry, but just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. Maybe it is fate, and I was meant to be in this industry.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
I was not too long out of high school. My best friend called me one day. I knew he was working at an apartment community for his brother-in-law, who was the maintenance supervisor. He said "Hey dude, come be our groundskeeper! All you have to do is deliver notices and pick up trash." So, I got the job and 3 months later I got promoted to "Make Ready Guy" because I could change a lock and cut keys that worked, and the other "Make Ready Guy" couldn't.
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison. If you come to one of my training classes, there is a good chance you will hear that song shortly before the class starts!
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
First. When you start in this industry, be prepared to learn every day. No one has ever started in this industry knowing everything and I don't know anyone who has left this industry knowing everything, especially on the service side. Second, take opportunities that are presented to you and, in between those moments, make opportunities for yourself. Having a great attitude and respectful personality will take you places in this industry. They will notice you. Third, there is always something to do. Don't be surprised by this. If you have "nothing to do" then you should walk your property again. Someone has broken something, somewhere. If you really are in a great position and caught up, there is someone on one of your sister properties who needs help. If your primary goal in life is to have everything done all the time, think again before getting into property management.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
Answering an after-hours call on a Saturday night one summer evening. A woman called me panicked because she had accidentally thrown her daughter's medicine away down our trash chute and into the compactor. Her daughter had just been released from the hospital, and she explained they would not replace the pain medications. Now technically this wasn't an "emergency", but I told her I would be there as soon as I could. I explained that if enough trash gets put down the chute, it automatically compacts and there may not be much I could do. So, I get there fully prepared to have to climb into this compactor on a hot, muggy summer night. She described the bag. I went into the trash room, opened the door to the compactor, bent in at the waist, and it was sitting right on top. That woman was crying and thanking me. She wrote emails and letters to my manager, my regional, my VP, and corporate. I got so much recognition, I actually won one of the first Lincoln Property Company "We Care" awards. All I did was drive 20 minutes, turn a couple of keys, and grab a bag and it was then that I learned it wasn't so much the things that you fix, it is how you take care of people.
Who is your mentor and why?
I have had several mentors over the years that have guided me in several ways. The one that is most important to me, and my career is Lenora Carpenter. I was a young maintenance supervisor and Lenora was my Regional Manager. First off, Lenora believed in me at a time in my career where I don't know if I deserved to be believed in. I had some knowledge, but my attitude was not the best. She made me feel important and valued. She urged me to do better and allowed me to follow opportunities to better myself. I have often said that I don't know if I would be where I am today without Lenora's confidence and guidance. She is the reason that I constantly look for the potential in people. I don't just judge them by where they are, but I also consider where they could go. I look for people to believe in because of Lenora.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
The National Swimming Pool Foundation's Certified Pool and Spa Operator's Handbook. After reading that in preparing to become a CPO I realized I never wanted to get in another swimming pool or spa again without testing the water. Now, before my family or I get in a pool, you can believe I test the water!
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
Mixed-use property at the beach with restaurant and retail space. Come live your best life at EAT. SLEEP. BEACH. REPEAT.
What is your most memorable vacation?
It has to be our trip to Italy 3 years ago. It was awesome! My wife and daughter are constantly talking about going back as soon as we can.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
That is a tough question to answer. I can't commit to just one thing because in our industry you never know what is going to happen! Some of those days would be spent at home or traveling with my family. Some of those days may be spent supporting my team after some sort of major event has hit one of our properties. Either way the time would be spent doing something I love.