AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
Following Jeremy on LinkedIn is like having a built-in motivational speaker! I love the positive messages he pushes out to his network – like Ideas Create Change! He is the first person I ever “met” who was a police officer and now, a Vice President at Pinnacle! It just goes to show you that our crazy multifamily industry is full of a diverse set of people, backgrounds, and experiences. When this pandemic is over, Jeremy is one of the first people I have on my list to finally meet in person! Having recently moved to Florida, I won’t mind going south to warmer weather and hear more about his late Grandmother who had a large impact on his life.
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 that my drive for personal interaction with both clients and team members sets me 'Apart'. I strive to know each associate both professional and personally, I believe that being able to lead with a purpose, who you have to know, who your people are, and what drives their motivation. I feel I am 'Meant", for this industry because of the fast past and ever-changing environment, then you add people into the mix and it’s a perfect combination (between hospitality, retail, and customer service) along with creating a need for customers and driving home a financial return that goes much further than just providing money to an investor, but rather working in an industry that works hard to create returns for public retirement funds such as teachers, or other public servants. I believe I'm 'Meant' to be in this industry because it’s important to me that our purpose is much bigger than it may appear on a job description or profit and loss statement.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
This one is a funny start, but aren’t most industry professionals? I was a police officer in Plainfield, Indiana, working as an onsite courtesy officer. I became very close with the owner and regional property manager (at the time, now a VP), and they saw something in my abilities and offered me a Property Manager position at Central Park Apartments, a Class Garden-Style community in Plainfield. I often remind myself of the risk they took on me and never forget the humble beginnings that they both taught me and, most importantly, where I started. August of 2020, I started my 13th year in this industry.
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
Often it’s numerous songs, as I relate great times in life with a variety of songs and artist, but the band, Five for Fighting, brings back fond memories of my 20’s with my best friends and family, traveling to great places, including one of my favorite spots, New Orleans.
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
Simply put, with 3 bullet points!
Be flexible - This industry is ever-changing with people, demands, environment, and goals; be flexible/nimble.
Be Empathetic- We work with real people and real-life situations; Be relatable and it will take you far.
Be Authentic - Just be you. Despite your title, role, responsibility, BE YOU! It will allow individuals to understand who you are much quicker and create a bond that, in my case, created many lifelong relationships I cherish today.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
The absolute BEST days of my career are those where I see team members develop and become successful in a role that they reached for; My absolute favorite role to see team members achieve is that of Regional Manager as I firmly believe this is the most critical role in our industry and is a role that so few achieve. When a team member does, it’s a life-changing day for them and their family.
Who is your mentor and why?
I have many mentors, that fall across the spectrum of leadership roles and positions, such as Toni Rials with Greystar, Curt Nielsen with Edward Rose and Sons, Allyson Spuller with Edward Rose and Sons, and Tracy Bowers with RangeWater Real Estate. They're all great, but the one mentor (that is no longer with me) that always gave candid and honest advice, who fostered my entrepreneurial spirit, and more than anything embedded in me the idea that treating people with respect and working hard (along with staying humble) will open doors and opportunities, is my late Grandmother, Charlene Followell.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
A quick but meaningful read in my life has been “Who move my Cheese”, by Spencer Johnson. I was taking an organization leadership course at the University of Indianapolis and the lessons from that book have stuck with me.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
It would be in Fort Lauderdale and would be named Allure at the Sea; a powerfully fascinating place to call home, close to the sea salt 😊
What is your most memorable vacation?
There are actually two I reference in life often, my first trip to London and my first cruise throughout the Caribbean Islands, great memories.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
Day 5 would be spent doing all the things I “MEANT” to do day 1 through 4 that involved ONLY self-awareness; such as making it to the gym at 9 AM, making phone calls to family back home (in Indiana) that I failed to do during the week, and spending time away from all technology such as social media and email.
Jeremy Milton, CAM, CAPS