AMPressions

AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry

If you look up the word positive in the dictionary, you will likely see Kara’s face.  If you follow her on LinkedIn, you might seek her out daily for some simple uplifting. No surprise that she shared “When your team is happy and willing, your prospects and residents feel that!  A happy, thriving team is the root of success in this business.”  This rings so true, now more than ever!  Kara definitely qualifies as an industry-vet, in my opinion, and is someone whom you should seek out to learn the ropes.

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?

What a great question!  I consider myself a loyal multifamily leader and thrive in the business, with that one of the reasons I feel that I am connected to the business and my team is my connection.  I have a strong belief of People work for People and in order for this to be successful a leader needs to be able to get to know their team, be open to feedback, and be urgent when needed by them.  I ask a TON of questions; I listen for personal things that help me connect with the team and wrap my leadership around those personal details, so I gain trust and rapport.  When your team is happy and willing, your prospects and residents feel that!  A happy, thriving team is the root of success in this business, well for me anyway!

How and when did you get your start in the industry?

I came from retail; I was a regional manager for Sunglass Hut and had been there for 10+ years. My sister had been in the industry and I was always envious of her schedule, especially around the holidays.  After my decade working all major holidays and watching brick and mortar stores decline in the early 2000s with the recession, I told myself that multifamily would be a short pit stop while I got my education and plan together to go into interior design.   I applied to the Irvine Company where my sister had worked on and off, I was hired as an assistant manager at a cozy property in Irvine, CA, and …. the rest is history!  I traveled the many roads within Irvine, from Community Manager, to Leasing Manager, Sr. Leasing, Area Sales Manager, Sales Director, and a Sr. Director.  I picked up many friends, memories, and skills.  Now those memories, skills, and the desire are going to work in an entirely new way as an RVP in Dallas, TEXAS.

What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?

So many!  I absolutely rely on music to help push me, relax me, excite me and thrill me.  Right now, with COVID any song that I would get the opportunity to hear LIVE would change my mood.  During normal times, I am a sucker for Adele and a lifelong Dave Matthews Band fan.

 

What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?

Patience!  It will always pay off and I struggle with it daily!  Start your day with expectations but know that they can change within minutes and be ok with that!  Lastly, Wait to Worry- you can fix almost everything, so be ok with mistakes or missteps!

 

What is your proudest moment in multifamily?

Being recognized by Irvine Company as Sr. Leasing Manager of the year AND during my final weeks at Irvine Company, I was awarded their culture ambassador honor.  To get that on my way out spoke volumes to the long hours, days, and nights that I had dedicated to them for the past 11 years.

 

Who is your mentor and why?

Jennifer Line, she is a Vice President for Irvine Company and can’t get rid of me!  She’s guided me during times when I had no clue what I was doing.  She’s taught me patience.  She’s showed me what true leadership means.  She’s been a shining light to so many and I absolutely love watching others learn from her and take action when challenged.  Jen continues to serve her team and with that she develops teams that serve their teams, their residents and their prospects! 

 

What book has left the biggest impression on your life?

Fierce Conversations.  I read this book while at Sunglass Hut and continue to use the method every day.  Since diving into this and practicing it, I’ve never feared a conversation and have developed a skill set that many seek to gain.  I’ve been called a word wizard, but really, it’s my ability to not be afraid to have a conversation with someone as long as the intention is meaningful and thought out.

 

If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?

Fabulous question!  In this magical world, I would own a community on the coast in Northern California…. Name?  This is really a challenging question… Villas of Golden Gate, don’t quote me on that, I would most likely go through a ton of names before landing on the perfect one.  I do know, I would want the bay facing locations to have big bay windows and fabulous patios to take in that California coast air!

 

What is your most memorable vacation?

Germany!  My wife and I spent 14 days in a small town in Germany over Christmas a couple years ago.  Luckily, my wife is fluent in German, me on the other hand struggled!   I loved seeing the cultural differences and experiencing holidays outside of the US.  As always, everyone loves the food!  German food was comforting and purposeful.  I would return in a heartbeat!

 

If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?

 WAAAAYYY more 3-day travel weekends!  Short trips with my wife.  Traveling is good for the soul, the mind and the body!

Kara Kirkpatrick

Regional Vice President, West Division
MAA

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