AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
Having been a property manager myself, I know how difficult that job is on a “normal” day. Now add in a national pandemic, full-time school, full-time mom & wife, and maintaining 96% occupancy at your community…that’s impressive! All of these achievements made me take notice of Lynett and she deserves to be recognized for her inspirational story.
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 always tell people that the multifamily industry found me. I believe that I am meant for this industry because it allows me to use my talents in more than one way. I am sure we can all attest that no day is the same day in this industry and my ability to quickly adapt to changes and problem solve is one of my best qualities. Interacting with people on a daily basis and providing them with a quality living experience is something I can get behind!
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
I started the industry in 2011 with Barrett & Stokley as a leasing consultant. The position kind of fell into my lap when I went to search for my new apartment. It was a Saturday and the agent that was in the office was very busy with tours. There were a couple and me in the office to be seen next, and she asked if we would mind doing a group tour since we were interested in the same floorplan. We both agreed, so we then went to the apartment. I pointed out all of the benefits of the apartment and even overcame an objective for the other family that was viewing. After the tour, she asked me to stick around until she was done with the family because she wanted to speak with me further, and that is when she offered me an interview, and here I am now!
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
Alphaville- Forever Young
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
Always put yourself in the position to learn new things. Knowledge is one of the keys to career success.
Do your best! Often, we get discouraged and start to compare our careers to our coworkers, but we don’t know the backstory of how they got to where they are, so if you compare your success to the success of others you aren’t being fair to yourself. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there as long as you make a goal and do your best along the way!
Be self-aware in a way where you can look at things from different perspectives. We wear many hats in this industry and being able to place yourself in the shoes of others will allow you to empathize and make the best decision you can make.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
Where do I start? Although this year was quite different due to Covid 19, I am programmed to see the positives. I was involved in many proud moments this year alone. I had the opportunity to be a member of the NAA Diversity Leadership Program, served on the Atlanta Apartment Association membership committee, finished up my Human Services degree, and spoke at the Annual Atlantic Pacific Leadership summit with Randy Weisburd. If I had to choose one, it would be participating in the Diversity Leadership program. The purpose of the program is to further learn leadership skills and to bring awareness to the lack of Diversity and Inclusion within the multifamily industry. Diversity and Inclusion have been the focal point in the headlines lately and having the privilege to engage in an action that could benefit the greater good of our society was life rewarding. The endpoint of the program was for each participant to create a program that could help solve a diversity and inclusion issue within our industry, and when my project won 2nd place I had such a feeling of accomplishment! Growing up as an African American female in America, you don’t get invited to many tables, so for me to get invited to this table and given the platform to broadcast my ideas, doing so gracefully, is definitely something to be proud about!
Who is your mentor and why?
Although I have many mentors, Michelle Wood is my mentor in my personal life as well as in my professional career. I met Michelle when I started working for Atlantic and Pacific in 2014, and over the years she has helped mold me into the individual I am today. She pushes me when I want to quit and no matter what time of day it is, she is always there to talk through things with me and shed light on the positives when I can’t see them for myself. It is good to have someone like that in your life!
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book has given me a different outlook on life. I highly recommend this book to anyone needing a different outlook on life in general.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
If I ever owned an apartment community it would be called The Ava on Broadway and it would be located in Downtown Atlanta near the Fox theatre.
What is your most memorable vacation?
Although I have traveled to beautiful tropical places around the world, my most memorable trip was in March of this year. As a part of the National Apartment Association Diversity Leadership program, our first session was in Washington D.C at Advocate. I brought my sister along with me so that we could tour the city after all of my meetings. On the first day we went to most of the national monuments, but on the second day is where we were both stunned. On the second day, we went to The Holocaust Museum and then went to The Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture. I was able to step back into time and get a glimpse of what times were like for many people during such horrific times. Not only was it informational, but it was also life-changing.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
On the 5th day, I would declare it a self-care day for myself to rest and reset. We hold so many roles and titles and get so busy doing other things and taking care of other people we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. So the 5th day would be my day to finish that great book I started months ago, lounge on the couch and watch a great movie, order take out, and just rest the entire day with no interruptions, just me, the tv, my blanket, and food!
Lynett Smith, CAM