AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
I don’t know much about the Student Housing side of our industry but if I were to pick someone to “show me the ropes,” it would be Melody. As the Training and Development Director at Student Quarters, I can almost guarantee that her background in professional musical performance adds an element of energy and creativity to her role. A strong advocate of culture, she is constantly improving her leadership skills to develop the next generation of student housing leaders. She is the first person I’ve interviewed that encourages people to “get out on the road when given the opportunity.” Smart advice.
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 we all have such unique stories in how we got into the industry. We are such a melting pot of people with different strengths which is why I love it so much! I have a background in musical theatre performance. I toured the country performing. Even with my unique background I found a way to thrive in this industry. There is a niche for so many kinds of people. That’s why I love it!
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
One day (almost a decade ago), I decided to interview for a leasing agent position at a new build student community in Kennesaw, GA. Because I knew “Facebook” I was hired and I never turned back. One of my first days on the job was calling residents to tell them we wouldn’t be open on time….. what a day!
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
As mentioned before- I am a musical theater nerd. My favorite cast recording is from the musical The Last Five Years OR anything Bruno Mars!
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
Have an open mind to possibilities, get out on the road when given the opportunity, it’s scary until you do it!
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
I have so many proud moments in this journey we call property management. There are too many memorable moments to list. What I am proudest of are the people that I have encouraged along the way. The people I have built up, trained and helped them to see their potential. I may not know everyone that I have influenced but I have always been people focused and I hope that I have done some good out there.
Who is your mentor and why?
I have multiple mentors that benefit my life and uplift me in different ways. I would not be where I am without the encouragement and the support of others. The person that has been there with me from DAY 1 is my friend and mentor Isa Gutierrez Aguillar. Lease ups, difficult coworkers, “Turn” (as we call it in student housing), being out on the lonely road. She has been a constant cheerleader throughout my career.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
A book that I have read in the last few years that has left a huge impression on me is You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It's about overcoming your fears, taking risks, and our behaviors that are self-sabotaging.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
I would build a property in Atlanta because I love this city so much- and just to go along with my musical theater nerd theme – I would name it “The Broadway”
What is your most memorable vacation?
My most memorable vacation was the first one I took with my wife. We had NO money and stayed In a run-down hotel at Daytona Beach. It wasn’t about if the hotel or restaurants were “nice” it was the fact that we did it together, we were proud of what we could plan with limited resources. We had a great time!
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
Because I am an advocate of mental and physical wellness, I would take a “Me” day to focus on my fitness and my mental wellbeing. For example, take a yoga class, spend time in nature and do something enjoyable. The other days can be errands and appointments, but this day would be just about ME!
Training & Development Director