AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
I recently had the pleasure of reading “10 Things I’ve Learned During My Apartment Maintenance Career” by Paul Rhodes, which sparked me to reach out to him. His 25+ years in the multifamily industry are evident in his answers to my questions. Please take the time to connect with him. I have no doubt that you'll learn something new and come away inspired!
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 enjoy language manipulation as a tool to look at things differently as well. The word “apart” suggests positive connections to me. I am very thankful to be “A Part” of this industry, Likewise, everyone needs somewhere to live. In my mind, they should be “a part” of a “community” instead of a “complex”. I’m “meant” for this industry as I’m honored to play a role in maintaining the structures and systems that house that community. In my mind, the best part of this career is the people and families whose lives I am thankful to have played a small part in. This includes technicians, residents, and co-workers alike.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
The short answer is, after graduating high school I went to live with a friend of mine in North Carolina for a summer. His stepfather was a Maintenance Supervisor for the property he lived at and they needed a 2nd grounds-man, and I needed an income. The Longer answer is that once I returned to GA, I started a career in retail and worked my way up to being a manager for a bookstore. After 4 ½ years, I decided retail was not a career for me to stay in. As I decreased my responsibility from manager to clerk and needed more income, my brother-in-law told me of a job opening for a groundsman position that had better benefits. 3 months later, after leaving the bookstore completely, I told the Maintenance Supervisor I would like to learn what I needed to move up. 1.5 years later, I was a Maintenance Supervisor of a community. To summarize, I “fell in” and never “climbed out”; instead, I’ve made this my home.
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
Wind at my Back; Spock’s Beard
Stranger in your Soul; Transatlantic
Jumpin’ East of Java; Brian Setzer Orchestra
Alright; Kings X
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
Say “YES” more often than “No” and say “No” when appropriate. (it’s easier to redirect something in progress than it is to get started in the first place and it’s easier to research an idea and determine it’s a bad one before starting.)
Be open to other ideas/options. (Just because you have a good idea, doesn’t mean there isn’t a someone else has a better one or way of accomplishing the same task/thing.)
If you identify something needing to change, it’s not going to unless you do something. Waiting for change to happen is a very slow process. Nothing will happen if you do nothing.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
A few years ago, I had a gentleman come up to me that had attended a CAMT class a year prior. He informed me that he had received a promotion at work after the class that allowed him to move his family out of a rough area into a home of their own. Through tears, he expressed how thankful he was that I had explained things like wiring a 3-way switch and super-heat charging in a way that he could understand and use on a day-to-day basis.
Who is your mentor and why?
My father. When I think back over the decisions that have shaped my life, my dad provided challenging advice, either in word or his actions, even before the moment I needed it. Every time we talk, I think even without realizing it, he is giving me pearls of wisdom for later. I just haven’t caught up to his advice yet.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
Praise Habit; David Crowder
One Minute Manager/The New One Minute Manager; Ken Blanchard + Spenser Johnson
Think for a Change; John Maxwell
Think Like a Freak; Stephen J. Dubner + Steven Levitt
Dune; Frank Herbert
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
On a mountaintop somewhere away from any traffic noise and lights that prevent a good view of the stars; yet close enough to the necessary stores/resources. The name would be something with 'Solitude' in it.
What is your most memorable vacation?
My honeymoon. We went to Gatlinburg TN and spent the week in a cabin on the side of a mountain. There was a deck that you could sit on and watch the sunrise over the valley. It was an amazing and beautiful trip.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
Doing something around the house in the morning, and the afternoon/evening sitting with my wife beside a fire, with a cup of coffee, reading a good book with a dog by my side.
Dir. of Maintenance Operations
The Life Properties