AMP Interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Apartment Management Industry
Steve is the kind of guy that if you see him speak at an industry conference (which he often does) you grab a pen and paper and you take notes. He and I used to work for the same company way back in the day while I was still trying to make a name for myself and I made sure to watch and listen to everything he shared in order to gain as much knowledge as possible.
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?
The reason I was meant to be in the multifamily industry is my great love of people and my desire to see them grow professionally and personally. My biggest thrill in life is when I see someone excel at something that they first thought they could not achieve. My goal has always been to “share as much as I know and help people grow.” The multifamily industry gives me the opportunity to touch people’s lives and to help them see more in themselves than they thought existed.
How and when did you get your start in the industry?
I got into the multifamily industry after spending 11 years of coaching college football at the University of Utah. I was the defensive coordinator at Utah before I walked away from the game. While I was a coach at the U of U I recruited a great athlete out of Salt Lake City (who later spent eight (8) years with the Miami Dolphins) and his father was a financial adviser that owned multifamily assets. One day, I went to his office to take him some U of U t-shirts. We started talking and he asked me how much I made on an annual basis. I told him “X.” He said, “do you want to make 3-times X.” I had a small family at the time and needed every dollar. I said yes and the rest has been history. Since then, I have had the opportunity of operating some of the largest and best management companies in the country.
What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?
My go-to song is “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” by the Commitments.
What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?
The three (3) tips I would give someone interested in a career in multifamily would be:
Work hard – nothing worth achieving comes easy
Refine your communication skills – both written and verbal – the greatest skill a person can develop (which leads to success) is the ability to communicate effectively
Have great customer service skills – residents can be demanding.
What is your proudest moment in multifamily?
I have had many, many proud moments in my 35-year career. Those moments have all come when I have had the opportunity to see someone promoted to a new position with new responsibilities. I have been fortunate to have had great people work with me that are now running organizations and are top executives in the industry.
Who is your mentor and why?
My mentor is my wife. She and I have been married 49 years and I have learned more from her than anyone else (other than my mother). She has taught me balance, patience, and how to manage my emotions. She has chipped away a lot of rough edges over the years and has made me the person I am today. She has taught me that caring for and respecting others is the greatest talent a person can have.
What book has left the biggest impression on your life?
I struggled as a teenager. Even though I was a successful athlete I didn’t really know who I was or what I want to be. It wasn’t until my tenth grade English teacher, Ms. Theda Holindrake, sat me down one day and asked me to read a book that I finally found myself. The book was Don Quixote (which I have now read each January for the past 52 years) by Cervantes. It taught me that how you look at and see the world makes a difference in who you are and what you become. It taught me that nothing is impossible and that dreams are the life-blood of success. We can all slay the dragons we encounter and leave the world in better condition than how we found it. It is the most amazing book I’ve ever read.
If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?
I would build the community in Blue Ridge, Georgia and I would name it Serenity.
What is your most memorable vacation?
My most memorable vacation would be when my wife and I visited the Hill Country of England. It was an unbelievable experience to see the castles, small towns, and farms in the area. We stayed in a small bed and breakfast and hiked in the hills every morning. After a week, we thought we were one of the locals.
If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?
I would spend my fifth day climbing mountains, writing, or reading a good book.
Steve F. Hallsey