On March 18, 2017, I was surprised and much honored to be presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2016 Summit Celebration. On top of that very high honor I was very touched that my husband and son were both there for the presentation. It was wonderful to have family there to share this very special event with me. A big thank you to Peggy for secretly making their attendance happen.
I have been in the apartment industry for over 20 years working with a private owner, Thomas Chronister. My career started in multi-family housing as an office manager at Brandy Chase Apartments. It soon led to leasing consultant and then manager of Brandy Chase Apartments along with Main Street Avilla/Kendallville, Huntertown Townhomes, Montrose Square and later Poplar Ridge. It has been a wonderful career and working for a private owner has many advantages. I have direct contact with the decision maker, input with budget and policies plus the Chronisters have been wonderful to work with.
With every great working situation there are some drawbacks. With a private owner I found that I did not have the “corporate” support system of other managers, leasing consultants or maintenance personal that others have with management companies; or the training programs and seminars that bigger management companies offer their staff.
What I did have is the Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-NE Indiana (AAFW-NEI). Back in 1996 when I started working in this industry I found the support and training needed though this great local organization. The best advice I received when starting was to get involved in the AAFW-NEI. I received my NALP and CAM designations and have attended numerous seminars through the Association. I found my support system while attending seminars, Breakfast Connections and committee meetings. These were other managers that I called when I needed advice on resident procedures, help with Yardi, (thank you Carole and Rose) or just a chance to unload after one of those days.
You too have the AAFW-NEI for support and education. The networking opportunities are there for you, so get involved by joining a committee, attend the Breakfast Connections or become a Board member. The AAFW-NEI offers a wide range of classes for Managers, Leasing and Maintenance. The networking and idea sharing that happens during class and even afterwards between your peers is priceless.
The old saying “you get out of something what you put into it” is very true. As in everything in life the amount of effort and time you give equates to the return on your investment. I am very grateful for all that I received from our AAFW-NEI in education, support and friendships. I hope you can also find the value of such an organization.
By Sherry Shaw, NALP, CAM
2017 AAFW-NEI Executive Officer ~ Secretary