The saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When I found a career in the residential property management (RPM) industry, this sentiment turned into reality, and it can become your reality too. As a national maintenance trainer for the 13th largest property management company in the U.S., I get to travel the country and work with different maintenance teams, pursuing my passion for teaching.I began my journey in the RPM industry as a groundskeeper in 2006 after returning from deployment while in the Marines. While I was working as a groundskeeper, I was also pursuing a criminal justice degree to become a police officer. At that time, I didn’t know that RPM would become a lifelong career.
I decided against pursuing a path in police work because I was building skills in RPM and felt such satisfaction from helping residents with their maintenance needs. Being able to solve complex problems brought me extreme pride. What also drove me to stay in RPM was my competitive spirit and desire to do the more technically challenging work that I saw my supervisor doing: using oxygen and acetylene torches, fixing broken waterlines, and completing appliance repairs. I looked up to the people with these skills and even envied them. I knew that I wanted to achieve their level of knowledge and saw the National Apartment Association Education Institute’s continuing education opportunities as the compass that could guide me down the road of success.
The industry gave me the tools and opportunities I needed to grow into a rewarding career. I wrote down all my goals and began pursuing maintenance credentials to help me achieve them. I earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s Universal Certification and became a certified pool operator and certified apartment maintenance technician (CAMT). I rose through the ranks in the maintenance field — from groundskeeper to maintenance technician, maintenance supervisor, regional maintenance supervisor, and then my current role as a national maintenance trainer — always looking toward new learning opportunities that could take my career to the next level. Over 12 years, I was promoted 12 times across the maintenance field, even crossing over to the vendor side as an HVAC project manager. I pursued my certified apartment manager and certified apartment portfolio supervisor credentials and became an instructor for NAAEI after attending its advanced facilitator course. From there, my career skyrocketed.
In RPM, people who work hard, learn, and improve are rewarded for their success. Throughout my career, I’ve been recognized for my commitment to the industry and success in maintenance roles. In 2019, I was named the National Apartment Association CAMT of the Year, and I was recognized as the Texas Apartment Association Maintenance Professional of the Year in 2018. Earning recognition in RPM helped me stand out from the competition when applying for jobs and helped me gain financial freedom over the years due to promotions. If you’re a goal chaser, then this is an industry for you.
My biggest recommendation for anyone considering a career in RPM is to ask themselves one question: “If money weren’t an object, what would I want to do for the rest of my life?” My answer is simple: Travel, and help others develop their skills. I get to do that every day with my RPM career. The RPM industry offers unlimited opportunities, and it landed me my dream job. Don’t wait!