From 0 – 60 in Property Management

Episode 40

How has property management changed over the years? In a word, a lot! We are joined by Debbie Nicholson, who shares how she went from 0 – 60 in her personal property management career.

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Our Special Guest: Debbie Nicholson from Millennial Specialty Insurance

Debbie is an accomplished property management professional with more than 25 years of multifaceted background in the real estate industry, including all areas of multifamily property management and operations, training, and development. Her vast responsibilities included marketing, development, resident relations, and lease administration. Her experience in short and long-range planning, implementing policies, and standards with P & L accountability, has allowed her to venture into many different areas of operations as well as being able to bring her knowledge to the vendor side of the industry.

Show Highlights

With over 30 years of experience, Debbie Nicholson, you could say, has seen it all. From operations to the vendor side. Her spirit and love for our industry are contagious. So whether you are new to the industry or are looking for where you would like to advance next, this show is for you!

Key Questions/Topics Covered

How it all got started

I was first introduced to the industry when I was still in college. I hated living in the dorms and wanted an apartment, which meant that I needed a job. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I found an apartment that was also looking for an assistant manager/leasing agent. I learned a lot there and realized that this was the industry for me. From there, I have been privileged to work with many amazing companies. I have enjoyed working in different positions on the operations side and on the vendor side, which is where I am currently.

Insights into joining the property management industry

Years ago, there weren’t classes or degrees that you could look into. Thankfully that has all changed. The programs that are now available really allow you to see what this industry is all about. Another significant change that we have seen in recent years has been the diversity of paths that are now available. Beyond your standard leasing agents and management, we now have marketing and social media, accounting, or financial analysts along with other opportunities. It is no longer one path; there are many different directions you can choose to go within this industry.

Benefits of housing affiliate associations

Being part of a housing association is incredibly important and rewarding. The networking opportunities are endless, and here you have the chance to get to know all kinds of people from different avenues of our industry and make connections. There is always something to learn, and the insights to be gained are priceless.

The importance of mentors

Mentors are forever. Mine has been with me since early on in my career and, to this day, is one of my dearest friends. It is super important to identify a mentor early on in your career and try to find more than one. This is a great way to learn more than one perspective. Then as your career grows, you can pay it forward by helping the next generation.

Our industry has definitely changed, and I am sure it will continue to do so. So buckle up and enjoy the 0 – 60 life working in property management.

What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?

Keep moving forward

Debbie Nicholson

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