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Property Management Career Development with Fairfield

February 25, 2022

Your inspiration for a property management career need only begin with a friendly attitude, an ability to communicate well, the desire to provide excellent customer service, and a willingness to learn. When you hear what it’s like to help future residents select their new homes and how these experiences with satisfied customers can prepare you to climb the property management career ladder in a variety of different ways, you may realize you have just found your new career path. And we hope it’s with us at Fairfield.

Follow an Exemplary Property Management Career

Greg Morehead’s tenure with Fairfield began in 1996. Twenty-six years later, this former real estate broker is now Fairfield’s Regional Vice President of Property Management. Greg oversees Fairfield’s Mid-Atlantic and New England markets – basically all of our communities from Virginia north. But his career has truly been a coast-to-coast adventure with great diversity. From on-site management of acquisitions and dispositions to new construction, including redevelopment projects for stabilized, tax credit, and bond subsidized communities, Greg has seen it all. That’s what makes him the perfect candidate to showcase the unlimited potential of a property management career path.

Apartmentality: Greg, what drew you to Fairfield?

Greg Morehead: It was kind of on a whim. I had just sold my real estate company and I wanted something different to do. I went into Fairfield, applied for a job at a brand-new lease up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and met the manager. She said, ‘can you start tomorrow?’ I told her, ‘I’ll get you leased up and then I’ll be on my way.’ She said that’s all that was needed… But, lo and behold, I’m still here. Cathie Udeck was the manager who hired me as a leasing agent and she’s still with Fairfield, too. [Cathie is now Fairfield’s Development Liaison.]

Step 1: Community Leasing Associate

Greg’s love of travel and experiencing different things, along with his skills in troubleshooting and team building, fed right into his property management career journey. Although he started at Fairfield as a leasing agent, it wasn’t long before he began the climb up the ladder – right alongside Fairfield’s growth in the multi-family housing industry. Our expanding portfolio of communities creates an ever-present need for talented associates interested in property management careers — explore our career openings today!

Because Community Leasing Associates are a prospective resident’s first impression of the Fairfield brand, they must provide excellent customer service. They take new residents through the leasing process from application to move-in and are an available resource during residency. Self-confidence and strong sales skills are important to be a successful Community Leasing Associate. Every customer might be our next resident, so helping customers visualize their new home at our communities is important.

Apartmentality: How would you suggest someone prepare for a property management career?

Greg Morehead: They must have a positive, glowing attitude because that’s honestly all you need to get started. It’s all about your attitude and wanting to be part of something bigger than yourself. If they don’t know something, we’ll train them. You can’t train them to have a good personality, but everything else we can teach, if they are willing to learn.

Step 2: Assistant Community Manager

Excellent customer service doesn’t stop when a resident moves in. Greg’s experience as a Community Leasing Associate prepared him for a position as Assistant Community Manager, a role that helps the Community Manager meet Fairfield’s revenue and profit targets while maintaining best-in-class customer service standards and high resident retention. Besides the responsibilities of leasing and customer care, Assistant Community Managers are tasked with the various bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities required to ensure rents and invoices are paid, deposits are made, and all financial workings of the community are maintained and recorded. It’s an important role as both a step in the property management career path and a resource for residents. A well-run community keeps residents happy!

Apartmentality: Greg, as you know, Fairfield’s tag line is Creating Better Living for Better Lives. What does that mean to you and how does it tie into Fairfield’s values of integrity, mutual respect, passion, transparency, and trust?

Greg Morehead: It means empowering the teams to do their best for the customer! Fairfield’s value of integrity stands out the most to me because I think that’s what the rest is built from. If you have integrity, people are going to trust and respect you. If you have integrity in your job, it gives you the passion to succeed. When you have that, people know what to expect from you, and that’s transparency.

Step 3: Community Manager

Before long, Greg was managing a brand-new community. Not only was he responsible for overseeing the property’s finances, managing the community, and assembling and supervising the team, but his input proved valuable during the new construction phase as well. With this deeper level of experience, Greg has been able to grow into a variety of management positions at many other Fairfield communities throughout his property management career.

The diverse, high-performing leasing teams at these communities are a credit to Greg’s thoughtful mentoring. Because Fairfield’s portfolio includes all types of communities — luxury communities, affordable communities, age-restricted affordable communities for seniors, brand new construction, communities undergoing renovation, and stabilized communities that generally remain fully occupied — opportunity for career growth and career change is abundant. It’s also encouraged!

Greg notes that Fairfield’s friendly, collaborative culture promotes teamwork and fosters the kind of workplaces that motivate associates to want to stay and grow. He has enjoyed mentoring others:

“Because I’ve been here so long, I’ve worked with so many people. Some of the people that I have hired, trained, promoted, or worked alongside have moved to other communities and even moved from on-site property management to transitions, budgets, tech support, and other corporate positions now… I’ve seen a lot of cross over. For instance, I hired Christy White as an assistant in Denver and now she’s one of the other VPs. I love seeing how everybody is still here and they’re continuing and learning and growing within the company. One of my big things has always been, ‘how long have all my team members been with me?’ It’s been a competition of mine with the other regionals because my tenure average was 8 years at last count. I love to see everybody stay. I write out birthday and anniversary cards to every single team member in my portfolio.”

Apartmentality: Who has had the greatest influence on your career growth?

Greg Morehead: Liz Culibrk [Senior Vice President in Property Management]! When I was a regional manager in Los Angeles, I met her at a regional conference. Soon after the conference, I moved back to Arizona and reported directly to Liz and worked with her for many years until moving out to New York. And now, I’m working with her again. She’s an amazing inspiration. She is always positive, she’s just one of those people I’ve always looked up to and always wanted to make sure I do right for.

Stepping Up & Reaching Out

Greg’s next step was Regional Community Manager, where he inspired a multi-location team to excel at best-in-class property management. He says his experience and expertise in operations and team management have allowed him to assemble and supervise the expert teams that keep our residents loving where they live and inspire associates to bring their best selves to work every day. His mentorship has prepared numerous candidates for future opportunities within Fairfield.

Since his time as a Licensed Real Estate Agent (AZ), Greg has found time to become a Certified Property Manager (CPM), Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), HUD Multi-family Compliance Professional (HMCP), and Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS) to deepen his industry expertise. He has also taken advantage of the many training opportunities offered by Fairfield in leadership and development, marketing, financial management, strategic planning, contract negotiation, team building and training, construction design and development, community outreach involvement, and hospitality-style customer service.

Fairfield associates can count on a robust training program that will help them excel in their current positions and support their growth throughout their property management careers.

Greg’s Final Thoughts & Property Management Career Advice

When Greg looks back at his property management career path from Community Leasing Associate to Regional Vice President in Property Management, he recalls many satisfying moments in sometimes very unexpected ways. Greg’s pride for the ways in which Fairfield’s property management teams respect and value each other is evident as he recounts a recent incident:

“One of my communities had a major incident, a big flood. It was amazing how our teams, before I even knew about it, were already in communication with one another and taking it all upon themselves to go and assist their sister property. Without question, without hesitation. Everybody just threw down what they were doing and went to help. You don’t necessarily get that a lot of times, but it’s definitely part of the Fairfield culture. It was a huge, major project. We had residents in 55 units displaced. The teams just pulled together, and I never heard one complaint from anyone. If one person gets tied up and can’t do something, someone else is on it saying, ‘I’ll cover it for you.’ I think that team spirit and family lifestyle we have developed within Fairfield is just phenomenal. I don’t think you find that at a lot of other companies.”

Apartmentality: What is the greatest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Greg Morehead: Getting people to understand what our industry is and how it can be so good for them. Not just financially, but just as a whole. In a property management career, you’re providing housing for people. We provide affordable housing. We provide luxury housing. It gets tough to hire and bring people in because they think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to work at an apartment. They don’t realize how we impact the community and are a part of so many other people’s lives. What our teams do every day impacts the 300 residents, or 1000 residents, whatever it may be, that they have living there.

Apartmentality: Finally, what would you say to someone interested in pursuing a property management career

Greg Morehead: Be flexible. Welcome change, and when change comes about, learn and grow from it.

Grow your Property Management Career with Fairfield!

Explore the kind of change and growth that can be yours by exploring a property management career at Fairfield! Positions in property management include everything from on-site roles to administrative opportunities. You can start like Greg did as a Community Leasing Associate or try a career in the maintenance side of property management. If you’ve already had leasing experience, explore our management opportunities.

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