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Putting People First in Multifamily

Putting People First in Multifamily

On a recent episode of Apartment Academy, the multifamily industry’s operations-focused podcast, and your Institute for higher NOI, we had the pleasure of hosting Ruth Nwaturuocha, Director of Operations at LeavenWealth Investments. Ruth shared her unique perspective on operations and centralization, offering valuable insights for property management companies in the 2,000 to 5,000-unit range. In this post, we’ll recap the key takeaways from the podcast episode, highlighting the importance of putting people first in multifamily operations.

Ruth Nwaturuocha’s Journey into Multifamily

Ruth’s journey into the multifamily industry began as a part-time leasing agent, where she discovered her passion for the industry. She quickly progressed through the ranks, taking on roles as a Sales and Leasing Manager and Services Manager. Her dedication and hard work led her to transition into property management, where she oversaw diverse properties and portfolios. Eventually, Ruth joined LeavenWealth as the Director of Property Management and worked her way up to become the Director of Operations.

Quotable: “I started as a part-time leasing agent and found out I really enjoyed it and was really good at it. I decided to take that path.” [1:54]

Overview of LeavenWealth and its Approach

LeavenWealth is a private real estate investment firm based in Omaha, Nebraska. They manage investments across eight states, with a portfolio exceeding 3,000 doors and $300 million in real estate assets. LeavenWealth focuses on repositioning class B and C properties through real estate syndications and joint ventures. However, what sets them apart is their commitment to community improvement and making a positive impact on residents’ lives.

Quotable: “We have investors from all over the world that pull their money into these investments, and then we use that money to turn around the asset. We do different renovations like energy-efficient appliances, new flooring, and carpet, just to improve the community. I think that is the core of what we do.” [4:49]

The Importance of People in Property Management

Ruth emphasizes that property management is not just about managing buildings but is a multi-million dollar business that requires a deep understanding of finances, budgeting, and customer service. However, at the heart of successful property management is the people involved. Ruth stresses the importance of investing in the growth of team members, both personally and professionally. By creating a supportive environment where staff members feel valued and empowered, property management companies can foster a strong team that delivers exceptional service to residents.

Quotable: “Have faith in your people, invest in them. I’m not just talking about investing money-wise. They need to feel that you care. That you want them to grow, and that will turn around and show in their work.” [8:37]

Centralization and Communication in Multifamily

LeavenWealth has adopted a centralized approach to its operations. This means that the entire team works from one central office location, enabling effective communication and collaboration. According to Ruth, centralization has been instrumental in streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and fostering a sense of unity among team members. By eliminating silos and promoting open communication, LeavenWealth ensures that everyone is aligned toward the common goal of delivering exceptional resident experiences.

Quotable: “I foresee a lot more AI, a lot more virtual assistance. I think we have to be careful with that because there are people and there’s process. AI can help with the process, not necessarily the people and the culture aspect of that.” [27:23]

In the world of multifamily operations, it’s crucial to prioritize people. Ruth Nwaturuocha’s journey and LeavenWealth’s approach highlight the significance of investing in team members and fostering a supportive work environment. By centralizing operations and promoting open communication, property management companies can drive efficiency and deliver outstanding service to residents. Remember, success in multifamily operations ultimately boils down to putting people first. Stay tuned for more insights and expert advice on Apartment Academy, your go-to resource for maximizing NOI in the multifamily industry.

Watch the episode in its entirety here:

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