In 1967, when we were still the Holladay Corporation, we merged into the multi-family residential market with the creation of our first Midwest apartment complex, West Jefferson Apartments, in Mishawaka, IN. Several multi-family projects and 23 years later, we developed Maple Lane Apartments in Elkhart, IN, which, along with West Jefferson Apartments, we continue to manage to this day. As we prepare to further expand our portfolio with the addition of the Promenade at Founders Square and Burlington Station, we sat down with our Property Manager, Melissa Morin, to hear about her experiences in managing a successful residential community, and why she loves what she does.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself:
MELISSA: I joined Holladay Properties in March of 2011 as a housekeeping and grounds crew member at West Jefferson Apartments. In the following years, I worked my way up to leasing agent and was promoted to Property Manager in 2015. In 2016, I earned my Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) certification. My duties are to find prospective tenants, take care of day to day operations of the property, manage any issues that our tenants are having, and ensure the property is in good working order.
Q: In a few words, describe your apartment complex:
MELISSA: West Jefferson Apartments was built in 1969. We have 96 very spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units on our beautifully landscaped grounds, located minutes from major shopping and dining. We also offer off-the-street parking, 2 on-site laundry facilities, and 24-hour maintenance service.
Q: What is your favorite thing about managing your property?
MELISSA: My favorite thing about managing my property is the people. I meet pretty unique people every day, and treasure the relationships that I have with my residents. There is never a dull moment, and that makes me love my job even more!
Q: Are there any challenges that you face?
MELISSA: The most difficult part in managing my property is making sure that the residents are following the rules and regulations that have been put in place for the property.
Q: Without naming names, what is the craziest situation that you or your staff have encountered, and how did you meet the challenge?
MELISSA: One of the craziest things that I have ever come across is, one time - when Kurt and I were performing our annual smoke detector inspections and checking for plumbing issues - we went in to a resident’s bathroom, and found a turtle swimming around in the bath tub. It turns out, it was his home! I had to explain to the resident that the turtle needed a cage, and that letting it live in the tub was not a good idea.
Q: Is there anything you wish that your tenants would know/do to make managing their properties go smoothly?
MELISSA: One thing I wish the residents would be more conscientious of is that, while our lot is private, there are not a lot of parking spots. When they have company over, their guests should not take up all of the other spots. It is very important to follow the rules and regulations.
Melissa has experienced great success with the West Jefferson residential community. In the past 3 years, she has maintained quarterly occupancy rates at West Jefferson at 98% or higher. Way to go, team!