Sydney Jamieson Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- I became our company's Vice President of Operations at age 26. Most of the people who report to me, including our Market Directors, Digital Content Strategist, and Web Engineer are older than me, some by 10 years!
But, I don't think the real achievement is the job title itself, but the change inside of me that had to happen for me to be ready to take on this role.
In my early twenties, I could have been described as volatile or overly emotional. If my mood swung, my team, boss, or clients could definitely tell. I had to learn how to reign in those emotions and control my anxiety, so that I could come across as a leader that people felt safe and comfortable following. With support from our company’s CEO, I recognized that this was something I needed to work on and set out to try to improve.
By age 24, I had a better handle on my emotions but I still received feedback that I came across as overly confident and sometimes abrasive. I had to move on to the next phase of finding my inner businesswoman and learn more about emotional intelligence and how to be a leader.
Thanks to a combination of gained maturity, incredible mentors, and professional development programs like LEAP at AAGO, at age 26 I went to lunch with our CEO and he revealed that he wanted me to step up to become the Vice President of Operations. He said something to me I’ll never forget…
“You’ve had this job without the title for the last year, but you needed to earn the title by proving you were ready to be a leader.”
My greatest career achievement can be summed up in my “Vice President of Operations” title, but that isn’t the real achievement here. The achievement is the switch that happened inside of me. My greatest career achievement is all of the things I learned about myself and others in order to be ready to build our team and lead it as the Vice President of Operations.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- My ultimate career goal in the rental housing industry is to earn and save enough money to purchase my own property. Throughout my day-to-day business, I spend a ton of time helping our clients (apartment managers and staff) share what makes their community stand out. It would be so fun to have a small community of my own where I can take all of my favorite features, amenities, and resident experiences that I have witnessed at our customers’ properties over the year and put them together!
When I dream about a community I might purchase someday, I imagine a property that is around 20-50 units, with a healthy mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms. Ideally, I would purchase a community that is a value-add opportunity and renovate the apartments with fresh kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, and appliances. For amenities, I picture a modest pool (we’re in Florida, so pools are a must!) just big enough to take a dip and cool off with a true-luxury outdoor living area with plenty of comfortable lounge chairs, cabanas, an outdoor kitchen, and a shaded lanai with tables. In lieu of a huge clubroom space, I would create a community space where people who work from home could come co-work together, with coffee and bottled water always available. I would also like to create “pocket parks” throughout the community, small areas where neighbors can gather with leashed pets to enjoy the weather, with a bench or café tables and a pet clean up station.
That’s the dream!
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- In the next 2-3 years, I believe our phone cameras have the power to change the way leasing agents interact with prospects and show off their properties. Imagine this, you are relocating from another state and you will only have a weekend trip planned to visit and tour apartment options. You reach out to a community online that you find on an ILS and inquire about one of their floor plans for a move-in date that is 30-days away. What if the agent made you a personalized video on their phone of a walk-through of the floor plan you are interested in that is available for your move-in date and sent you a private link where you could watch it? The tour could be totally custom! The agent would start the video with a personal introduction using your name, and then highlight things on the tour that you mentioned you were looking for (ex. If you mentioned having a dog, the agent might highlight the apartment balcony or greenspace close to your future front door). If the apartment was the right fit, would you sign that lease? Perhaps even without visiting in person?
The best thing about this idea is that this technology is not emerging, we already have it! The latest iPhone and Android models have cameras that are better than the professional cameras my team used to film property videos 6 years ago. Snapchat, Facebook Live, and YouTube Vloggers have made raw, barely edited video the new normal standard. I believe that self-produced videos feel more genuine and trustworthy to prospects than over-produced property video tours. If we could break down the barrier of trying to make every video a perfect production, I believe we would open up a huge opportunity for leasing agents to build a special (video) connection with prospects… and that has the power to change the rental housing industry!