Janae Rubino Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- Janae Rubino is growing rapidly in her career and within multifamily management firm, RKW Residential. She has amassed an extensive list of accomplishments in just six years as a professional property manager. During that span, Janae has managed over 1,600 apartment units and assisted on dozens of other properties in a consulting role. She specializes in lease-up communities, having successfully stabilized four assets and actively pre-leasing a fifth property. Janae is one of RKW’s in-house lease-up and ILM (lead processing system) experts (at RKW, “experts” are positioned as trusted resources for colleagues to reach out to with questions or for mentorship).
Janae started her career as a Leasing Consultant with The Bozzuto Group, earning one promotion to Assistant Manager in less than a year and a second promotion to Property Manager shortly after. She joined RKW in 2019 to oversee one of Terwilliger Pappas’ Solis-branded communities in Charlotte – Janae had experience leasing up Solis-branded communities from her time at Bozzuto. Her lease-up of RKW-managed Solis Keltonwood shattered many company records (she even secured 24 new leases in April 2020, when the pandemic brought in-person activities to a halt) and led to a favorable exit for the owner. Janae did the same at Solis City Park and Greenside Apartments, where she brought leasing from 85% to 93% in just a few months. This stellar performance led to Janae being named RKW’s Employee of the Month in July 2020. Janae’s lease-up of Solis City Park resulted in the project earning a 2021 Elite 1% ORA™ ranking from J Turner Research, which bases its annual recognition on online reputation performance across multiple review sites and listing services.
The property Janae currently oversees, Marlowe Place, is owned by a new client of RKW’s. She pre-leased Marlowe Place’s first two buildings site unseen, with 23 net leases. Janae holds a 77.55% closing rate of 38 net leases for the 75 units RKW has available (the balance of the 245-unit project is expected to be completed this summer). Within three months, Janae raised Marlowe Place’s market rents while maintaining steady velocity and occupancy, resulting in a favorable variance of $98,905. Her work led to Marlowe Place having a current reputation score of 860 as of March 16 (based on positive online reviews on multiple platforms and/or online presence). That score is rising daily as Janae continues to deliver strong leasing performance and an optimal resident experience.
Janae’s other notable accomplishments and industry/community involvement include:
• Becoming Chair of RKW’s Mentor Committee
• Serving on the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association’s (GCAA) New Membership Committee
• Being part of RKW’s Ritz-Carlton Customer Care Committee
• Joining RKW President Marcie Williams on a new business pitch and ultimately winning the property assignment
• Helping grant a wish with the Make-A-Wish Foundation through property events and fundraising
• Making an hour-long companywide presentation on “the art of outreach marketing”
• Helping five colleagues from her last three property teams earn promotions through her leadership and guidance
Janae was also named a Funnel Expert as RKW transitions into this new system for lead generation and management. Her expertise will be instrumental in ensuring a smooth companywide transition.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- Janae is poised to spend several more decades growing and leading within the rental housing industry and feels there is much to experience, learn and accomplish. The broader industry will undoubtedly go through major changes and shifts as her career progresses. Janae will aim to stay ahead of the curve as she eventually progresses to Vice President and President roles. Her peers say those titles are a matter of when – not if.
Regardless of future titles, Janae says she wants to be relevant and trendsetting. In her own words:
“I was born and raised to be successful in whatever I do. I want to continue my contribution to give this industry great successes and pave the way for new ideas! Another career goal I have and will value more than being relevant is helping those around me succeed. I love training “dream teams,” promoting my people and helping them become the very best. I want to be able to run as hard and as fast as I can towards my goals and look right next to me and see those I have helped along the way running with me.”
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- The pandemic has opened Janae’s eyes – and the entire industry – to a new world. She and her peers have had to adapt as essential workers while continuing to find joy in what they do. As the industry emerges from the pandemic, Janae is still emphasizing out-of-the-box approaches, such as virtual tours, contactless property access and automation.
There are lasting lessons from a point in time when property managers had to maintain social distance and hide smiles and facial expressions behind masks – a challenge for a sector that prioritizes sales and customer service. Janae and her colleagues found creative ways to remain personable while adhering to distancing rules, including organizing “pay it forwards” with residents getting discounts when picking up drive-thru coffee and other items from local shops, using Facetime to showcase available units and facilitating safe move-ins. The creativity, resourcefulness and utilization of new technology will endure.
As for trending technology, Janae is extremely bullish on the emergence of Funnel as a cutting-edge lead generation and management system. RKW recently started working with Funnel, which has a virtual agent for prospective tenants and residents to communicate with around the clock. RKW named its AI-powered agent “KIT,” which stands for Keep in Touch.