Ruth Nwaturuocha Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- My biggest career achievement to date was being awarded the 2019 Volunteer of the Year by the Apartment Association of Nebraska! As an active member of the AAN for several years, I have put my heart and soul into the association. I have helped organize many fundraisers, networking events, and my favorite part was putting together continuing education courses for leasing agents, property managers, and maintenance staff. I also helped run the Nebraska Maintenance Academy. This is a tuition-free program that gives individuals the opportunity to learn all things maintenance from changing out locks, fair housing, and working on appliances. After successful completion of the program, graduates are provided with career placement. As we all know, maintenance is a thankless job. They truly are the back bone of the industry.
Receiving the 2019 Volunteer of the Year brought me to tears. This award is incredibly special to me as it is an award you cannot be nominated for. The honoree is selected by the Board of Directors. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I am very passionate about what I do. To be presented with this award was truly a blessing.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- My ultimate goal in the rental industry is to get as many people as excited and enthusiastic as I am through education. At the Apartment Association of Nebraska, we have the Nebraska Maintenance Academy. I would like to create a similar program called the Nebraska Leasing Academy. This program would introduce aspiring leasing agents to the wonderful world of real estate and rental housing. I would love to share my experiences and teach them how versatile this industry is. I would teach them leasing tactics like customer service, market and comp analysis, marketing, lease agreements, and financials. These are all tools people can utilize in the office and in their personal lives. I started in this industry as a part-time leasing agent thinking it was just going to be a job to get me through college. At the age of 27, through a lot of hard work, determination, and enjoyment, I found my calling. Housing is a core need and necessity for all, why not learn how you can be a vital part of that process?
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- Completing rehabs and renovating older buildings is a huge trend that I believe is overlooked in this industry. I have noticed that a lot of companies think the answer to providing more housing is to build more. While that may be the case to an extent, there is a lot of potential in restoring existing, older buildings into a beautiful place for someone to live. That is what my company specializes in. We purchase properties that are run down and give them a spectacular face-lift without running the rent extremely high. Taking care of a community significantly increases resident retention as well. Most properties we have purchased come on-board with low occupancy and a lot of deferred maintenance. The latter usually deters people from renting at such properties which speaks for the low occupancy. When Brick Town Management/LeavenWealth Capital come into the picture, we put money into the property to add value by installing new flooring, replacing old appliances with energy-efficient options, and repairing existing safety and code violations to name a few things. We create a safe, enjoyable environment for many people to call home!