Justine Solorio Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- This question got my wheels spinning! I would say my biggest career achievement thus far has been recognizing a need for engagement and online presence then adapting my skillset to meet those needs. What started as me developing an online social media presence, cohesive communication style and soft rebranding at my own community as a leasing professional has turned into a recognized need and investment company wide. I have worked on several rebrands, website redesign, campaign creations, marketing campaigns, specialized resident engagement events, all while maintaining high proficiency in administrative duties. I have been able to work with, learn from, and train employees across our company. In addition to my assistant property manager role, I currently lead marketing and engagement, film and edit all video production, and assist in all soft and hard rebrands across our company.
While this may sound like I just listed my strengths and duties, it is my biggest achievement because I have earned the buy in from each person that I have worked with including our managing partners, president, district managers, and property managers alike. I have been given the opportunity to facilitate these things and pour into those who are interested in pursuing their own talents and efforts. I took my skillset and turned it into one that has increased the value of my company but more importantly has poured into my peers and motivated them in ways that they had not been yet. I take pride in knowing that I have been able to make an impact and have been entrusted with paving the way forward in the way we engage with our residents. I have been excited to see various fruits come from this achievement including being the award recipient of a multiple awards at our Biggies Awards ceremony, which is similar to the NAA’s Excellence Awards, winning Arizona Daily Sun’s Best of Flag top apartment community at my home property for the third year in a row and being a recipient the NAAEI Alex Jackiw D&I Scholarship.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- My ultimate goal would be to oversee marketing and engagement across my company’s portfolio. I would love to work with colleagues who dream big where I can come alongside them to paint visions and direction. To use my drive to bring visions and dreams to life through innovative ideas. I would love to build a team of peers who are just as excited as I am to be part of creating an unforgettable renter’s experience starting from advertising methods to resident engagement events. I want to create avenues and platforms for our teams to create genuine connections with residents in a way that keeps up with the way society seeks to connect. We saw through the pandemic that connecting with others is multifaceted and can be done in more creative ways than traditionally practiced. The pandemic threw everyone for a loop, and I want to help facilitate innovative ways for residents not only to stay connected with us but one another.
In addition to growing within Bella, I hope to soon work with other marketing and engagement leaders in the industry to sharpen my knowledge and challenge me to constantly grow. Staying connected to other industry leaders would enable me to stay sharp and constantly be challenged as I work with the best of the best. Being successful is not shown through awards or badges, it is shown by how many people around you continue to grow and be successful with you. I want to be surrounded by people who are wanting to grow and grow others. When one person on your team wins, so does everyone – I want to be on the multifamily housing team industry wide.
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- Social media. I know, I’m sure you were already expecting that answer, but I might surprise you with the reason why. I don’t think social media has the power to change our industry as a sales tool through ads or marketing campaigns. I think that staying in touch with social media trends is how we stay in touch with the needs of our residents. How many times have you hung with friends or family and asked, “Hey! Did you see that video…” or “that trend is my favorite and kills me every time!” Well, I know I have that conversation almost daily. Being able to connect with my friends through laughing and smiles are the recharging breaks that I need. Even when I ask people if they’re on Tik Tok, they say no because they watch Reels on Instagram or the uploaded Tik Toks on Facebook. Even if people aren’t actively watching, they’re still seeing what’s making noise. I have frequently seen communities get lost in the tenant and office dynamic that interactions seem transactional and somewhat burdensome. Focus can shift from viewing residents as people to occupancy numbers and revenue. Behind every single apartment door is a story – it's someone graduating college, another family bringing home their first baby, athletes training to break records, and their neighbor cooking up every recipe they can get their hands on. Life is happening behind each door and we can be part of that in a more impactful way than just being the ones posting their monthly bills.
I think social media has the power to change our industry by cultivating connectedness and a sense of belonging both within our physical and online community. Staying together while apart is done through sharing laughs over social media trends or seeing your resident post that they won first place in the race they’ve been using the apartment community’s gym to train for – we get to see beyond their unit number and experience life with them. The barrier breaks down a little and creates room for connection and recognition that we are all just people living life. The multifamily industry is not just hitting numbers and increasing NOI, it’s providing homes for people to rely on as they deal with the craziness of life. Staying connected will not only increase resident retention but provide the most effective form of marketing which is word of mouth. Positive reviews have been the largest driving factor for prospects in Flagstaff, AZ and now more than ever people are seeking connection, not just a door. Investing in our people will return the investment.