Jessica Fritz Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- Since starting my career in multifamily marketing, I've been extraordinarily lucky to have had the opportunities I have. From planning stunning, large-scale trade show booths to organizing events where I have gotten to meet celebrities like Keith Urban and Jeff Goldblum, to seeing beautiful cities across the country thanks to associations like NAA. I've even earned my MBA from the University of Georgia while working full-time. And while I am enormously proud of all of these experiences and achievements, choosing my greatest career achievement is simple: it was coming back to the multifamily industry.
After working at Apartments.com for nearly 5 years, I decided it was time to see what other opportunities marketing could bring to me. I left the company at the end of 2019 to join Serta Simmons Bedding, a mattress manufacturing company based in Atlanta, GA. There, I served as an Associate Brand Manager and helped bring products from ideation to brick-and-mortar stores across the country. I also had the opportunity to manage and own Serta's presence at a large-scale conference held in Las Vegas. While I am appreciative of my time there and what I was able to accomplish, it simply wasn't the right path for me. The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry didn't have the warmth or familiarity of what I know and love about multifamily. I missed the close relationships and feeling of community in the multifamily industry, and found myself consistently thinking back through the times I attended conferences like FAA or Apartmentalize. One day, I decided to reach out to a former manager who has nearly 20 years of experience in multifamily. She just moved to a new multifamily marketing company the year prior and I knew their marketing team was growing. I asked if there were any opportunities there, to which she advised they were looking for an Events Marketing Manager. It was kismet. Within a month or so of reaching out, I joined Zumper as the Events Marketing Manager.
Coming back to multifamily has been the best decision I could have made. The relationships, the spirit of excitement, in this industry are unmatched. And it sets me up to have a long and impactful career in an industry I love.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- I set out to obtain my MBA with the hope of gaining vital knowledge of the business sector with the ultimate goal of moving into a leadership role in marketing. After working at Apartments.com, and now at Zumper, I have been able to identify which facet of marketing I want to become a leader in: Events. Events are an integral part of this industry, where so much of it is founded on relationships. Bringing people together and strategizing on themes, content, experiential aspects, and much more, is what I love about events. And I'm not one to settle. I am constantly pushing myself to do more, and do it better. With this in mind, my ultimate goal is to become a Director of Event Marketing for a multifamily marketing company. Achieving this would mean I fully own the strategy and execution around event marketing, giving me even more creative freedom to develop memorable and effective experiences for members of the multifamily industry. I also believe there is an incredible need to have more women in leadership roles. This helps foster and nurture the next generation as they come into their own and can give young women the confidence they need to know they can achieve anything. Being a Director of Event Marketing would allow me to make a difference in the careers of younger women, allow me to have a bigger voice in my company, and supports the type of leadership I am looking to accomplish in my career.
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- I believe artificial intelligence (AI) is the next frontier for the multifamily industry. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, every industry has had to evolve in some way. The multifamily industry was no exception. We had to make changes in order to make rental housing more accessible online. What started with 3D tours and high-res imagery, will ultimately need to evolve. Property management companies (PMCs) should begin to utilize AI as an emerging technology to create life-like experiences for potential renters. AI has the ability to bring a renter face-to-face with a community, and helps them virtually walk through units and properties to get a sense if this is their ideal new home. I believe Covid has changed the way many industries will run moving forward. Of course, people will still come by for in-person tours (that’s the hope!), but there also has to be a way to offer safety and security to those who wish to view a unit from the comfort of their current home. Additionally, AI would make moving from state-to-state or city-to-city much easier. Today, you either need to make trips to your new city to view properties in-person, or move on your company’s dime and stay in corporate housing for a few weeks until you find an apartment. Neither of these options is accessible to everyone. We shouldn’t be limited to where we can live simply because we can’t afford to fly out multiple times to see a few properties. AI will allow someone in Maine to view a property in California and really get a sense of the community. I believe AI can open many doors for renters and management companies alike. That is why this is the new technology that the multifamily industry needs to embrace.