Justine Beardslee Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- My greatest achievement is made up of my successes leading to my most recent promotion. In my operations experience, I surpassed rental growth by 10% in a saturated new-development housing market with a seasoned property and limited amenities. In my new development experience, I have obtained budgeted occupancy and a positive reputation with 50+ reviews on each project. My last development project was completed in Buffalo, NY, and I aided in securing university relationships that lead to the signing of two master contracts. All efforts were managed while leasing digitally through a pandemic. Throughout my career at Landmark, I have received social media and customer service recognition. Supervisors have praised me for my digital marketing strategy, advertising, and relationship-building in each market. From these accomplishments, I was recognized as a strong leader and promoted to Sales & Marketing Manager over The Metropolitan Gainesville. I now oversee a team of five young professionals, mentor new managers quarterly, and manage the development of 464 beds.
Given your past experiences, what event/ project or moment would you revisit and how would you go about it differently based on your current frame of mind?
- Personally, I would revisit the leadership approach that I took when transitioning to operations. I went on a small hiatus from Landmark Properties the summer before my transition to work as a Portfolio Sales Manager for another development company. I oversaw six different properties, worked off wall street, traveled the US, and was making an impact at multiple properties. Unfortunately, it was not in my best interest to stay with that company, and I took an opportunity to come back to Landmark as an Associate Community Manager over a property in Ann Arbor. My ego was damaged because I knew that I was ready for more in my career. I gave my all into the property, however, I hurt relationships along the way by constantly looking for that next step and not embracing the impact I was making on-site. I assumed that I did not have anything to learn in the ACM role, and I was wrong. That role taught me to balance operational tasks, manage while understaffed, and changed the way I value sold apartments. In truth, my experience as an ACM built my character. My mindset has shifted since then, and there is nothing that I am bigger than, and everyone has an important role to play in our industry.
From your perspective, what is the industry lacking to support the modern renter and how do you plan to help supply that need?
- From my experience, I think the housing industry is lacking options for students and young adults to qualify for apartments on their own. Personally, I have never had the option to utilize my parents/ guardians as guarantors while in school, and it took working double shifts as a waitress, assistant teaching, and working for scholarships to increase my income to qualify. Ultimately, I put more energy into working for income than working toward my studies. My experience was back in 2015 and from my perspective as a manager, nothing has changed.
As a manager, I try to educate my team with alternative options for students to qualify if they do not have a guarantor. We utilize Leap as a third-party guarantor service, however, the cost in fees instead of deposits makes it hard for a student to proceed with them as a feasible option. I plan to continue my education in housing and research alternative companies that provide guarantor services. My goal is to find an alternative guarantor service that has more affordable options for students to qualify for housing. Once found, I would propose the program to my company and bring to light how many students cannot afford quality housing because of their independence.