Author: katrina.harrison@rpmliving.com

The "People Episode"

Listen or watch the second episode of Mic’d Up with RPM now on YouTube and Spotify

This episode of Mic’d Up with RPM is a must-listen/watch for early-stage managers and those who are eager to advance in their careers. RPM’s top two “people leaders”, Christine Jones, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Jenn Trujillo, Vice President of Engagement, walk us through how to do it and what is needed at every level of leadership.

We are led to the start of Jones and Trujillo’s unique career stories when host Tony Sousa, VP of Marketing Relations, asks how they found their “sweet spot” in their current roles. While she initially enjoyed a fulfilling career at Red Bull, Jones soon discovered that the most gratifying aspect of her job was helping her team grow and succeed. Trujillo echoed similar sentiments, noticing that others' confidence in her helped build her self-assurance as a leader.  

Trujillo openly acknowledged the impact of her relationship with insecurity and imposter syndrome. However, she ultimately realized her self-trust in her knowledge, abilities, and identity, attributing it to her passion for connecting with people.

A prevalent thread in both of their leadership approaches revolves around Being A Good Human by practicing inclusivity and empathetic listening – between associates and teams at all levels. Jones emphasized, "I have never experienced a situation where a brainstorming session wasn't more fruitful than when I attempted to tackle it alone.”

"There's no clear-cut career path, but this is why talent management is so important to me,” said Trujillo. “It is unequivocally our responsibility to create space for folks to grow and thrive. That is our leadership responsibility."

Acknowledging the universal aspiration for career progress, these HR leaders advised against hasty title pursuits. "You don't change as a person when you get the title," assured Jones. Reflecting on a crucial 13-year tenure in one role, she recalled, “All my growth happened there because I was comfortable in the space and knowledgeable. I was able to push myself without just seeking more responsibility.” 

Self-advocacy was determined in their conversation to be a critical ingredient in shaping one’s career trajectory. They both embraced the concept of "leaning in," a term popularized by Sheryl Sandberg's book of the same name. Essentially, this involves speaking up for oneself, proactively engaging in professional development, and taking on challenges beyond one's current role.  

Concerning work-life balance, Jones and Trujillo found that what might serve as a meaningful means of decompression for one person may not hold the same significance for another. RPM associates can find support and community for these individual differences and lived experiences through its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee. 

Sousa posed the question, “What is the culture of RPM? Everyone seems to talk about it, but what is it like?” The leaders began describing the essence of the RPM culture, likening it to a quilt with diverse sizes, forms, and pieces. They referred to the unique character of each department, shaped organically by RPM's recent growth to meet its specific purpose and serve its people. 

They expressed their excitement about being part of RPM during this dynamic period, viewing it as an opportunity for individuals to take control of their careers and shape them according to their aspirations.  

Trujillo emphasized that such opportunities are not prevalent in many organizations, highlighting the exceptional willingness of RPM's leadership team to empower individuals to contribute to making it the best possible workplace. According to her, this commitment is unparalleled and sets RPM apart from other organizations. 

Share this story on LinkedIn and tag @RPMLiving.   

 

About RPM Living   

RPM Living is a full-service multifamily management company offering an innovative and personalized approach to real estate services including management, investment and development. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, RPM is ranked #6 on the NMHC Top 50 Largest Apartment Manager list, managing more than 150 clients, 10 regional offices and 200,000 units, with an owned portfolio of $3 billion. Founded by Jason Berkowitz in 2002, the firm has grown to over 4,500 associates nationwide spread across over 50 markets, all of whom share the collective vision to enhance clients’ investments through customized solutions and exceptional resident-centric service. To learn more about RPM and its national portfolio, visit RPMLiving.com.   

For the latest news, visit RPMLiving.com/blog.  

 

Listen/Watch:

Season 1 Trailer  

Episode 1 on YouTube and Spotify 

Episode 2 on YouTube and Spotify

 

 

Debut Episode of Mic’d Up with RPM

Listen or watch the first episode of Mic’d Up with RPM now on YouTube and Spotify.  

Unlock insights from RPM Living's top operational leaders in the debut episode of Mic’d Up with RPM, hosted by Tony Sousa, VP of Marketing Relations. Cynthia Miller, President of Operations, and Division Presidents of Operations, Stephanie Johnston and Trisha Satterlund, candidly discuss their career paths and the greatest impacts on their success, work-life balance strategies, and industry forecasts for 2024.  

The podcast opens with the leaders’ reflections on their journeys in the industry from leasing agents to executive management. They attribute their ascent to their current roles to a blend of competitive spirit and intelligent curiosity which propels them in empowering their teams and driving success.  

Early in their careers, the leaders faced a common hurdle: a lack of visibility into growth opportunities and the various company’s operations.

“Looking back, I wish that I had had more visibility into what a growth path looked like,” Johnston stated. “I had no idea who half the leaders were at my company [nor did I have a grasp of the perspective beyond my on-site role.]” 

Thanks to this shared early experience, the leaders are particularly passionate about giving their teams access to resources and people to help them understand growth opportunities and paths.

Miller strongly affirms, "My success is intricately linked to the success of my teams." “What was the magnetic pull to RPM for you?”, asked Sousa. “Jason, honestly, was what attracted me,” Miller replied. “[He] is very available for our on-site teams. He's extremely genuine. He directly answers live questions from all associates every quarter in our Town Hall meetings. I think that when it starts at the top, it 100% bleeds all the way down.”  

Satterlund added, “The culture, the people, the entrepreneurial spirit that Jason promotes. He allows us to really own a piece of the business. That [autonomy] was attractive to me. To be able to come in and be part of the fabric of the company to make decisions that better our lives, our associates’ lives, our partners’ lives...” 

Aligning with CEO Jason Berkowitz’s intentional avoidance of labeling RPM as a "family," the leaders echo the importance of maintaining clear boundaries between work and personal life. With a camaraderie akin to athletes like Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, RPM teams form tight bonds and revel in shared wins; yet, at the end of the day, both groups return home to what is most important, their families. Contrary to the notion that women "can't have it all," these leaders firmly assert that they can and do achieve a rewarding balance working at RPM.   

As the podcast nears a close, Miller, Johnston, and Satterlund offer insights into the industry's outlook, emphasizing the importance of navigating the challenges of the current financial climate with agility and adaptability. With a razor-sharp focus on associate engagement, resident satisfaction, and client-centricity, RPM charts a strategic course of continued growth. 

Share this story on LinkedIn and tag @RPMLiving.  

 

About Mic’d Up with RPM, an RPM Living Podcast  

From insights to inside jokes. Hot topics. Hard topics. Stories of people and the things that matter (inside the multifamily industry and out). Mic'd Up With RPM, an RPM Living podcast, is unpacking today’s hottest multifamily, customer experience and business topics with RPM thought leaders and subject-matter experts from a variety of industries and backgrounds.

Hosted by VP of Marketing Relations Tony Sousa, Mic’d Up With RPM is available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  

 

Listen/Watch:

Season 1 Trailer  

Episode 1 on YouTube and Spotify