Over the past several decades, an increasing number of women have joined the ranks of property managers, notes Ira Meister, President and CEO, Matthew Adam Properties, Inc., a premier residential management firm.
One of the best is Kristen Storino, a Senior Asset Manager at Matthew Adam Properties, who has worked as a construction project coordinator as well as a property manager.
Meister said Kristen was asked to speak as part of an innovative mentorship program organized by the Professional Women in Construction to encourage young girls in New York City to consider opportunities in non-traditional, male-dominated professions such as construction and property management.
Kristen spoke to some 30 freshman and sophomores at the Bronx Design and Construction Academy.
“I shared my experiences, struggles and strengths as a young women starting out in general contracting, “Kristen said. “My journey has transitioned me into property management, but construction had always been the base from where I started.”
Kristen described her responsibilities and the talents and characteristics that make for a good property manager.
“Residential property must be taken care of from both a physical and a resident-relations standpoint, and that is what a property manager does,” she told the group. Kristen said she maintains and upgrades facilities while acting as liaison between the board of directors and the residents. She is responsible for a number of properties and “the job can involve frantic work, unusual hours, and extremely difficult schedule coordination.”
“It takes strong communications skills, strong organizational skills, and a flair for numbers,” she said. As property manager she has the most client contact when disasters occur, such as a flooded basement, leaking roof or heating system breakdown. This can be daunting for those who don’t perform well in crisis situations, she said, but she finds the more she anticipates potential problems and prevents them, the fewer there are to deal with.
The best feature of the profession is the chance to work with a variety of people on a number of different tasks. “I never know what my day’s going to be like. It’s a race to keep on top of everything. I love it.”
While property managers spend a lot of their day dealing with paperwork and talking on the telephone, the problems they deal with vary greatly from week to week and month to month, giving most property managers a sense of creative challenge that keeps the job fresh.