The Rental Industry Scoop: Niki Chapman's Rental Property Management Experiences
Niki Chapman started her career in insurance, but when she was ready to make a change, fate – and a friend working for Red Brick – brought her to rental property management. “They were looking for somebody to fill a space and I applied,” she explains. “I have a background just being around people and in the service industry and that’s great for talking to tenants. I fell into it and I’ve been here a little over a year.”
According to Chapman’s experiences, working in all kinds of properties all over St. Louis, patience is a virtue in property management. “Patience helps because tenants can overreact when they need things,” says Chapman. “What I do is just explain things more clearly, because not everything is as simple as it is to me, or to someone else working in this field.” Thus, one of her most important assets as a property manager is her ability to translate the issues for her tenants. “It’s crucial to interpret the issues into a language people can understand instead of legal mumbo jumbo,” she says. “Insurance helped me that way for everyday function.”
Insurance wasn’t just useful to translate legalese. “It also helped me get good at multitasking, because now every day there are a million new projects to deal with at a moment’s notice.” Chapman explains, “Thinking on your feet is essential. You’re out of control while you need to control everything.” But that’s exactly what makes the field so wonderful to Chapman. “There’s never a dull moment – no two days at work are the same. Whether it’s a tenant crisis, or a maintenance crisis, or a group leasue, or a showing, or an inspection… there’s just never a dull moment.”
Rental property management is a gratifying field for Chapman because she gets to see the result of her work immediately, and make a difference to people’s lives. “I really enjoy helping people find their unit. New tenants are really exciting to me because helping them make an easy transition during a potentially stressful moving process makes an actual difference to them.” Of course, there are tough moments. “When things go wrong, you sometimes get a screaming phone call when you actually have no control over a situation.” But there are always bright spots in any situation with tenants. “Fixing things is gratifying, because taking people from thinking a situation is the end of the world and then providing them with that relief is really satisfying.”
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