• David Hill, Director of Management Development
• Arletha Grandison, Portfolio Manager
• Leah Larson, Portfolio Manager
• Dave Lyons, Portfolio Manager
• Kim Kissiah, Portfolio Manager (Not pictured)
Membership Committee: Tell us about the culture of Access Management Group?
Interviewees: If there were a recognition designation, we believe that Access would be the “best company to work for in this industry.” Access Management operates as both a support and networking system for its managers. Access Management trains managers in a supportive and safe environment, and we, as managers, in turn constantly support and train each other. New hires learn side-by-side with an experienced manager before starting off with a light work load, which increases as the new manager chooses. It sounds cliché, but Access really feels family-focused. Managers are valued a co-workers, not as revenue generators. We, as managers, are always backed by senior leadership and our peers. We are also supported by the latest industry-specific technology. Sean Ruthven, Kent Atzinger, and David Hill are constantly researching and identifying software that makes our product better for the communities we serve.
Membership Committee: What has been the “secret weapon” in business for Access?
• Staying focused on our people. Each manager has the freedom to choose his/her clients and properties, as well as the level of responsibility they want to be given.
• Our reputation. If we make a mistake, we will readily admit and fix it.
• We truly care. When I drive to one of my communities, I pretend as if I am driving to my home in that community. Their property values are personal to me; what happens in their community is personal to me. They matter. Our Boards of Directors know that we truly care about our communities.
Membership Committee: Why does CAI matter to your organization?
Interviewees: CAI is the best way to meet others within our industry. It offers education and networking opportunities that are specific to us, but it also strengthens our knowledge base of this industry. Our Boards also look to see if we are members of CAI, and in turn we encourage our Boards to become members – it strengthens them as Directors.
Membership Committee (to the Access Management owner): Why did you join the Leadership Circle and pay for all of your managers’ CAI dues?
Interviewees: To drive the professionalism of this industry. Being more involved and active in CAI makes our managers’ knowledge base broader. We are a company that does not aspire to be the largest but to be the best. To do that is to invest in our people so that they are able to provide superior service.
Membership Committee: Why are CAI designations important?
Interviewees: At least half of our managers hold CAI designations. All new hires are instructed that the expectation is they will pursue national CAI designations. We pay for all of the classes toward these designations. It is deliberately intentional on the part of Access to drive the CAI standard.
Membership Committee: We would like to spotlight one of your managers and learn how they got into the industry. Why property management as a career?
Leah Larson: Property management picked me. I was an art major/art history minor in college, and my goal was to manage an art gallery. All the art galleries required management experience, and so I entered property management for that experience. I gravitated from home rentals, to apartment rentals, and ended here in community association management. It stuck. I would not want to do art management after this because I really enjoy what I do!