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How does the multifamily experience mirror the hospitality experience?

What do restaurants, hotels, and other entertainment venues  “get” that multifamily operators should take note of? And how can you leverage this to support thriving communities and your bottom lines? Listen now to Nichole Oswald, Regional Property Manager at RPM Living as we dig into what you should be learning and implementing from the hospitality industry.

The intersection of multifamily and hospitality and creating a vibrant community

Service is the name of the game. What, or who, do you think of when talking about excellence in customer service? For many, it’s the hospitality industry. So what can multifamily properties learn from hospitality? And how can you leverage this to support thriving communities and your bottom lines? Listen now to Nichole Oswald, Regional Property Manager at RPM Living as we dig into what you should be learning and implementing from the hospitality industry. 

What is the connection between what multifamily does and hospitality? [5:54]

  • Nicole’s background is in hospitality. Her Marriott training on handling customer experience, plus other areas, has stayed with her.
  • Multifamily mirrors the hospitality experience, just for longer time frames. 
  • Customer experience or resident experience encompasses the employee experience. 

A key aspect of what “the resident experience” means [10:00]

  • It’s not just acquiring the customer or resident. It’s the entire resident lifecycle as the person will not live at your property forever. 
  • Whether they “stay” at your property or not, an individual should know or feel the experience impact when they walk through the door. 
  • An example is, you know (and expect) a different experience when you walk into a Ritz-Carlton versus a Courtyard. One isn’t better than the other per se - their target is different. 

Where do you see staff and resident experience intersect? [11:48]

  • Employee experience takes precedent. Happy people who enjoy coming to work will naturally provide better service. 
  • However, no one is happy all the time and this is where training is key and where the hospitality industry should be copied. 
  • Experience is deeper than throwing a pizza party. It needs to focus on training. It needs to focus on the strategy of the brands that each company has. 

Areas that multifamily should learn from hospitality? [15:20]

  1. Training and more training: This starts with the onboarding process. What is the standard? What are the expectations for service? Empower employees with the right information from the start, which will eliminate many issues later on. 
  2. Technology rollouts and implementation: Do more vetting, use test groups, and provide extensive support when rolling out.   
  3. Automation: In hospitality, they’ve automated so much that you can do everything on your phone. Don’t even need to check in with a person. They give options to meet people where they are. Multifamily is doing better but not nearly advanced as hospitality. 

How can multifamily operators start implementing some of those ideas today? [20:20]

  1. Stepping up the training and support to the onsite teams to better equip teams to provide the desired level of service.  
  2. Coming up with a brand strategy (different brands under the family of brands) and figuring out where each of their communities falls into the family. Whether it is Class A or C, both can deliver an excellent experience for the brand image you want for each. Figure out where each of your communities fits into your family of brands and create the experience from there.   

What to keep in mind when it comes to crafting brand standards? [23:45]

  • At the property level, start with baseline information like demographics and build personas for your different asset classes and markets. 
  • Don’t think each property/class has a single persona. Just like it's not just one personality type that stays at Courtyard. There are multiple types of people.
  • Create a strategy around that and figure out what experiences you can give to each of those communities, each of those residents so that they know what to expect if they live there. 
  • Trust your site teams to understand their own clientele and to speak up when things are changing. The profile of the people renting from a community can change drastically so you have the flexibility and framework to switch. 

GUEST

Nichole Oswald

Nichole Oswald has worked in the Chicago multi-family industry for over a decade. Starting her career in the hospitality industry she brings a strong focus on improving customer service, processes, and growing and developing high performing teams. She has worked at various asset classes in the Chicago city and suburbs and has experience in conventional, student housing, affordable, and new development lease ups. She has also been involved in several significant value-add projects in the city as well as overseeing the renovation of a 25-building portfolio in Chicago. 

Nichole thrives in challenging and complex situations and enjoys developing teams that add value to owners.  She has strategically developed award-winning marketing programs that have been recognized by the Chicagoland Apartment Association. Nichole is actively involved in the Chicagoland Apartment Association serving on the Professional Development and Legislative committees. Nichole is a licensed Illinois Managing Broker and has her CAM designation from the National Apartment Association. 

Episode Transcript

Yolanda Muchnik:
… I'm Yolanda Muchnik, your podcast host, and I'm excited to chat with Nichole Oswald, Regional Property Manager at RPM Living, a full-service multifamily property management, investment and development company based out of Austin, Texas. And number 11 on NMHC's top 50 manager list. Nichole, welcome to the show.

Nichole Oswald:
Thank you so much for having me.

Yolanda Muchnik:
I'm so happy to have you on, and I'll be honest, I stumbled upon you on LinkedIn. Actually, it was your first blog post on LinkedIn from early last month that got my attention. It really resonated with me and I just knew I had to have you on. My first question is what made you start blogging?

Nichole Oswald:
Oh, that's a good question. Well, when I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a writer and then never did anything with it. And so it's more of a passion project side hobby that I got into really as an outlet at my current stage in life. My kids are a little bit older and I just have a little bit more free time and just wanted to blog about all things multifamily. I'm super passionate about our industry and the resident experience. And so it's just something that one day I was like, "I should start a blog," and I didn't.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Yeah. I really identify with that, having writing as a creative outlet. I've done it myself in the past as well, so it's nice to chat with someone with similar passions. Before we dive in, can you briefly tell our listeners a little bit more about your background, how you got into multifamily and the work that you're doing at RPM Living?

Nichole Oswald:
Sure. My background, I got a degree in psychology which never went on to get a masters and really kind of fell into the multifamily industry. I was working at Marriott during college and ended up working at Marriott for a couple years post college, and then the recession happened. I had a friend that was leasing apartment in California and she's like, "You should get into apartment leasing. It'd be great. It's a really close parallel to what you were doing and I think you'd be great at it." And so I think many in our industry just kind of fell into it and wasn't quite sure if I wanted to stay in it long term, to be honest in the beginning. I had dreams of going back into hospitality, which of course I am now very, very glad that I never did with COVID as I would've found myself in another pickle.

So I started in leasing and worked my way up through the industry. Initially, my big first career move was property manager with Fields Green. I went through their manager and training program, which set me up for success in my career. I really strongly believe that. And then I went through a couple job changes in my 20s, then ended up working for Pioneer Acquisitions in my early 30s. They're a small owner operator here in Chicago and really helped build out their entire operations strategy and procedures and all things property management. When I started, there was no marketing program in place other than yard signs. So really built out our entire organizational structure as far as marketing, leasing, property operations, you name it. I did it and saw many, many things along the way that I won't get into.

And then made a change last year to come on board with RPM. They are a large national company that is almost complete 180 from Pioneer, where I was wearing many hats. I'm more in a operational role as a regional manager here in our Chicago region, which we're looking to grow and develop. We do a lot of third party management. And so I am still very, very entwined in the day-to-day operations of property management, but in a little bit different facet than I was at Pioneer Acquisitions.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Got it, got it. That's an interesting trajectory. So awesome that you've had a chance to wear so many hats in the industry. So starting this conversation off pretty broadly, I'm curious what inspired this concept of the connection between what multifamily does and what hospitality does?

Nichole Oswald:
Well, I mean, obviously the clear path between the two is my own personal experience working for Marriott and then making a career of the multifamily industry. However, which I have carried a lot of my training that I received at Marriott and just a lot of the way that they handle customer experience and honestly how they handle everything. Operations, marketing, I carry a lot of that with me and think that the hospitality industry does a really amazing job at what they do, which is finding people places to stay for shorter periods of time than multifamily.

But what really kind of got me into creating a blog around multifamily customer experience and all things customer experience within multifamily, which in my opinion, also includes the employee experience is a Renter Obsessed Podcast that I was on. Sydney Webber is the host of that podcast and we had a really good discussion. It's a live podcast. It's typically a group of people that can jump in live. And there was just a really great conversation. I want to say it was like December, sometime. I don't remember which episode, but it really got me thinking about...

I feel like internally I've always had that parallel in the back of my mind. And I have certainly taken that parallel further in the sense of like using it for training my team and coming up with unique ways to handle situations that come up. But after that conversation, I just felt really passionate about the parallels in our two industries and how I feel hospitality does such a good job of focusing on the customer experience, but also focusing on the employee experience and providing their teams with not just jobs, careers. And there's certainly a lot of parallels between the two industries. And so that's kind of where I got my inspiration for starting the blog and just really trying to dive back into everything that I learned when I was at Marriott and just the way that they handle things. And obviously Marriott's only one brand, but there's plenty of hospitality brands out there that do a really amazing job of providing really awesome experiences for their guests.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Right. Awesome. You talk a lot about customer experience, customer journey, and of course this is The Resident Experience Podcast. So is it fair to assume that you consider the words customer and resident as interchangeable? And if so, what does this term resident experience, what does it mean to you?

Nichole Oswald:
I do consider them somewhat interchangeable, not a hundred percent, because I do think that customer is a broader term. You could have someone that comes in and looks at your community and doesn't end up renting and they're a customer. A resident is someone that is living within your community, living within the four walls of the home that you're providing them. But I don't think that those two experiences should be vastly different. I don't think that the experience someone receives when they're looking for an apartment should suddenly dive bomb after they move into their apartment. If anything, it should improve.

I feel like the way that we as an industry typically look at our customer or resident experience is acquiring the customer. And that's the main goal, but the main goal really should be the entire journey of the customer. They're not going to live with us forever. And some of them might not even live with us at all, but they should know when they're walking through the doors, what kinds of experience they're going to receive. Just like when you walk into the different hotels that you're not going to get the same experience walking into a Ritz-Carlton, as you are walking into a Courtyard, and that's totally fine.

There's different experiences out there and someone that will book a room at the Ritz-Carlton, isn't necessarily even the same person that books a room at the Courtyard. Again, totally fine, but they know what they're getting out of their purchase and out of their experience. And we as a multifamily industry, I don't think do, I won't even say like a good job. I don't think we do that at all. People can walk into one community that is managed by company X, and they can walk into another community managed by company X, and receive totally different experiences.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Right, right.

Nichole Oswald:
So I think it's something that is important for us to focus on.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Right. Earlier you had mentioned employee experience is something to focus on as well. So I want to touch on that a little bit more. You mentioned that resident and staff experience are intertwined and I have to say, I totally agree. And we've had actually multiple podcasts guests speak about this linkage in the past, but at the same time there's a little bit of this chicken versus egg situation going on. And so I'm curious, where do you see staff and resident experience intersect? And do you think either one of them takes precedence over the other?

Nichole Oswald:
Yes. I do think that the employee experience takes precedent. If you have happy people who enjoy coming to work and enjoy managing the communities that they're a part of, naturally they are going to provide better service. That's not always the case. Obviously not everyone is going to be an all-star employee, even if they're "happy" at their job, it goes much deeper than that. They need to feel empowered. They need to be provided with adequate training. They need to understand what experience they are supposed to give their residents. And that is something that the hospitality industry does an amazing job as their training, their systems that they implement, everything is seamless. They focus a lot on the training of their teams, their brand image and what that brand image means from a customer perspective and what words they use, what their hotels look like. Everything is focused around whatever brand image they're going for.

Again, Marriott came out with a new hotel chain a couple years ago Moxy, and their experience is unlike any of their other brands. And you know when you go into a Moxy that you're going to have more casual service, but that's fine because that's what you're going there for. Now, yes, you'll have the occasional person that just booked it because it was maybe the cheapest hotel room in the market at that time, but you still, if you've done your research can walk in the door and you know, "Okay, this is what my experience is going to look like." And even if you haven't done the research, you will know because their touch points are immaculate. The touch points that the hospitality industry has with their customers is unlike anything that we see in the multifamily industry.

So I do think the employee experience comes first, but it's not just, okay, let's give them a pizza party every week and call it a day. It needs to go much deeper than that. It needs to focus on training. It needs to focus on the strategy of the brands that each company has. And they should have multiple brands in my opinion, similar to the hospitality industry, because you do have different communities that are targeting different demographics of renters.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Got it. You just touched on a little bit what the hospitality industry is doing right. I'm wondering, what are some key areas you think the hospitality industry, in addition to those, where it really shines and multifamily should take note and be learning from?

Nichole Oswald:
I definitely think training is one. I think that the hospitality industry does have the standard trainings that you see in multifamily. I'm not going to companies, but as we all know, there's companies out there that provide training resources. And then there's other property management companies that have their own in-house training as well. I think from my experience with Marriott's training, a lot of it was done in-house.

So yes, there were videos and there's the safety training that everyone has to take to make sure they're in compliance. But more than that, there is a very thorough onboarding experience for people in the hospitality industry that you typically just don't see in the multifamily industry. You talk about everything. You talk about the brand standards, you talk about the guest profile, you talk about expectations, what should their room look like? What kind of service should they receive? And that is just not something that we do well, at least not at any of the companies that I've worked for. It's not the most important focus in our industry, and I do think that it should be because again, if the employees are given the tools to do their jobs right from the beginning, it creates a lot of empowerment for the employee and it also eliminates a lot of problems. That's definitely one area.

I would also just say that technology rollouts and implementation. From my experience in the hospitality industry, there's a lot more vetting of technologies and there are testing groups and it's not something that is done quickly. It is a very drawn out process. Sometimes you do need to make decisions quickly, but there's a lot of stakeholders. There's a lot of people that are asked, not just at the executive level, but also people that are at the hotels, the housekeepers, the front desk agents. Those people are all asked about anything that they're looking to roll out and implement, how will that affect their day to day.

So I think that they do a better job vetting technologies and rolling them out and providing support as new technologies are rolled out. Because as we both know, change is one of the hardest things for people. So when you're changing a technology or you're changing a process, it's not as simple as just sending an email: step one, do this; step two, do this; step three, do this. There needs to be support. There needs to be someone to reach out to with any questions. So that's something that I think we could do a better job of.

And then automation. I see it all the time. I haven't stayed in hotels that much, the past two years, but when you do stay at hotels, everything is automated. Actually I took a trip to Charleston in January, and I didn't even have to stop at the front desk to check in. Everything was done via my phone. And I'm not saying that that's the answer for the multifamily industry. There was someone working at the front desk. So if I was the type of person that wanted to go to the front desk and talk to someone and get a physical key, I could, but also if there was 10 people lined and I didn't want to wait, I didn't have to. And they give people those options. So there's obviously people out there that don't want to use their phone as a key card, and they want the hotel key and that's fine. They have that option. But a lot of their communication with their guests is done via an automated system. And it's done in the background and it's not up to the people that are working at the hotel that need to really focus on the guest experience to remember to send the email or remember to call the guests back. It's automated. I think that is something that is getting better in multifamily, but is not nearly at the level of the hospitality industry.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Right. Wow. Those are three really solid points. And I think a lot of what you just talked about probably holds true in other industries as well, not just multifamily.

Nichole Oswald:
Yes. For sure.

Yolanda Muchnik:
I think there's something for everyone to learn in those points. So thanks for those examples. Okay.

We've explored the what aspect of things, which of course leads us to the how now. So my question to you is how can multifamily operators start implementing some of those ideas today? Do you have any thoughts on first steps that would really set them up for success?

Nichole Oswald:
I think that again, training is really critical and I think that providing training to the onsite teams and providing support to the onsite teams. The past two years has been really hard for anyone that has worked on site. And we have lost a lot of people that have left the industry because it's been so difficult to manage all these changes. So really stepping up the training and support to the onsite teams is one area that the industry should look at to better equipped their teams to provide the level of service that they're wanting provided.

And then another thing that I think will take time, but I think the companies that do this right will be super successful, is coming up with a brand strategy and having different brands under their family of brands and figuring out where each of their communities falls into the family. Again, you're not going to have... Someone that is looking for a Courtyard is not necessarily going to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. In fact, they probably aren't because it's probably outside their budget and they want somewhere that has free breakfast included. It's just not the same demographic. And the same thing is true for multifamily. You have your class A assets that are at the top of the market and they're providing awesome resident experiences, which is great, but you can still provide awesome resident experiences at class C products. You just have to do it right and you have to figure out what your C assets, what is that brand image? What do you hope to provide to your residents? And the then training your team on that and putting together a strategy to provide that service.

So maybe your class A assets you're providing work orders completed within 24 hours, maybe at your class C assets you're not providing that because you have more work orders and you have more turnover, but you're providing work orders completed within 48 hours. Or maybe your moving gift at your class A asset is something amazing. And then your class C asset, it's a little bit different. It's based on what the people that are moving in there need. And so figuring out where each of your communities fits into your family of brands and creating that family of brands is so important. And then really streamlining things for the site team. Reporting is probably the worst it's ever been in our industry. There's just so much reporting. There's so many changes over the last two years with COVID and there's a lot that's being placed on the site teams. And so however things can be automated, it only sets your teams up for more success.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Got it. As operators are looking at hospitality brands for inspiration, and here I'm specifically thinking about those large umbrella brands like you were just talking about. Like a Marriott Bonvoy where you have like a Marriott, and then maybe the new Moxy brand that you talked about. They're very different. They're going after a different market. What are some best practices or examples that multifamily operators should keep in mind when it comes to crafting their brand standards and bringing those through to execution across the different properties they manage? Do you have any tips or initial first steps that they should consider?

Nichole Oswald:
I mean, I think it starts with pulling the demographics of the existing residents at the community and figuring out who rents at each of those communities. And then from there, building personas based on your different asset classes, your different markets, and trying to figure out what commonalities you have between your entire portfolio. Whether it's a local portfolio or a national portfolio, you are going to see similar persona types even across markets. And you can pick out those little pieces that you're seeing consistently and create brands around this persona that you've created and figuring out, okay we have... And it's most likely going to be more than one persona at each different brand. Just like it's not just one person type that stays at Courtyard. There's multiple types of people.

So creating those personas and figuring out who typically rents with your portfolio of brands, and then creating a strategy around that and figuring out what experiences you can give to each of those communities, each of those residents, so that they know when I go to community X, I can expect that I'm going to have a higher level of service. Or when I go to community Y, they're going to be a little more budget friendly, but I get X. I think that's really where the future of our industry is headed. That people, when they're looking for apartments, they will remember just like when you're looking for hotels, everyone's heard of Marriott, even if they've never stayed at the Marriott. People know best restaurant. People know your brand and they know what you stand for and what you provide. And I think that is the future of our industry if we do it right.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Nicely said. Are there any traps or pitfalls or maybe mistakes that operators might start to make as they begin to incorporate this hospitality first mindset into how they do business?

Nichole Oswald:
I mean, there's always going to be mistakes. Anytime you change things up. I mean, it's as big as if you change the way you handle rent payments, now it's due on the fifth instead of the seventh. There's always going to be mistakes anytime there's change, whether it's a big change or a small change. I think the biggest thing is having a very well thought out plan ahead of time, and also getting information from key stakeholders. And that includes the onsite teams and giving them a voice and empowering them to provide the level of service and the experiences that you have now created via these personas and these brands. I think there has to be room to change and pivot because it's just the nature of the world that we live in.

You might think that the persona type is a young professional, they're not married yet. They don't have any children. And so you rollout whatever brand it is at that community. And then a year later you're like, "Wait, we have no professionals." You have all older retirees that are empty nesters and like higher level of service. So those types of things you have to kind of stay on top of, but you also have to trust your site teams to understand their own clientele and to speak up when things are changing. Because I think we're seeing this, especially right now, markets are shifting, people are moving. The people that were living in community X two years ago, it could have totally changed based on just COVID and people having a midlife crisis or great awakening, or great resignation. Things do always change.

So you have to be able to pivot, but if you have a good framework, and if you have a good brand strategy and you have these sub-brands, you're able to say, "Okay, well, this particular community is no longer brand A. It's actually brand B now. Let's change the feel of it. Let's do a small rebrand." And if you already have those things built, then doing a quick rebrand of a community is not that difficult.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Yeah. That's a really interesting point. I'm a homeowner now, but before this house, I lived in an apartment for, I can't even tell you how long. And the last apartment community I lived in, over the course of the three years I was there, the resident base totally shifted, like went from one direction to another. And I definitely see that that's a really important salient point about being able to pivot, being able to recognize when something's changed and acting upon it, using your brand to reflect that. So, awesome point.

I'd love to learn a little bit more about what you do at RPM. So for your current role there, how do you and your team bring through this mindset of hospitality to multifamily? Do you have any recent examples or key successes that come to mind?

Nichole Oswald:
Yeah. A couple key ones, both from RPM and also from prior roles. A lot of it comes with educating the team on reminding people that these are people's homes. This is where they live. They have expectations. And having that clear dialogue and clear communication with your teams about what service you want to provide to the residents. We have one community currently that is going through a demographic shift and we're implementing a lot of capital improvements. And that is always a challenge because again, it's someone's home. And when you're making these huge changes, from the site team and from my perspective, these are all really positive changes to the community. But when you're going home from work and there is only one working elevator because we're currently up modernizing the elevators, it's not quite the same as like... A lot of people aren't super excited that there's only one working elevator.

So having that knowledge of the residents experience and journey and realizing that some of the things that we are going in and doing in the multifamily, whether it's value add product or major capital renovations at a community, that that is someone's home. So having the team on site, that's dealing with a daily understand that you're dealing with someone's home and that we need to be conscious of that and sympathetic to that. And then having those conversations ahead of time and being proactive and telling them that, "I know this is super painful that the elevator's down, but once it's fixed, it's going to be a much better experience for you." And just listening to people when they do come in and complain about...

For this particular community, we're making all these changes and they're awesome. And we have a new staff member there that's done a really awesome job of just being super transparent with the residents, being proactive with communication. Letting them know what's going on and what they can expect, and providing the highest level of risk that we can during this challenging time is really critical. And I think it starts with having those conversations with the teams that they understand... You would think that it's not rocket science that obviously people live in our apartment communities and this is their home, but sometimes you do need to take a step back and really think about that and process it. And so that's something that I encourage my team to do.

And then we have been also repositioning another community and that one as well, it's communicating with the residents, it's providing the level of service across. We haven't fully transitioned. We're still in the value-add stage. And so the level of service that we're providing is the same, regardless of if it's someone that's lived there for 10 years, or if it's a new person that just moved in. We need to provide consistent experiences and we need to understand when there are issues that come up, where that person is coming from. And that starts, in my opinion, with listening, just listening to their complaints and their concerns and try and resolve the issues.

At my prior company, we actually did a full rebrand for our residential portfolio. So we were previously Hyde Park Property Management, and then we rebranded to Ivy Residences. And a lot of the strategy behind that rebrand was because of similar value-add opportunities that we had with that portfolio and we wanted to start afresh. We knew that we were going in and making these changes that were great, but that there would be some pain points along the way. And so the rebrand was the strategy from the get go, but something that we did there, that was really important in my opinion, was having those conversations with the team before the rebrand.

I mean, I was a there for almost five years and we knew from the time I started that we were going to be rebranding after the value-add project was completed. And so we started having those conversations like a year before the rebrand. "Okay, this is how our resident experience is going to change. This is the expectation we have for the leasing and prospect experience. This is how we talk to the customers that come in the door. This is how we talk to our residents. This is how we talk to our vendors. These are the experiences that they can expect from us." And so that was a full... I mean, that was like a year, a month process of just really diving deep into what we wanted this rebrand to accomplish. And then once the rebrand was rolled out, it was, "Okay, now it's go time." It's almost like a play. You practice for months and months. And then finally you're on stage.

I think that when you are thinking as a company, okay, we need to rebrand, or we need to put together our brand strategy, we need to create these brands, this family of brands, it's not something that you can do overnight. It needs to be well thought out and it needs to be well researched and it needs to be well implemented. And so with Pioneer, that was something that we took a lot of time and effort to really get it right the first time, because that's not something you can do again, if you mess up.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Got it. I guess moving forward, what's your vision? Do you have plans to take this mindset even further at RPM? And if so, what are some initiatives that you guys have on deck or that you're starting to plan out now?

Nichole Oswald:
Yeah. With RPM, we recently brought a regional marketing manager here to our Chicago region. Our Chicago region is growing rapidly, and I think that having someone locally is really going to help with the brand strategy for us. For me personally, I am super passionate about all things resident experience and multifamily. I want to see myself as a change agent in the industry, and to constantly be asking the questions that maybe not everyone asks. I'm someone that is never really quite satisfied with the status quo. And I want to make sure that we don't get too comfortable with where we're at and that for my teams is okay, there's always room for improvement. We might get really great at the resident experience, but then you have one per person that comes in and didn't quite like the experience they received. So having those conversations, "Hey, how could we have handled that differently? How could we have been better?" I think that is really important.

I'm very excited for our industry. I feel like we're at this pivotal point where things are going to start changing and they're going to start changing quickly. I've been doing this for 12 years now. And I would say in the last three to four years, I've seen significant growth in our industry. I'm excited to be in the industry for that. I'm excited to talk to others who are super passionate about the resident experience and just figuring out how we can continually improve as an industry.

For me personally, a constant drive to improve is something that's really important to me. And then I like to look at ways that we've been doing things and how can we do this different? How can we do it better? Or maybe there isn't a way we can do it better. Maybe it doesn't always mean you have to change. Sometimes you can take a step out of the process because it's clogging up the process too much. So just constantly, I'm just a very curious person and always looking to improve both myself and my teams and the experience that our residents have.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Awesome. Well, I look forward to following along on your journey and RPM journey and seeing what you guys accomplish.

One final closing question for you that we love to ask all our guests. Who are two other guests do you think we should invite on The Resident Experience Podcast?

Nichole Oswald:
I think Zach Sloan with Rentgrata. He is their chief sales officer, and they're doing some pretty unique things in the industry. And then my old sales director at Pioneer Acquisition, Chantel Karnes, actually came from the hospitality industry. She came to us during COVID and she is a customer service ninja. She is someone that you should definitely talk to about anything customer service, and also has a huge passion for the hospitality industry. And she's actually recruited several people from hospitality to come over to multifamily.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Awesome. Couple episodes ago, we had somebody on talking about the connection of building a personal brand and your success. The success you bring to your company and you just called somebody a customer success ninja. So I think that says a lot about who she is and what she does.

Nichole Oswald:
Yeah, she's amazing.

Yolanda Muchnik:
Awesome. Nichole, this is a really great discussion. I really loved having you on here, and we'll make sure that our listeners can connect with you on our episode page and have access to some of the resources that you mentioned. Thank you so much for taking time with us today.

Nichole Oswald:
Thank you so much. It was great meeting you.