Career Spotlight: Amy Bukolt

Member News,
Name: Amy Bukolt
Company: Community Manager
Title: Elevate Brier Creek, Bell Partners Inc.
Local NC Affiliate: TAA

Tell us about your career:

Almost seven years ago, I started looking for a job by going business to business with a resume in my hand. I knew I was good with people and paper. I just didn't know what job would fit those two skills. I had just moved from upstate New York and called my mom in tears begging her to come "help me find an apartment" because I was so overwhelmed. I had one leasing agent tell me she couldn't show me an apartment because it was raining and she "didn't want to get her hair wet." Another agent found out how *ahem*little*ahem* I made... and quickly tried to show me the door. Still, others were kind to me. They took a time in my life that was so uncertain and tumultuous and gave me a sense of ease and excitement for the future! I think that was what made me think, "Why not try leasing?"

I stumbled upon a leasing agent who referred me to Signature Property Group. I interviewed for a leasing position and didn't get the job. The regional at the time, instead, told me they thought I would be a better fit for a floating leasing position they had. This position meant I traveled to a new property every day while learning a new manager and helping with whatever pain points they may have. I loved coming on to a site that was full of work orders or behind in leasing and helping to ease the burden of the team. I was honored to be the Rookie of the Year in our company and for the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association. 

From floating leaser, I moved into an assistant manager role at our largest property; student housing. It was one of the biggest challenges of my career. Just over a thousand beds, a team of 10+, and it had multiple locations leased out of one office. It was a beast, but such a good training ground for growth.

During that time we went through an internal software change and sold more than half of the property! Our team handled it like champs and we smoothly transitioned down to just over 500 beds. We grew our team to find people who were warm and caring. It showed in the numbers too! We were 100% occupied two years in a row for the first time in ten years, while growing rents at the same time.

I was offered to become the assistant manager at a lease-up in Brier Creek, where I eventually took over as the current manager. Our team at Elevate Brier Creek has been a part of the Elite 1% for online reputation for the three years we have been open and not in short to the care and kindness each team member brings to our residents and prospects!

What advice do you have for someone just starting in your field:

Be humble and trainable. It is so easy to be in any position and think we know "better" or we could do it "better" than someone else. Sometimes there isn't "better" just different. I remember thinking so many times "When I become an assistant" or "When I become a manager..." I would be able to do it better. What I didn't realize was how many personalities, visions, and tasks I would have to balance. I am so grateful for team members who give me grace, work through hard scenarios with me, and allow me to fail. It is in those failures I am able to grow and they are too!