Investing in what matters
By Kimberly Flores, CAS
It seemed simple enough…leasing apartments in exchange for my monthly rent being paid. At only 15 hours a week, this was a college kids’ dream job.
After four years and graduation, I left the land of the “perfect orange” (nod to 2011-2012 TAA President, Jeff Lowry) and continued my leasing career with a short stop in Baton Rouge before a promotion that took me to my current hometown of Houston, Texas.
Making the switch from university housing to conventional housing was a bit of an adjustment at first, and I found myself pretty lost at times—literally, looping around and around 610 for hours at a time. Luckily, I had the good fortune of being introduced to the Houston Apartment Association and instantly felt plugged in to the multifamily housing industry.
My membership afforded me opportunities to network with other onsite professionals, supplier members and an association that seemed to never sleep. HAA’s Community Outreach Committee was the first committee I joined. Being a part of some great events that gave back to the community (Sports Challenge, Pink Ladies, Kidney Walk, etc.) further ignited my need to get involved and make a difference.
After spending time in marketing and supervising multiple Houston communities, I was offered the opportunity to crossover to what I’d heard as “the other side” – the vendor/supplier side of our industry. I’d known many industry colleagues who had made the vendor transition, and I believed my marketing background and onsite knowledge would resonate with my clients. I also knew there were hundreds of supplier members, just like me, trying to capture the attention of our management teams to offer their products and services. I decided to use my membership and commit myself to furthering my education within the association and multifamily industry.
To stand out in a crowd of many, I did the easiest thing any one of us can do. I simply raised my hand and volunteered. Next, I did the most important thing we all should do: showed a commitment to education. I completed my Certified Apartment Supplier designation the same year I joined both the Product Service Council and the EXPO committee.
The following year I was invited to join and graduated from the Leadership Lyceum program at HAA. Then I was invited to serve on the Membership Committee at our state level and have enjoyed cultivating relationships across multiple Texas markets.
Over the past 10 years in Houston, I have developed an easy rapport with many colleagues who feel more like family, even meeting my husband through HAA. I have enjoyed gratifying moments through representing my company, For Rent Media Solutions, including seeing the rewards on my clients’ faces as they meet and exceed their goals.
I have been inspired during some moments, such as presenting a check to the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon on behalf of the Houston Apartment Association and when I ventured out to raise money for a cause close to my heart, the National Brain Tumor Society. And I was humbled at the donations our team received from association members.
Membership to me has been about more than just showing up. It is about investing, and finding the things I am most passionate about: education, community work, my clients and doing all I can with the many resources I have to make sure I am the best version of myself that I can be. Who wouldn’t welcome the same opportunity?
Here is how it starts, “Hi, my name is Kimberly.”