Putting the “Family” in Multifamily – Strictly Personal

I was in a bad car accident in Atlanta on Monday. A five car pile up on an exit ramp off of I75. As mine was the first car hit, I took the brunt of the damage. While the car was total loss, I managed to walk away from the accident with whiplash, some nasty bruises and a few slight lacerations. I was extremely lucky.

I called my family in Illinois first to let them know what happened and to get the insurance wheels moving as quickly as possible. But the first call after that was to my dear friend and business partner, Kate Good. I knew Kate could track down some multifamily Atlanta people and get help headed my way. Less than five minutes after I hung up with Kate, my phone rang and it was Tamela Coval, of Rentwiki, getting all the details of my situation, advising me on what hospital I would probably be taken to and promising me she’d meet me there.

I was whisked away in an ambulance and taken to Kennestone hospital, where, true to her word, Tamela was waiting for me when I got back from x-ray. She proceeded to open her home to me, feed me, pick up my prescriptions and help me get my flight changed to the next day. She refused to allow me to call a car service and took me to the airport herself, after repacking my bags and providing me with a wheeled briefcase of her own.

Knowing Tamela as I do, her behavior didn’t surprise me in the least. She’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever met. But when Tamela and I looked back on my situation, we both remarked on how we probably have several ‘go to’ industry people in cities across the United States.

Our industry isn’t your ‘typical industry’. It’s full of warm, caring wonderful people who have been in it for years and years. People may move from the vendor side to the management company side, but rarely does someone leave our industry entirely. Not that other industries aren’t full of warm and caring people as well, but rarely do you see the kind of warmth and compassion that are the trademarks of most apartment professionals.

In my consulting and speaking business, I see this at the site level on upwards through the management company ranks. Vendors to our business are the same way.

As the old Sister Sledge song goes, “We are family.”

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