Erin Heathers - Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor of the Year

Posted By: Erin Heathers Articles , Industry Trends ,
Another local Excellence Award winner is Erin Heathers from Epic Asset Management for Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor of the Year! We are so proud of her accomplishment and grateful to have her as a member and local leader.

Details:

Joining the multifamily industry in 2003, I have had the opportunity to grow and evolve over the years. With a strong emphasis on operations, my specialty is tactical business plans for repositioning assets. Versed in REIT, private ownership, and third-party management, the experience working with mid-rise and garden-style communities to achieve results in value-add and repositioned assets in suburban markets and city centers have been key to my success. With a head for numbers and a heart for people, I bring a creative approach to asset performance with a people-first mindset. Accountability and teamwork make the difference between a community that operates and a truly EPIC asset.

From the beginning of my career, I have been blessed to be affiliated with Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA) which has provided me with continuous education and networking opportunities. Receiving my Certified Apartment Manager designation in 2010,  I vowed to find ways to give back and invest in the next generation of this industry.

Serving on the Career Development Committee, Marketing Committee, or Emerald Awards Committee since 2010, I see the value of learning through teaching and empowering others. In 2019, I received my Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor credential after being selected as a 2019 scholarship winner. Additionally, I hold an active Washington State Real Estate License and maintain all clock hours associated. The ability to hone knowledge through experience is paramount to keeping a fresh and relevant perspective in the industry as it evolves. Self-reflection, vulnerability, staying current with trends and laws, and being open to new technologies have allowed me to challenge myself to go above and beyond continuously.

Many remarkable mentors have impacted my professional development and become lifelong friends. I genuinely believe we are an industry of people who give to others without expectation of return; I now find it is my turn to mentor and help the future of our industry. During COVID-19, I was invited to join a Women in Multifamily Zoom group with industry professionals, including management level and supplier partners from across the United States. Meeting once a month to talk and share ideas and reflections has brought new perspectives, validation, and comradery that genuinely transcends the daily mêlée. It is hard to believe that 19-years ago when I simply rented my first apartment, I would not only find a place to live but a truly a HOME in an industry fit for my unique skill set.

Education:

Certified Apartment Manager 2010

Scholarship Recipient for the Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor 2019

WMFHA Committee Participation:

Career Development Committee 2011-2013

Emerald Awards Committee 2018-2020 (Swag Bag Chair)

Marketing Committee 2018-2020 (Co-Chair)

Career Development Committee 2020- 2021

Board of Directors 2022 - Present

Event Attendance:

Attend at least 4 Tapas and Topics yearly

Attended every Emerald Award Ceremony

Washington Apartment Outlook through 2019

Holiday Giving Gala for the past 4 years

WMFHA Chili Cook-Off yearly

Legislative Updates

APTConnect - 2020 & Speaker in 2021

EdCon - 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Job Performance and Professional Accomplishments:

Epic Asset Management is a boutique company founded and operated in Washington state. Consisting of 30 owner-managed and eight third-party communities, we bring a customized approach to each building we serve. 

My direct portfolio of 12 communities spans from Lynnwood to Tacoma, Washington. Featuring a mix of suburban garden-style homes to mid-rise assets to vintage charmers, no two days are alike. Beyond the regular duties of a Regional Manager- I have taken on additional initiatives to support the company's needs. The duality of my strengths- the ability to utilize my analytical skills daily with my heart to serve people, is what drives me. My colleague Kris Gerhardt said "With an innate ability to analyze, measure, and implement strategies based on data and metrics Erin is extraordinarily talented at taking enormous amounts of data and making it understandable and actionable. Her ability to multi-task while compiling a spreadsheet with fingers of fury is a sight to be seen."

Below highlights some main initiatives with details to better understand the breadth and scope of each.
  • Eviction Moratorium Delinquency Initiative
    • Designed and trained mail merge invoicing program that met city and county guidelines.
    • Created comprehensive delinquency and collection of rental assistance reporting for the organization.
    • To date, led initiative to assist over 400 households to stay in their homes with over $5.5 million in agency funding. The City of Seattle remains under an eviction moratorium as of the submission of this nomination.
  • Served as Washington Professional Services Plan COVID-19 Program Administrator
    • Produced weekly electronic workbooks for tracking required COVID-19 compliance and Epic PPE inventory workbooks for 38 sites for 12 months. 
    • Tracked required COVID-19 incident reporting for the organization. 
  • Corporate Resource Specialist Program Administrator
    • Leading a specially trained associate team of five to seven people who have working knowledge for all the communities in our portfolio and provide administrative and leasing support. 
  • New Business Committee
    • Participant in the selection committee for new business that may be available for our company.
    • Creator of new business package for our organization, including customized budget template.
  • Leadership Book Club Mentor
    • Established team member mentor program through the selection of leadership books selected quarterly.
    • Hosted weekly book club working through a series of leadership exercises inspired by the books.
    • Created recognition awards for specialized achievements.
  • E-ssential CAREvan
    • During the pandemic organized a "CAREvan" to travel to Epic communities with care packages letting them know that we appreciated our E-ssential workers. 
    • Designed customized window clings on the vehicle with the logo, delivering custom-designed "I'm E-ssential" Epic t-shirts and gifts from Everett to Tacoma.
    • The CAREvan story was featured on Evening on King 5, highlighting our essential workers and their work. This; is a moment I am very proud to have conceptualized and brought to fruition to show our industry in a positive light.

Why She Deserves to Win:

When I took CAPS in August 2019 with Alexandra Jackiw, I questioned if I wanted to continue in the industry. I was not my best self with my health, confidence, and spirit lacking. Despite winning a scholarship through WMFHA, I had taken a step back in my career for the first time. Of course, the week of learning and networking restored my love for the industry. In January 2020, I realized the opportunity to reclaim a Regional Manager position with the newly gained confidence and my CAPS credentials. 

Actual vulnerability takes courage, wisdom, and a level of self-reflection that only experience can give. Forever the perfectionist, I didn’t realize how being self-critical impacted others. In others, I saw amazingness but didn’t realize that by not recognizing my strengths and wins, I was hypocritical and negating the efforts of those around me. Ironically, it wasn’t until COVID-19 hit that it was instilled in me that perfectionism doesn’t equate to excellence. The imperfections of life are where the seed of success lies. We strive for perfection, but failures bring learning and growth. This is where, leaders and employees, should focus. In this new mindset, I allowed myself to fail. I saw my weaknesses as well as my strengths. I allowed myself to flex my brainpower. I allowed myself to make mistakes. I allowed myself to stop when needed. I learned the importance of self-care.

To be honest, these were lessons I needed to learn. On May 8, 2020, as I clicked on a Coffee Connection Zoom with WMFHA,  I received a call that changed my life. My brother had taken his life after years of struggling with PTSD. David immediately became a reality of the other side of COVID-19. We often hear about the mortality rates from COVID-19 diagnoses, but the emotional toll that the loss of services has taken on multitudes of Americans across the country is muted. My brother was one of those statistics, and for the first time, I learned that perfectionism and work could not bring solace. My job was not the identity that I could hide behind. With a company behind me that supported a healthy life/work balance, I reevaluated who I was as a leader, and focused on bringing a mentally healthy approach to those I work with daily. 

The path to success is not always about the numbers but the lives we touch along the way. In the darkest of times- when I  found my strength, I learned that I was more capable than I ever realized. I am worthy despite a test score or an unfavorable financial report and impactful beyond the title on my business card. It is how you multiply the talents of others that equates to excellence. Personal perfection doesn’t matter anymore if you continue to learn, grow, teach, and leverage the strengths of others around you. If that is the one thing I can share by winning this award- I want that to be my lasting legacy, my key to success.