Michelle Pelletier is the property manager for Berkman Plaza.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
“I am the property manager of the whole community. I oversee the staff, making sure the marketing and leasing is on track. I handle move-ins, resident retention and customer service.”
WHERE WAS SHE BEFORE BERKMAN?
West Palm Beach. She was in professional office furniture sales for a year and a half. Before that, she was in property management for 15 years with various companies, including Trammell Crow, where she worked for eight years.
HOW’S BUSINESS AT BERKMAN?
Pelletier said about 40 units are rented. “We have people moving in on a daily basis.”
REACTIONS FROM NEW RESIDENTS?
“They are absolutely loving it. They love coming downstairs every morning and getting their continental breakfast. They love the concierge service that we have. It’s all positive, we haven’t gotten any negative feedback from our residents at all. Even with the construction going on, they are very happy.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS PEOPLE DECIDED TO MOVE HERE?
“Various reasons, but the obvious choices were being closer to downtown and their work places. Also, they wanted to get out of the suburban areas and into a high-rise building. We have one resident whose life-long dream has been to live in a high-rise building. She’s getting the high-rise building, waterfront and luxury resort living all in one.”
WHAT TYPE OF TENANTS DO YOU HAVE?
“It is very diversified group of people who live here. We have young professionals, retirees and everything in between.”
HOW MANY PEOPLE COME THROUGH JUST TO CHECK IT OUT?
“A lot. We average about 10 people a day who are prospective tenants or people just coming in to look because they are curious. Curiosity is good. Because those people will then go out and tell others and get the word out.”
People think Berkman Plaza is a condominium community, but it is apartments and penthouses. The townhouses are the only part of the community that is for sale.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND WHY?
“I was working for a mortgage company and the stock market crashed so I was laid off. At the very same time, I was looking for an apartment. The girl and the manager that showed me around made a cute little comment that I could work there because I was a blond. I went home and thought about it and it sounded like a really fun job. I went in and talked to manager and she hired me on the spot. There were four of us in the office and we all had blond hair.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT?
“The satisfaction of seeing the residents happy and being able to help them in finding a new home. Customer service is my main focus on anything that I do. Also, being able to report to management and being able to meet my budget on a monthly basis gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
She is a real estate agent.
ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO OTHERS INTERESTED IN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT?
“The best advice I could give is that customer service is the number one thing that people need to have in this industry. You need to always have a smile and be positive, no matter what the situation is.”
West Palm Beach.
MOVE TO JACKSONVILLE?
Yulee. “We built a house on the water there.”
She is engaged to Robert Urbanek, a project manager for The Stellar Group. She has twin boys, Justin and Chad, who are seven and a half years old.
Yulee United Methodist.
Kayaking and fishing. “We are always outdoors; with two boys you have to be.”
Her favorite movie is “Jerry McGuire.” A recent book she read and would recommend is “When the Last Leaf Falls,” by Bill Myers. She doesn’t have a favorite restaurant here, but she does enjoy seafood. Her favorite place to visit is South Florida, where most of her family still resides.
— by Michele Newbern Gillis