Asset Living Executive Vice President Bonnie Smetzer has worked in the apartment industry for over 40 years. Smetzer is the past President of the Space Coast Apartment Association and the Florida Apartment Association. She received the National Apartment Association Award for Advocate of the Year in 2020 and the 2021 Hall of Fame Award from the Florida Apartment Association. In this blog, she shares her past career experiences, industry involvement, lessons learned along the way, and how the Asset Living values truly reflect her own personal mottos and beliefs.
Tell us a little bit about your career trajectory. How did your previous roles prepare you for where you ultimately landed in your career?
“I have worked in the apartment industry for over 40 years. I worked as a leasing consultant after college; then Property Manager, Regional Manager, Regional Vice President, and Executive Vice President as one of the founding partners of JMG Realty. I got my start in apartment management working for property owners and transitioned to third-party management seven years after I first started. I learned during the early years to think from a property owner’s perspective which taught me valuable lessons that I still use in third-party management to this day.”
What has been some of the best career advice or lessons learned along the way?
“The best advice anyone ever gave me was to find the best property management company I could find, join the company and work my way up. That was 37 years ago, and I have never left. The company name has changed a few times through a merger and acquisition. The best lesson I learned along the way is to work hard, achieve great success, always lead by example, and teach others to be successful.
Another lesson learned along the way is to always inspect what you expect, which is especially important in third-party management. I feel fortunate to have always worked with companies that valued participation in the local, state, and national apartment associations, as a way of giving back to the apartment industry.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the National Apartment Association and proudly represent Asset Living. I served on Florida Governor DeSantis Eviction Task Force in 2020 and worked to help end the eviction moratorium in the State of Florida. I am an advocate for the apartment industry and meet with local, state and national elected representatives to talk about the critical need in our country for more affordable housing. I am so proud to work for Asset Living which fully supports my advocacy efforts.”
Tell us about your role at Asset Living and do you have one main goal/objective for yourself this year?
“I joined Asset Living in November 2021 when JMG Realty was purchased. As the Executive Vice President in charge of property management operations in Florida, my goal is to continue to grow the management portfolio in Florida while delivering superior service to our clients.”
Since you started your role, what has been the most rewarding part of working for Asset Living?
“It is rewarding to be valued and appreciated by so many great leaders in the industry at Asset Living.”
Which of Asset Living’s values resonate most with you personally and/or professionally?
“Honesty – and the motto I live by is: ‘Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.’ I believe when you value your employees and clients, they value you back. I also love Asset Living’s mission statement, ‘Everyone deserves a place to call home.’ That speaks volumes about our company. I now use that in my advocacy efforts urging legislators to help make it easier to build more affordable housing. I also use that mission statement as my computer background to remind me daily of what’s important.”
For any questions regarding our properties or services, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact form. To learn more about available career opportunities by visiting Asset Living’s careers page.
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