Speakers: Ronn Ruiz and Martin Canchola
Guest: Carrie Polonsky, Senior Vice President of TI Communities
Martin: All right, we are back and ready to get 2023 off with a bang. The multifamily podcast with Ronn and Martin is ready for a new year with some of the top professionals in the multifamily industry. Today’s guest, however, has a very special place in our hearts for both Ronn and I, as she has been part of the apartment SEO journey since the very inception. We will be interviewing the beloved Carrie Polonsky, Senior Vice President of TI communities, and the very first client of apartment SEO. We will get into Carrie’s career path in the multifamily industry, her experience being an apartment SEO’s very first client, that set us on the path we’re on today and the multifamily social media conference in Napa California and what to expect for 2023 big event. So, let’s dive in because there’s lots to cover. Carrie Polonsky. Welcome to the multifamily podcast.
Carrie Polonsky: Thank you so much. It’s so exciting to be here.
Ronn: Well, I am personally very excited Carrie, like you and I have been friends forever. And I know we only started at like three in the industry. So, we’re not that old. But yeah, again, very, this means a lot to us. First of all, that you said yes to the podcast. But more importantly that you said yes to us back in the day. Ten years coming on this April, couldn’t be happier. And just your friendship alone means the world to me, business aside. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Carrie Polonsky: I would say yes all over again.
Ronn: Exactly. So, let’s jump in. Why don’t you tell the audience how you got into the multifamily? It’s a golden age question, right? How’d you get into the multifamily industry? Let’s start there.
Carrie Polonsky: Wow. Well, it was like you said a few years ago and my story, it starts like so many other people’s story. I accidentally ended up in multifamily and never ever left. So, my background is in education. And when I learned that there was no chance, I would be able to support myself on a teacher salary and I had to get a real job. I started selling real estate in Chicago and Chicago’s Gold Coast and that was in 1994. And my client was this guy who owned apartments and I just really liked the idea of a steady paycheck and not having to like work for commission all the time and feast and famine that exists within that real estate industry. So, I went to work for him just to have a job. It wasn’t really even something I thought I would do that long. I just thought it was gonna be an in-term job. And here I am nearly 30 years later because I’m like gum on the shoe for multifamily like not shake me loose, right? And that’s one of the best things about our industry and why it’s so beloved to me is that, when I decided to up and move from Chicago to LA, I just had a very tiny network of people because in Chicago, you just know who you know, and it’s, you know, the industry is small, but I was embedded and through my connections is how I landed my next job in Los Angeles, when I went to work for AIMCO and it was through those relationships and it allowed me to move across the country. And each, when I was thinking about my career, each job change that I’ve had is attributable to someone in my network, from like the job that I have currently to my job at steadfast, my job at Advanced and everything before that. So, the networking piece of this industry just can’t be beaten and that’s why I can’t leave because it’s the people that make it so amazing.
Ronn: I’m sure you’ve helped people start off their career paths off. I mean, I know for a fact you have.
Carrie Polonsky: I love doing that.
Martin: Yeah, multifamily industry is always looking out for each other. You know, when one person is looking for a new career path or a new opportunity. They’re always there to kind of lend a helping hand. So, while you were at Advanced Management Company and steadfast companies, you focus primarily on training and education. Can you give some advice to our audience on best practices for forming this type of position in their organization and why it matters so much?
Ronn: I love this question.
Carrie Polonsky: I love this question too, because I have a ton of passion around training, because like I said my background was in education. And that’s my love. I love learners. I am a learner myself and so training is my love. So, the first thing that I would say you need is buy in from the sea level, because training programs will thrive in an environment that value learning and growth of their people. And so for anyone who’s listening to this right now, who’s job shopping, if a learning culture is important to you, you need to ask what training resources are available in the interview because that says a lot about how the company values training.
Ronn: Says lot about you too, as a candidate, right?
Carrie Polonsky: Yes, that’s a great question for you job seekers. You’re welcome. Hiring tips by Carrie Polonsky.
Ronn: Here we go.
Carrie Polonsky: So, the first thing you need is buy in, because the training ROI is very, very difficult to quantify too. So, you just need people who want value, training and learning themselves in other people. You don’t have to have a huge training department though. But you need to have a training director who is very savvy at leveraging the relationships. So many of our supplier partners are willing to train your people and it’s included in the cost of the service. You just have to know how to work the relationships, in order to get what you need for your people. And I remember a thousand years ago asking Ronn to train a class on professional dress decades ago, and he did that just as an offering of customer service for our people. Do you remember that Ronn?
Ronn: Actually, I forgot about it until you just said it.
Carrie Polonsky: Okay. But he’s the style icon, right? So clearly, there’s an expert, who better to do that class.
Ronn: I think I was at fore at the time, right?
Carrie Polonsky: Yeah. So, number one, you have to have buy in. Number two, you want to leverage those relationships to expand the robust training offerings that you need for your people. And then number three is just don’t give up. Just keep knocking on that door. Because sometimes in order to get the approval that you need, you have to present the concept multiple times in various ways. So, you need to be fanatically committed to the idea of developing your people and never ever give up on that, because people are always going to remember how you treated them and investing in their growth is part of loving your people well.
Ronn: And you do it so well. Honestly, like the other thing I wanted, that you just talked about, when I helped train in leveraging resources. Do you remember the random conversation we had one time, I think it was like at a lunch or a happy hour or something? And me having a mention that my mom is there, at the time retired ESL teacher.
Carrie Polonsky: Yes.
Ronn: Remember that?
Carrie Polonsky: Yes.
Ronn: Like this, like now, you got so inspired you’re like, wait, what? And then I was saying how she’s kind of like me, where I’m kind of like her, where like she doesn’t know what to do with herself since she’s been retired. So, Carrie Polonsky takes it upon herself to leverage the relationship who has never met Francis Reese, I think at the time, you’ll love her. And she said, I would love to talk to your mom. Check this out and I don’t even know if you know, and for the industry, I think this is brilliant, and you should steal Carries Polonsky’s idea. She said, I would love for her to come and train at the time, particularly my maintenance team, to build up their language skills, their English, so they could communicate with obviously management, residents you know, all of the above. So of course, I call my mom she’s like, oh my god, okay. I don’t care what they pay me, like yes, you know, and she did it. And Carrie, do you want to share like what the takeaway was from that? I remember you’ve been so inspired after.
Carrie Polonsky: I have to tell you even today; this is maybe 10 years later. One of the most, or definitely the most impactful training I’ve ever offered in my entire career. And I have offered thousands of training courses. But this one, so this was conducted over a series of maybe twelve weeks, eight weeks, something like that. We structured it so that the company would pay for half of it and the employee had to pay for the other half of it, because we wanted them to have skin in the game, but it was a tiny amount of money. It was maybe like $75 or so, I mean it was like a nothing amount of money. But I felt very passionately about having them financially commit to it, because I learned them in the entire 12-week series. And the difference in these men and women who walked into the room on day one and walked out on day eight, was like night and day the confidence that they had in themselves, like even just in the way they physically walked in and out of the room. You could tell the difference in them, and I will never forget I’m forever indebted to Francis and to you for even just mentioning it that one day. Because I know it made a huge difference in the lives of those people.
Ronn: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And again, we celebrate that in our family to, about just the difference she’s made in obviously many people’s lives throughout her career. But in particular because I saw, I came from multifamily obviously, you know, I saw, I worked with my maintenance team, I to. Actually, I kind of perfected my Spanish just in working in my years in multifamily, to find that middle ground between me and my team at the time. And I remember being there I guess, you know, I made in some pop in appearances. So, I remember seeing, I think it was at the graduation and I remember seeing the camaraderie connection. I remember you, I think at one point, I mean, I hope I’m not overstating this. But you even, what you got from your employees, you knew them as like whoever, John, Jose, whatever their name was. But the at the end you saw a different person in them, and you chose to profound love and the love and respect they had for you was phenomenal. Like thank you for bringing this to us. So, I don’t know what importance it had for their personal career path. I guarantee it probably made an impact but their personality, their personal life is really what it comes down to for training. And I think that that’s where you said it. It shows a lot about the company and how you. So yeah, that took me into a lot of things in what I do for ACO as well. I just want to say you’ve been our fairy godmother and just seeing the value of training. And I agree with that, what you said about those sea level buy in, the idea that you may not get the immediate ROI. You have to still try to quantify it. But at its core, it is truly growing your people and as a result you’re growing your company and I can attest to that 1,000% We’re a small company compared to like others and many that you’ve worked for, but it doesn’t matter what your size is. In fact, if you intend to grow at least you need to invest. So, with that said, what are some common educational multifamily professionals need to focus on for their personal development and how can we go about doing this for continued growth? Great segue.
Carrie Polonsky: So, I just cannot overstate the importance of focusing on the basics of leasing and operating real estate. I’m sure you asked that question thinking like, oh, she’s gonna give me some amazing innovative idea that’s gonna revolutionize training. But the longer I’m in this industry, and the more people I need, I just really feel like it’s mastery of the basics. It’s the little things that make a huge difference and little things make big things happen, right? That’s what John Wooden says. He also said, champions are brilliant at the basics. People need to hear things seven different times before they actually learn it. And it’s seven times in different ways. We just practically an entire year of telling somebody the same thing over and over and that’s why the like just drilling home the basics. I mean really acting happy when you’re at work, like answering the phone with a smile, standing up when you greet someone. Like the basics of customer service and the basics of product knowledge and having a target apartment and all of those things. Like we drill those things over and over and over because as much as, as much as we say it, there’s always like a learning gap. And so that’s what I think it is. It’s the basis.
Ronn: I think that’s so true. You can never underestimate it. We’re actually currently working on, we have a great training and I’ll maybe I’ll talk about this later, but onboarding training. But now, we’re looking back at that same, like what is the ongoing trend to that point?
Martin: Now this is a perfect segue to talk more about the different types of multifamily conferences and highlight one in particular. No matter what topics you want to learn about, there’s probably a multifamily conference for you to check out. Some are just basically your local apartment associations, they usually put on events that you want to be a part of. And you can get a lot of information and network in there. Optech, which is focused around prop tech and emerging technologies. You have a part mentalize by NAA, which is pretty much the Woodstock of multifamily conferences. If you want to learn more about a wide array of topics from technology to apartment marketing, AIM, the apartment innovation and marketing conference, focused on anything, internet marketing and innovation and then you have the multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa, California and focusing primarily on social media for the industry. And this is probably one of the funnest, most intimate ones that they have. It is a smaller conference. But all in all, I mean, this is really where it’s at, and it’s always a new group of people. And besides the people that usually come. But today we will highlight the multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa, since we have Carrie who is currently serving on their advisory board. So Carrie, how did you initially get involved on the advisory board with the multifamily Social Media Summit?
Carrie Polonsky: Well, this goes back to your network, like I was talking about earlier. When I was making all those career changes or job changes within this industry. The industry is tiny. Our multifamily industry is really tiny, the size of a postage stamp someone say and everybody knows everyone. And there’s like, what is that thing? It’s like so many degrees of Kevin Bacon or whatever.
Martin: Seven degrees.
Carrie Polonsky: Yeah. Okay, in multifamily, it’s like two. If you’re not talking to someone who knows you. You’re talking to someone who knows someone who knows you. So just always keep that in mind. So, the fact that everyone knows everyone can be like both a good and a bad thing, right because depends on your reputation. But through my relationship with the supplier partner and industry legend, Marsha Ballinger. Sure, you’ve heard of her. I was asked to join the advisory board of multifamily Social Media Summit in the very beginning, the first year. So, it’s been a really great experience for me. I’ve learned a lot from people way smarter than I am and I had a ton of fun doing it and that conference, I love NAA also, I go just about every years NAA. And I love it. I love Optec, went there this year too, well, the AIM than 1000 times. But what is truly unique about this experience is that it takes place in Napa. When somebody asks you to join an advisory board for a conference in Napa, you’re like yes please. Also what do you need me to do?
Ronn: That’s awesome. You know, the other thing about that I like about the social media conference is that it’s single track. So, when you’re there, whether as a client or on the vendor partner side, you have some like-minded conversations that can spur from there. You know, you were happy to be in the same room. You weren’t like oh, I missed that session. What happened? I mean, that could be good, right? So, I do like that part too. Is it you know, you can carry on and they’ve done some great stuff and making sure that we see ROI as a vendor partner, so love it. I considered top tier, and it’s gonna be what? It’s 11th year I think it is.
Ronn: Wow. So, can you tell our audience about the conference and why they should register like in your opinion?
Carrie Polonsky: So, I will tell you, like I said at this conference, you’re in the room with really smart people, you’re having really smart conversations. The people who are attracted to the conference are a good quality person. The Networker, networking opportunities are unlike any other conference in the industry, because like Ronn said, it is single track and so you’re together the entire time. So, for those three days, and then obviously there’s dinners and other events that happen afterwards. The second reason would be is because the content is going to be better this year than it’s been any other year, because somehow the producers of this conference are able to get top tier presenters with stellar content, both in and out of industry. So, this year, you’re going to be flooded with tangible actionable takeaways, that you’re going to be able to bring back and be like the MVP of your office when you get back. And then the third reason is, like I said, the conference is in Napa, California in March. Like you want to be there in order to drink up all that Napa has to offer.
Ronn: That’s awesome.
Martin: So, Carrie, can you share some of the social media topics to be discussed at the summit and a little more about how the workshops work and what the audience can expect with those?
Ronn: spoiler alert?
Carrie Polonsky: I mean, I can’t give too much away. Let’s just say this year, we’re going to have a brand-new mentor roundtable Q&A session, that you are not going to want to miss us. How is that? Did I just give you.
Martin: Also, yours truly, Martin will also be speaking on big Google updates. So that’ll be a fun one as well.
Carrie Polonsky: That’s Right. Oh my gosh, and Martin tax the house. Like Martin is such an expert and everyone got blocks away from his workshops in his classes, but with so much information.
Martin: And I’ve had a great chance to build new relationships and opportunities with that. You know, not just new clients, but also new vendors and new products coming to market, where they’re just like, oh, man, I just want to connect with you. You know, there seems to be a good, you know, partnership thing going on here. So, it just brings a lot of, you know, more love and, you know, we’re all about educating the industry and providing that value, without really expecting much in return. You know, we want to push that education and really help them stay cutting edge. And that’s why we actually go out outside of the industry to kind of bring that information back to our people in the multifamily space.
Ronn: We’re talking a lot about the conferences and stuff. But again, going back to the whole training side, this is your extension of your training for your employees, right? And for yourselves as well. Like there’s a lot of sea levels that go and, you know, middle management, senior management teams, and it’s great to be able to have like-minded conversations with that because, you know, they got the latest and greatest, you know. But one of the things that we wanted, we wanted to give back, we’re all about giving back. So, one of the things we wanted to share was, if this is okay with you Carrie. The registration code for a discount to the multifamily. So the code happens to be BD102 or BD daddy 102.
Martin: BD102 is the code and that will get you a little bit of money off your registration.
Ronn: Yes, that’s great.
Carrie Polonsky: Right, great. It’s a great way to invest in yourself. It’s a great way to invest in your people and it’s a really amazing and unique opportunity. I don’t want to sound like a commercial because it’s not about that. But it’s a really great way to learn a bunch in a small amount of time.
Ronn: Yeah, the cool thing about this topic is that obviously you have gotten everything out of it from day one and you’ve been part of it, you’ve helped grow it. And us too, so we’re speaking from two sides of the fence, right? On our experience, a little plug for them and we’ll all see you in Napa, hopefully. So, I don’t think talked a little bit or a lot about just like you know our love affair for with each other. And I just want to get a little sentimental because you know, I want to know your, I want you to share your first-hand experience with being apartment SEOs first client I know I call you their fairy godmother internally within our own team, the one who believed in us if you will, and has always been our ASEO ambassador. I love that. So, can you speak on your part of the story?
Carrie Polonsky: Well, I will tell you this is something that’s so special to me too, because I’ve obviously known and loved you Ronn for a long, long time, and then quickly fell in love with Martin as well. But the story goes, legend has it that Ronn was selling me products. Well, I was testing a product for free that Ronn was selling, and it was, the test wasn’t going well. And simultaneously, so I was a one-woman training and marketing department, which I gotta tell you is like the worst job in the world, because like you’re not really good at marketing and you’re not really good at training. It’s like I feel for anyone who’s listening who has that job, like my heart goes out to you, because it just is a hard job. Anyways, yeah, so that was my job. And Ronn, Ronn was selling a product that I didn’t want. And but I really, I had this need for Google because like Google was on the scene, and everyone was finding us via Google, but like, our Google, what is it? Wasn’t claimed or whatever?
Martin: Google Business listing back.
Carrie Polonsky: Yeah, see, I wasn’t good at marketing. So, like, I don’t know those words like Martin does. And I was just like, so I can tell Ronn I’m like, listen, I know by, like this thing. This is a disaster. I’m not buying that. But here’s what I need. Like, I need someone to help me with this like. Because Ron, like I said, he did that class for my professional dress. I was like, all right, I’m gonna throw out this need to him and see if he’ll take it. And never in my wildest imagination that I imagined that Ron Ruiz was going to tell me, like he was going to actually solve this with his own hands. But he did and he was like, well, okay, let’s talk about this. And that’s when he told me about Martin and like the embryo that was apartment SEO at the time. And so, we were really honored to be the first customer. I told him I had exactly $0 that I could allocate to this project, but I was gonna give them all kinds of feedback and help him grow. I did.
Ronn: And you did and still do. And that’s what we love about you is that you know, outside of being a friend and an advocate, like you seriously say it for how it is always in every time and so you should always have those people in your circle. They don’t always tell you that you’re pretty, they tell you that you need some work, right. But yeah, I remember being at a loss at that meeting. We had already had like around six plus years of professional trust and work together, right. And I remember just my laptop and I’m like, so okay, let’s just go into like, what are your priority? I think it was literally like March 2013, if I’m not mistaken. And I said, what are your priorities for the balance of the year like, let’s have that conversation friend and client and industry legend. And so that’s what she said about Google. And at the time, I was literally, Martin I already were having conversations way before this. And I remember thinking, I’m just gonna refer her to Martin and he’s gonna like to help do this and whatever. And when I saw the need in you and many others that have been, you know, confiding in. I remember thinking our industry really needs this, you know, and who better to work with and people that already love us. Hopefully, they can, you know, discount any kind of like hiccups we run into, and the rest is history as far as that benefit. And I remember again, having the trust in you and us and needing to build a trust and Martin as well. So, he knows what he’s doing.
Carrie Polonsky: But remember to in the very beginning, Martin, he would do like a presentation, and he’d stand in front of the computer and like the Windows logo on his face.
Martin: That was my first time presenting.
Carrie Polonsky: Now look, if you you’re presenting at conferences, national conferences.
Ronn: Stage with hundreds and 1000s of people.
Carrie Polonsky: So, it’s all about those relationships that you guys have developed over the years, and it’s been so incredible to get like a front row seat on the sidelines. To watch you become wildly successful, which you wouldn’t be wildly successful in anything you did, because that’s who you are.
Ronn: When gonna jump off the face of the earth, which by the way, I attribute that to you too. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared that with you. But once I saw the confidence and the need out there and the fact that you were all in. I remember going to Martin and I’m like I think I’m gonna quit my job. I’m done. Like I’m not gonna like just you know, because this wasn’t even a business meeting on this business. It was just, I remember thinking I’m like I think we have something here, I’m just gonna quit my job and I did, cold turkey. So yeah, thank you for your confidence and acknowledgement of what we’ve done in this. But I can tell you and anybody listening, that if you jump off your earth, and you realize you need to survive, you will. Just let me just say this, you will, you’ll figure it out. You know what I mean? Like if I give, if my legacy is anything but that statement, just know it is important to if you need to jump off your earth and you have people like this that you can trust on and that you know are gonna walk the walk with you. And again, it was very open and candid like Carrie was like, okay, that’s great. What else?
Martin: Were things came along after that too, even like getting into social media. There is a need there, right? Yeah, the pages and that created a whole another segment.
Carrie Polonsky: Well and it felt great to as a customer to be trusted, to give that imprint on your business. And just say like, this is what we need and you being dynamic and agile enough to be like okay, we’re gonna support this.
Ronn: Right. No, for sure the extension of our social media started in 2014. Because at the time we had rumblings already from vaping, rap and social being such a key component in your rankings and SEO and your like guest what? We need to focus on that too.
Martin: Did you understand the power of organic SEO and Google Maps even back around 2013? What initially piqued your interest in focusing on Google My Business for advanced management company?
Carrie Polonsky: No, I’m not that smart. I have to rely on the other people that I surround myself to help me be successful. because my relationship with Ronn was built on a lot of trust over time, so I knew that I could count on him to solve my problems. And in some of them like with you and Ronn, some problems I didn’t even know existed, right? Because I don’t know, I didn’t. Like I said I was a one-woman training and marketing department, wasn’t good at really either of them. So, all I knew is that we had to claim those Google listings and they kept sending these postcards and these properties and then nothing would happen. And I was just like, chasing my tail on the hamster wheel. Like I needed somebody who was going to help me in, when Ronn was trying to get me to buy into that product that there was no way I could use it. I just felt really comfortable saying like, I don’t need this, but I need you to help me with this.
Martin: That’s when the stars align, and that’s when apartment SEO was born.
Carrie Polonsky: That’s right.
Ronn: Yeah, I remember at the time to again, I mentioned earlier that I was testing Martin out and I’ve spoken many times can lead to Martin about this. That I remember telling you because you said he had no money, you’re like, that’s great, that’s what I need. And that’s what you’re thinking of doing or your nephew is or whatever, but I have no money. So, I was like, guess what? At the time I, you know, maybe that was not the part of the transparency there. But I was like, well, it’s free for 90 days. Because most recently, the conversation that was being had, the meeting we were at, was to prove myself and the product that I offered, and it didn’t go well. I was reproved.
Carrie Polonsky: But also candidly, when you say like, you didn’t know that Martin, because I mean you weren’t some experts in SEO either. So, it’s like, here’s Martin telling you like this is some kind of a thing that you can do and you’re like, alright, well, let’s try it.
Ronn: Yeah, we have been talking again, I’ve only sold marketing products that have for rent. I remember I was like working on the idea of SEO and just ranking our clients respectively on the ILS. But and I remember Martin hit me up and that was back in the day, like this is your like five years plus before even this is going on, right? And saying your industry really needs to focus on it. I’m doing it internally for other industries, and blah, blah, blah. And so, I knew the value of it. I just didn’t know how, to this day I’m not, that’s not my subject matter expertise, right. I’m running a business and doing other things and growing the team and selling. So, we relied on Martin back then but again, I didn’t, I’ve never worked with him, you know. And so, like Carrie, friend, client, the person who I’m going to rely on in the future to just really advocate for me somehow, some way and my reputation personally and as a business professional. Like I don’t want to have to walk away from multifamily if this didn’t work, you know. I think I’ve literally said those words to Martin like many times over. Like dude, you know, I need some exploit tips probably like you can’t be around. I need to go back to this industry if this does not work and be like who wants to hire me? Right. So those are the definitely, humble beginnings in the early days of apartment SEO. And I remember it was funny because I was everything thereafter. Bookkeeper, HR, you know, sales guy, and I remember when it came down to the 90 days. And I’m like, okay, dang it. Now we’re going to create an invoice and send invoice that because they liked this and it’s working.
Carrie Polonsky: And I need to generate revenue.
Ronn: That would be nice. Because I quit my job, cold turkey and have no, right? This is like three months later. I used to get a couple of dollars back you know, and I remember at that time I went after our meeting, this is another little funny story and I’ll move on. But is calling Martin and I’m like oh my god, my friend Carrie, she’s amazing client, you know total advocate like, if you’re serious, I’m serious now, I think I’m gonna quit my job. And but I’m like, but don’t quit yours because we can’t have two unemployed people that don’t have any kind of income stream. I’ll live on my savings and the rest will be history and here we are almost 10 years later.
Carrie Polonsky: Well, when I start a podcast I’m going to, you guys will be my first interview because your story is so good and so right with lessons for so many people and you would be fascinating people to interview.
Martin: Well, I got you covered in setting up your podcast when you’re ready.
Carrie Polonsky: Okay good. You know we should do is, in this podcast do like the flip through where you have somebody interview with you guys.
Martin: That’s a good one. I like that.
Ronn: This, this podcast was more about you, but it seems like we’re talking a lot about us and yeah, maybe we’ll have that opportunity to interview us.
Carrie Polonsky: I would ask because it’s a big part of my heart.
Ronn: Oh, well, from your point of view, as seen ASEO, like today versus where we started. Like any feedback you want to share?
Carrie Polonsky: Or my gosh, I am not, now I don’t know what I should share that I haven’t shared already. But my, one of my favorite things is just to hear you guys speak about apartment SEO, in the same way that I speak about my own children. Because your words drip with love for the industry and the people that are in this industry and the business itself. And just the entire process that you’ve been through. And so, it has been my honor and absolute joy and delight to see apartment SEO evolve. And to really become like a beacon for the industry and to drive the industry forward. Your team, every single person on the team is just customer focused. And I think that comes from, like Ronn what you were saying earlier about, you know, you don’t want to leave the industry, is like you always talk about your personal brand. And you’ve, you have imbued that into your team to, so that they’re accountable for a very high level of customer service. Because they, people who know you and who are buying into the Ron Ruiz dream. They expect it. Yes. Like what they expect to be loved hard in the in the process. And so, it’s really exciting for me, it’s hard to believe because it feels like yesterday, but it’s exciting to me that you’re celebrating 10 years. So, congratulations guys. And I’m just wildly impressed and proud of your success and so excited to see what the future holds for our apartment SEO. I can’t wait to learn what we’re going to do next.
Ronn: What we’re gonna do next exactly, yeah. Thank you again, you know, as well and I hate that, you know, we kept we went all the way so much into ASEO. So before we wrap up, I really wanted to share with the audience what you guys are doing at TI communities, because I believe you’re doing some great stuff for our industry and the residents that you serve.
Carrie Polonsky: I agree. So, TI communities is my baby. And what we do just to kind of introduce the concept of TI communities to anyone listening is that, we marry traditional multifamily property management with social impact. And we do that through our community events and programs that we have. And we focus on five different pillars with our programming for our residents. So, all of this is, we have the apartment just like everybody else four walls adore everything. We have a maintenance team, it’s all the same. But where we differ is with that programming and the five pillars that we. We focus on our community building education, health and wellness, green initiatives and safety and security. And those, so around those five pillars, we build this programming to support the lives of the residents in each of our communities. And we offer completely free for anyone who lives at our community. So, for example, I’m a single mom, I have two kids. I live at our community, let’s call it, have to jobs. My kids go to school, they come home from school on the school bus. They can go directly to the hub, which is where our programming is delivered. And they would get after school help with their homework, by an educator provided totally by for free, which is great. Because a lot of times we’re in workforce housing, and so a lot of times in those communities the parents don’t have the resources available to them to support their kids in with homework. So, we provide that for them. And then, like I said it’s in those five areas. And then if I can just boast for a minute, we have provided over 160,000 program participant hours across more than 13,000 events. And that’s a huge number of lives that we’re impacting every day and so, when I made the change, I was very, very happy at my last job at SAS management. I was happy as a clam. I wasn’t looking to move. But when this opportunity became available, I didn’t know it existed. I didn’t know there was a world that existed, where a landlord could really exist in partnership with a resident and so, that fills my heart to be able to marry those two things. Because I really love multifamily, and the industry and I love the work and to be able to do good things for the residents. It’s just obviously very satisfying. And the other thing you know, we all struggle during COVID times with our rents, rent collections and all of that, to communities has been able to give residents access to more than $12.7 million worth of rental assistance.
Ronn: Wow. I didn’t know that. That’s amazing.
Carrie Polonsky: Yeah, $12.7 million. So, I mean, that’s huge for families. Like that’s the difference between homelessness and not, you know for a lot of people. And so, it’s a great company, it’s a great. It’s a great way to do a job every single day, to feel like you’re making the difference in the life of even one person.
Ronn: That’s amazing, though, and the social impact alone is huge. The ongoing part of that and I think that’s something that our industry could learn from as well. You know, we do provide housing no matter what, but it’s how we provide it.
Carrie Polonsky: Right. And we’re making money.
Carrie Polonsky: You know, like we’re not in it just to because we’re sweet.
Martin: Profit in progress.
Ronn: I love that. Thank you for sharing that part. Yeah, TI is doing great stuff. And I know personally for you it was a big move to even move your household.
Carrie Polonsky: Huge. That was it. That was the thing where you have to take that leap of faith and hope the universe supports it and it will, like you said.
Ronn: Figure it out.
Carrie Polonsky: Yeah.
Martin: Keep up the great work at TI.
Carrie Polonsky: Thank you.
Martin: Well, Carrie, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. We love you and thank you again and again for believing in us in those early days. We wish you well in 2023 and help you have a prosperous new year and we look forward to the multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa and can’t wait to hang out with you really soon.
Carrie Polonsky: I can’t wait to see you in Napa.
Ronn: in person, again.
Carrie Polonsky: In person. So exciting. Thank you so much for having me. This was really fun. You guys made it fun.
Ronn: Thank you for joining to us. We appreciate it.
Martin: Any final words, Ronn?
Ronn: I just want to say how much I love you and you know that already. And how much I love our industry. I’m so grateful for our journey together. Thank you for the kind words, like that was unexpected. Definitely not intended to be a commercial for ASEO. But you have so much history with us, and I feel like we gave birth together. So, thank you for that. And we want to remind the audience of the code for Social Media Summit is BD102.
Martin: Perfect. So, make sure to also check out multifamily-social-media.com and that is a good URL because we actually forward that domain to the actual social media domain. So multifamily-social-media.com will take you directly there, so you can register, check out, get more information about the conference. And remember code is BD102. And also, don’t forget to check out TIcommunities.com and check them out over there and see what they got going on. Also remember.
Carrie Polonsky: You’re not gonna want to miss Martin’s.
Martin: Oh, my love this. So, we’ll be doing a big session on that. So yeah, please come check us out. Check out our booth as well, we will be there representing. So, we look forward to and we’re gonna, we always have a blast, so it’s always a good time. Also, audience, please remember to subscribe to the multifamily podcast, if you haven’t already. Multifamilypodcast.com. We’re on iTunes Spotify, all the major podcast channels. Also check out apartmentseo.com for your free marketing analysis and reputation report card. Until next time, bye everyone.
Carrie Polonsky: Oh, I want that.
Carrie Polonsky: Bye.