Colorado State University – Global Campus
December 2, 2021
Bahia Property Management is pleased to announce Jillian Weaver as the winner of the 2021 Bahia Property Management Entrepreneurial Scholarship for $1,000. Jillian, who attends Colorado Status University Global Campus, was selected from a pool of 78 candidates. Candidates had to submit an essay detailing how their personal values will put them on track to achieve their goals.
Jillian’s Winning Essay
Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle” (Morgan, 2015). That love for me has been property and HOA management. Although it often requires long hours and late nights, property management provides constant opportunities to improve the lives of those around you in a way that few other careers can.
When I was born, my parents owned a small real estate and property management company in Denver, Colorado. They were amazing managers in all aspects, but to me, the pride they took in their work was most apparent when they began managing a property that had been left to languish for the past few years. Rotten drywall would come down and be replaced, new coats of paint were applied inside and out, parking lots were seal coated, bugs and pests were treated and became a thing of the past. And as the property transformed, so did the people who lived there. People came to the office with cards, cookies, personal stories, and words of thanks. Even as a small child, I realized the importance of providing a place that people are proud to call home.
A few years later, right after the birth of my sister, my father became very ill and was told that he only had two years to live. We moved to Tennessee to be close to family, so my mother wouldn’t be left alone across the country with two small children to care for. The business was shuttered, and they embarked on the long move. Determined to prove the doctors wrong, after 32 surgeries and years of grueling recovery, my father is still here all these years later. Once he was well enough to work, my parents went back to property management. I began working for them as an assistant manager, which set me on the career path that led me to the accounting program at CSU Global.
After a few years gaining experience alongside my parents, I was offered a Community Manager position at a local HOA management company. I was fascinated by the industry and felt very connected to the people and the communities that I worked with. The work of an HOA manager is largely invisible, but HOA managers have a major impact on the daily lives of those in the community. I tried to embody my parents’ entrepreneurial attitude by treating every community like it was my home and the residents were my neighbors. I realized that in most situations, resolutions can be found that work to the benefit of all parties involved, and worked with residents, owners, and board members to that end.
Over the years, I was reminded of the way that residents reacted and interacted with my parents when a property was well cared for. Residents and owners in well-managed properties tended to treat the owners/boards and each other with more kindness, were more likely to follow the rules, and were more likely to pay rent/HOA assessments on time or even early. In the same way, Bahia embodies this same entrepreneurial attitude by going the extra mile for owners and tenants. Good, personal management impacts all aspects of a property, and it’s obvious this attitude plays a large role in the stellar reviews from owners and tenants, as well as the high percentage of Bahia tenants that pay rent on time (Bahia, 2021).
As I gained experience, several friends approached me with questions about their own neighborhoods, particularly the ones who did not have professional management. One of my good friends even joined the board of a self-managed community as the Treasurer. I learned of the impact that lack of professional guidance has on self-managed communities, as well as how much time is taken up by routine management tasks, when board members’ time could be better spent elsewhere. I wanted to create a company that provides management consulting and financial services to small, self-managed HOAs, in order to help boards make more informed decisions, and to give volunteer board members some of their time back by managing the day-to-day financial aspects of the community. I enrolled in the Accounting program at CSU Global to round out my on-the-job experience with a formal accounting education.
I plan to use my unique skills and experience in property management, along with the knowledge I gain at CSU Global, as well as my passion for property and HOA management, to improve the lives of those I come into contact with in the future, and to create a company that, like Bahia, positively impacts my clients and residents.
Bahia. (2021). Find great tenants. https://www.orlandopropertymanagement.com/find-great-tenants/
Morgan, B. (2015). 8 Steve Jobs quotes every entrepreneur should live by. Business News Daily.