My RPM Story: RPM Careers Ambassador Kim O'Keefe | National Apartment Association

My RPM Story: RPM Careers Ambassador Kim O'Keefe

I’m Kim O’Keefe, Property Manager for The Dolben Company and an ambassador for RPMcareers.org. Direct access to RPM Careers ambassadors is an innovative element of RPMcareers.org. Spanning all industry career types, backgrounds, and experiences, RPM ambassadors provide website visitors with a personal connection to the industry and enhance the credibility of the site. I am excited to start connecting with qualified candidates who are considering a career in Residential Property Management. How did I get into the industry? Here is my RPM story:

What I did before joining the residential property management (RPM) industry and how I was drawn to a career in RPM:

I was a substitute teacher, and a music director for theater productions. I was always passionate about music, theater, and teaching, but at that point it wasn’t stable enough to make a career. My brother, Pat, worked for Dolben, and he thought that with my background in theater I would make a great leasing consultant. Once I started, I was instantly hooked! It combined so many different interests. With every tour I took, I felt as if I was putting on a show, and closing on a new lease felt like taking a bow. 

I continue to be drawn to this industry by the excellent bosses I have had, many of whom have become my mentors as I’ve advanced in my career. 

What makes RPM professionals great: 

In September 2011, I was promoted into Dolben’s Management Trainee Program and then was placed as an assistant manager. Now, I am a property manager in Chelmsford, Mass. Day-to-day functions include, but are not limited to, overseeing a staff, maintaining a budget, and planning events.

Great RPM professionals are dedicated to the job. I don’t look at this as just a 9-to-5 gig. I’ll be in a store and see decorations that would look great for a residential event — I’m always thinking about making my property the best it can be. 

I’ve also dedicated my time to gaining the trust of my residents. One of my favorite comments when leasing was “You know, I wasn’t ready to lease today, but you made me feel that I would be taken care of, so I’m going to leave a deposit.” 

Why I love my RPM career. 

I always said that I would never have a typical desk job, and RPM is so much more than that. Every day, there may be something different that goes on — it might be a great tour, or maybe a not-so-great tour that leaves you with a funny story afterward. No matter what, it’s something that switches things up a little. 

There is a need for RPM individuals in any state in the country, and even globally. It’s a career that can take you places, and something that will always be in demand. When I started with Dolben, Senior Vice President Tom Beaton said, “There are three basic needs in life: food, clothing, and shelter. We are fulfilling one of those basic needs for people.”

I’ve never forgotten that. 

Why I am an RPM Ambassador

Prior to joining this industry, I didn’t have a clear direction of where I wanted to be, but as soon as I joined Dolben everything clicked into place. I’ve set goals for myself and received promotions that I worked hard for. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished at age 26. I want to be able to share my excitement for this career with others because joining this industry completely changed the direction of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about that. 

Drawing back to the connection to theater, it’s like I want to be a talent agent and find that new “star.” Cast them, rehearse with them, and let them catch their big break too!