One Man’s Journey from Alabama to D.C.
In our next installment of Profiles in Success, a series where NAA talks to successful apartment professionals to learn how they got to where they are, who inspired them and what their biggest challenge was, we visit with a Director of Business Development & Marketing.
Name: Myles Waldrop
Company: The Breeden Company
Current Title: Director of Business Development & Marketing
Years in the Industry: 17
What was your first apartment job?
I leased apartments with Sealy Realty in Huntsville, Ala. I started at a 497-unit community named Waterford Square. I learned so much from that community. It was built in 1964, but had townhomes built in 1978. Then, more townhomes were built in the 1990s. It was probably the busiest community that I had ever worked at.
Describe your job now
I oversee all marketing efforts for our multifamily divisions (third-party and owner-managed). I also oversee our business development for third-party management. That involves meeting and building relationships with asset owners to utilize our operations, IT, marketing, education and industry professionals to manage their assets.
Who was your greatest influence in the industry (how did they influence you)?
It’s very difficult to name just one. I’ve worked for some amazing people and companies and have been on both the supplier and management sides. I would say Angela Grassa-Keebler has taught me a lot on the supplier side and is quite possibly my greatest influence. She taught me how to forecast, follow a sales process and make it all click. She never hesitated to jump in the field with me and help. However, I would have to give some honorable mentions to Debbie Hunter, Tara Roberts (Carter), Aletha Parker, Elaine De Lude, Pat Shoemaker, Patrick McCloud, Janet Stokes, Stacy White, Joe Summers, Benji Alday, Wendy Dorchester, my whole current team and, posthumously, Bill Geoffrion.
What was your biggest challenge? How did you overcome that challenge?
My BIGGEST challenge was moving to Washington, D.C., from Alabama. I only knew one person. I was starting a new job at Apartment Guide and was making a leap from management and marketing to the supplier side. It was a complete reset of my life and very scary, to say the least. I packed my 2001 Camry with the bare necessities, such as my suits, other clothes, shoes, a TV and toiletries. Wow, I remember crying and hugging my mom and grandmother, turning back around in my car and acted like I had forgot something, but it was really to give a second hug to my family. I moved, settled-in, found my family of friends and it all came together. I found that my industry was my family and if you ask for assistance, people usually want to give genuine help. I guess how I overcame it was that I made myself successful and grew to make my family and family of friends proud.
What is your ultimate goal in the apartment industry?
I would like to grow my current company and my departments within Breeden. It’s a very exciting time at The Breeden Company: We are expanding in so many directions.
What has the apartment industry given to you, personally and professionally?
That is a great question! The apartment industry has provided an education first and foremost. It’s such an exciting industry – and one that no one ever thinks of, if they want a career in real estate. The things that you learn while working onsite, in a corporate office and as a supplier is fascinating. Personally, it has given to me a great group of friends. The industry has provided me with some of the best friends that I’ve ever had.
What’s your favorite or funniest apartment industry story?
Simply put, it’s the things you see, the things that people do and the way some think. What were they thinking?
What’s one thing you or your company does that sets you apart?
We do many things: Everything from donating to the K-9 units on our police force to competitions and fun events. What sets us apart would be our Breeden University, which hands-down is second to none. And, we are a family. We eat together, cry together, grow together and win together.
Success is best when shared. How do you or your company find ways to give back?
The Breeden Company and our communities give to several different charitable causes, such as, the SPCA (our preferred employer program), food drives, toys for tots, the Virginia Beach Symphony and others. One of my favorites is our “Giving Back to Teachers” program. We greatly value our educators.
What volunteer roles do you currently hold?
I teach Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) and National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) classes across the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Regions. I also serve on the Membership and Communications committee for Virginia Apartment Management Association (VAMA). I serve as a mentor in our Virginia Apartment Association (CVAA) Next Gen. In the past, I’ve chaired the Supplier Council for CVAA and many other committees in markets where I worked -- from D.C. to Alabama. I also participate in both the VAMA Lobby Day and NAA's Advocate.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped in your career?
The biggest thing for me in volunteering, has been humility and learning to serve – and that there is a greater purpose than my own personal agenda. Volunteering has introduced me to thousands of people within my network, which has helped my career. I’ve met so many people -- from U.S. Senators to CEOs to presidents of companies to residents with issues that are addressed through service. It’s really been amazing.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I work a lot! So, I make work fun and exciting for myself. But when I'm not working, I would say I'm socializing, playing video games (it helps me decompress), cooking or traveling.
What did you want to be growing up?
That depends on my age at the time: It has been everything from a preacher an architect to a public relations professional.
What do you want to be doing five years from now?
Exactly what I’m doing now… growing my company.
If you could talk to yourself 10/15/20 years ago, what would you say?
Ten years ago, I would say, “You’ve got this!” Fifteen years ago, I would say, “Soak it all in and learn from it all.” Twenty years ago, I would say, “Find some ambition!”
What’s your favorite quote?
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein
What’s your favorite song/musician?
That’s easy! It’s “Unstoppable” from Sia.
What’s the biggest difference you see between our industry today and when you started?
Technology! Hands down! I remember thinking a phone lead was amazing and email was not really a real thing. It’s amazing where we are today as opposed where we were yesterday. And I can promise you: There is so much more to come! I’ve had a sneak peek!