How One Regional Manager Got Ahead Without a Degree
In our fourth 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 a Regional Portfolio Manager from the Northeast.
Name: Alyssa Boyle
Company: Bozzuto Management Company
Title: Regional Portfolio Manager
Years in the Industry: 10
What was your first apartment job?
I worked for a broker in Philadelphia who owned and leased apartments throughout West Philadelphia, North Philadelphia and University City. I worked a lot with students from Drexel and Temple and worked closely with Section 8.
Describe your job now
I oversee a group of multifamily properties in New Jersey and Manhattan. My job is to support onsite management teams at my properties. I work with some great property managers. Some are seasoned veterans and others are newly promoted managers. Either way, I work to help them become better property managers and achieve our clients’ financial and operational goals. I also provide training and coaching programs to help my teams advance their careers, which personally is very fulfilling.
Who was your greatest influence in the industry (how did they influence you)?
This is a really tough question because I have had some really wonderful mentors while working at Bozzuto. I am also very fortunate that Bozzuto has great role models among its female executives who run our management company. I’ve learned from both Julie Smith and Stephanie Williams in their respective tenures as President of BMC.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Erik Sabotka, a Senior Vice President at Bozzuto for five years. He has been a tremendous influence and mentor. He has taught me the importance of building lasting relationships with our clients, employees and customers. His support over the years has made me the leader I am today.
Lastly, over the last several years my most eye-opening influence has been Nancy Goldsmith, our Director of Operations. Her work ethic and concern for her substantial portfolio is unmatched. She displays a passion for her work every day that truly is inspiring. She cares deeply for the communities she serves and more so for the employees she oversees. She has made herself available as a resource to me on countless occasions. She shows grace in her problem-solving and has helped me to do the same. I am infinitely grateful to her for this.
What was your biggest challenge? How did you overcome that challenge?
My biggest challenge has been overcoming my lack of a college degree. For me, going to college was not a given as it was for many of my peers. Instead, I entered the workforce immediately after high school and worked a lot of jobs in numerous fields before finding my path in the apartment industry. Once I found a company whose values I shared, I dug my heels in and worked to be the best I could be. It served me well and I am grateful to be where I am. But my lack of a degree has come up along the way. I think it made me work even harder in my career to overcome the negative perceptions about those of us who did not attend a four-year university.
What is your ultimate goal as an apartment industry professional?
My ultimate goal is to help people. I don’t exactly know what I’d want my title to be or what field of the industry I want to be working in, I just want to make sure my work helps people. The most rewarding part about what I do now is mentoring others in their career growth. I want to continue to do this and see where it takes me.
What has the apartment industry given you, personally and professionally?
This industry -- and more specifically the company I work for -- has really given me everything. I can support a family more so than I ever thought I’d be able to. I’ve made friendships that I’ll have forever. I even met my husband while working for Bozzuto. I really don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t explored this field.
What’s one thing you or your company does that sets you apart?
We care. Concern is one of the Bozzuto core values. It’s really the most important value. We care for the communities we serve, and we care for each other. Everything else stems from this.
Success is best when shared. How do you or your company find ways to give back?
We give back to our communities by encouraging our properties to promote charitable giving in our resident events. The people who work onsite know the community best so it’s great when they get involved with a cause that is specific to their area. We also have several charities that we contribute to on a portfolio-wide basis, including Alex’s Lemonade Stand and The American Cancer Society.
What volunteer roles do you currently hold?
I am a huge animal lover. I donate to ASPCA and have helped with food drives for local animal shelters.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped in your career?
Volunteering helps widen your horizons and become more compassionate. I think it’s important to have empathy in my career and volunteering certainly helps with that.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I like to explore NYC with my husband or visit with my baby nephew who I try to see as much as possible. If I am not doing that, I am probably being a couch potato with my dog, Davey.
What did you want to be growing up?
A Journalist. I liked the idea of observing for a living.
What do you want to be doing five years from now?
I’d like to still be working for Bozzuto and helping us to create new job opportunities in the area.
If you could talk to yourself 10/15/20 years ago, what would you say?
Find your people as soon as you can and be confident in your ability to take on new challenges.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Your reputation is the loudest sound in the very small room that is your universe.” Tom Bozzuto opens his book with this quote and it instantly stuck with me. He gifted the book to every Bozzuto employee shortly after the company’s 30-year anniversary.
What’s your favorite song/musician?
Anything from Dean Martin but “Under the Bridges of Paris” is probably my favorite.
What’s the biggest difference you see between our how our industry operates today compared to how it did when you started?
There is more competition for top talent in the industry than there was when I started. Companies need to work very hard to attract and retain A-level talent.