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At This Property, Workin’ Like a Dog

Community Dog
June 2018

A student housing community’s staff and residents get the most out of Brownie.

In a time when leasing is ultra-competitive, it can be difficult to stand out from the rest, to find a secret weapon that makes a community shine, or more important, to be remembered by prospective residents instead of the competition.

In Charlottesville, Va., Management Services Corporation (MSC) found the perfect solution: Brownie the Leasing Dog. Brownie, an 11-year-old Miniature Poodle, is a beloved member of the MSC Team at The MadHouse, MSC’s student leasing office near the University of Virginia (UVA).

Brownie comes to “work” every day with The MadHouse’s marketing manager, Bryan Redieske.

“Brownie was starting to feel a little left out after my wife, Maria, and I added two children to the family,” Redieske says. “Brownie needed a new sense of purpose and MSC needed a Brownie! She runs to the front door every morning, so excited to go to the office. When she knows my work day has ended, she becomes visibly upset.”

No one is more disappointed than the staff and residents at the Charlottesville office when Brownie has the day off.

The MadHouse is home to more than 16 full-time and seven part-time property managers and marketing employees who manage and lease 60 properties to more than 3,000 UVA students and professionals. Brownie provides emotional balance to the busy and sometimes frantic day-to-day operations at Madhouse. She frequently can be found in the arms of a student’s mom who becomes emotional about her child moving out of the dorm or snuggled in the lap of a student who is in the midst of signing a lease, bringing a sense of calmness to a big decision process.

In addition to her role as therapeutic leasing assistant, Brownie enjoys daily visits with MSC team members at The MadHouse. Brownie knows that everyone has a special treat for her each day. She bounds up the office steps each morning to share breakfast with the community’s senior regional property manager, Sarah Drumheller, and then runs to RPM, Andrea Heidi, for a comforting belly rub. Brownie always enjoys a morning ride with leasing assistant, Ashley Brill, when she goes out to deliver the mail to other MSC offices while also bringing joy to all employees.

Brownie has the run of the office. She can even be found attending meetings with company officers when they visit Madhouse. Brownie is loved by the MSC residents and has been featured in countless videos, Facebook campaigns and online advertisements. Last year, Brownie’s hard work won a first-place prize in the local Animal Connection—Natural Dog Store’s “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” photo and video contest. The MadHouse even has a “Brownie Apartment Seal of Approval” program for its pet-friendly communities. In a recent emergency response training program presented by Alexandra Jackiw, CAPS, CPM, President, Milhaus, Jackiw had the opportunity to meet and, of course, fall in love with Brownie.

Not just any dog can be a leasing dog. As with all things, be careful. Large dogs tend to frighten some people, dogs that bark at strangers are not a good fit and dogs with aggressive natures are a no-no. However, if you can find a dog as perfect for the job as Brownie, give it a try.