Headshot of Kristie Arnst, Senior Vice President of Property Management

Meet Kristie Arnst, Buckingham's Senior Vice President of Property Management

With over 15 years of experience and leading the efforts of over 70,000 multifamily units throughout the United States, Kristie joined Buckingham as the Senior Vice President of Property Management. Known for an analytical and entrepreneurial approach, she has an impressive track record of developing and implementing value-add strategies in real estate nationwide. She is responsible for residential and commercial property management drawing on her vast experience, which includes conventional multifamily, mid-rise, high-rise, HOA, affordable and student housing. Kristie graduated from Central Michigan University earning a Bachelor of Science in Social Science. She is an active member of the National Apartment Association having graduated from the Lyceum Leadership program and currently serving on the Board of Directors of the NAA Education Institute and as Regional Vice President of NAA Region III. Kristie resides in a suburb outside Detroit and commutes to the corporate office. She loves to travel in her free time, with her favorite place being Barcelona, Spain.

We sat down with Kristie to learn more about her, her goals for Buckingham Companies, and how COVID has impacted our line of business:

What drew you to property management?

The fact that we are providing people homes. It is special because all of our residents’ major life experiences – weddings, retirements, new home, birth of a child, graduation – all happen while they reside with us. Nothing more special can be provided and they chose us to share those experiences with.

What has kept you in this industry?

First and foremost, providing a basic life necessity to thousands of families – that is pretty special.

Second, I love to coach. Coaching teams to grow in their careers and accomplish goals they have set brings me joy.

Lastly, watching others reach their full potential in an industry that is providing a basic life necessity. It is the best of both worlds.

What are some of your goals for the Property Management handle at Buckingham?

My main goal is to lead with servant leadership that is reflected in internal and external interactions; followed by an enhanced customer service experience for our clients. If we can accomplish and attain these two goals, then all else will fall into place.

How has COVID changed the future of Property Management?

The greatest realization is that our business can work remote. The way we traditionally managed the sales process of capturing a lead, the prospect physically visiting to tour, meeting to review the lease, signing the lease at the office and then move-in walk throughs is not necessary anymore.

Our entire company had to learn how to build relationships without being in person. From our sales teams on-site to our talent acquisition manager hiring for new employees, we had to learn how to build relationships in a socially distant way.

Another item that not only impacts Property Management, but construction and development is rethinking the way we use space, specifically apartments and community amenities. Will we be able to gather as a group anytime soon? If not, how can we repurpose our resident lounge to allow residents to use it as a work from home area? How can we ensure our fitness centers are sanitized properly moving forward? These are all things we need to reconsider.

What are some qualities you possess that have allowed you to be successful in the industry?

I’m firm but fair, transparent and I genuinely care that team members succeed. When possible, I provide feedback and learning opportunities that allow teams to grow and be successful.

You are actively involved in your community, volunteering your time to JDRF and Ele’s Place. Why are those two organizations important to you?

My nephew was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at four years old. My family had little experience with the disease, so we dived right into research and education thanks to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Our entire family volunteers with JDRF with the goal of finding a cure and educating other families about the disease and ways to live with it.

Ele’s Place is a grieving center for children who have lost a loved one. Stemming from my own experiences, I have serve on the Board of Directors for the organization and support the mission.

What are the key skills a team must possess to be successful on-site?

1. Demonstrate Buckingham’s Mission, Vision and Values

2. Be a problem solver

3. Demonstrate a ‘can-do attitude’

Living in Detroit but working in Indy for properties across the US is not easy. What are some things you are doing to manage that distance and create a close-knit team?

COVID has taught us that you do not need proximity to have a close relationship. Everyone is a chat, email or phone call away. Keeping in close contact and meeting regularly via video help manage the distance to build trust and a close-knit team. This this does not just apply to the workplace but also in your personal lives, education, conferences, sales and more. There is no better time than now for remote learning, working and bonding.

We are thrilled to welcome Kristie to the team and can't wait to see all that Property Management accomplishes this year with her leadership.