MHN interviews Cammie Allie, CPM®, ARM®, founder of Fortress Property Management, which specializes in multifamily property management. Allie is a member of The Institute of Real Estate Management and earned her ARM® and her CPM ® in 2008. She is experienced in all types of multifamily management, from conventional property to Section 8, and has several years of tax credit experience. Allie earned Manager of the Year in 2000 from Metro Multifamily Housing Association.
MHN: How did you get into the multifamily industry?
Allie: Over 18 years ago, I had a sister-in law who was a portfolio manager. She had trouble keeping an honest site manager on 68 doors. After three times asking me and my husband, and me declining, I finally conceded because the manager’s unit had a dishwasher. The rest is history.
MHN: If you weren’t in multifamily, what would you be doing?
Allie: I don’t think I can think of one job that utilizes every skill I had been trained for, but it would be a job that changes every day and keeps you on your toes.
MHN: Who has been the biggest inspiration during your career?
Allie: In my career I had two property supervisors, Mark McRae and Brad Cribbins. Both believed in their managers and made every effort to lead by example and teach them the skills necessary to succeed. I believe that in this industry, there are too many people that, in supervisory roles, forget to mentor.
MHN: In terms of work, what keeps you up at night?
Allie: Hiring qualified people. I believe with the right vision, anybody is trainable. But in today’s market the divide between “OK” and “great” is wider than it’s ever been. The successful people in this market give 110 percent vs. getting by for a paycheck.
MHN: What’s the best part of your workday?
Allie: Watching site managers blossom to the next phase in their careers. Seeing the light bulb click on when they understand the entire dynamic of why we do what we do and watching apartments turn into full-blown communities.
MHN: What one story in your career stands out in your mind?
Allie: A few months ago, we were to take on a 30-door community on the first of the month. I had made plans to meet with a vendor that evening. About 6:30 in the morning I get a text saying, “I’m pretty sure you have to reschedule, turn on the news.” Nothing like a six-door apartment fire the very morning we are to take over. No site manager had been assigned yet. What a horrible feeling to have to post notices on the doors after the fire had been contained that said “Welcome to a Fortress Property.”
MHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Allie: Continuing to grow Fortress Property Management Inc. and becoming a leader in correcting troubled assets.
MHN: What advice would you give another that you wish someone would had said to you?
Allie: Believe in yourself! Do not allow anyone to tell you that it’s not possible for whatever reason. You’re as good as the time you put into yourself and your job.