Steve Inman, Vice President, Tamarack Property Management Co.
- Sep 19, 2012
MHN interviews Steve Inman, vice president of Tamarack Property Management Co.
MHN: How did you get into the multifamily industry?
Inman: After graduation from the University of Montana, I worked in K-Mart’s “Store Manager Training Program,” and ended up in Seattle as an assistant manager of a West Seattle store. I didn’t enjoy retail and always enjoyed working with sticks and stones doing construction during my high school and college years. I interviewed for an area manager for Public Storage and enjoyed 13 years of growth from five Puget Sound locations to over 40, opening new locations in Hawaii and British Columbia. In 1999, always feeling drawn to Montana, I took a regional manager position with Tamarack Property Management Co. and learned to manage multifamily and commercial real estate for a variety of clients. We grew and expanded focusing on larger multifamily properties in some type of Affordable program including HUD, LIHTC and USDA Rural Development. I later became director of property management, and finally vice president.
MHN: If you weren’t in multifamily, what would you be doing?
Inman: I would probably be an engineer or a commercial pilot.
MHN: Who has been the biggest inspiration during your career?
Inman: When I worked for Public Storage, I had an incredible supervisor (JoAnn Town) who really felt it was her responsibility to develop her people. She even helped me to buy my first suit. Her dedication to the people she supervised has stayed with me through the last 30 years. I have tried to emulate her attitude toward seeing my mission as a supervisor to help my staff become all-they-can-be.
MHN: (In terms of work) What keeps you up at night?
Inman: Third Party Property Management is much more difficult than managing company-owned properties or property for a single entity. Every investor has his/her own goals. It can be difficult to switch hats quickly enough to keep all the balls in the air. We manage for non-profit boards, individual owners and investor partnerships. Many partnerships deteriorate over time and individuals do not get along well or make sound decisions. Counseling is a big part of my day.
MHN: What’s the best part of your work day?
Inman: I enjoy the new situations and challenges that present themselves every day. I get to know all different personality types and see it as a challenge to try to provide a positive experience. Boring is not in our dictionary.
MHN: What one story in your career stands out in your mind?
Inman: One time we had an owner who got himself in so much trouble he called us and said he would be out of touch for an indefinite period because he needed to go disappear in the Southwestern desert for a while. We don’t manage for him anymore.
MHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Inman: As a person with over 30 years in the business, I would like to personally begin to back away from some of the busyness of the business and create a more flexible schedule where I can find more personal time. I hope to see our organization grow through deepened experience and integrated systems that allow for fewer surprises. As a regional property management firm operating in several rural states, we are challenged by distance.
MHN: What advice would you give another that you wish someone would had said to you?
Inman: Never quit developing yourself. You can never learn enough about your industry. Get certifications, licenses and experience in new property types, even if it hurts.