News from the Chicago Chapter
When asked how she got involved in the property management industry, Shruti Kumar, CPM®, said the process was “kind of a fluke.” As Shruti tells it, she was seeking an assistant property manager position at a multifamily community based in Wheeling; after a meeting with the manager, Shruti met with the company owner.
“He asked me, ‘Why should I give you the job?’” Shruti recalled. “And, I said, ‘Because if you don’t, you won’t know what you’ll be missing.’ I got the job, and it’s been onward and upward since then.”
That upward path has led Shruti to a position on the leadership team at with IREM Chicago Chapter 23 as 2017 secretary and management of one of the foremost residential properties in Chicago.
Shruti manages Lake Meadows, a DK Living rental community in the Bronzeville neighborhood that consists of 1,869 apartment units within four high-rise and five mid-rise buildings. The first stage of the property was built in 1952, and according to Shruti, Lake Meadows is the only city apartment property set on 70 acres. Prior to Lake Meadows, she worked as a manager for Prairie Shores, another multi-building DK Living apartment property.
As chapter secretary, she said key responsibilities will including assisting President Elect Angela Aeschliman, CPM® during interviews for members seeking the Certified Property Manager designation and advancing a Chapter initiative to improve membership renewal.
“The role of the secretary is more legislative (issues of concern that we might want to lobby on in Springfield, share this information with IREM members via social media ) and will include corresponding with members and Industry Partner companies,” Shruti said, adding that she’s excited about attending the 2016 IREM Fall Conference in San Diego.
When asked about challenges facing Chapter 23, she identified the need to grow the number of local candidates seeking IREM industry designations and their active engagement. “Our challenge is to build more awareness for what IREM can do for them and their careers and keep the members engaged,” she added.
From an industry perspective, Shruti cited two issues that are top of mind to her and residential managers nationwide: The explosive growth of online vacation rental services and the use of medical marijuana.
“It’s difficult at a large property of our size to figure out and enforce who may be listing their unit on a site like AirBnB,” she said. “And, managers have to address those who are smoking marijuana; it could be for medical reasons, or it could not. These are my two biggest challenges.”