News from the Chicago Chapter

IREM Chicago Scholarship Spotlight: Michele Harris, Property Manager, East Lake Management

 

 

 

 

 

Why did you want to pursue the ARM® designation?

I was cruising through the job market seeing what was out there, and I started noticing that 95% of the employers wanted to you to have a certificate in property management. The Accredited Residential Manager® certification had become a requirement to even apply for some jobs, let alone get an interview. It was at that point I realized that if I wanted to stay in the industry, I need to step up my game.

What did you enjoy most about the RES201 class?

I enjoyed the class format. The level of respect that everyone in the RES201 class, including the instructors, had was awesome. Listening to the different stories from people who come from a different culture, atmosphere, and environment was great. The support that is offered to everyone in the class is phenomenal. This class is designed for your success, and failure is not even an option. 

How will having the ARM impact your future?

Earning the ARM designation will allow me to raise above the challenges I have encountered while moving my career in a different direction. I would like to move forward getting my Certified Property Manager (CPM®) credential. I would like to be not only a member of IREM Chicago, but an active member who contributes to the growth of the chapter.  Instructor Brian Lozell, CPM® inspired me to want to teach a class, and that remains a dream of mine. I know it is a long-term goal, but certainly possible.

How did you see your job responsibilities differently when you returned to work on Monday?

My responsibilities at work became more important than just a "to do list.” The work seems to have more value and purpose. I always give my best at whatever I do, but now I can give my all.  That makes a difference.

What was that “ah ha” moment you had to share with your co-workers as soon as you got back to the office?

My "ah ha" moment was when I realized that I am valuable. My co-workers knew that.  They were waiting on me to find that out! I am glad I did. 

What would you say to encourage someone to take RES201 and pursue their ARM?

I would say go for it. It is worth the time, money and effort. It was gratifying experience. The encouragement that you receive from the instructors speaks volumes. The instructors are very transparent with their stories, their challenges, and the hard work it took to get where they are. It is worth it.

Please share thoughts on your family, hobbies, likes, anything you want to share.

I am an only child, and I am an avid reader. I read two to three books at a time a week. Since I had no one to play with at home, my mom put me in a Great Books Club to keep me from being bored. I love reading. I started collecting Hot Wheel cars when I was 12. I have 2,906 cars. I love putting together jigsaw puzzles, and I also knit and crochet. I made a pair of "bomb" house shoes.

What’s next?

My Broker's License exam is scheduled for December.  The first of the year, I will be reaching out to IREM to find out what classes are available to put towards the CPM designation. I also would like to learn a second language. Once my membership has been accepted by IREM, I will get right to the business of getting involved with the chapter and its member's. Hopefully I will be able to serve on a committee at some point.