Director Spotlight: Amanda Kopko

Amanda Kopko explains why she loves her job and how the marketing landscape in the leasing industry is ever-changing. She surrounds herself with an amazing team and tries to never be the smartest in the room! Read below to hear the full story.

How did you become involved in the marketing side of leasing?

“I actually started my career as a leasing agent for a property in Pittsburgh. I had zero experience in property management but I did have a little bit of sales knowledge. I am of the belief that everyone falls into property management, especially 15-16 years ago. In my case, I was going to look for an apartment and I was hired on. They ended up giving me free housing and the rest was history. I just fell in love with the industry and worked from leasing agent to assistant manager, to property manager and then I begged the CEO to move me to Chicago. When I did move, I ended up working with Greystar as a regional property manager and then got hired on as a director of operations at CMK Companies. At that point I was ready to make a move back to my roots in Pittsburgh so I reconnected with an old colleague and ended up getting hired as a marketing director. It was a change, but given my experience in luxury lease up it did make sense to go into the marketing arena. It’s a cool transition and a field that’s constantly evolving. It keeps you on your toes and everyday is different.” 

What is the biggest difference in your current work compared to previous positions? 

“I don’t get to work alongside the on-site team members as much. I really have to get creative and re-invent new ways to keep employees motivated and educated on trends within the digital world. I’ve been at the site level and completely understand how your day is structured. You have a list of to dos that you want to tackle and you’re constantly having to deal with residents and walk ins for which there’s no schedule. This makes it totally understandable that sometimes you’re not always focused on the marketing aspect. It's my job to fill this gap.”

What changes have you noticed in terms of digital marketing strategies? 

“Automation is coming fast and hard from different vendors. You have to really lean into experts to find out what the latest and greatest technologies are. It's important to constantly be networking and keeping a pulse on how technology is evolving and what your competitors are doing. You also have to know which digital marketing needs work best for each site and cater your approach based on circumstances. Sometimes you have a team of 4-6 on site members and sometimes you have a team of 1. This changes the marketing needs of each office. Naturally, offices with the least amount of people in the office is where my role is needed more.”

How do you think the future of marketing/leasing will change post pandemic? 

“From a seasonality standpoint we’ve always had the mindset that ‘leasing season starts in the summer’. With the pandemic, seasonality is changing. There is a 24/7 demand for information. Folks are working different hours and working from home. They are not as accustomed to walking in the door. You better have your virtual tours ready and you better have robust walkthroughs. This is what we use LeaseMagnets for. It helps with the introduction to our website and allows someone browsing apartments at 1 am to feel like they are actually walking in the door. It gives them an in person experience before they even pick up the phone.”

What is your biggest career success? 

“Never being the smartest person in the room. I always make sure I’m surrounded by smart team members here in the office. The majority of my colleagues have been here for 15-20 years and so I’m forever learning alongside them. They have been through everything, and if we come across something they haven't seen, like a pandemic, then we listen to each other and collaborate until we come up with an amazing solution. We know that if one of us doesn't have the answer, then your next door neighbor will. Another great success is that I have fun. You’re with the folks you work with more than you’re with some of your family members. It's important to be able to develop a healthy and fun culture. This has led to people I have worked with in the past feeling confident that I’ll always be there for them regardless of whether or not we still work together.”

Is there anyone who has had a monumental impact on your career?

“So many. In particular Mike Kempton, my direct supervisor and Vice President of Operations for McKinney, jumps to mind. He came into his current role from regional property manager and he took it head on. He is very open to fresh ideas and you will never hear him say ‘this is the way we do it’. Being agile and open to change in this way really helped us thrive in the pandemic. I’d also say Holly Jones and Valerie Fertitta who I worked alongside during my time at Greystar. Those two hunkered down, grit their teeth and went for it. It resulted in us being able to really see and help the company grow."

How have you incorporated LeaseMagnets into your marketing strategy? 

“We needed a further extension of our on site leasing office. We had minimal hours during the pandemic and folks weren't able to cover entire shifts. This left a need to produce those virtual walkthrough tours in a way that was unique and really captured our audience prior to making the phone ring. When we introduced the LeaseMagnets widget to our website we did see that within the first month there was an increase in lead generation and we were able to actually convert these leads. It also allowed us to show occupied space that we can't show in person. We found it very valuable and still do."

What is your favorite part of the industry? 

“Being able to help! I get to work with the fun parts of the industry doing things such as resident events and thinking about how to turn a negative into a positive. I get to approach the property managers and leasing team with fun goals and the ability to offer support. I'm their biggest cheerleader and I’m lucky to be in this space and niche of the real estate industry. I look forward to work and love my job everyday."

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200% more virtual tours.

125%  leads.

20%  higher lease

*pre-leasemagnets stats from real websites

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