FOLLOWING IS AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT WILDER, CPM,
EXECUTIVE CPM OF THE RESIDENTIAL DIVISION OF LINCOLN PROPERTY COMPANY,
* How did you get started in the property management business?
Everybody's story about where they started their career in
property management is different and unique. Basically, I stumbled into
it: I happened to move to a Lincoln property site in 1984 and I was
impressed with the professionalism and the overall quality of the asset
and, in particular, with the business manager at the site. After hearing
about a job opening I went for it that's how I started.
The ways in which technology has changed this business are
unfathomable; there are tools that help us more efficiently manage the
asset as it relates to maintenance procurement, pricing units with
revenue management systems and tracking advertising.
At the end of the day, however, the one thing that hasn't
changed is that property management is a people business. You still have
people on site. The human, face-to-face interaction is one thing that
has not changed since 1984.
* Lincoln Property Company has been in business for more than 35
years. What's the secret to your success?
I think the core of our success is that we realize our residents
are the most important asset. So much so, that we've recently
re-launched the "we care" campaign for our internal
associates, reminding them that they come first. Our focus is truly on
the experience of our residents.
We have the same internal philosophy; we are diligent about
recognizing our employees for a job well done. Started 40 years ago,
Lincoln's Gold Medallion Awards, which are presented in each
property, are like the Oscars for Lincoln associates. In Dallas alone,
we can have as many as 900 people at the awards ceremony. Part of the
reason we have such a strong sense of community is that we honor all
previous winners as well as new winners. Believe it or not, my 27-year
tenure is not that unusual. At the Gold Medallion Awards, we give away
20-, 30-and 40-year awards, which is unheard of these days. It boils
down to our tenure--people have been around.
* How do you ensure that your team consistently and ethically
delivers results to your various locations?
As the fourth-largest apartment manager in the U.S., our success
depends upon centralized policy, procedures and training material. We
have an internal audit group of six people who travel to our properties
every weekend to ensure that training is implemented properly. While
training is centralized, operationally we espouse a decentralized,
entrepreneurial spirit. It's a win-win balance, allowing regions to
follow policy, procedure and training, but giving the right amount of
independence to adjust to region-specific dynamics.
Our goal is to have a resident who visits a Lincoln property in
Boston come to Dallas and have the same experience--with room for local
flavor--without any major deviations.
* What is your leadership philosophy? What is the most important
quality Lincoln Property Company values in employees?
We've been successful because we work as a team. It's not
clich--it's true. We work together toward common goals. We lead by
example. Those of us who are in senior leadership positions started from
the floor. We've been there. Since we've been there, we strive
to support all employees onsite.
CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS Dallas
EXECUTIVE CPM Scott Wilder, CPM
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 5,000
COMPANY WEBSITE http://lincolnapts.com