Originally Posted on Real Estate Agent Magazine, by Susan Cushing November 13th, 2019
The Princess of Property Management
After years of humbly side-stepping the limelight, all while committed to being the greatest example of the way property management should be, Jessica Stinnette is the future of the property management kingdom!
While attending George Mason University, as a marketing major, Stinnette had her first job interview as an intern for Tommy Chambers at McGrath Real Estate. Falling in love with the culture of that company, she declined an opportunity to work with a leading U.S. management and IT consulting firm, and instead accepted her offer of a full-time position with McGrath Real Estate Services and later became a licensed real estate agent in Virginia.
Stinnette said, her decision to follow Tommy Chambers and the McGrath/Chambers Theory path was one of the best decisions she’s made in her life, and not only has never looked back, but now leads the way forward with proactive property management and industry best practices.
Stinnette has extensive experience in the varying dynamics and complexities of property management with an unwavering dedication to improve each clients’ experience, and is soon to be named Vice President of Chambers Theory in 2020.
We also want to congratulate Stinnette on a significant milestone and rare achievement. Mid-way through 2019, Stinnette made it in the Top 1% of leasing agents worldwide as she crossed the threshold of more than 1,000 individual rental transactions, attributed solely to her name. What makes her accomplishment truly special is not the volume of transactions, but that no other real estate agent in the history of MLS records in the DC metropolitan region has had a better DOM (Days on Market) average when considering 1000 rental transactions or more! Not only that, her rental listings rented more than 15% faster than the next best (handing second place to none other than Tommy Chambers for DOM with over 1000 rental transactions). Better yet, Stinnette and Chambers did each transaction with care and class – now that’s a dynamic duo to have on your side!
Stinnette’s efficiency hinges on her “zero email inbox policy,” in which she likes to be sure that no correspondences slip through the cracks, responding to emails as quickly and effectively as possible, trying to leave no email unanswered in any one given day. She makes sure that her clients know to reach out to her with comfort they are being heard, and she is there to ensure they’re being helped.
“Even if I don’t have the answer they need at that time, I will at least let them know that I’ve received their message,” Stinnette says. “And, that I will help make sure they are taken care of – I am always only a phone call or email away.”
I try to put myself in the shoes of the client, provide guidance to them how I’d like to be supported if I were them.
A mother of three kids under the age of 13, the tapestry of her work/life balance is key. One thing Stinnette believes firmly in, is the power of a work-life balance.
“I’ve been telecommuting in some form or fashion for over 10 years now and through that avenue it has allowed me to be more productive in all areas of my career.” By being able to work remotely, Stinnette says she is just as available, if not more so to her clients, “spending less time commuting in Northern Virginia, I am able to more efficiently offer myself immediately to clients with everything I need at my fingertips when they need me, rather than when I’m ‘in the office’.”
For those who want to be successful in property management, Stinnette points out that care and empathy for people is the golden ticket. “I try to put myself in the shoes of the client, provide guidance to them how I’d like to be supported if I were them,” she adds.
“At the end of the day, these are people, not just property addresses or numbers,” she says. “While other property management firms might promise this type of care – Chambers Theory actually practices it.”
Military spouse, Mother of four
… or one of the leading Embassy Leasing agents in the world? Jen Ferris is all of these and more!
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Jennifer Ferris came to the United States in 2016 when her husband, a member of the Canadian military, was posted at the Pentagon. Looking to lease a home in the area, the Ferris family serendipitously found a real estate agent – Tommy Chambers. The couple felt an instant connection with Chambers. Through the home shopping experience, Chambers recognized a great deal of talent and promise in Jennifer and invited her to work as the first new hire for Chambers Theory.
Ferris, a dedicated mother of four, was not anticipating working, but with experience in property ownership and rental management for a few properties that she and her husband have in Canada, real estate was already an interest and a successful pattern of business for her. After obtaining her Virginia real estate license, she naturally gravitated toward work in embassy leasing services, focusing mainly on her contacts in the Canadian and Australian embassies. Having moved to the United States, and gone through that process herself, Ferris knows best how to navigate the nuances unique to the different embassy programs.
“I know what their restrictions are, I know what their timelines are, I understand the vernacular and acronyms that they’re dealing with,” Ferris says.
Often, she finds herself knowing more about the transfer and posting process than her clients do, because they may not have had as many postings in the Canadian Forces as Ferris had over her husband’s military career. This skill set and familiar knowledge makes her a valuable housing liaison for her clients. She can help her embassy and military clientele take advantage of the resources available to them and help them negotiate the best lease term for their tour in the United States.
I know what their restrictions are, I know what their timelines are, I understand the vernacular and acronyms that they’re dealing with.
The Chambers Theory Leasing Team has experience working with more than 70 different embassy personnel and foreign military officers through more than a dozen different embassies over the last 15 years – and Ferris is on the forefront of the embassy leasing program.
Ferris believes that communication is the number one element for successful property management. “With communication you can convey care, and you can help problem solve.” Empathy too, Ferris points out, is another very important trait to have in order to be successful in this industry. She advises that “you need to be able to pivot between the needs of the landlord and the needs of the tenant, which can be very different.”
Her approach within the ecosystem of empathy in Chambers Theory continues to prove that they are focused on authentic care for their clients, colleagues and the tenant’s living experience too.
From Intern to Principal Broker
The successful rise of Lindsay Curtis to the top level of accountability and sales team cultivation at Chambers Theory and the arrival of a future real estate mogul!
Another inspiring journey of a promising young intern to one of the most prominent roles at one of the most innovative real estate firms in the region is that of Lindsay Curtis. The newly recognized Principal Broker of Chambers Theory got her start when she was just a freshman in college at Virginia Tech University. Majoring in fashion marketing, she was dreaming of a glamorous, New York City life of fashion, a la Devil Wears Prada. However, her plans all shifted when she was offered a summer internship at McGrath Real Estate Services, the family business preceding Chambers Theory.
Curtis’ initial role was processing applications, and her opinion that this was simply going to be “a job,” a necessary evil and rite of passage into adulthood, was quickly altered.
“I just fell in love with the industry, I fell in love with the people there,” she says.
There was something about the energy itself Curtis recalls, “It completely changed the trajectory of my life.” Curtis went on to change her major to marketing with a new focus on real estate and acquired her real estate license. Curtis was offered a full-time position and transitioned into sales, continuing leasing, as well as marketing projects to include website development.
She never lost sight that it is a personal and impactful business: “You’re dealing with one of the most important aspects of someone’s life. If you are the tenant or renter, this is the roof over your head. If you are the landlord or owner, this is probably the biggest investment that you’ve made, and its often your home too. So being able to assist people and guide this experience on both sides … it makes you feel good about what you’re doing.”
In October 2019 the world welcomed a future real estate baroness when Curtis delivered her daughter, Waverly. While it is certain Waverly will grow up in a loving home, time will tell if Waverly follows her mother’s footsteps in helping others find and secure loving homes of their own.
And guidance is what our job is really supposed to be. Provide guidance by answering the question before they ask it.
Curtis claims that the No. 1 thing you can do to be successful in this industry is being able to answer someone’s question before they’ve asked it. When you start to recognize repeat conversations and you already know where one might be going, instead of dragging it on with back and forth emails containing short answers with the homeowner, and to avoid having the client feel like they have to drag information out, offer that client a full, complete answer and your recommendations of what to do. No one should feel like they’re pulling teeth just to get guidance and customer service.
“And guidance,” Curtis adds, “is what our job is really supposed to be. Provide guidance by answering the question before they ask it.”
ABOUT CHAMBERS THEORY
Chambers Theory is an innovative residential property management business that is the vision and intertwined destiny of Tommy Chambers. After enjoying over 15 years in the Washington DC region real estate and property management markets, Chambers knew he had a winning concept for a residential property management firm, and he knew that he would need the right team to fulfill the vision to truly set a new gold standard in the industry.
“I couldn’t afford not to hire the right people,” said Chambers, and he followed through on his intent – hiring the most effective, and most caring team in the region. In addition to the genuine interest that Chambers Theory employees hold for its homeowners, tenants, and real estate agents alike – the thing that makes this company unique is its small team approach. Functioning in micro-departments, such as Leasing, Repairs, Inspections, and Accounting, each team member is able to focus on ensuring that their specific responsibilities are performed consistently and efficiently.
This exceptional, avant-garde approach would not be possible without Chambers Theory’s gifted, progressive, and hard-working team members. Jennifer Ferris, Lindsay Curtis and Jessica Stinnette are three exceptional examples of the specialized and dynamic skill sets and fine-tuned processes that allow Chambers Theory to deliver personalization of service and great value to its clients. These superstar businesswomen, through their individual contributions, leadership, and humble client service, boost the Chambers Theory team claim that out of 16,000+ residential property management firms in the United States – if there is one that can back its claim as the best, it can only be Chambers Theory.