Redefining the Rules
The journey of Melissa Meyer from California to managing properties across the United States testifies to her adaptability, depth of expertise, and pure dedication. Running the gamut from multifamily to single-family and from affordable housing to market-rate assets, Ms. Meyer has a rich tapestry of experience that uniquely positions her in the industry. She shares, "I have run properties across the US, and I continue to engage actively in the business through various capacities, including at an executive level."
Picture a young professional stepping out of the world of five-diamond luxury hotels and diving headfirst into the multifamily sector. That audacious step was the first of many Ms. Meyer took, leading her to become a preeminent thought leader in an industry often resistant to change. "My focus has been to have diverse industry expertise that sets me apart," she candidly reveals.
My focus has been to have diverse industry expertise that sets me apart.
Not every leader can transition smoothly from Hawaii's Affordable and Senior Housing units to navigating crime-challenged properties in Texas while managing a portfolio of over 4,000 units. It is more than business acumen. Her unique mastery over human and material aspects of property management set Ms. Meyer apart. Based on years of experience, she declares, "To me, it is all about knowing your product and who you serve. If you get that right, you will operate your building effectively and profitably."
Finding a Need and Filling It
What happens when a leader like this starts getting unsolicited calls from industry colleagues (and even strangers), all eager for her wisdom? Seeing the necessity, Ms. Meyer responded by building a new company: Bloom. She explains, "Since 2017, people have requested my help as a consultant. These requests increased over time until it made the most sense to help others also 'Bloom' in the industry." She built a unique and enterprising consulting outfit by inputting her years of experience into actionable strategies for growing companies.
Ms. Meyer offers the multifamily industry the opportunity to tap into her philosophy on staffing: hiring is the first of many steps in a lifelong relationship with an employee. For Ms. Meyer, it's about more than recruiting. She wants to find the perfect alignment of exceptional talent with the right project to produce both employee and business success. "This synergy," as she aptly puts it, "Is where the magic happens." It's about fostering relationships that go beyond the hiring phase. She cautions, "This industry makes a mistake when they hire and then forget employees." Through Bloom, she offers a comprehensive roadmap for employee engagement. She states, "Measure success by the number of people who have grown and even surpassed you under your leadership."
This industry makes a mistake when they hire and then forget employees.
Adopting New Technology
In an industry often resistant to change, Ms. Meyer has always been on the cutting edge, advocating for what many considered unnecessary or luxurious. "From an operational perspective, technology has been embraced only over the last four years," she admits. At Bloom, Ms. Meyer converts skeptics into believers by demonstrating how adopting strategic tech is an investment rather than a cost. She proves these investments can significantly improve Net Operating Income (NOI).
Moment of Reckoning
Ms. Meyer had her moment of reckoning when encountering a military housing community battling severe mold issues. She wanted to do more than address the problem; she wanted to transform it into a catalyst for growth. Ms. Meyer drafted new policies, trained her team, and set a new standard in property management. "As a leader, I must know what is affecting people and products to make those changes," she reflects. This episode is a miniature case study of Bloom's goals—turning challenges into stepping stones for revolutionary changes.
Ms. Meyer has straightforward advice for aspiring trailblazers: "We are practicing in this industry. We do not know everything, regardless of experience." Her sense of humility, coupled with a relentless drive for innovation, encapsulates the Bloom ethos.
Ms. Meyer recommends books like "The Nordstrom Way" and "Un-Reasonable Hospitality" for insights into the nuances of customer satisfaction and team management. These concepts form the backbone of Bloom's operational strategy.
Do what is right, not what is easy.
The Bloom Launchpad
Looking ahead, Ms. Meyer envisions Bloom as the launchpad for the next generation of multifamily property magnates. Her mantra is, "Do what is right, not what is easy." Ms. Meyer offers her clients the chance to write their own success stories. She wants to help the entire multifamily industry "bloom."