Remember Your Keys: My Experience in the Real Estate World.

I’ve met so many great people and have been able to sharpen my skills when it comes to interpersonal communication, relationship management, and general sales experience.

My name is Nick Tuverson, I am a Senior Advertising Major with a concentration in Account Management planning on graduating in the Spring of 2022. My current internship is with Reinhold Residential, a multi-family purveyor of luxury apartments in Philadelphia, West Chester, and Pittsburgh, as a leasing, marketing and general corporate intern. My experience with Reinhold has evolved since I took the position in June. Initially, I was hired as a leasing intern working at The Packard Motor Car Building, The Metropolitan, and Trinity Row. However, that evolved into me handling their social media and assisting their corporate office in day-to-day activities. 

I have really enjoyed my experience working at Reinhold Residential. I’ve met so many great people and have been able to sharpen my skills when it comes to interpersonal communication, relationship management, and general sales experience. There were many positives for working at Reinhold. I was able to understand the backend of what is needed to operate in this industry. There is so much more than finding tenants to occupy a building. A lot of it has been managing relationships with current tenants to ensure their happiness while living with us. A decent portion of our business comes from tenants who already live with us, so maintaining a good relationship with them leads to less work on our end. Also, Reinhold is not the biggest company employee-wise, which from my observations seemed intentional. Everyone here has worked together for years, so everyone understands their role and the personalities at play. Coming in as an outsider, so to speak, was definitely an interesting switch in the sense that everyone was on top of what their responsibilities were. To me this was a positive because everyone I had the pleasure of working with had a fantastic grasp on what their job was. Another positive was that everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming from our doorman to other agents to our maintenance staff. I am going to miss chit chatting with our doorman Willy about everything from politics to basketball. The workplace environment made it much easier for me to be upbeat and in turn helped me show a welcoming and friendly face to our prospective residents. I also found it interesting how interconnected our company was with other property management companies. Weekly, we would receive reports from other competing properties detailing their specials offered, number of tours, and any deposits left by tenants. This information I helped collect directly affected how we would decide to price our units in comparison to others. It showed me the importance of marketing not only in our industry, but business as a whole. 

For leasing, I was trained by Cia Nelson. She is a Leasing Manager at Reinhold. During my first few days of training I was able to make a strong connection with Cia. She is such a sweet person and made training as painless as possible. She has been an amazing mentor for my professional life, but also in my personal life. She always said that her phone was open to me if I had any questions or just wanted to chat and catch up. To me this meant a lot. I am not one to ask for help often, but Cia and everyone else was so approachable and friendly that it got me out of my comfort zone to ask for help when I needed it. Cia instilled in me that life does not always go as planned. You can have everything in line, but something can come up and ruin those plans. She told me to try and live with no regrets, do something that truly makes you happy everyday, and to value experiences over anything. Her words of wisdom will stick with me the rest of my life.

Honestly, Reinhold was never on my radar for an internship. I initially applied for an internship at Results Repeat, an SEO/SEM company. I unfortunately did not receive that position, but made such an impact on my interviewer that they referred me to Ellen Thompson the CEO of Results Repeat. She had a connection with Jeff Reinhold, the owner of Reinhold Residential, and sent all of my information to him. I did not know much about Reinhold at the time, so coming into the internship my expectations were all over the place. After interviewing with Lynn Butts, our Marketing Coordinator, I got a better sense of what their internship position was all about. Initially I would be helping with leasing, since I was starting during the height of the rental season. Most of my day to day was processing leads, answering prospects questions, and assisting with tours of our properties. I thought this was a lot of fun. I love meeting new people and was a tour guide for my high school years ago, so I felt comfortable doing this. Much of my job was mainly being a friendly face/voice to all of our prospects and making them feel welcome and comfortable in our communities. While I enjoyed doing this, I wanted more marketing and corporate experience since that was the basis of my internship. I spoke with Lynn about this and she was very receptive to my wishes. We were able to work out a schedule where I would still be working in leasing, but also make sure I had ample time to work in a more corporate setting. My only regret is that I did not say something sooner. Working in the corporate office was definitely a change of pace. It was more clerical vs. sales and people focused, but helped me get a better grasp on how each department was a cog in the overall business. Much of my corporate work was verifying insurance policies with the various vendors we used for maintenance, construction, and other property related expenses. Additionally, I was doing some accounting work through the processing of invoices and making sure everything was paid in a timely manner. I worked directly with Barb on this, who was also a gem. Since I was not an accounting major and had minimal experience other than a freshman year intro to accounting class, Barb made sure everything made sense. If I ever had questions or concerns she was always a friendly face that would help me through whatever roadblock was in the way. 

In addition to this, I was also tasked with rebuilding their social media presence. In my initial analysis, their social media was lacking. Posts here and there, but nothing really uniform. I used knowledge and experience from a previous social media internship with Fan Controlled Football (FCF) and applied it to the real estate business. General strategies like creating a posting schedule, a spreadsheet to track traffic, and creating a social media plan for the future was completely up to me. Social media for real estate vs. social media for professional sports is a night and day difference. For FCF our posting schedule was rigorous, simply based on the fact that the league’s main communication channel was through social media. I would be on the clock 24/7, which was grueling, but it taught me a lot about social media management and communication with a larger audience. Whereas in the real estate world, social media is not as important with most people finding apartments online through Apartments.com and Zilllow.  Initially the lack of guidance for this project was weird, since it felt like they were handing me the keys to the castle to do my own thing. I wished there was more guidance with this, but being thrown into the fire helped me sharpen the skills I already had. Lynn was not very concerned about the amount of traffic, instead wanted to make sure prospects could find additional information about our properties on social media. I made sure to have multiple posts about each property, as well as designing a handout for our touring folders we gave to prospects. Mainly, the handout told prospects where to find us on social media. 

Reinhold Residential was not my first internship, but my first that counted as credit. If I could give advice to someone starting or looking for their first internship I would say this. First, It is a gruelling process. You will get discouraged when a potential employer does not return your email or call. It happened to me many times, but just remember that this is part of the process. Second, utilize your connections! Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professor or friend who has connections in the industry you want to work in. All of my jobs have come through connections. Don’t be afraid to use them! Third, you will not know everything right away. Entering a new position comes with some sort of training. Most of what my day to day was shown to me during training. You will have questions and don’t be afraid to ask them. It shows that you are interested and curious about your job. Did I know anything about real estate before working for a property management company? No! Do I know everything about real estate now? No, but that is ok. No one is expecting you to know everything. Show effort, interest, and a willingness to learn and try new things and everything will work itself out. Fourth, you might not love it. You can have every expectation going into an internship that it will be the best and you’ll learn a lot. While yes you will learn a lot, you may end up hating what you are doing and realizing you want to work somewhere else. That is ok! I learned that I do not want to do real estate from my internship, which I’m glad I learned now vs. a year or two into working. Your internship is about learning and experiencing something new. Find what you love to do and stick with it. No one has a gun to your head saying your first internship is what you’re going to do the rest of your life. Next, take everything a day at a time. You will be overwhelmed with all of the new information you will be learning. Slow down and take a deep breath once and awhile. Talk with your co-workers if you feel lost. They have a wealth of knowledge in their specific field and they can give you a perspective you may not have thought about before. Unless they are mean, they want to help you. Finally, have fun! While every job has its ups and downs, try and have fun with everything you do. Don’t take everything so seriously, unless you need to. Ultimately, have an open mind and try to learn as much as you can while also having a good time. 

Overall my time at Reinhold helped me improve on so many things both personally and professionally. It helped me so much with interpersonal communication. Learning different tactics to approach the art of communication from Cia was very influential. She taught me that asking questions and building rapport with people was the most important thing to selling. Which I kind of knew going in, but was reinforced when I actually put it in practice. Building a good first impression is as simple as asking a few questions and letting the conversation flow from there. I remember multiple instances where I would mention something  unrelated to my tours that would strengthen my relationship with a prospect through shared interests and experiences. I also gained a better understanding on how marketing is tied directly to the pricing of products. Getting first hand experience of collecting data and seeing it directly influence how we price and market our inventory was a very important part of the business. I’m glad I got to learn about it. I think it will help me a lot in the future! Another important thing I learned, which sounds silly, was communicating with people who are much older than myself. I was the youngest person at the company by a good twenty years, so most of the time I would be chit chatting with people who were at a very different place in life. It gave me a newfound respect for age and experience which I will hold onto in future jobs. 

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