Boss Talks

Episode 15 with Amber Smalls

Recorded on:
September 28, 2022

Hey, Boss! Meet Amber Smalls, Regional Manager in Student Housing at Redstone Residential in Atlanta, Georgia. Start listening to learn how you can enter the student housing industry (even if you don’t have multifamily industry experience), how to mentor like a Boss, and Amber’s personal recipe for success.

*The views and opinions expressed on Boss Talks are those of the host and their guest(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Community Boss.
  • 01:06 - Meet Amber Smalls, Regional Manager at Redstone Residential Student Housing
  • 04:56 - Comparing and contrasting student housing with multifamily housing
  • 06:10 - Scaling from a Leasing Agent to a property management partnership
  • 07:34 - Joining support groups, prioritizing PTO, and training your replacement
  • 12:58 - Lessons for success
  • 14:46 - The career-changing impact of mentors
  • 23:07 - Final 3 questions: building community, cooking dinner, and favorite coffee

Amber’s season in the spotlight began in college when she interned as a journalist at a local CBS station in Mississippi. After graduation, she accepted a full-time position at the same station. “I did it and I loved it, but I made beans.” But once her job description included “motherhood,” the minimal pay and lengthy hours reduced her job satisfaction.

That’s when Amber made the switch to the multifamily industry—specifically as a student housing leasing agent. “I loved the fast paces. Every day wasn't the same.” She leases all year with student housing (unlike round-the-clock multifamily leasing), and even enjoys the prep work for Turn.

Her willingness to take on new challenges and move throughout the student housing industry has launched Amber into her current partnership as Regional Manager with Residential Student Housing. Why does she call it a partnership? “You work for them. They work for you. It works for everybody. They really respect and understand that outside of property management, I have a life, I have a family. And they're very cognizant and supportive of that.”

In this Boss Talks episode, Amber shares her personal recipe for success. Here’s a snippet of that achievement deliciousness:

  • Learn when to say no. “Saying no to a task, a job, or an initiative doesn't mean that you can't be available for the next thing.” By establishing healthy boundaries with her job in student housing and acknowledging the harmony of work-life priorities, Amber has actually catapulted her growth!
  • Hit refresh. Before making a career shift or change in workload, consider: “What are my parameters? What are my non-negotiables? Does it fit my ideals? Do their ideals fit mine?”
  • Be a resource. Acknowledge when your team members need your expertise, experience, or example in order to complete their tasks well. “That’s my job is to help you excel. Because then we all win, right?”
  • Support your team. Sometimes you don't need to ask if someone needs help—just do it. When Amber’s plate was piled with work and urgent matters popped up, her co-worker helped finish small tasks without asking. “He would jump in without my asking and take care of it for me. And I feel like if I didn't have him…I would quit.”
  • Train your replacement. “Don't think of training your replacement as literally the person who takes your job away. They're the person to take your place so that you can continue to grow.”

Thank you, Amber, for being a Boss in the student housing industry! If you want to jump out of your comfort zone and be a Boss Talks guest, reach out to us at Watch live every Wednesday at noon PST on the Community Boss LinkedIn or Facebook pages, or follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Until next time, Manage Like A Boss.