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A.M.P. Interview

Published: Tuesday August 4, 2020

I was featured in an interview on the AMP Network blog AMPressions as someone who has “tremendous impact in the multifamily industry or within the community and are willing to help others succeed” I’m honored to be part of such a positive movement and wanted to share! Check out the interview below!

By: Tara Samuels

Alycia and I have never met but after reading the answers to her interview, I believe we are soul sisters!  Alycia is definitely someone making headlines in the multifamily industry and as a motivational speaker.  Whenever I see the words: Inclusion Superwoman, I will always picture her.  She is a pillar of strength and someone I can’t wait to meet in person one day.  If you haven’t seen her website, check it out here:

I love dissecting words and looking for greater meaning like the word Apartment.  What sets you “Apart” and why are you “Meant” for the multifamily industry?

I don’t run into many people that look like me in the industry, wheelchair-bound since birth. Don’t get me wrong, I do 100% recognize we all have our uniqueness which is what makes this world go around.
My uniqueness is just very visible and is what sets me “Apart.” Diversities are what make us memorable and from a business standpoint that alone can be super valuable. I’m “Meant” to lead by example in a professional environment.
Adaptability is at the core of this — it opens up professional environments for everyone. Being open to having a discussion around the obstacles and challenges we face is where it all starts. I hope that through my work, I can be a shining light of what is possible and inspire further opportunities professionally for those that follow me.

How and when did you get your start in the industry?

I started my career in software sales following my identical twin sister’s footsteps who worked in sales for multifamily. I saw her career was flourishing, exciting, and fun — I was inspired, and I wanted in. The opportunities of career advancement seemed endless and on top of that my love for technology and the potential for it to empower all of our lives was something I have to be a part of. Leveraging software technology to solve real problems in the industry is where I found my perfect fit. Now, 10 years later, I’m still in the industry, and now I get to work in the multifamily industry too! I am a VP of Sales at Knock, a multifamily tech platform that helps leasing agents connect with renters and property managers understand how their business is performing. I am proud to be a part of an incredible team of innovators and go-getters in an industry that celebrates diversity.

What is one song that always puts you in a good mood?

“Roar”: by Katy Perry. The lyrics…”I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, Dancing through the fire, ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.” Tigers are a symbol of bravery, strength, courage, and resilience.
All aspects of life I have had to face head-on, my entire life! Living with this beautiful disability has forced me to bravely navigate environments that oftentimes have not been ready for me. In a world of limited role models or people “who look like me,” I’ve also had to overcome my own self-doubt or doubt that may stem from others. 
I’ve had to find my voice and use my voice to ‘roar’ to demonstrate to all of us true possibility. So I blast this song loudly when I’m feeling that self-doubt and “dance through the fire” because I know that I am a champion.

What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily?

Look for areas where there is opportunity and growth! Like I found my home at Knock, I encourage others to seek out opportunities where you can be a part of forward-thinking companies that are impacting the way multifamily operates every day.
Be a part of a team that believes deeply in the same vision and end goals, but also values individual uniqueness and expertise you bring to the group. This is how magic is created.
Go for it. Working in multifamily is empowering, rewarding and fun! There are so many different facets to the industry and so much possibility!

What is your proudest moment in multifamily?

It’s hard to pinpoint one specific moment, and landing my dream job at Knock is certainly one of them. But what makes this moment stand out is the fear and anxiety — a feeling not uncommon to many — I overcame during my first interview with our co-founder.
 Having the right experience, mindset, and tenacity for the role never made me question my talent or fit for a position. The obstacle has been overcoming bias whether unconscious or not — literally, a physical wheelchair — I’ve faced with many interviewers. Instead, my uniqueness was fully embraced and seen as a value and attribution to my hard work and added energy in time and planning every day of my life. I felt valued, motivated, and inspired like never before, and it’s something that I will never forget.
 These types of moments, where inclusion and diversity lend itself to valuable unique attributes as a person and a professional, have opened up opportunities for me to inspire others, which perhaps are my proudest moments in the industry. I’ve had the privilege and honor to blend my personal and professional experiences to join others in SaaS, multifamily, and business to speak about inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Who is your mentor and why?

My Dad. He pushed me from the day I was born to be nimble, to adapt to my environment and to go for it in life. My motto he taught me… “Do the best you can, with what you have been given and go for it with a smile”

What book has left the biggest impression on your life?

Most recently, “Year of YES” by Shonda Rhimes inspired me to say yes to more things ironically something I have had to do my whole life to fit in, but I gathered more steam in my engine to say “yes” to some of my bigger dreams and to challenge me to shed my reluctances to share more boldly what I have to offer this world.
 Reading this book inspired me to run for Ms. Wheelchair California and also speak at many engagements and begin to share my message on inclusion, such as at Arizona State University and the Product Marketing Summit World Series.

If you ever owned an apartment community, where would it be and what would you name it?

It would be the oceanfront in the tropics, and I would name it “Staycation.”

What is your most memorable vacation?

My husband and I flew to Ireland and road-tripped across the entire island. It is an amazing romantic date country to get lost in the adventure, rolling along by castles, friendly people, and music!

If our country went to 4-day work weeks, how would you spend your 5th day?

I would use the extra time to write more, speak more, and share my story more. I feel a calling to be a role model in inclusion, diversity, and belonging. This is my side hustle! Finding places to share my message and fine-tuning it to be impactful and poignant is something I feel could cause a lot of good.

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