North Upland Terrace | 2021 Elite 1% Property | Janeen Chavez

Community Director - Janeen Chavez

North Upland Terrace Apartments was recently listed as a J Turner 2021 Elite 1% Power Ranking property. Recipients make the list for achieving the best online reputation in the nation. Of 128,000 properties monitored, only 1,564 made the elite 1% distinction. Read below to hear from North Upland Terrace’s Community Director, Janeen Chavez, to learn more about the award, what her day-to-day looks like, and what makes the property so special.


Can you give some more background on the CEL awards?

Janeen: North Upland Terrace is 1 of Lewis’ smallest communities so part of making it successful is to make the effort to get to know all the residents. With it being a smaller community, you’re able to go door-to-door to pass out flyers, letters, gift bags, etc. We also put in the effort to attend every single in-person resident event and take the time to chat with everyone and ask them for their feedback. Don’t get me wrong though, just because it’s smaller does not guarantee the high capture rate we have here. It takes a lot of follow up, attention to detail, and consistency to gain their trust and earn a survey from them. If you can do that, they are happy to help you out as well and give you honest feedback on the survey.


What sets North Upland Terrace apart?

Janeen: The beauty of North Upland Terrace is being part of a small community where everyone knows each other. We have a lot of long-term residents who have lived here for 20+ years and say that they love knowing who all their neighbors are and meeting all the new managers who have come through here.
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What makes your team successful?

Janeen: Steven and I have been successful because we took the time to build the rapport and trust that are crucial to running this property because it is just you two there. I can’t do maintenance requests and Steven can’t run the office, but we help each other in any other way we can to get everything completed; so, creating an environment for teamwork is vital and that’s what we’ve done.

Any lessons in leadership that you’ve learned or would share with others growing their career?

Janeen: It is not a weakness to ask for help or to learn something new about your job. You can be a great leader and still ask for help – in fact, people may respect you more for it. But the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that being a leader does not require you to find the opportunities within your staff and attempt to improve them to mold them into your perfect employee. In fact, being a leader is recognizing their strengths and utilizing that strength to get better quality output from them – which in turn, creates a harmonious teamwork environment.

Any favorite resident experiences?

Janeen: One of my favorite resident experiences is when we created little gift bags and put CEL stickers on them and went door to door passing them out and talking with each resident and just getting that 1 on 1 face time with them. It was fun, we received great feedback, and our residents gained a new level of trust in us.

How has the pandemic changed things?

Janeen: Due to the pandemic, I don’t get any visitors and because we are always occupied, I don’t get any tours either, so it gets lonely. For a while there, I only knew my residents by name and unit number but didn’t know any of their faces because they didn’t come into the office and didn’t really hang out outside either.

What type of community have you fostered within the property?

Janeen: We’ve fostered a community of trust here at North Upland Terrace by listening to our residents’ concerns, making tangible efforts to improve the community, keeping the line of communication open, and unifying our goals. Our residents feel sheltered and safe because they know that whatever they bring to our attention will be handled immediately and with care.
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What do you do at Lewis and what does a typical day look like?

Janeen: I am a Community Director but at North Upland Terrace, I’m also the Business Manager, the Leasing Consultant, and the Community Administrator. A typical day for me starts with my CD/BM hat in the morning and then I switch to my LC hat by the afternoon. Every day looks a little different, there’s always new challenges here with just myself running the property, but that’s why it is so important to me to have a strong maintenance supervisor that can pull their weight and give me 1 less task to do. I learned from Brandon Smith that the best method for success here is to organize your day by your “hats” and complete tasks within the scope of that hat before moving onto the next. It has worked wonderfully for me!

What has your career path looked like?

Janeen: I started at Lewis as a Leasing Consultant in 2018 at the Evergreen Apartments. My success in leasing led me to be a Leasing Manager at Jamboree Apartments & Townhomes by January 2020. I grew so much from that position and Shawn Davis-Akins really took me under her wing and inspired me to pursue this next step as a Community Director, which began in April 2021. I plan on continuing my growth within the company and the big dream is to become a Director of Sales Management one day.


What drew you to working at Lewis?

Janeen: My older sister worked in the tax department and would tell me all the great things about Lewis while I was living at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana at the end of my husband’s military career, and we were planning to move back to California. She sent me a link for the LC position, and I remember filling it out in my living room which was packed with boxes at the time. I received a call from David Draper to set up a date for the interview and we scheduled it for the day after I would arrive in California. I received the job offer the same day and couldn’t believe I had a job within my first week of moving home and it’s been a dream ever since!