“When you’ve had to start over from scratch – more than once – you’re not afraid to take risks and help others.”
Autumn Leigh is a professional in the multi-family housing industry. She has managed over 6,800 units in her 19 years’ experience. What’s amazing about Autumn is that she began from the bottom, making close to minimum wage, and then lightning struck – literally. “When I was 19, I woke up one day, deciding that I want to show people their new apartment homes! I was in college full-time, but also wanted a full-time job to save money. I laugh because my resume contained my cheerleading experience and that is why they hired me! I had never even lived in an apartment… until one May morning, my family home was struck by lightning and burned beyond habitability. I was on my own from that moment on. A year later, I found myself in San Antonio, further establishing myself in a job that quickly became a career.
I climbed the ladder at a rapid pace, managing my own property at the age of 24. I think property manager’s fail to see that they are the CEO’s of multimillion-dollar assets. Managing a community is an enormous responsibility – and an honor. This career sustained me through a tumultuous divorce, in which I walked away with nothing. Sometimes you have to cut your losses in order to gain peace of mind and personal freedom. “Rebuilding from scratch is much easier when you’re 19 with no kids. Starting over with three hungry mouths to feed and bodies to clothe with no family in town is no easy feat.
In 2015, I found myself with a decent tax return I decided would be a down-payment for a home. With the wisdom I gained from managing apartment communities, I purchased a fixer-upper and completed much of the improvements on my own. It was empowering! And I loved that I could incorporate my children into making something beautiful with hard work. At the end of 2015 – I had gained another child – a homeless teenager - in my kid’s school district. Not only was I trying to build my own peaceful safe haven, I was creating this space for a precious soul who had endured severe abuse and personal trauma. We conquered mountains together, and with true grit and determination, she received a full scholarship to Saint Mary’s University!
“I began working for Greystar Real Estate in the winter of 2016. Working for Greystar is a dream come true for Multifamily Industry professionals. New Year’s of 2017, I told my team that I wanted to win Property of the Year for the San Antonio Apartment Association. Every day was about setting and achieving goals. I was also recognizing strengths in my team members and quickly promoting them to the positions they deserved. Winter of 2017, we achieved what we set out to accomplish. Dalian Monterrey Village was awarded SAAA Property of the Year! “I am now managing the brand-new sister property to Dalian Monterrey Village – Dalian 151. We are already setting records and filling this community with the full intention of winning another Property of the Year award for 2018. “And in the corner of my office – is a megaphone and pompoms. A true cheerleader never stops cheering. Never stops encouraging. We are in this together, no matter what the challenge!”