Common’s tech-enabled approach to property operations and management, from marketing to maintenance requests to renewals, allows us to lease up buildings quickly and create a more positive experience for our residents. Despite our unique operations strategy, Common is bolstered by institutional knowledge of and expertise in the real estate industry, with decades of experience across our in-house teams.
Calynne Oyolokor is Common’s Senior Director of Property Management. We caught up with Calynne to learn more about her experience, what she brings to Common, and how she manages her high-performing team.
Can you tell us more about your experience before you came to Common? How would you describe your current role and responsibilities and how they have evolved since joining Common?
Prior to Common, I had exposure to many different sectors of residential multifamily, from student housing, affordable, value add, tax credit, condo/coop, and REITs, in both asset management and property management. Most recently, I worked at FirstService Residential and was the General Manager for the New York by Gehry Building.
In my current role at Common, I manage the portfolio management, property services, home opening, and implementation teams. The role has evolved significantly because of our fast growth – and we were able to build out and scale our portfolio management team, which combines the best of the asset management and portfolio management industry.
What excites you about Common’s approach to property management and operations?
It’s exciting to see how our tech-focused and centralized approach to property management truly benefits our partners and renters, from reducing the amount of people we need at any given building to be able to provide our members with dedicated support throughout the day. It’s also been inspiring to see our teams’ agility in the face of rapid growth.
What are you most looking forward to about the next quarter at Common? The next year?
Growth! There’s a lot of growth within both coliving and with conventional and affordable units. With growth comes challenges, but I am super excited to tackle them!
Describe some of the challenges you faced in your previous position. How does Common address those challenges?
In my previous roles I was often bored and tasked with responsibilities that didn’t challenge me cognitively or professionally. Being at Common has kept me on my toes: no day is like the other and I enjoy the fast paced environment and culture.
How does technology play a role in the day to day of portfolio management at Common? Are there areas where Common stands apart from your previous experience?
Common stands out for our ability to utilize technology to boost our marketing and leasing platforms. Our centralized processes also allow onsite staff to focus on leasing units, instead of also signing leases and vetting applications.
What have you been able to bring from your past roles and experiences as you build out the portfolio management team here at Common?
I’ve been able to bring both my knowledge of multi-family residential property and asset management, along with innovative ideas on how we can mesh our tech forward platform with old school traditional real estate processes.
What is your vision for the future of portfolio management at Common? Industry-wide?
Portfolio management is still a relatively new role at Common — when I joined, the role didn’t exist and now we have an entire team dedicated to ensuring our partners’ success. As the team grows, I’m excited to see how we’ll continue evolving to accommodate our partners during a time of such explosive growth for Common.
What do you look for when hiring on your team?
When hiring a portfolio manager I tend to look for someone who has experience with the various areas of property management: leasing, property management, asset management, etc. Portfolio Managers are the primary point of contact for clients and often will assist in pitches so it is important they communicate effectively, work well under pressure, and can adapt to change and fast paced environments.
What’s your favorite part about the work day? The most challenging part?
My favorite part of the day is working with my team, especially when working through difficult situations and challenges. The most challenging part would be ensuring I can provide adequate support to my team while still completing my other responsibilities. Portfolio managers wear a lot of hats at Common — they’re our first point of contact for clients, they’re responsible for building-level reporting, revenue tracking, and keeping the team updated on what’s happening at the building and the needs of the partner.