SoCal Power Women: 5 Questions With Alliance Residential Co.'s Sarah Dumas
This limited series profiles SoCal Power Women who have helped shape cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles in Los Angeles and Orange counties. These women will be honored at Bisnow's SoCal Power Women event Dec. 13.
Sarah Dumas serves as Alliance Residential's regional vice president. With nearly two decades of experience, nine of those with Alliance, Dumas is known as an effective motivator for her team, achieves her company's leasing goals and implements out-of-the-box strategies. She has received several awards for her work, including 2016 CAA Regional Supervisor of the Year for the Los Angeles chapter.
How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Dumas: I am blessed to have a career that isn’t a one-stop shop. I can be an interior designer one day, an architect the next, or a landscaper, marketing consultant, HR expert, accountant, motivational speaker, while others I am a customer service representative. A “Jill-of-all-trades”!
What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Dumas: One of the problems I have been faced with is recruiting strong talent. I work on lease-ups specifically. Finding associates that are dreamers, doers, have a strong work ethic and a can-do positive attitude has proven to be difficult of late. There was a time where experience was a must but I have had to adjust that mindset and grow with the times. Searching for associates that have the above qualities outside of our industry has proven to be successful if you are willing to invest your time into their development. I believe this to be true in just about everything we do, being willing to adapt and develop based upon knowledge and experience.
What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Dumas: Start with being transparent and having awareness that wage and gender inequality exists and evaluating where you are at as an organization. I think that by taking that mindset and doing a gut check on an annual basis would be a step in the right direction. Taking the time to review the data opens the topic up for discussion. It removes the fear and normalizes the conversation. This is not to say that there are not reasons for differentials in salaries but understanding that the goal is simply gender and wage equality based upon job requirements and experience.
What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Dumas: Face each day with a positive, can-do attitude. I will never be able to say, “I have seen it all.” The reality is that our industry is one that faces change and adversity daily. Being flexible and addressing each challenge with an open mind, and with a smile, will allow for the experience to become a growth and learning experience vs. a simple task. That is the sweet spot, when you learn the difference between the two options.
What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Dumas: I am obsessed with bootcamp! I attend a facility called Wellbee every morning. There are obvious benefits to this, but my enjoyment comes from waking up before my email does, sweating out anything that remains built up inside of me and starting off my day already kicking ass. I also enjoy watching football and planning parties!
Meet Alliance Residential Regional Vice President Sarah Dumas at Bisnow's SoCal Power Women event Dec. 13 at the LA Grand Hotel Downtown.