SoCal Power Women: Greystar’s Kesha Fisher On Keeping Up With The Ever-Evolving Multifamily Market
This limited series profiles SoCal Power Women who have helped shape cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles in Southern California. These women will be honored at Bisnow's SoCal Power Women event Dec. 14.
About 20 years ago, Kesha Fisher was looking for a less monotonous career than her current job as an accountant. A friend suggested she try working as a leasing consultant for multifamily, which Fisher quickly took a liking to, as “you never have the same thing every day."
She's been working in multifamily ever since.
In her current role as senior director of real estate operations at Greystar, Fisher oversees all Greystar-owned new developments in Southern California.
“Our industry consistently changes and I'm a change advocate,” Fisher said. “I'm all about doing things better, more efficiently.”
The coronavirus pandemic forced change onto multifamily operators, some of which will be here to stay, Fisher said. One example she gave: self-guided tours.
“I remember being a leasing agent back in the day. You'll either have people who are talkative on both floors, or you'll have people that won't say a word,” Fisher said. Allowing for both options — people who want to be shown around and those who prefer to go it alone — is a way to meet the needs of more prospective tenants, she said.
Fisher also expects the future of the office and work-from-home trends to have impacts on multifamily as well, as far as it affects the amenities that tenants will want and expect from a building.
Business centers of old are out, but what replaces them is still evolving. New flexible work amenities at apartment buildings are expected to have better internet and more targeted features like rooms equipped to support Zoom meetings, Fisher said.
“It’s not just connecting your laptop to WiFi,” Fisher said. “It’s having those options for people to do it all.”
Expectations for multifamily complexes are definitely higher, though that’s a shift that predates the pandemic, she said.
“I had a conversation the other day and we were like, ‘Remember when people just wanted washers and dryers and that was all that was important in the apartment?’” Fisher said. Now, tenants care about how fast the WiFi is, what pet amenities are available, and other things that might previously have seemed like bonuses or luxuries.
These amenities can get expensive, and not all of the costs can be passed on to tenants, Fisher said. A number of these innovative perks are now just a cost of doing business.
“There are so many things that residents are now accustomed to, and there's so much competition in regards to new developments,” Fisher said. “You have to ensure that you're staying ahead of the curve.”