We here at Mac Properties are excited to introduce some of our amazing staff members who serve our residents daily. First up on the blog is current Leasing Manager, Jenny Eaton. Interviewed recently by our Marketing Intern, Theo Daniels; Jenny shares her story as well as gives tips on finding a great apartment.
Q: Tell me about yourself.
JE: Well my name is Jenny Eaton. I’ve been with Mac now for a little over seven years. I actually started out as an intern; it was the summer of 2008. And I was going to Ball State [University] at the time in Muncie, Indiana, studying property management and [I] had to do an internship for the summer, and Mac was actually at our career fair.
So, I moved to Chicago for the summer, I’m from Indianapolis, and loved it. I worked in everywhere from the maintenance department to the customer service department, which at the time was on 55th Street. I really found my niche leasing apartments. So at the end of the summer I asked (maybe even begged) for a full-time job in leasing. I was a leasing consultant for six years and became Team Lead last summer. I was promoted to Leasing Manager in October.
Q: What do you love about your position?
JE: I love leasing homes, I love helping people and I love the office environment. I’m very much a people person and leasing is about working with people. I just love the hustle and bustle of a sales office, every day is really different. Being a Leasing Manager means less time with our customers; but, I still enjoy training that my team to help customers find good homes. It’s really fulfilling.
Q: Can you talk about a memorable moment during the leasing process?
JE: Personally, I like finding homes for people. And I just like making them feel good and making them feel like they’ve really found a great home and providing the best customer service that I can. So, I would say my most memorable moments have been when I received a thank you letter or, you know, a small gift or something from a client just expressing their gratitude to me in finding their new home.
Q: If I was looking for an apartment, what tips can you give me?
JE: First and foremost, don’t go to the third party websites. That is hard because you google “renting apartments” and of course Zillow and Trulia come up. But, our apartments rent so fast that pricing and availability data on these third party sites is usually stale. If you’re renting an apartment, look at least 30 to 60 days in advance, if not sooner depending on the time frame you’re moving. I would also suggest that you identify wants and needs because it’s likely there will be tough decisions and you will have to forego something. So, just be ready for that, and decide what’s your number one need or want. Be open minded. Request floor plans because they can help a lot. And don’t just think about price. You have to ask what you get for that rent because you might value the apartment differently if it includes Internet, a fitness center or a pool. However, it’s my agent’s responsibility to point these things out to you.
Q: What would you tell someone who was looking at moving into Hyde Park?
JE: Hyde Park has a lot to offer in general. I always describe Hyde Park as being very diverse. There’s a lot to do. You can pretty much do anything in Hyde Park besides go to a club, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Enjoy the neighborhood and just get out as much as possible.
Hyde Park is a little town within the city. I like to describe it that way too. You’re still in the city and close to shops, restaurants, services and entertainment; but, you also get that real neighborhood feel…dogs, strollers, parks.
Q: What do you love about the Hyde Park neighborhood?
JE: I like the accessibility of where it [Hyde Park] is. Both the train and bus stop are right at my doorstep. I also drive, so by getting on Lake Shore Drive I can basically get anywhere in under 30 minutes, unless I’m stuck in traffic going to the North Side.
Q: What’s your favorite Hyde Park restaurant?
JE: There’s so many! I like Noodles Etc. on 57th, that’s always been my go to since I’ve been here. I also like to go to Seven-Ten on 55th Street; they have pool and bowling. And I’ve been to The Promontory a couple of times, and I really enjoyed that atmosphere. I like that there’s so many new things that have come to Hyde Park. Honestly, living and working here for so many years, it’s been great to see Hyde Park evolve. Hyde Park has this stigma like “where fun goes to die,” but that’s not true anymore. You can go to dinner and a movie or to The Promontory for a show. Hyde Park has really drawn a lot more outside people to the neighborhood lately with some many new restaurants. And, it will be interesting to see how things change with the arrival of Whole Foods.