Pay It Forward: “Align Your Strengths With Your Career Path”

“Re-defining in-person interaction, rather than eliminating it completely, will be essential in keeping businesses alive and setting yourself apart from others who are focused on working virtually,” advises Adam Hendry, CEO of Tzadik Properties.

Adam Hendry is CEO of Tzadik Properties, a multifamily property management company based in Miami, FL and Sioux Falls, SD, and one of the largest owner-operators in South Dakota. Hendry has more than 15 years of progressive management experience in the real estate and property management industry, with an emphasis on strategic planning and the establishment and management of long-term strategic partnerships.

What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle as CEO and how have you overcome those obstacles? The biggest challenge has been facing the COVID-19 pandemic because we had to quickly adapt and find safe ways for all employees to continue working. Our industry is driven by in-person interaction, so we had to be responsible and strategic about the way we communicated with tenants. For example, work orders cannot be performed remotely. While other companies started working remotely and responding only to emergency work orders, I couldn’t imagine putting other work orders on pause and not fulfilling our tenants needs. So, we had to pivot and find a way to continue serving our residents and tenants, while also keeping our employees safe. In the end, we have been able to increase the number of work orders and remain available for our customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adam Hendry.

Keeping our staff motivated has also been an obstacle during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we created the new Tzadik Stimulus Package that has benefited all 217 of our employees. With the package, employees received bonuses to help cover added expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can younger professionals in commercial real estate better position themselves for success? It’s important to work within a company that has a solid, stable growth record. Young professionals who did not witness the Great Recession first-hand should research and become familiar with what happens when the market crashes, rents are not being collected and unemployment skyrockets. Learning from these past situations will be key in moving forward and rising above challenges.

What is the best piece of advice you have received that has helped you succeed in your industry? And what advice would you give the next generation? “Be an effective communicator” is one of the best pieces of advice that has helped me succeed. Sadly, this is not emphasized enough in school, and it is key to not only succeeding in business but also in life. Our company uses the DISC behavioral assessment to help us understand how to better communicate with each other and how to communicate with our clients and stakeholders the way that is best for them.

For the next generation, I would encourage them to join a company with defined core values. Having a defined set of values serves as a foundation for the way business is conducted and how employees interact with each other. For my company, I believe our core values have been one of our keys to success.

What ideas and practices can you recommend and bring to the table as the industry continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis? Finding ways to do business in person again will be very important. While video conferencing apps are a great resource, they can’t replace human interaction. I’ve been in meetings where, had it not been in person, the deal would not have been made. I have always viewed my team as the company’s most valuable asset, so I want partners, clients, potential investors, etc., to meet and interact with them. Re-defining in-person interaction, rather than eliminating it completely, will be essential in keeping businesses alive and setting yourself apart from others who are focused on working virtually.

Would you advise your child to begin a career in CRE? I think the key is to focus on a child’s strengths. As parents, we sometimes focus on fixing our kids’ weaknesses and that doesn’t make much sense. We should focus on what they are good at and help them find a career path that focuses on that. If my kids’ strengths align with real estate, and that is the area they wish to pursue, then that’s what they should do.

With my parents, I experienced the typical parent/child situation where they wanted me to have a steady paying job, and they were unsure about my entrepreneurial endeavors. I think my mom stills struggles to understand what I do and sees me as just a real estate agent, so I get a lot of questions about how I’m going to achieve my big goals. That’s when I remind her that Tzadik is a team of people, and it’s not just me. I am grateful to have a team that is engaged and upholds our company values to create a positive company culture.