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The Best of Both Worlds

“We have two miniature donkeys — one is Pearl and the other is Mabel.”

Among other fascinating tidbits about Kelly Robertson, she owns two miniature donkeys. She also tends a small farm with her husband Jason in New Palestine, where they live with two-year-old son Walker, a dog named Red, and baby number two on the way.

When Kelly comes into the city, it’s for her job as director of revenue management for the Gene B. Glick Company. She joined Glick in 2016 as the revenue manager and was promoted to director of revenue management in 2018. She is responsible for analyzing, developing and communicating pricing strategies for the company.

Her passion for real estate started early. After she turned 18 and graduated from Heritage High School in Monroeville, Ind., Robertson took the exam for her real estate license.

“But I decided I wanted to go away to college to get that experience, so I started touring nearby college campuses. When I toured Ball State, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

Robertson ran into the director of the residential property management program, which the university was just in the beginning stages of launching at the time in 2001.

“I was talking to Dr. Earhart, telling her how much I loved real estate, but I also felt it was important to go to college. Ball State was one of just two colleges at that time offering a major in residential property management, and it gave me the chance to earn my National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) designation as well as my Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) designation, which was very important to me. It was the perfect scenario.”

After she graduated from Ball State with her Bachelor of Science in residential property management, she took a position with a local property management group and was with them for the next 10 years, moving up through the ranks of leasing agent to assistant property manager and eventually to regional property manager.

In 2014, she decided to leave her tenured position for an opportunity with another property management company that would offer more growth, but with added travel responsibilities.

“It was a great learning experience, but when I had my son Walker in September 2015 and returned from leave, I wasn’t exactly ready to hop on a plane and fly across the country for a week.”

Kelly knew she still wanted to be in the property management industry because that’s where her passion was. She had spent so much of her time and energy to grow in the industry, but she needed a change.

“I wanted to go back, but I began to look around to see what my options were,” she said. “I saw the Glick job posting for revenue manager. From being in the industry for quite some time, I knew Glick had an impeccable reputation, and that was extremely important to me. I wanted to know I would be working for a stable, growing company that invests time and resources into their employees.”

The role with Glick was a welcome change with a new perspective on the property management world Robertson loves so dearly. She compares her job in revenue management to the way airline pricing works, adjusting prices dynamically — higher one week and lower the next — maximizing revenue through supply and demand.

“I monitor a sophisticated software-based system and then develop and recommend pricing strategies for Glick’s conventional portfolio,” she said. “We have biweekly conference calls with each of Glick’s conventional properties, working with each community’s property manager and regional property manager to have an open and honest conversation about pricing, marketing, leasing, feedback they are receiving from prospective residents and whether any adjustments to the pricing structure need to be made.”

With her extensive property management background and familiarity with the software, it was a job at which Kelly excelled. Just two years into her career with Glick, she was promoted to director of revenue management.

“My direct supervisor, Jason Whittington, has been such a great supporter and advocate since day one. He asks for my ideas and feedback on more global property management items, and I believe he saw the potential for not only growing the revenue management department at Glick but also where else within the organization my skillset could be utilized.”

“In this position, it’s about really understanding the trends and the market in general, having an overall sense of the industry and being able to implement and execute what makes the most business sense for the company,” she said.

And it’s a career that gives her the chance to be a city girl during the day and head off to her rural retreat at night.

“I am honored to be a part of such a strong organization like Glick. Between Glick and our farm — it’s nice to have the best of both worlds.”