As an industry leader with over 40 years of experience, Rick Graf, President, Multifamily, Cushman & Wakefield, started as a porter changing lightbulbs and is now president of one of the leading third-party multifamily management firms in the nation. He reflects on his experience throughout the years, and particularly the challenges and lessons learned in 2020, and shares advice for those interested in a career such as his.
"If you don’t have that servant’s heart, if you really don’t desire to serve people and have that humility that goes with that, you’re probably in the wrong business. If you do have that you will excel in a significant way.”
In the first part of this episode, Mindy and Rick reflect on 2020 and look ahead to 2021. Rick is proud of the many ways his team—and the industry as a whole—worked together to adapt to ever-changing protocols to keep their communities safe. He discusses the best practices that were shared among industry leaders and the importance of communication at all levels.
As Rick steps into his new role as NAA Chairman of the Board, his priority for 2021 is to “focus forward.” Of particular importance to him is being a leading voice is promoting ideas for affordable housing and increasing diversity and inclusivity at all operational levels of the business.
Finally, Rick shares advice for those who seek leadership positions within his industry. He focuses on the importance of The Golden Rule—doing unto others as you would have done unto you—and having at your core a servant’s heart. He also notes that hard work, grit, and determination are always noticed and will help you achieve your goals.
Priyanka Agarwal is a public relations expert with over two decades of experience in the field. In her current role, Priyanka serves as the public relations consultant for J Turner Research. She specializes in online reputation management, corporate content creation, and strategic PR planning. She is a contributory author for NAA, Multifamily Insider, and PR Daily. Priyanka holds a master’s degree in public relations from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communications, University of Houston.