Next gen: this profession requires a vast amount of knowledge, as well as continuing education.
Joseph Carroll, CAMT
Senior Superintendent, Maintenance
YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY
units: How did you discover the apartment industry?
Carroll: I entered the industry performing handyman services for condominium owners as a part-time weekend job. Over the next few years, my full-time position in construction became inconsistent, but my workload was increasing with referrals from apartment owners looking for someone to take care of their residents' routine and emergency maintenance needs. It was at that point that I decided to make this my full-time career.
units: What makes the apartment industry a desirable career path for young maintenance professionals?
Carroll: No two days are the same. There's a constant flow of work that is planned and executed for both an immediate emergency and scheduled maintenance up to a year away. This profession requires a vast amount of knowledge, as well as continuing education. The products we maintain and service are changing every year and we need to keep up with those changes.
Anything someone doesn't know or understand can be taught, from how to repair a washing machine to drywall repair. The most desirable part of this profession for me is the personal growth you can achieve if you are constantly striving to provide the best service you can for your residents and your company.
units: Many apartment maintenance technicians are veterans of the industry. As a superintendent, how do you approach managing those who may be older than you?
Carroll: We follow the understanding that we are all working toward a common goal. I foster a partnership based on mutual respect between myself and the veterans of the industry because they have assisted me getting where I am today. Every employee has an area of experise that they bring to the table. I like to acknowledge their talents and utilize them as mentors in that specific area.
I don't believe that any specific maintenance person has the ability to train or mentor an employee in all facets of the industry. I find the approach of cross-training employees and utilizing their areas of expertise not only reaffirms my respect and trust in them but it also forms better team skills and opens greater lines of communication among us.
units: What's been the most surprising aspect of your career?
Carroll: I'm surprised by the growth of the industry. It's an amazing occupation for job security. My career keeps growing and changing. Whether it's distressed properties being renovated or new construction, there's an uninterrupted need for a maintenance technician. Additionally, the large technological advances in HVAC equipment that I've seen over the past 10 years have been incredible. I'm looking forward to the next 10 years of surprises.
units: How do you predict the maintenance field will evolve in the next five years within this industry?
Carroll: I hope to see an integration of tablets for service orders that streamline with the office for up-to-date reporting of completed service requests. I love the thought of a technician being able to access a service manual at their fingertips or emailing a photo of a maintenance issue to the main office on the spot. Introducing handheld devices into the maintenance department will not only increase efficiency, it will improve documentation.
To be considered for a future Next Gen column, please contact Lauren Boston at 703-797-0678 or email@example.com.