Meet Nikki White!

Nikki White, CPM is a Senior Property Manager at NAI Wisinski of West Michigan and has been in the real estate industry for over 10 years. She finds West Michigan a thriving place to practice property management due to its growth and diversity.

Do you see a connection between what you studied in college and your career now?

My degree is a Bachelor of Business Administration, so yes. I had an independent study class at Ferris which is when I took my real estate pre-licensing class. I waited 9 months after that to take the test because I wasn’t thinking about doing real estate. But once I decided to go for it, I passed the test on my first try. I think the combination of both my degree and my Real Estate License, earning my CPM, and on-the-job experience have all been beneficial and have contributed to getting me to the place I am at now in my career. 

What was your introduction to property management?

After passing the state licensing test, I got into residential real estate part time. After I finished college, I took a full-time job doing Lease Administration and Medical Site Leasing and Management. That really sparked my passion for the Property Management side of Commercial Real Estate, and I knew then that it was the right career path for me.

In your opinion, what makes doing CRE in West Michigan so special?

West Michigan is a thriving community because it is continuously growing. That growth has included a lot of new businesses ranging from small local entrepreneurs to large corporate franchises – all of which reside in buildings that need to be managed. I personally love the diversity of the businesses we have here in West Michigan. Not only does it make my job more exciting as a Property Manager, but it also adds value as someone who resides in West Michigan.

If you had to choose another location to do CRE in, where would you pick and why?

I would live in Florida or the Carolinas because I’m not a fan of the winter season. My kids keep me in West Michigan!

What is the biggest challenge in the property management field?

The biggest challenge is the balance between keeping owners happy and tenants happy. In this industry, you’re dealing with so many different personality types, and everyone has different goals and financial situations. You want everyone to be happy – and although we technically work for the owners, you can’t effectively work for them if you have unhappy tenants.

As a woman in a male-dominated industry, how do you feel that has shaped your experience?

I will say, I do think it is getting better. I see a lot more successful women in real estate now than when I started ten years ago. Ten years ago, I had my fair share of negative experiences being in real estate. But the key to overcoming the negativity is having thick skin, being confident in yourself and your abilities, and not being afraid to push through the stigma.

If you could no longer do CRE, what next job would you choose and why?

I have always been interested in being an attorney, but not just any attorney. I worked as Guardian ad Litem for CASA as a volunteer several years ago, which involved advocating for the rights of children that are in less-than-ideal situations. Rather than working for the parent on either side where you might end up representing someone who is not a great person, I love the thought of advocating for the child and working in their best interest because it is so important and something we really need to see more of nationwide.

In an industry that can be so challenging, what or who is your motivating factor?

My kids. I have two boys, and as a single mom I have always worked hard to give them the same life and experiences they would have in a two-parent household. It is so important to me that I make sure that they never feel limited in anything they do in life regardless of the situation or any adversities they may face along the way. If you have the drive, you can overcome the circumstances and achieve great things.

What would be your best piece of advice for college graduates entering the workforce? Would you recommend real estate to them?

Real Estate can be a great career and there are more options in the industry than one might think. It’s not all sales. Property Management, Construction Management, Leasing, Accounting, Administrative work, Maintenance, Residential vs. Commercial, etc. There are so many parts that make up the Real Estate Industry and just because you start in one, does not mean you can’t switch to another, which I love and is how I ended up where I am today. Just remember that being in this industry requires drive, thick skin, and humility. If you have those things, you can absolutely be successful in Real Estate.

To learn more about Nikki and for her contact information, follow the link below!

Nikki White