Spotlight: Michael Apostol

Sometimes father-in-law knows best. Just ask Michael Apostol.

Apostol had a good-paying job with a financial-services giant that lined his pockets but left him feeling empty.

“It was more about what can customers do for me, rather than what I could do for them,” Apostol says of the fast-paced, meet-your-goals work environment. “It just wasn’t fulfilling.”

His father-in-law, a maintenance supervisor with a property management company in the Bay Area, noticed and suggested Apostol should change careers. One night during a family dinner, his father-in-law was called out to an on-site emergency and Apostol tagged along. Soon, he was hooked on property management.

“It just seemed like something I wanted to do,” Apostol says. “It has some sales aspects, but it also has a very human touch.”

‘More about compassion and serving the community’

Shortly after entering the profession, he started looking at other opportunities. He came across USA Properties Fund and learned about its commitment to and efforts for residents – and team members.

“It was a much different approach,” Apostol says. “It was more about compassion and serving the community.”

He joined USA Properties Fund in summer 2015 as a leasing agent at Mayfair Court, an affordable apartment community for families in San Jose. He was later promoted to Assistant Community Manager.

Apostol excelled at connecting with residents, nearby small-business owners and the police department. He established a clothes closet at Mayfair Court, where residents could grab free clothes and shoes. He carried around W-9 forms, making donations easier for small-business owners who wanted to help residents.

“You know where the money goes,” Apostol says of the grassroots effort. “You see the residents wearing the clothes or the shoes while they walk past.”

‘We’re one big team, focused on one goal’

After three years at Mayfair Court, Apostol and his wife, Bonnie, decided to move to Southern California to be closer to his family. In 2018, Apostol was hired as Assistant Community Manager at Huntington Plaza, an affordable senior community in Huntington Park, about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

“Here, you can’t stay up late,” laughs Apostol, who embraced the move from a mostly family to an all-senior community.

Apostol was promoted to Community Manager of Huntington Plaza in 2019.

“Everyone is very friendly,” he says. “When you walk down the hallway, everyone is always happy and says good morning. They are genuine and want to hear how your day is going.”

And the residents, many who are more than twice Apostol’s age, enjoy having fun, especially with impromptu dance parties.

“Dancing is a big thing with the Latin culture,” he says. “Bad hip and all, they get up and dance.”

But being a successful community manager goes beyond the walls of Huntington Plaza.

“I’ve built relationships with the mayor, city council members and the police,” Apostol says. The connection has helped curb crime and made the neighborhood safer. “I want to make the community better for everyone in the neighborhood.”

It’s an approach that has earned Apostol recognition, with an award for excellence from his peers at USA Properties Fund.

“This is a company that treats you more like a team member,” Apostol says. “We’re one big team, focused on one goal – creating outstanding communities.”

Outside the office

Michael Apostol and his wife, Bonnie, a long-term substitute teacher, enjoy spending their free time at Disneyland, about 30 miles from Huntington Plaza. The couple, who were married in 2012, say the Happiest Place on Earth is a great escape after a busy and hectic day at work

Spotlight: Kyle Miller

Kyle Miller was a road warrior seeking a work-life balance.

Miller was in construction with a general contractor that remodeled restaurants throughout the state. He would be away from home and his family for several days at a time, and once celebrated his young daughter’s birthday via FaceTime.

“I started to look around for something different,” says Miller, who started in construction when he was 17. “I don’t want to miss out on those things.”

His father had the solution – USA Properties Fund.

“My dad had nothing but great things to say about the company,” says Miller, whose father was in maintenance at USA Properties’ Vintage Park at Westpark community in Roseville.

Responsible for projects at 21 apartment communities

Miller was hired as a Maintenance Technician and joined USA Properties in summer 2016.

“I’ve been lucky to get a lot of exposure” to different apartment communities and maintenance projects, Miller says.

His experience and hard work opened the door to a new opportunity with USA Properties as an Asset Preservation Manager in October 2019.

He oversees major improvement projects at 21 apartment communities, from Morgan Hill and Napa to Sacramento. From handling a massive interior paint job to replacing fire-sprinkler system heads, Miller ensures capital projects – those $10,000 or more – stay on track and are a success.

“Anything major that needs to be done at a property comes to asset preservation,” says Miller, who drives at least 1,000 miles per month but is home almost every evening with his wife and three children.

‘Making a property better for residents’

Some capital projects take a couple weeks, others require several months.

“It feels great when we’ve completed a project,” says Miller, who has been busy with several high-profile projects.

But the best feeling is the response from residents.

“It’s about making a property better for residents,” Miller says. “Everybody is very proud of our communities.”

And USA Properties’ commitment to developing and maintaining first-rate communities for residents and supporting team members should never be taken for granted, says Miller, who left to become an electrician with another multifamily company. He returned to USA Properties six months later in the new position.

“I loved the job and what I was learning, but USA has always felt like home to me,” he says. “I know how good USA takes care of its employees. USA is one of those companies where it can start as a job but it can easily become a career. And it’s given me a better work-life balance.”

Outside the office

Kyle Miller enjoys spending time with his family, especially in the outdoors camping, hiking or fishing.

Miller, who has a daughter and two sons, also spends free time working on his vehicles – a 2019 Dodge Challenger RT and a 1999 Dodge pickup.

“If it has a motor, it intrigues me.”