Sarah Yoon Malone: Minding the Homefront … for 828 Units
Students majoring in residential property management (RPM) at Virginia Tech are in such great demand that they typically have a job lined up before graduation. Sarah Yoon Malone, who earned a bachelor’s in RPM in 2007, probably turned her future employer’s head on the first day of her internship.
Reading through a lease to understand its terms and conditions, Malone was surprised to find an illegal charge concerning service animals. She respectfully pointed out the violation, and, indeed, it was changed after legal review.
Not surprisingly, Malone has nothing but praise for how well she was prepared for the real world of property management.
“Our classes used real-life situations instead of just textbook lessons,” said Malone.
“Additionally, the events and networking opportunities the program offers are like none other.”
Founded by Professor Rosemary Goss in 1985, the Residential Property Management program at Virginia Tech was the country’s first—and it continues to serve as a model for others.
Based on a 2006 survey by Money magazine and Salary.com, property management was identified as a fast-paced, rewarding career and was ranked as one of the top five jobs for young adults who were looking for “more pay, more upside, and more control over where they're going.” Hundreds of management positions are available each year in multifamily housing environments, from luxury high-rise apartment developments and innovative senior-living communities to suburban garden communities and military housing.
Malone, who has directed operations for high-rise units in Boston and greater New York City, now serves as area director in Arlington, Va., for Roseland Property, where she is responsible for 828 units with yearly revenue exceeding $19 million. She oversees a staff of 30 and is actively planning renovations in excess of $20 million for upcoming construction projects.
Malone draws from her liberal arts background on a daily basis. “It helps me to not feel like I need to conform to an expectation and that I should be an individual with my own individual thoughts,” she says. “If you see something wrong, say something. If you think of a better way to do something, say something. It taught me that the world, including the business world, is fluid, and we are the ones that need to make a change if we see a place for it.”
Malone easily shifts from accounting to human resources to construction supervision, but it is the “very human aspect of serving our residents” that she takes to heart. “We are taking care of someone’s home, and that’s a huge deal. We take that very seriously.”
A true Hokie fan, Malone played up the orange and maroon colors at her wedding and proceeded into the reception to “Enter Sandman.” She lives in Arlington, Va., with her husband, Marcus, two-year-old daughter, Olive, and a Boston Terrier named Eleanor Rigby.