Q&A with Condo Managers Sarah Blechta and Laura Gregory
Last week I had the chance to sit down with Big Sky Resort's Sarah Blechta, Condominium Manager, and Laura Gregory, Assistant Condominium Manager, and chat about lodging, renting, and a little bit of everything vacation related. With more than 700 room options at the resort it takes a certain set of various skills and love for spontaneity to take on the condo management role. Here's what Sarah and Laura had to say:
Tell me a bit about what it takes to be a Condominium Manager at Big Sky Resort.
Laura Gregory: Where to begin? I think to be successful in this role you have to wear many hats at any given time. Every day there's a new challenge or something new to learn. During a normal work week, I am a satellite repair woman, internet specialist, accountant, housekeeper, photographer, PR spokeswoman, sales agent, maintenance advisor, and that's just to name a few.
Sarah Blechta: To be the Condominium Manager it takes attention to detail and a passion for helping people. We help owners, their friends and family, as well as their guests so we have to communicate well and know the owners and their properties.
What about Owner Appreciation Weekend should non-owners know about?
LG: Great question. Guests may not know, but we have a team of licensed property managers with more than 40 years of combined experience here at the resort. We offer a range of just under 500 different properties/ units that are available for rental and under our care. If they are interested in purchasing a second home and are looking for a way to subsidize the cost, joining our rental program is a great option.
Owner Appreciation Weekend is about creating awareness for the variety of services we offer here for guests and owners alike so we denote Labor Day weekend to show our appreciation for our partners. We wouldn't be able to offer the collection of lodging options to our guests without them. Our relationship with them as our business allies is essential to our success as a company, resort, and town.
SB: Our owners should care about this weekend because we want them to know how much we appreciate them and are grateful for the trust they put in us. It has been a hit year after year and gives our owners a chance to see us face-to-face in a fun environment.
What is the highlight of your day?
LG: Aside from getting my email inbox under 100? Laughs I would have to say, it's when I have the opportunity to make an impact on a guest's stay. You can't always control the things that happen to our guests. They may have had a bad flight, gotten lost on the way here, etc. but what you can do, is govern how you work with them afterwards, which hopefully turns their stay around. Sometimes the way you handle an issue makes more of an impact than the source of their discontent originally did.
SB: The highlight of my day and job is making a difference for an owner or a guest. Having the opportunity to create a memorable moment for them is what makes this job so great.
Highlight of your job?
LG: The thing I love most about my job is all of the special relationships I have worked to develop with our owners. There's nothing like calling up an owner to give an update on a project in their home and then you end up spending 30 minutes with them catching up on life. Or maybe you are lucky enough to catch them in the lobby at check in and they great you with arms wide open. Nothing is more valuable to me, than that kind of feedback.
Tell me about a time when you had a "this right here is why I do this job" moment.
LG: I think my first "ah- ha!" moment was when Sarah went on maternity leave my first winter (2011/ 2012) on the job. I was currently the Administrative Assistant and was thrown into the fire in the middle of February. There's nothing like learning on the job. Not only was my experience invaluable to my career here at the resort, but it was a great opportunity to show owners what I was capable of.
Understandably so, there were some owners that preferred to only speak with Sarah on matters of business as I was just the spreadsheet and filing gal. So when they had no choice but to speak with me, I worked my darndest to show them they could trust me to help. It was one of the greatest highlights of the whole experience that I was able to walk away with and was the most valuable feedback I could have asked for.
Any last thoughts?
LG: Just that I truly hope our owners know how much we sincerely love what we do and we are here for them when they need us. It really has been a pleasure getting to know them over the past 3 years as well as meeting all of the new Moonlight owners from the integration of two great resorts. I can only look forward to what is to come.
Owner's Appreciation Weekend is going on right now, August 28-31.
One of the new properities with the Moonlight integration, Moonlight Mountain Home.