20 Under 40: Property manager Mike Swartz specializes in homeowner relations, community involvement
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mike Swartz studied music business and management at Berklee College of Music in Boston, then spent a decade working in sales-related positions within the music industry. But when he and his wife, Tera, decided to move from Los Angeles to Steamboat Springs to raise their children, he found a new path.
Driving a shuttle at Trailhead Lodge opened Swartz’s eyes to the world of property management and homeowner relations.
“I found that to be much more refreshing,” Swartz said. “In sales, it’s a lot of one-sided relationships, but in property management, it’s a two-way street.”
After learning about the industry through jobs at Trailhead, Wyndham and Trappeur’s Crossing, Swartz has been with The Steamboat Grand for 4 1/2 years. As owner services manager, Swartz manages nearly 1,000 homeowners.
“It’s as challenging as it sounds and more enjoyable,” he said. “We have a fantastic group of homeowners.”
In this role, Swartz leads his team in answering questions about taxes, dues and benefits, scheduling reservations, working with the real estate community and problem-solving left and right.
“I’ve learned how to listen in a different way than I used to be able to listen,” he said. “It’s important to understand that when someone’s upset, the problem isn’t you. You can be part of the solution.”
Name: Mike Swartz
Profession: Community association management
Education: Bachelor’s in music business and management from Boston’s Berklee College of Music
“Mike’s ability to juggle the wants and desires of 900-plus members of the HOA and at the same time, keep a smile on his face at all times, is truly remarkable,” wrote Bud Romberg, an owner at The Steamboat Grand.
“No one could possibly be as helpful, pleasant, efficient and thoughtful as Mike Swartz when it comes to doing his job,” wrote Steamboat Grand HOA board of directors member Bliss Hicky.
Swartz said both the people — owners and staff alike — and the schedule of this job make it the best one he’s ever had.
“The schedule affords me family time. You can’t put a dollar value on that, but if I tried to, it would be a pretty big number,” Swartz said.
The Swartzs and their three young children enjoy spending time outside together.
“That’s my primary goal when I’m not at work,” Swartz said.
Swartz has also served on the Routt County United Way’s Human Resource Coalition Grant Review Committee for the past two cycles and will participate again this year, disseminating city and county funds to local organizations.
“We get to have a strong impact on the organizations that support people who live here,” Swartz said.
Every year, Swartz puts together a team of co-workers for the annual Junior Achievement fundraiser of the Bowl-A-Thon — this past year, their theme was ‘80’s icons, with Swartz as Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. Junior Achievement provides financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial programs to local students.
“Mike’s leadership and enthusiasm is contagious,” wrote Michelle Manring, mountain district manager of Junior Achievement — Rocky Mountain, Inc. “Mike’s ability to inspire, teach and mentor others requires him to think less about himself and more about how to make the team as a whole successful.”
He’s also served as the Eaglepointe Court HOA president.
In the next few years, Swartz looks forward to continue making his mark on property management and getting his children more active in the community.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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