Elizabeth Francisco, President of ResMan, sits down with rental housing veteran Anne Sadovsky in honor of Women’s History Month to discuss what being a woman in the industry has looked like over the past 50 years, as well as the general evolution of property management. Anne Sadovsky is a Dallas based professional speaker, providing training, keynotes and counsel to a variety of industries, businesses and associations. She is a former Vice President of Marketing and Education of Lincoln Property Company. Her expertise makes her a sought- after speaker, consultant and trainer and her training via Zoom, webinars and seminars have educated thousands. She has officially flown almost four million miles sharing her experience, expertise, wisdom and wit.
MIRABELLA Magazine listed her as one of the One Thousand Women of the 90’s, along with Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey. Anne’s book “Mission Possible” with Stephen Covey and Brian Tracy was a best seller. Multi Family Pro and the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas have honored her with Legends Awards. She is affiliated with numerous business and professional organizations. To book Anne Sadovsky or learn more about her training, check out her website at https://annesadovsky.com/
To learn more about ResMan’s product, book a demo with us.
Follow along here:
Elizabeth Francisco: [00:00:00] Hello again, everyone. Thank you for joining us again for PropTalk, a property management podcast, powered by ResMan. I’m Elizabeth Francisco and I am the President here at ResMan. And I’m your host for today’s episode, Celebrating Women’s History Month with my dear friend, mentor, family by choice, Anne Sadovsky.
And before we jump in, I just want to take a few minutes just to tell you a little bit about Anne. I’m going to blush because I’m just so emotional. So excited about this one. Anne Sadovsky is a professional speaker and consultant. Anne Sadovsky began her professional speaking career in 1981. She has been what were you like three and a half, four (decades)?
Anne Sadovsky: Wishing.
Elizabeth Francisco: (laughter) She has been in the apartment industry for five decades and as a former Vice President of Marketing and Education for Lincoln Property Management. She has earned a Texas real estate license and certified speaking credentials from the National Speaker’s Associations. Anne was named one of the top trainers in the industry by multi-housing news, which I am not surprised because I have attended many a session.
She has been honored with the Legends Award by Multi-Housing Brainstorming and the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, our local affiliate shout out to AAGD. She has flown over 5 million miles, sharing her knowledge and wit, and she’s quite witty. And her success story has been featured in many national magazines, including Money, Texas Business, and the Ladies’ Home Journal. Mirabella magazine named her one of the 1000 women of the nineties, along with Oprah and mother Teresa.
That’s impressive. She is a contributing editor and feature writer for a variety of publications and is often quoted in newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to the development of people’s skills. She’s a co author of two books: Mission Possible with Brian Tracy and Stephen Covey, and 101 Thoughts for Becoming the Real You with Alexis Rice, who is also another fabulous woman. Anne is multifaceted, she can speak to many topics, share skills and tools that are life-changing, common sense, fun, but no nonsense. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her favorite husband, Randy and her two funny Chi-weenies, which didn’t even know that was the thing and two very talkative parrots. So welcome to our podcast Anne, we are thrilled to have you.
Anne Sadovsky: You make me blush and thank you, Elizabeth. I am honored and delighted to be here with you today. Every minute I get to spend with you, I love it.
Elizabeth Francisco: Thank you. So I don’t know if you guys can tell yet. We might know one another. (laughter) Yeah, pretty much. Yes. So just to give a little backstory as we get ready to jump in, I am so beholden to Anne because my entire experience on my first day in the industry started with Anne Sadovsky. So talk about being lucky. I started as a leasing temporary with Sadovsky Stars and was fortunate enough to be an Anne’s training class. And literally my first day in the apartment industry, I got that ACE out of the cards right off the bat. And I’m forever grateful. And Anne has been in my corner and helping me through my entire career. It seems it doesn’t sound like it was that long ago, but I guess if I sit and think about it, it’s almost 30 years for me now, which is crazy. So when we were talking about, celebrating women’s history, for me a little selfish, but I also feel like there’s so much great knowledge for Anne to share that you’re the first person and the only person that came to mind for us for this month.
Anne Sadovsky: And again, I’m honored.
Elizabeth Francisco: Well, it is well deserved. And I know I’m not the only one whose lives you have changed and shaped over the years because if I bring you up, I hear about it. And I know that you are not done yet, and you’ve got a lot of other people that you’re going to help and mentor and help shape their future careers. So I am just super [00:04:00] thrilled and just thank you for being you. I know there’s not supposed to be crying on podcasts.
Anne Sadovsky: She makes me blush and I don’t blush readily.
Elizabeth Francisco: I know we’re going to dive into a lot of things, but I just wanted to think about starting right off the bat. Like we were going to talk about, the past, the future and the present.
And I wanted to think of it a little bit differently. I think there’s something to be said for becoming Anne Sadovsky. Like you’ve always been Anne Sadovsky but the brand, what you represent and your presence in the space is really something special.
And you think about, how that career started and what that was like. So I think just as we get started and dive right in, tell me a little bit about becoming Anne Sadovsky and where did it start?
Anne Sadovsky: Wow. It didn’t start out Anne Sadovsky until I married Marvin Sadovsky and he’s gone. (laughter) When I said my favorite husband, people say, “How many have you had?” (laughter) So it’s interesting when I think back on how it got started, and there’s always been some kind of a divine order going on for me with this… I’d never lived in an apartment. I knew nothing about apartments. I started working, I became a single mom a second time. I lived in Richardson, two boys who are about my age now. I said, when people say, “How old are your boys?” They’re my age! (laughter) And they’re older than my husband, so that’s another whole story. But I started when Mary Kay started, I started out with Mary Kay and it was brand new. She actually came and held our little sales meetings and all of that, just looking for something that I could office from home and do that. And I’m not much into multilevel. I love to sell the products, love the makeup. Didn’t want to have to keep trying to recruit all my friends. You wear your friends and family out when you do that. But anyway, I was flipping through the newspaper, had never looked for a job in the newspaper, in my entire life course in my entire life.
I think it was in my early twenties. So I saw an ad and it said apartment developers, seeking personnel recruiter. And I thought that’s what I’ve been trying to do here, but I don’t have to sell them something. I remember what I wore seriously to the interview.
It’s a girl thing. So I had this cute little black with white polka dot with a little flirty skirt. Now you’ve got to remember, this was the sixties. And I went down for the interview and it was IC Deal company and he was a swinging singles apartment developer. And as from fair housing through the years, we couldn’t call it anywhere near that today. That was pre- all the fair housing stuff.
Elizabeth Francisco: So I can only imagine what it was like if we manager to that property, I just, I’m just, I had like unrealized PTSD from what you just said.
Anne Sadovsky: Yeah. It was. But all of his properties were basically Swinging Single. Fun names: Lands Inn, The Snooty Fox… so I went down and I’m just blessed, with the gift of gab and chatted with her and told her I was a single mom, two kids, whatever, and they hired me. And then we wore uniforms back then. So they assigned me my chartreuse green hot pants with a chartreuse green tunic over them and suggested that I get white knee-high boots to go with it. And that was seriously. That’s what we worked in every day.
Elizabeth Francisco: I’ve heard people refer to the go-go boots in the apartment industry, but I always thought they exaggerating.
Anne Sadovsky: Oh, it happened. It happened. Anyway, so I worked for Mr. Deal and recruiting, and it was interesting times, 1968 before most of you were born. My job was to do job fairs and I was practically everywhere. I was looking at people saying, “I wonder if I could hire that person for our properties,” whatever. And I’d been there a year and a half. And I had a secretary Paula, and she came in one day and she said, “People are here to talk to you.”
And I said, [00:08:00] “who?” She said, “they’re from the federal government.” And I said, “really?” So I said it was 2 million. And I said, come in, have a C introduced myself. And I said, what can I do for you? And they said, we are looking at personnel recruiters to be sure that opportunities are being offered to women and to people of color.
And we’d like to know how many people of color you have hired since you’ve been here a year and a half. Now, I wasn’t hiring everybody. My job was the office staff, and I said “honestly, none.” And they said, “why not?” And I said, “Nobody has applied. I certainly… we’re open to that. We’re a progressive company, but nobody’s ever applied.” And he said, literally, “If you haven’t hired some people of color in the next six months, we will bring you some people to hire.” And I said, “okay, but I can’t run an ad that says people of color, please apply?” So it was an interesting beginning from what you remember in 1968, the same year that fair housing started… the fair housing laws went into place. The first one’s race, color, national origin, religion… first ones were put in place. So anyway, I worked for Mr. Deal until he had sold his properties to a company out of New York, WM Capital, Wayne and Malkin and they owned the Empire State Building at the time. And they were interested in moving into real estate in the Texas market. Mr. Deal had sold to them and they decided to take over all the properties that they hit on, that they owned.
Two men walk in again one day and we need to, we’re going to hire you and we were hiring only two people from the corporate staff and this was the accounting manager and me, and I’m going “okay. I’m not sure why this is not like a major job that run the business.” But I ended up I moved my office out in north Dallas and lived on one of the properties. I owned a home in Richardson. I rented that. Anyway, so I really got indoctrinated. I learned a lot about property management, more but it’s interesting that I started there and then ended up doing what I’ve been doing now for the last 50 years, as a speaker trainer in the industry.
And then the way that happened is I went to my boss one day and said, “we’re hiring these, all these good people. But nobody’s telling him what to do or how to do the job. I go out there and they’re floundering.” He said, “okay, you do that.” And I’m like, “me and my big mouth.” So that’s how it started. I started, people asked me, “why are you never nervous?” I started with 10 people in an office sitting around talking about how to do the job. And the audiences grew. And the opportunities grew with the apartment association previously mentioned the first time I went to anything at all that said apartment association, there were like 12 old guys and me
Elizabeth Francisco: I don’t doubt that.
Anne Sadovsky: So remember this is way back, 1970 ish, whatever. I had watched that association grow. Look at that number.
Elizabeth Francisco: Oh, wow. Things have changed dramatically.
Anne Sadovsky: Yeah. And it’s been a great ride. I’m still very involved and still really loved the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas. Anyway, so that’s what started. And then I’d been with Lincoln 10 years and our advertising agency came to me one day and said “we’re working with a developer who’s single family going into multifamily. He is looking to hire.” And by the way, I was the first ever female Vice President at Lincoln Property Company. Wow. Yeah. I saw that shows you how far back we go.
So he said, “I’d like for you to have lunch with him and meet him,” whatever. And I wasn’t terribly fond of him. I’m not going to mention any names. [00:12:00] But he offered me $25,000 more a year than I was making. And remember…
Elizabeth Francisco: That is a substantial amount today.
Anne Sadovsky: It is, but it was really substantial back then. So I gave my notice and very tearfully resigned and went to work for him. I worked for him about two years and he never got into, really got into multifamily and he was extremely difficult. And I won’t go into the gory details, but he was very much a chauvinist.
Elizabeth Francisco: It’s funny, when you just pointed out about Lincoln, one of the questions that is stewing up here in my head right now is just, what was it like for women in the industry at that time? And as you are, in, in the seventies and eighties, and how do you feel about that today?
Anne Sadovsky: Blessed. I don’t know that every woman who walked through the door would make it back then. You had to have some strength and, last night in the middle of the night, I was thinking, “what would I say about why I made it through that?” We talk about mentors. There were no mentors. There was nobody to turn to. I didn’t know another woman in the industry at the time… when I went to work for Lincoln, I went to them, I went to Don Shine who was head of the property management company back then. And I made an appointment and I said, “I know you’re active in the apartment association. That’s where we met. And I’m getting more and more active. And I think the apartment association needs to start doing some training.” So he said “that’s a really great idea” and we talked a little bit and at the end of the conversation, he said, I’d rather for you to come to work for me,” he offered me a job… Marketing and Training director, whatever. I was there 10 years. Wow. Went to work for the other guy, I think it was 13 years, the most miserable months of my life. And when I decided I had enough and he didn’t go into multifamily as he had promised. And that was, that’s my shtick. Obviously I just said, I’m going to move on. And I think I’m going to start my own business. So when I think about that miserable 13 months, I also know that he kicked me out of my nest and made me fly. Cause I don’t know that I would have thought about starting my own business if I had been happy there and kept on there. So that was 1981. And here I am.
Elizabeth Francisco: Oh, that’s interesting, that part of your story. Cause I don’t think I actually knew how Sadovsky Stars started. I just know I benefited from it. I’m also surprised that there, I came up through the industry where there’s only has been education through AAGD, the affiliates and the state and NAA. So I hadn’t even pondered the thought that, when did that start or are people trying to come up through the industry without it? Which does explain a lot, as people are out there just trying to figure things out on their own. But taking that leap of faith for you to jump out there, you had a lot of frustration which, I’m sure I can relate to this, I’m sure a lot of women listening can relate to this as well, where we’re in those positions where we feel like our voice can’t be heard or we’re beating our head up against a brick wall. Somehow sometimes, the more passionate we get about things, there’s also a connotation of a perception about us as being emotional, which, that’s a whole other conversation.
My one point to say on that is I think sometimes our counterparts forget by the time we’re getting to that stage, we’ve probably told you 10 times before that. Now we’re just at that point, at least for my experience, but that leap of faith that you had, that’s something we still talk about today. I’ve been on several panels and been fortunate enough to go out and do some speaking. And this conversation up comes up frequently about risk and our aversion to risk as women. I am curious about like how did you mentally get ready to take on that kind of challenge, especially, being a single mom and having the financial responsibilities you did at the time, what was that like?
Anne Sadovsky: Single mom, no child support. So it was just me, my children’s father was in a horrible automobile accident when they were very young and was permanently disabled. But, I can pretty much put that in a [00:16:00] nutshell. I decided before Randy, that I had been through a few, too many husbands and that I needed to get a little hay off. So I went into therapy for two, two and a half years. Dr. Ward said to me, one day, one of the greatest things about you is that you have zero fear. One of the worst things about you is that you have zero fear, but I don’t know why I wish I knew better why I never felt challenged by making the effort. I saw it. I did it. Thank God I succeeded. And I still am fearless.
Elizabeth Francisco: So I would agree with that. Yeah. There’s a friend who she’s actually I think one of the board members for AAGD right now, Antoinette Williams and she’s precious. I love her. She’s somebody to watch. So anybody listening, to o, she may be someone else’s Anne Sadovsky in the future. But it’s interesting cause when we have our conversations, we talk about… she’s a lot more like you she’s pretty fearless and has had a lot of confidence in herself… whereas when I was coming up, my own personal situation was more about being volun-TOLD and then succeeding, surprising myself and hopefully others. I think that was a pretty consistent pattern, but always made me wonder too, like what was it that used to hold me back? I was so afraid to put myself out there to do something, but the second you asked me to do it, I’m going to do 120% and that was a consistent pattern. I still to this day think about that as there’s women like both you and I out in the world right now. And I think for one thing for me is I didn’t celebrate my successes. I had a tendency to, if I gave 120%, my mind would go to “if you’d given 130, what would you have gotten?” And so I would focus on what else I could have done without even acknowledging that I just did more than anybody else would ever think of doing. And as only in the last couple of years at my age, too, because now I’m over 50 that I finally got to the point of realizing, I think that’s what it was for me, which is crazy, considering all the work that was done in the process. But, I think for you, did you find that you took time to celebrate your successes? Did you take mental stock of them?
Anne Sadovsky: One of the nice things about being a professional speaker is you have regular applause.
Elizabeth Francisco: That’s a good point.
Anne Sadovsky: You have regular applause. When you’re good at what you do, when you do what I do, you get a lot of applause. And so that’s celebratory for me. And of course, making friends all over the United States, I’m not oddly enough and people don’t ever believe me when I say this. I’m not a social person. I’m a non-drinker, which makes me absolutely no fun in that group. No. And I just–
Elizabeth Francisco: You are your own bubbly.
Anne Sadovsky: I am my own bubbly, to the best of my ability. Tony Blake is the sunshine of our industry. You talk about outgoing and a huge personality and making friends all over the United States. And we would be working a conference together and sharing a room and I would have dinner and go in the room and read and whatever. And Tony’s out dancing and drinking champagne and making friends. So my personal friends in the industry are people more like you, I met on a business basis, we’ve had lunch, we’ve had dinner, but I’m not a party girl and people don’t always… when you’re outgoing and outspoken. Yeah.
Elizabeth Francisco: I think that would surprise a lot of people about you.
Anne Sadovsky: Not a party girl. So anyway, and of course, now that I’m up in years, I’m definitely not a party girl party. Partying for me is staying up past nine o’clock.
Elizabeth Francisco: People who say that, never finished that sentence by saying what time you get up. There’s a difference there for sure. I’m thinking about, I know what word I think of, but it makes me curious if there was one word you would think of to describe you, describe yourself. What would that one word be?
Anne Sadovsky: I think tenacious. I’m pretty much a stick with it person. Again, with the one 13 months and I didn’t stick with it, [00:20:00] but it was… when I tell you it was bad and how I had to handle it… so I’m going to give you a quick example just for everybody’s entertainment. He was putting us all on a private jet to go to Las Vegas for the NAHB conference. I was the only female on staff level there, as usual as it has been all my life up until these modern times. Anyway. So we’re sitting in the staff meeting. He said, “now Sadovsky just because you’re a damn woman. Doesn’t mean you’re going to get your own hotel room. You’ll have to share a room with one of the guys.” Cause he always was trying me, always trying me…
Elizabeth Francisco: pushing the buttons.
Anne Sadovsky: I sat there and I said, “do I get to pick which one?” And of course all the guys laughed and he said, “no, I’m serious about this.” I said, “that’s fine. As long as their wives know that they’re sharing a room with a woman, it’s fine with me.” I just, he was always trying to push my buttons. So we arrive in Las Vegas and go to check-in and I’m in a suite on the top floor by myself. He just had to test me… had to test me. So learning to handle that kind of situation and it’s obviously it’s my personality… I didn’t study. I didn’t learn it. I didn’t take a class. It was natural for me. One other quick instance is I was walking by his office and we’d been to a grand opening of something and now said, “I met your wife, she’s just darling.” And he said, would you sleep with me if I didn’t have her? And I looked at him, I said, “no, sir, I wouldn’t he’s why am I not your type?” I said, “this is a ridiculous conversation. I’ll be in my office.” And from then on, he tried to try me every day to make me yield. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power, all about power. So if it happened today, a woman would sue for that. And I wanted to pitch him a quarter and say, “call somebody, that’s interested in talking to you. I’m not.” That was when we had a payphone for a court.
Elizabeth Francisco: Yeah. It’s interesting there. Cause we’re having a real conversation. I think a lot of people in our audience can probably relate. I hope it’s less now for people that are in their twenties and thirties. I have a perception that it is, I think they’re more empowered and they know they’re not alone. And there’s more women like us that have talked about our experiences and also are helping hopefully to lift other women up and say, “stand your ground.” I remember being at a very large conference that happens every year and January and it’s predominantly men.
And I mean out of 5,000, maybe depending on the year, between four to 8% of the attendees would be women. And this was right when you know #MeToo was front and center like 2018. We’re at this conference and I’m out in the lobby area of this hotel. And I’m sitting in is, I’ve taken stock. I participated in the women’s event the day before, and that’s how we knew how many of us were there.
And I couldn’t believe it, this man that I was talking to, he just spaced out in his head and he forgot I was standing there talking. And so his out loud voice came out and he just looked around this giant lobby area and there was, it was also, it’s all Navy blue and black suits, all men. And I noticed there’s hardly any women in the room and he literally says out loud, “man, there’s a lot of chicks here this year.” That’s not that long ago. That’s 2018. And I was just talking to me and I remember thinking in the moment and my, and my inside voice I’m like, “did he forget where he was at? Did he forget? I’m standing here for, so how could he forget I’m staying here?” And I took one for the team for all women and all I could think to do in my moment was to mirror his exact body language. So I did, I crossed my arms. I did the exact stance he did. I bumped him. So he would see me and I looked around the room, nodding my head, just like he had done to watching him react to me calling him out for saying, there’s a lot of chicks here and me saying wait a minute, my perception was there was almost all men here.
Anne Sadovsky: This is what’s changed in my career time… is that women were not, back [00:24:00] in the day, weren’t educated about standing up for ourselves and then we didn’t have to take that. And I, again, I don’t know that it even happened to me today, if I were in your age group is still working that I would sue somebody, but I would speak up and not with hostility, not crying, not hateful. Mine is just a little sharp retort, so yeah. I have a long time friend in the industry, we just lost her not long ago. She and her husband were up together and property management and they hired a new young receptionist. And this was 40 years ago, whatever 30 years ago, maybe. And he walked out and patted her on the shoulder one day and said, “you’re doing a really great job. We’re so glad to have you.” And she filed a complaint that he touched her and was sexually harassing her. We’re smarter today. And nobody should feel free to put their hands on each other, but a pat on the shoulder or a hug like you and I do when we first see each other gee, when you read the laws, we’re not supposed to be doing that.
Elizabeth Francisco: Yeah. It’s a tough, and it’s a tough to navigate when this sincere, they intent is important also. I thought about this cause I have a dear friend that I used to work for. The they’re based out of Florida. One of the things that he had asked me in from his perspective, and he’s an advocate,
he wants to stay in shoulder by shoulders… a lot of women in top leadership positions in their company help support me as I was coming up through the ranks. And actually I had to file a complaint within that company because of a general contractor, the GM of a project that we were doing who was same thing you experienced was pushing every button I had trying to, and really took it to the extreme. And they a hundred percent supported me. And his question to me was “My perception is things are getting better, but after hearing the session and the panel, now I sit back and I wonder, are we making as much progress as I thought?” And I thought that was a really interesting question. One, I keep asking people as we go out and we talk around the country, because there has been a lot of advancements. Like I said, more women in leadership positions. But do we see enough women like yourself that started your own business? Do we see enough of women reaching up into partnership levels and owning that space so that the rest of us coming up behind them, see that and go, oh, I can aspire to be that too.
Because when I traveled around and I asked people where do you aspire to be in the future? Where do you’re in, multi-family been in it for 10 years, what do you think? It looks like long-term what are you trying to get to? What will you look back and think is your measure of success?
And it’s interesting because of, thank goodness with resumes. I get to travel around and meet a lot of different people. And I never hear people tell me it was specifically women and women of color as well, or even multicultural women. There’s no combat yet to getting them and say, I want to own my own company. I want to own one management company. I want to be an investor in multi-family like, I don’t hear that. I’d say middle managers in down. And it really started to make me question, why is that? And then when you look around, you can see why that might be because they don’t see people like themselves in those roles. And so I just, I think about as our industry, how do we go about making that kind of change? You’ve been through, we said five decades. I still don’t think that’s possible, but we’ll say five decades.
Anne Sadovsky: This is my 53rd year in the industry.
Elizabeth Francisco: She’s doing something right. But this thinking about how much you’ve seen, how much change you’ve witnessed, what do you think will help us get to that next level, to where we’ll have more women and minorities coming up through multifamily that, will take that leap of faith, starting their own business, or at least the thinking and aspiring to do?
Anne Sadovsky: When I see the difference today than in 30, 40 years ago, how many female vice presidents and presidents of companies presidents and vice presidents, et cetera, on boards for the apartment associations, we have come a very long way. And [00:28:00] so I think we’re creating more role models. I’m sure we’ve created more role models for women and people ask me a lot. Who are your mentors? Who mentored you? There was nobody. Yeah. I do want to back up and tell you that when I started my business, I called Don Schein who had been my boss at Lincoln and said, I’m leaving here. I’m not asking you to come back because I want to do something different. I want to start my own company and I’m going to do training and education. Then I ended up with the employment agency, which we called it back then, terminology changes. And I said, but I’m unsure financially, whatever. And he’s the nicest man in the world. Never a personal friendship, never had lunch with him, never had dinner with him, just my boss, my big boss. And he said, “I’m going to give me your account number and we’ll put $3,000 in your checking account. And that was a lot of money, 1980-81. And he said, and you can pay me back as you can.” And I was stunned and it just gave me more confidence that I was going to be able to make my house payment, and as I was getting started and I think back on, on that, the kindness and his faith in me that I would be able to do something. So I spent part of the money on a typewriter. Anybody remember typewriters that’s how long ago it was.
Elizabeth Francisco: Our audience has seen those in movies.
Anne Sadovsky: And, there was no technology, when we got our first fax machine, I thought we were going to the moon. We were so with it. But anyway, in six months or less, I had paid him back completely. And I owe him that, I don’t know that he’s still around. I had lost track of him, but he was high up in Lincoln at the time. So it wasn’t so much a mentor as somebody that had faith in me does not just sit, I would be successful without giving him his money back, so I think we’ve come so far that it’s hard for me to even think about back then.
Elizabeth Francisco: That’s a great testament though.
Anne Sadovsky: Moving forward.
Elizabeth Francisco: Yeah, it doesn’t mean we don’t still have. Some space to go. And it makes me think too, and I’m learning from our conversations. I always do. How do we maybe start forums or conversations about what it takes to start a company.
Anne Sadovsky: Great idea.
Elizabeth Francisco: See what’s coming out of these by the way for the audience, this is what happens when I talked to her.
Anne Sadovsky: We’ve done this a few times.
Elizabeth Francisco: Including, even for the ResMan journey, your complete support, belief… and at times, helping me stay the course when I doubted and wondered if I was a crazy person. So in running your businesses, was there what was the most difficult aspect of running the business after you got started? Because you hadn’t done it before so I imagine there’s quite a few things you didn’t anticipate, but looking back, what would you say was the hardest part that you had to deal with?
Anne Sadovsky: I’ll start with the smartest thing. And that was to know that I couldn’t do it all by myself. And my best friend was at Lincoln, which by the way is a quick fun story. When Don hired me, he gave me a list of five people that were going to hate me for getting the job five names on the list. He said, these people would like to have had the training, marketing director job, and they’ve been here a long time. And so they’re going to hate you. So I called each one and made an appointment and took my yellow pad and went and sat down with them and ask them for input on how they would like to see the training school change. And would they be willing to participate? And I don’t know, I look back and I’m going, damn. I was smart. But one of those was my friend Janel and she was in marketing. And that person who was on the “she’ll hate you” less became my best friend and was for 47 years until we lost her a couple of years ago. But I hired her to run the business so that I could travel and speak and support the business as we were getting started and we’d [00:32:00] brainstorm. And we got the idea to do the temp agency. So brainstorming with other words, And I don’t remember turning back to any guys. We were perfectly capable and we made it happen. So we were full service marketing for a good while. We had an interior designer. We had a creative guy that did ads and all, we were stepping up there in the early eighties and there’ve been a lot of knockoff businesses, are same businesses. They saw that we could do it and more power to them. They did it too.
I might’ve been a little bit of a game changer for the apartment industry now that I think of it.
Elizabeth Francisco: Yeah. I would agree with that. And I think people look at you that way. And for those people that are listening to this that haven’t had the good fortune to get to know you or to know your story… coming up here and especially in the Sunbelt states in Texas… Even getting ready for this podcast, telling people while we were at advocate last week in the NAA assembly of delegates, all I have to say is, “oh yeah, next week I’m doing a podcast with Anne Sadovsky!” They’re like, “oh, it’s Anne Sadovsky!” You have groupies. (laughter) but you’re right though, because you were a game changer. And thank God you were, because I don’t know that I would be where I’m at without… more than just seeing what you had accomplished and knowing who you are… it was how you supported myself, how you supported me and other women in the industry. And I think it’s interesting because that is, unfortunately, there are still times and I dealt with it out on our properties and it seems like in every company I’ve been at, sometimes women can be our own worst critics. Worse than that, we can be even harder on other women.
And that’s a challenge for me because I don’t know that thought doesn’t occur to me. Even when I had people I was competing with, my thought was we worked for the same company… if you do well and I do well, we all do well. Hopefully we get paid for that point and we all rise together. I’ve had my work ethic. I’ve had people literally approach me about, “you’re just trying to show me up” and I’m like, “I have no concept of what that.” That thought doesn’t even enter in my head. I’m competitive with myself. So have you ever dealt with any challenges with other women?
Anne Sadovsky: I sit here and listen to you and this thought keeps coming to my mind and men eternally from the beginning of time that I know about… abuse of power has been huge. And we see it today. We see it in Putin. We see it in our own presidents. We see it in major corporations, and I think women, when we first started getting some power, our only role model was the abuse of power guys. I hope that I never did it. I don’t remember doing it. It’s not in my mindset, but other people can see you that way. Just because you’re the boss or your name is on the door, whatever. I think other women sometimes might think, but I was really quick to give promotions and titles and equal opportunity. Because I wanted them to stay with me.
Elizabeth Francisco: Did you ever feel like you had to overcome that with another woman, either in your company or out in the space where you were competing for business?
Anne Sadovsky: I don’t, I know that sounds ridiculous but remember I didn’t work for other women. I became the boss. So I didn’t have that in between time where a woman would have an opportunity. Not in the associations, not in companies. And I guess again, one more time. I was a first, so.
Elizabeth Francisco: You have a lot of first yeah.
Anne Sadovsky: A lot of firsts.
Elizabeth Francisco: I think we could do a whole episode of firsts. You were reflecting on some of them. Is there a couple firsts that would like to share with us that we haven’t already talked to?
Anne Sadovsky: As mentioned, I was the first ever female VP at Lincoln and I was due to be the first female president of [00:36:00] AAGD I was on the board and that was coming up for me when I left Lincoln.
So it took me out of the, cause I went into single family. And he wasn’t yet in multifamily. So I think that’s been a non-issue for me. And I do see it as I, as a consultant and I work with companies and I see what’s going on. I see more competitiveness and snarkiness between the female leadership and team members than I do.