Retail Property Manager builds stronger teams through diversity
Roma Williams maintains people-first mindset at work and in her community
Roma Williams was recruited into property management while working as a retail manager for a music company. After building a strong relationship with the mall manager, she was approached to consider moving into managing retail properties.
“The mall manager told me he thought I may be a good fit in property management. After our discussion, I thought ‘why not? I’ll try something different.’”
Roma accepted a role on his team and saw everything that encompasses property management. “Originally, I thought only of the marketing components of the job and not the finance, operations, security and management side. I was in awe.”
While working for a local developer, Roma saw a mix-used property development that caught her eye. She eventually drove to the construction site to learn more and discovered that JLL was hired to manage the retail component. After reaching out to her network and making her way through the interview process, Roma was hired on as assistant general manager, worked tireless as the property prepared to open and was promoted to general manager on the property’s opening day. She’s been at JLL ever since then in 2005.
“I love what I do - being passionate about your work so important. It carries you through the tough times and challenging days. That, along with the patience to see your efforts pay off, are the two biggest pieces of advice I give new team members.”
Mentoring and training new and rising talent is Roma’s favorite part of the job. During her time as JLL, she has helped recruit seven team members to JLL Property Management – all of whom are people of color.
Roma Williams and her family.
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“I believe diverse talent and perspectives make our teams more successful. Building awareness of our field is critical - once people see everything that happens behind the scenes, they see how much value property management adds. Helping people establish successful careers and take on more responsibilities is very important to me.” In fact, her biggest goal to accomplish this year and into 2022 is the successful – onboarding of five team members who are stepping into managerial positions.
Her people-first mindset isn’t reserved only for her JLL colleagues. Roma also points to the relationships she has with retailers as a perk of her job. “I love helping retailers think through their business operations and model – it’s their livelihood.”
When Roma’s not at work, she enjoys cooking (including hosting big Thanksgiving dinners), creating floral arrangements and helping with her community’s soccer league. “My boys played for years, so I have basically been a soccer team manager for years. Even though they’re older now, I still help out at the bigger tournaments.”
“When, I was growing up in Jamaica, my mom was the equivalent of a police chief – she always took care of team and spent time mentoring others. I think I got this people-first mentality from her – I just apply it to property management.”