Cody Coker Has the Recipe for Success

Cody Coker recently celebrated his two-year work anniversary with Campus Advantage in late December. As Property Manager at Titan Court in Eugene, Oregon, Cody wears a lot of hats, from marketing to maintenance to making sure his team and residents are empowered to succeed. Inspired by previous and current mentors, Cody’s optimistic attitude and passion for building up others is reflected in all he does — including unique (and delicious) resident experiences at his community. Read on to learn more about Cody’s time at Campus Advantage, the core value that best represents him, and what he enjoys creating outside of work.

Tell us a little bit about your current role.

I’m currently the Property Manager at Titan Court in Eugene, Oregon. In my role, I have to wear many different kinds of hats. Sometimes I have to pick up a maintenance hat and use that part of my brain. Sometimes I have to put on a leasing and marketing hat and operate from that perspective. So, I think my role is all about adaptability and being able to organize yourself with the various punches that come from every possible angle. It’s stressful putting out fires for everybody, but ultimately it feels good to have the answers that everybody seeks.

How long have you been with Campus Advantage?

I’ve been with the company for just over two years. I started December 2021 as the Assistant General Manager over at The Soto, which is just across town from here. My previous Property Manager was Ben Botting, who I love and respect. I wanna give Ben a great shoutout and a lot of kudos for being such a great leader and someone who helped bring me where I am today!

What first attracted you to work for Campus Advantage?

What really attracted me to the company wasn’t anything about the job posting. I liked that there was a good role in real estate that I could do that was next to campus — I had recently graduated from the University of Oregon, so I was going to be able to work right there. When I got in for the interview, it was abundantly clear to me the kind of energy and expectations that this company had, and that’s what really got me excited. Honestly, it was clear to me that I wanted to be a part of an organization that would hear me out. Campus Advantage encourages people to step up and think of creative solutions for the creative problems we encounter in this industry.

What does a typical day look like for you and your team?

We have to do everything related to leasing and managing a property. It’s an asset that we must protect and upkeep. I’ve got a great Maintenance Supervisor, Evan Salyards, who helps me do that. Evan is somebody I can rely on so heavily, and it’s been so wonderful to have a rockstar like them in their position that allows me to really focus my efforts elsewhere. I also have a great front office leasing team. We’ve been going through some transitions; somebody recently got promoted from our Leasing Agent to our Leasing Manager, and they’re flowering into their position. I’m excited about where we’re going to take it together.

Every day the team is making calls to prospects, guarantors, potentially an angry resident, or an angry guarantor of a current lease. So, similar to myself, they have to wear a lot of different hats; they have to be firefighters to put out all of the worst fires they encounter every day. The team has to be salespeople but also community members. These are students they’re talking with. It’s their peers. So they have to be respectful and informed but also personable, and I think they do a great job of that.

What three words best describe you (inside or outside of work)?

Optimist – Everybody can get bogged down with the feelings of today. But at the end of the day, I’m always optimistic that the future is brighter and that the next day is better.

Patient – I think being patient and nurturing to people allows them to succeed. Patience really makes a big difference.

Empowering – I think it’s extremely important to empower people with the knowledge to complete a task, or the knowledge and/or the perspective to understand the emotions they’re feeling at a certain time or point in their life.

How would you describe the Campus Advantage culture?

Youthful – They support anybody with an idea, and in general you think of young people as having all the new ideas, constantly thinking of new ways to improve or try new things.

Supportive – We all have difficult properties that give us, you know, peculiar problems. And it’s really hard to feel like you’re not alone, but Campus Advantage has done a great job of cultivating a sense of community, even if we are geographically very far away from one another.

Energetic – You see somebody having fun in a Sell & Deliver meeting in front of a hundred people and you think, OK, well not everything’s dreary, and this is actually kind of fun. That kind of energy in the company gives me energy to continue pushing day after day, week after week.

What is one of your favorite moments with Campus Advantage so far?

There are just so many good ones. This isn’t a specific moment, but at my previous property, The Soto, I really took ownership over two specific events that were weekly, but one that was my baby was Waffle Wednesdays. Every Wednesday for over a year, I would make unique flavored batters and cut fresh fruit and set out different toppings. Sometimes if it was Easter, it’d be bright colored and lemony. If it was close to the holidays, it would be pumpkin pie waffle batter or red velvet cake waffle batter. Any number of various things to associate the flavor to the feeling of the season or the holiday that’s coming up. Every Wednesday I always had two to three dozen people who would religiously come and get their new flavored waffle. They’d be excited to see the flavors, hang out, and talk with the team at the front desk. We really built a strong sense of community with an event like that. They could rely on it every week. It was new every week, and it was tasty and fun. That’s something that genuinely warmed my heart every week, getting to create unique, fun experiences for the entire community.

Which of Campus Advantage’s core values represents you best?

I’d say passion, because I’m really passionate about succeeding, and there’s a lot of interpretations to that. I want to succeed in my role. I want this property to succeed. I want to elevate my staff members to succeed. I want them to build careers just like my previous Property Manager helped to build me up. I want to build them up. I’m passionate about this. I want to make a difference here, and I want to perform at the highest level I possibly can.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

I’ve got a lot of people relying on me. I’ve got supervisors that rely on me, I have employees that rely on me, and I have residents that rely on me. So, you know, you must care about the people. I also care about working for good people. I was fortunate to have Ben as my last boss, and I’m really lucky to have Gretchen as my current boss. They’ve both been very kind, supportive, and empowering. They have motivated me to continue to make a good impact on other people’s lives. If somebody does something good for me, I want to do something good for them right back.

Thinking about your most successful peers and teammates, what characteristics do they share?

I think without a doubt it would be how personable they are. They are people; you can be intelligent, you can be on top of everything in this industry, but if you don’t have the ability to speak and communicate issues or policies to somebody in a palatable way, it’s just not going to work. Every one of my colleagues and supervisors is successful because they are personable. We have to give bad news to people sometimes, but there are ways to do that where somebody can still leave the conversation happy, and it’s the people that have that ability that are the most successful here.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

​I really love cooking. It’s my art form; just like a painter has every imaginable color, I view ingredients as my colors. I want to make new flavor combinations I’ve never had before, maybe never even heard of before. I want to make the highest quality foods, so I love all kinds of beef, steak, and pork. It just makes me happy getting to create in the kitchen and not following a recipe. I fancy myself a little home chef, but I don’t have any professional experience. I go home, I cook, and I love sharing it with people. There’s no point in cooking good food if you don’t share it with people you love. My dad always cooked for the family growing up. My mom would always have her fun holiday recipes, but being able grow up in the kitchen with my dad has always been one of my fondest memories to look back on.

If your life had a soundtrack, name some songs that would be on it?

“Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.