Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Q&A with CARROLL’s Shauna Shields

Part 4 of Our Spotlight Series Celebrating Women Who Embody Our Core Values and Help Others Soar

Today, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we are shining the spotlight on Shauna Shields who recently won the Firm’s “Leasing Consultant of the Year” award. Described as “reliable and dependable,” she always strives for excellence in the leasing process, supporting each prospect from their first touchpoint to the day they become an official ARIUM resident.

Happy Women’s History Month to you! Name a woman from history that you find especially inspiring and tell us why.

A woman from history who I am inspired by is Harriet Tubman. She was born into slavery but found her freedom traveling alone on the Underground Railroad. Tubman began her work on the Underground Railroad by retrieving members of her own family. In the years that followed, she would go on to free around 700 enslaved people. I find her inspiring because she showed how someone can leave a motivating legacy of love, sacrifice, and determination despite being born into the worst of conditions. Even though she faced pain and struggles, Harriet Tubman dedicated her life to kindness and equal opportunity – from freeing enslaved people, to promoting women’s suffrage, caring for the elderly, and more.

According to CREW Network’s fourth benchmark study, women represent roughly 36.7% of the workforce in commercial real estate. Tell us a little about your career journey which led to your present-day work in multifamily real estate.

My career journey started in hospitality and tourism management before I migrated to the United States in 1997 from Jamaica. After college, I realized that my interest changed (with respect to my major in tourism) and I became more inclined to use my Business Administration minor. I partnered with a friend who had an engineering company and became the operations manager. That was short lived, but it birthed a newfound passion for logistics. I started a transportation company with the same friend, and we transported cars from state-to-state for over five years – all while pursuing a higher level of education. Life happened and the business ventures did not work out, prompting me to move back to New York and restart my logistics company.

During this time, the majority of my family remained in Florida and eventually I got tired of going back and forth between states, so I moved back to Florida. I had worked in multifamily for a short period of time, so when the opportunity presented itself, I applied to be a Leasing Consultant at Centro at Davie by ARIUM where I found my niche. I started in October in 2018 and was promoted in 2021 to Leasing Manager. I was then tasked as a mentor and helped on most of CARROLL properties in Sandy’s region. In 2022, I was awarded the Leasing Consultant of the Year in Sandy’s market. In January 2023, I was promoted to Property Manager at Park Place at Turtle Run by ARIUM. I was then nominated for, and won, a 2022 Circle of Excellence award (of which I am still ecstatic)!

In what ways have you grown (whether professionally or personally) since you began your career in multifamily real estate?

Working in multifamily real estate has matured me both professionally and personally. Professionally, it has opened my eyes to seeing that as the demand for multifamily communities remains high, the influx of individuals required to manage those communities is inevitable. This allows a career path with great opportunities, including continued education. Personally, finding my niche within a company that values and inspires me makes working in multifamily a great experience – I have found this here at CARROLL! I am surrounded by a multitude of mentors, an outstanding Regional Manager who leads by example and a tremendous Regional Vice President who is always kind – they have all guided me throughout the years and that is why I can, in turn, impart knowledge as a mentor to others. Having experienced people who have worked in the same field for many years really makes a difference in the longevity and loyalty one will have in the industry. I draw inspiration from that. I have realized that property management highlights the importance of building exciting, multifamily communities where culture, teamwork, and a commitment to serving others is vital – I am happy to serve each day.

As noted above, you recently won a 2022 Circle of Excellence award! Congrats! How long have you been a member of the CARROLL team? Tell us what your current role is and what an average day may look like for you.

I have been a member of the CARROLL team for four years and was recently promoted to Property Manager earlier in the year. My current role is to ensure efficient daily operations on-site and meet financial objectives. My responsibilities include efficiently managing the community, preparing financial reports, marketing and filling vacancies, handling tenant relations, and overseeing maintenance. A typical day for me begins with an employee huddle – there we discuss the day’s focus, work orders and delegate daily goals – we also bond as a team, setting a positive tone for a productive day. The focus is subjected to change as needed daily.  I constantly check my budget and process invoices. Then I move on to handling any resident-related issues, in between calls and report preparation. I wrap up my day with a brief talk with my team, closing out with my maintenance supervisor, and setting things in motion for the next day.

What is one of the most fulfilling parts of your job?

Providing housing means encountering people from all walks of life. I get to meet people who possibly have gone through a divorce, cross-country moves, or other life changes. Each interaction gives me an opportunity to lend an ear, get to know that person, and give them the joy of finding that perfect place to live in my community. Residents – current and future – are the reason I do what I do. I have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many people, this gives me intrinsic value. You can make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others, all while doing something you love.

What is something you wish your present self could tell your younger self?

“Take the time to recognize your achievements and evaluate areas where there is opportunity for future growth. Learn how to self-reflect exemplifies professional maturity, resilience, and loyalty.”

How can women continue to support/empower each other in today’s workplace and in the communities in which we live?

Women can continue support and empower women in this industry to be the one to raise your hand when opportunities arise – whether it be assisting with sister communities such as helping with new projects, or even offering to cover shifts at other communities. When you are willing to leave your comfort zone and take on a new challenge, that is when professional growth happens, and bigger opportunities present themselves. Raising your hand is a great networking opportunity and offers the chance to meet and learn from others within your company. networking is critical in every role and position – taking advantage of challenges and raising your hand is one of the best ways to increase your visibility among company leadership.