Jeanie Sanchez: Founder, Sanchez Compliance & Consulting: Always Room to Grow
Jeanie Sanchez started her career by chance, when a hiring manager gave her a shot at a rental assistant job despite her inexperience in the apartment industry. From those humble beginnings, Jeanie has grown in the industry and now runs and owns a compliance firm, where she and her team help affordable housing providers meet and maintain compliance with local and national regulations.
Jeanie’s Original Story: Always Room to Grow
My name is Juanita Sanchez (my friends and family call me Jeanie) and I am the founder of Sanchez Compliance & Consulting, a local Compliance firm here in Austin, Texas.
I had no idea that applying for the rental assistant job I found in the newspaper would eventually turn into my lifelong career. I was a young mother with two kids still living at home with my parents in Silicon Valley.
I had no car, no degree, no real work experience, and definitely no experience in the apartment industry.
I still remember the day I interviewed like it was yesterday. I am forever thankful for that manager who took a chance on me.
Another moment I will always remember: While working that first job, my sister called me at work to offer me a ride home. She said to me, “You sound so happy, you sound like you fit.”
The thing is, I was happy and I did fit. I had worked a number of odd jobs to help support my small family, but never really found anything that was right. When I stepped into that rental assistant job, I found much more than a job. I finally found a career.
Later that year, I was able to purchase my first car and move out on my own for the first time. I was living in Silicon Valley in the early ‘90s when the housing boom was just getting started. With rent increases of $300 – $400 a month it was necessary for me to find a low-income apartment. At the time there were only two or three of these communities in my area and they all had waitlists years long. I can honestly say the good Lord was looking out for me because we were called off the waitlist after only 6 months and began the process that would change my life forever.
The process of applying for and getting approved for the apartment was so hard – intrusive and incredibly lengthy – I sometimes joke and say it felt like I had to give up my firstborn in order to get approved.
However, this is what sparked the fire in my soul to learn all about the process/program and how I could make it better – and not only because I felt like I had to prove I was worthy of getting one of these apartments, but also because the management team seemed overwhelmed, tired and unhappy.
Working in the apartment industry myself, I knew there had to be a better way.
I set out on a mission to learn as much as I could, so that eventually I could help change the way things were done to make it easier and more dignified for everyone. Fast forward 25 years later, after working in every position, from leasing agent to compliance director and everything in-between, taking advantage of every training opportunity I could, enduring long hours, sleepless nights and two out-of-state moves, all in hopes of finding a better way and changing the stigma attached to affordable housing, I landed here, in Texas.
I opened up my own compliance firm and made an impact on the industry one community at a time.
I’ve found that it’s a career that can catapult you in any direction you can dream of. There are opportunities no matter where you start, where you live or where you want to go. From onsite to ownership, there is always room to grow.
Find more from Jeanie Sanchez at Sanchez Compliance & Consulting.