High caliber maintenance and renovation services are central to the promise Pan American Properties makes to our clients and the residents and businesses that rely on us. We’re proud of the team we’ve assembled to meet our service goals, which is why we’ve started a blog series to highlight the people who make it all happen.
Meet Eric Hess, Director of Maintenance
Eric Hess may live in Southern California, but his roots are in the Midwest. A Wisconsin native who bleeds green and gold for his beloved Packers, he brought his family’s strong work ethic to the Pan American team when he joined us about four years ago as a maintenance technician.
We sat down with Eric to chat with him about what makes him tick. (Besides football, which is a sensitive topic for Packer fans right now.)
Like so many people who have found themselves in Southern California, Eric gravitates toward the water. In his case, below the water. A certified scuba diver, he’s always thinking about the next trip. He’s been down nearly 100 feet in the waters around Maui, which he counts as one of his favorite places.
“When you’re diving it’s a different world down there,” he said.
Going under the waves or into the mountains for a getaway helps Eric renew his focus for the detailed work that’s required of him as Director of Maintenance.
With the pandemic putting limits on his family’s ability to get out and about, Eric has been focusing more on practicing woodworking and doing some home improvement projects around the house.
“I’m very good at creating things,” he said. “Working on my house helps me get better at what I do. It’s satisfying to work with my hands.”
Which brings up something else he does with his hands: Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza.
It’s a card game involving quick reflexes to be the first player to snag cards. “There’s some hand slapping that goes on,” Eric admits. Still, it beats just watching TV. “I love to spend time with my wife,” he said. “Even our dog Vixie gets excited when we play Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza.”
Helping out of habit
Eric was promoted to be Pan American’s Director of Maintenance toward the end of 2019. With so much of his time in the role dominated by the pandemic, he’s had a lot of opportunities to be helpful.
“I’m someone who has never been able to say no when someone asks for help,” he said.
With a team of 46 maintenance techs and two administrative assistants, Eric has his hands full making sure the crew is healthy and happy.
“I tell my team to do what they would do in their own houses,” he says. “You wouldn’t do it the cheapest way. You’d do it right the first time.”
Eric’s not just a people person, or a hammer-and-nails person. He’s also something of a math whiz. “I’m good at math,” he said, which explains why the job’s big load of day-to-day budgeting is no problem for him. Keeping all the projects he’s working on within budget and staffed with the right people takes a steady focus.
“We’re always watching out for something wonky in the budget. If something needs to get adjusted we jump on it. If it’s something we need to alert the owner about, I’ll take care of that.”
A commitment to communication
For Eric, building a great team begins with great communication. It’s a principle he lives by as a manager and as someone who regularly connects with his clients.
As a communicator, striking the right balance isn’t always easy. “You may feel that you’re over-communicating, but the client thinks it’s not enough. You might think you communicate too little, but the client thinks its over-communicating.” Getting to know the client is part of the process of delivering the service they expect from Pan American.
“I try to make everyone as happy as I can make them. Also, I try to look at things through their perspective.”
Working with clients to overcome challenges is one of the things that Eric likes best about his job. After all, our clients have put their trust in him to care for a valuable asset. “I get a thrill turning somebody’s house into a home,” he says. “The reaction at the end of the day makes you feel really good.”
Eric takes a lot of satisfaction in seeing a project brought to life. Every time he can hold up the rendering prepared at the planning stages and sees that the final product matches the plan, he gets a special jolt of excitement. He knows his clients share that feeling.
“Some companies in our industry don’t care the way that we do. It’s the follow up, the follow through and the updates, and I think that’s what sets us apart. It’s the communication piece.”
About Pan American Properties
Pan American Properties specializes in investment in and management of commercial, residential and mixed-use properties. Our services include property management, accounting, maintenance, renovation, and investment services.
At Pan American, we tailor our solutions to help clients achieve personal and business goals. Our team will never treat you like you’re just another number. We will take the time to fully understand your needs and deliver on our service promise.
Learn more about us and our staff members by calling a call at (888) 754-9700, or send us an email at [email protected].