A Pennsylvania native who manages Chattanooga rental properties has become one of downtown’s newest boosters.
“It’s important for anyone selling anything to be passionate about it,” said Tristin Chiafullo. “I love Chattanooga.”
Ms. Chiafullo in June opened Resident Property Management, and in that time she has taken on the management of five downtown rental properties. She said that when she moved to Chattanooga in August 2007 she had trouble finding a downtown apartment. Finally, she found a place to live but saw a need for a downtown rental specialist, she said.
* Name: Tristin Chiafullo
* Job: Owner of Resident Property Management
* Age: 28
* Hometown: New Castle, Pa.
* Education: Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, Point Park College (which is now a university)
* Family: Parents, Carl and Gloria; sister, April; and three nephews
* Hobbies, etc.: Working out; cooking; cleaning; attending Real Life Christian Ministries events
Ms. Chiafullo, who turns 29 in December, said she initially moved here to manage an out-of-state project for a Chattanooga developer, but with the slow real estate market that job did not work, she said. So she opened Resident Property Management.
Real estate development and property management were not Ms. Chiafullo’s first career choice, she said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, but while in college worked as an assistant to the operations director of a real estate company that managed rental properties. She also worked for a manager of a mixed-use development and later moved to Charleston, S.C., where she managed more than 1 million square feet of commercial real estate.
Although her college training was in journalism, not real estate, Ms. Chiafullo said her major has helped her succeed in business.
“Effective communication is a prerequisite to start a business,” she said. “It can make or break a business.”
One of Ms. Chiafullo’s clients, Robert Duncan, said the property manager is very personable. He hired her to manage a single-family house on Mitchell Street.
“She is very hands-on,” Mr. Duncan said. “I like that type of property manager, versus a larger firm. She provides a personal touch.”
Ms. Chiafullo said that personal service is her niche. Her portfolio so far includes Mr. Duncan’s single-family house, a two-condo building and an apartment complex. She is looking to take on additional properties, she said.
She will be happy to show newcomers around downtown at no charge, since she’s gotten to know the central city area very well, she said. The property manager said that she loves the freedom of working for herself, and loves working and living in the downtown area.
“I never knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I know the lifestyle I wanted to have,” she said.
That lifestyle includes going to the gym when she wants and not feeling guilty about taking time to run errands during the day, she said. And, she loves Chattanooga’s weather, she said.
“Chattanooga is like Pittsburgh, but the sun shines here,” Ms. Chiafullo said. “It’s a livable, walkable, likable city.”