The real estate management industry thrives because of the dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment of individuals and organizations to consistently raise the bar of excellence. Every year, IREM recognizes outstanding achievements in this field with the IREM REME Awards. These individuals and companies have not only demonstrated exceptional leadership, but they have also made significant contributions to the real estate management profession. Join us in applauding their remarkable accomplishments and steadfast dedication.
AMO of the Year
Curry Real Estate Services, AMO®
Kansas City, Missouri
As Curry Real Estate Services, AMO® prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024, the company reflects on how instrumental IREM and its values have been in shaping its history and success. As a proud Accredited Management Organization (AMO), Curry Real Estate takes pride in its long tenure as a family-owned business and, more importantly, in how the business acts with integrity when interacting with tenants, employees, professional colleagues, and the community.
After 100 years, Curry Real Estate is known for its steadiness, consistency, and professionalism. The company’s horizontal management structure—where everyone jumps in to help wherever needed—fosters and enables an environment dedicated to quality service for customers and colleagues in the industry.
“There are so many big, complicated challenges in the world today, but I truly believe each one of us gets the chance to make a difference every day without even knowing it,” says Ellen Todd, CPM®, president, Curry Real Estate. “Each interaction we have with a tenant, any phone call we get about maintenance issues, and every client we help with a real estate transaction makes an impact. If we approach everything with respect, kindness, patience, and understanding, it’s a chance to do our small part in making the world a better place.”
IREM Innovator Award
In a world where great employees are hard to find, Cortland, AMO®, manages to attract top-tier talent. Sometimes, however, that talent leaves for another organization in multifamily or other areas of real estate. The question is: how can real estate management firms cultivate interest in multifamily real estate management, and how can they retain and develop the careers of those new to multifamily?
Traditional solutions are not enough. To support industry careers, Cortland conducted research that revealed that identifying the key traits of top talent and building an industry-leading learning platform could create career pathways for Cortland associate employees. This pathway, or journey, was designed to help create exceptional experiences for associates at all stages of their employee lifecycle so that they feel just as much at home as their residents do when living in a Cortland community. Cortland’s focused approach, collaboration, and emphasis on employee development provide opportunities to support, educate, and retain top talent, offering solutions that innovate the multifamily sector.
IREM Excellence Award–Corporate
Olive Tree Holdings
New York, New York
Olive Tree Holdings goes above and beyond through an approach rooted in its core values: People First, Relentless Pursuit of Excellence, Integrity, Team Player, and Radical Candor. These values drive the firm’s communications and treatment of key stakeholders within the business—ranging from team members to critical partners. By emphasizing this approach, the workplace retains a family-like dynamic, encouraging transparency and promoting professional and personal team member growth.
Olive Tree Holdings emphasizes giving back to their local community and supporting charities, a critical component of the company. Ian Bel, CEO and managing principal, has committed Olive Tree Holdings to taking an active role in giving back by establishing a committee dedicated to philanthropy.
In support of another core value, People First, Olive Tree Holdings offers various programs that promote professional development among team members. The company encourages team members to strive for continuous learning by financially supporting them to attend industry events, receive certifications, or be part of an external industry organization—with the corporate office provided as a meeting space if needed after hours. Olive Tree Holdings also offers a tuition reimbursement program and supports various certifications to help further the professional development of the team.
Furthermore, Olive Tree Holdings recognizes the importance of social impact within the communities it serves. The company actively creates value for residents through a diverse range of community programming initiatives. Olive Tree Holdings fosters community and promotes resident interaction by organizing events such as financial literacy workshops, tutoring programs, holiday celebrations, food drives, and standing resident events. These efforts not only improve the quality of life for residents but also contribute to the community’s overall well-being.
IREM DEI Excellence Award–Corporate
Peabody Companies, AMO®
IREM has introduced two new awards this year: the DEI Excellence Award in both the corporate and individual categories.
Developed by the 2022 IREM Diversity Advisory Board (now the DEI Advisory Council), these awards recognize firms and individuals for DEI initiatives that impact their companies, employees, properties, residents, or tenants. Promoting DEI within companies and communities across the real estate management profession inspires leadership and social justice advocacy—measures that serve the betterment of society.
Diversity is deeply ingrained in Peabody’s core values, extending far beyond traditional categories like race and gender. Recognizing the importance of a comprehensive understanding of diversity, they’ve expanded their focus to include a broader range of factors, including age, sexual orientation, disabilities, and mental health.
At Peabody, they actively welcome individuals from all walks of life, valuing diversity in race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, and disability.
They take pride in the efforts of their residents, clients, and team members as they enrich their communities through purposeful and thoughtful diversity initiatives.
IREM DEI Excellence Award–Individual
Jasmyn Sylvester, CPM®, ACoM®
Also new this year, the IREM DEI Excellence Award–Individual is awarded to a real estate management professional who has demonstrated a commitment to DEI in the industry, made extraordinary achievements in the DEI scope, and positively impacted the communities they serve. Their accomplishments may include community service and volunteer efforts, educational, leadership, or professional development initiatives, and involvement in IREM at the national or chapter level.
Jasmyn Sylvester, CPM®, ACoM®, continues to impact real estate management through her commitment to IREM and its mission. She’s been named a Diversity Scholar, an IREM 30 under 30, and has held numerous roles on IREM committees, including the Diversity Advisory Board (now the DEI Advisory Council).
This year, Jasmyn was named a GlobeSt Woman of Influence in the mentorship category, an honor that speaks to her strengths and her work to ensure no one gets left behind in real estate management.
IREM Excellence Award–Individual
Muhammad JawadUrRehman, CPM®
Abu Dhabi, UAE
As an IREM member, Jawad has contributed to the organization by sharing real estate management content for IREM and local publications. He’s also shared his knowledge and insights with other industry professionals to foster a sense of community within the real estate management world. Additionally, he’s volunteered at local nonprofit organizations, offering his expertise in real estate management to support their operations and growth. Recently, he facilitated a strategic partnership between IREM and ADRES/ThinkProp, strengthening the collaboration between these organizations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Jawad’s accomplishments in the real estate management industry have also significantly impacted the community and the profession. As the first CPM in the UAE, he’s brought awareness of IREM to the region, and his efforts to share information about the Institute have played a role in increasing the number of IREM members. His commitment to education, leadership, and professional development has also helped elevate the industry’s standards and foster a strong sense of community among real estate management professionals.
ACoM of the Year
Jasmyn Sylvester, CPM®, ACoM®
When her peers would ask about how she became a real estate manager, Jasmyn would always say, “I just fell into it.” She hasn’t looked back. Since joining IREM, Jasmyn has developed a deep desire to share the golden nuggets of knowledge and experience she’s picked up along the way.
Mentorship has become Jasmyn’s purpose and passion. This year, she was officially named a GlobeSt Real Estate Forum Woman of Influence in the mentorship category. She was also named an ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) Mary Lou Fiala Fellow for 2023, an honor designed for women who wish to take the next big steps in their careers with the support of other inspiring female mentors.
In short, Jasmyn celebrates others while giving everything she can to support and inspire those around her. She’s inspired by the words of Michelle Obama: “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
ARM of the Year
Fernando Bastos, ARM®, BOC®, MBA
Keola La’i AOAO
Sustainability is a top priority for property managers today. Building managers seek to ensure our communities continue to grow while minimizing and potentially eliminating environmental harm. Fernando Bastos, ARM®, BOC®, MBA, believes HOAs (homeowners associations) should fully embrace the responsibility to maintain a sustainable posture by establishing conscious and practical actions that minimize the impact of buildings on the environment. His core belief is that sustainability continuously creates financial and ethical value.
Keola La’i, the HOA Fernando manages, is proud to be the first condo association in the state of Hawaii to be awarded the IREM Certified Sustainable Property (CSP) certification. Being certified as a sustainable condominium association validates that Keola La’i is positively impacting the environment and our society by preserving our ‘āina (“land” in Hawaiian).
Here are some of the actions the HOA took to create a more sustainable community:
- Provided recycling bins on all residential floors and educated residents on the importance of recycling and how to best utilize the bins
- Educated and provided training to residents on how to dispose of cooking oil properly
- Added occupancy sensors and high-efficiency lighting in common areas
- Optimized the domestic water supply system to save energy
- Optimized the cooling tower by adding sensors that monitor the system and send alerts for variances
- Used recycled water from the rain gutters and sprinkler timers for landscaping irrigation, helping to preserve this precious resource
As a result of these measures, the HOA had no maintenance fee increases for three years in a row despite inflation, supply chain disruptions, added costs, and increased labor expenses—an exceptional success. Fernando’s been a driving force in Hawaii towards sustainability in real estate, helping to protect our planet today and for future generations.
CPM of the Year
Adam Benoit, CPM®, RPA, LEED AP, BOMI-HP, WELL AP
Stream Realty Partners
Adam Benoit, CPM®, RPA, LEED AP, BOMI-HP, WELL AP, strives to make an impact every day by coaching, teaching, and empowering his colleagues and family, and he has been privileged to serve, coach, mentor, and lead most of his life. He just enjoys helping others … it fills his bucket.
Adam’s IREM volunteer journey began as the Income/Expense IQ committee chair for IREM Austin. After chairing local committees for membership and IE IQ, serving on the IREM Austin board, and serving as an IREM Austin officer (secretary, treasurer, vice-president, then president), he became involved at the international level by serving on the Membership and Credentialing Committee and chairing the IE Advisory Board. He currently serves as the 2022–2023 Region 7 RVP.
Adam has always tried to live by the Golden Rule and abide by the “Platinum Rule,” an idea first introduced by leadership expert Dr. Tony Alessandra—to treat others how they want to be treated, not how we individually want to be treated. He always considers the impact of his actions on others before making decisions.
REME Award winners are inspirational!
The IREM REME Award winners showcased here demonstrate the highest standards of excellence and innovation in the real estate management industry. They remind us that mentorship, sustainability, professionalism, community engagement, and a commitment to continuous learning are the cornerstones of success in this dynamic field. As we celebrate these outstanding achievements, let their stories inspire us to reach greater heights in our own endeavors. Let’s recognize that the values of integrity, empathy, and social responsibility are not just buzzwords but the guiding principles that shape the future of real estate management.