Optima® Voices: Conversations with Our Property Teams is a series that brings you closer to the individuals who make our communities thrive. Through these interviews, we’re shedding light on the dedicated staff behind the seamless operation of Optima’s properties, highlighting their passion, experiences, and the personal touches they bring to enhancing the living experience for residents. Join us as we explore the stories of those who deliver — day in and day out — the quality of living that makes Optima communities extraordinary. Today, we’re talking with Jodi Gabler, General Manager at Optima Sonoran Village® whose role highlights her deep connection to both Optima® and the broader community.

“I’ve just celebrated six years here at Optima Sonoran Village®,” explains Jodi.  “I cannot believe it’s been that long! I came from a long career working in residential property management across Arizona, and from the beginning, I understood that joining the Optima® team was going to be very different.

Optima Sonoran Village® had been open for a year when I was hired. It was the first rental property for Optima®, which at the time had a long history of successful condominium projects. From the beginning, I understood that my role was going to be helping make this particular property a success, while also helping build a unique property management platform that could be activated across future projects. In other words, I was signing on to create a new level of property management that the Scottsdale and Arizona markets hadn’t seen.”

Jodi continues. “Part of what attracted me to Optima® was their emerging business model, based upon a commitment to holding properties. It was just so refreshing to me and I really responded to the emphasis on building for the long haul. Great modernist design, quality materials, excellent construction, superb landscaping, amenities galore and exemplary service. And on the service side, I was being asked to help establish an entirely new approach to property management.

That’s where my Optima Sonoran Village® journey began.”

“We’ve all learned so much since I stepped into my role,” Jodi says. “In the early days at Optima Sonoran Village®, we identified several areas for growth in both vacancy reduction and the customer experience. The whole team came together to understand the root causes, which allowed us to put policies and procedures into place to deliver consistent service and make sure we were communicating well with residents — and with each other. And once we made these commitments, things quickly began to improve. We also came to realize that if we were going to make Optima® Sonoran Village and our other communities standout, we needed to embrace our unique approaches and philosophies. The process of focusing on what makes Optima® special has been a huge part of our continued success.

Much of the work I do every day comes down to embracing flexibility and being open. I think about it as ‘organized chaos’ because it requires the team to always be ready for change — particularly types of change that improve the quality of living for our residents.”

“I take great pride in how we continue to elevate the programming for residents at Optima Sonoran Village®,” Jodi shares, “and really focus on delivering a lifestyle experience that supports the community. We see such great engagement in popular events like our casino and bingo nights, paint-and-sip, and weekend brunches with live music, for example. And then we also see the kinds of neighborliness that forms as people socialize at the pool and dog park, or work out together in the fitness center. The design of the amenity spaces is ideal for gathering and our residents take full advantage.

We also love when our residents jump in to organize regular events that cater to the interests of smaller groups, like the monthly Book Club and informal professional meet-ups.”

Jodi reflects, “In recent months, I’ve been involved in onboarding a number of new team members, which includes talking about Optima®’s core values. As I reflect on our values, I realize that the one that resonates the most with me is, “Do the right thing.” It’s just something that always hits home with me. When I’m making decisions, I find myself asking, “What’s the right thing for everybody, not just for me? And am I willing to go the extra distance or work harder to get there?” I feel fortunate to have a thought process that guides me through every kind of decision.

I look back on these six years at Optima Sonoran Village® and think about what I’ve learned. I’d say the greatest gift has been understanding what it means to focus on progress, not perfection.  Early on, I was always critical and impatient about things I wanted to change. I’ve come to appreciate how slowing down actually leads to lasting change, not a quick fix. So with patience and perspective, I’m able to appreciate what I’m doing today and also see what’s down the road. And that new insight makes me proud to be part of a company and a team where I can make a difference.”