When a Washington homeowner calls Keshia Casey, she does everything she can to help, or she finds someone who can.
Keshia is the Home Owners Association (HOA) Coordinator for nine Rob Rice Communities with more than 1000 homes. She provides valuable assistance to each HOA board so they can make decisions that preserve the long-lasting home values and quality of their community.
She works for Gemini Development Corporation (GDC) owned by new home builder Rob Rice, which is the company that provides HOA management and one of the ways the area’s largest builder stays connected to his communities to ensure they thrive and are managed properly for many years.
Keshia has a dizzying list of jobs that requires superior customer service and highly-skilled financial and administrative abilities.
“We do all of the behind the scenes work,” explains Keshia. “It would be very time-consuming and a lot of responsibility for the board members to do, especially since they are all volunteers.”
Keshia processes HOA dues, pays bills, files taxes and coordinates all repairs and maintenance, to name just a few of her jobs. She also handles violation and complaint processes and prepares packets, materials and financial statements for board meetings.
It is a lot of paperwork and many roles that require Keshia’s versatility and ability to prioritize. Known affectionately as “The Enforcer” Keshia helps homeowners understand the Covenants, Condition and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that protect the neighborhood, a job that is not always easy.
Keshia explains that having GDC as a management company provides the HOA with a “middle man” to enforce the CC&R’s, reducing conflicts between neighbors. When a homeowner calls upset, she does not take it personally but tries to understand the problem and find a way to fix it.
“I like people and I am definitely a problem solver,” says Keshia. “The CC&Rs need to remain consistent, applied equally to everyone to protect each homeowner’s investment. If they resell their home next year or 20 years from now, what do they want someone to pay for it? And, they won’t just be selling their home but what the neighborhood looks like as well.”
“We have a 360 area code, not a 1-800 number. As a local builder, Rob strongly believes in excellent customer service because word of mouth is everything. When someone asks one of our homeowners ‘How do you like your home, how do you like your community? The next question is usually, ‘Where do I find Rob Rice?’ Word of mouth is everything.”
Strong in Business and in Kindness
Washington homeowners and HOA board members in Rainier Park, a 20-year-old community that has retained its value and beauty, appreciate Keshia’s capable assistance.
“I initially met Keshia when I attended the Rainier Park HOA meetings as a new homeowner,” says Cynthia Jordan, who was recently elected to their HOA board. “It became obvious that she is someone that homeowners trust, knowledgeable of our CC&Rs and the appropriate processes. I have observed Keshia with board members and, despite her youth, she holds her own and is firm, yet compassionate. She does it all with a smile and positive attitude. I am impressed with how she handles herself in every situation.”
Keshia was born and raised in the area and is a graduate of North Thurston High School. Because several family members own businesses, she developed a business mentality early on.
“It has always been easy for me to provide proficient customer service,” says Keshia who attributes much of her attitude to her Dad, an Air Force veteran and a former Lacey police officer, who has owned a pawn shop in Tumwater since 1995.
“I am definitely a Daddy’s girl,” Keshia explains with a warm smile. “He raised me to treat people the way I want to be treated and to never judge a book by its cover. Everyone has their own story and you never know when their challenges might be yours. Loyalty is huge with my Dad and he will try to do anything he can for someone, even if it is as simple as $1.50 for a bus pass.”
The Team on State Street
Keshia appreciates the whole team she works with at their office on State Street in Olympia, Washington, especially learning from new home builder, Rob Rice himself.
“The very first time I had to coordinate the back flow test in a community, I had no idea what it was for,” says Keshia. “I am a thinker, so I normally ask 50 gazillion questions and Rob took time to explain the test, one that checks if water is flowing to the storm pond the way it should be.”
Along with all the learning she receives daily, Keshia is excited about the newest Rob Rice Community, Steilacoom Ridge currently being developed in Lacey, Washington, and the role she gets to play in it.
“I can contribute to it from the beginning and watch it grow. Because we are developing the CC&Rs, Rob often includes me in the development process to ensure it all works together.”
She also appreciates working with Kim Showalter who has managed the HOAs for many years.
“Kim is the sweetest and smartest woman I know,” Keshia adds warmly. “She is an accounting master and could probably recite the CC&Rs for most of our communities.”
Keshia has a son, Calvin (7) and a daughter, Avery (3) and she just purchased her first home. She juggles her time between work, her home and her kid’s activities and says she truly feels at home at her office because the staff is like family.
“It makes me feel better to make others feel better,” Keshia says. “If one of my coworkers is having a bad day, I do what I can to make them smile. I always joke with them that we are a family whether they like it or not!”