Author Archives: Cynthia Milka

About Cynthia Milka

Cindy brings more than 15 years of property management and financial services experience to Alter Asset Management. Previously, she was Regional Vice President of Operations at Invitation Homes, and Regional Property Manager at Keystone Property Group where she launched the Chicago and Florida regional offices overseeing more than 2 million SF of commercial property. She also served as a Senior Property Manager at the Trammell Crow Company/CB Richard Ellis where she ran suburban Chicago operations for multiple commercial properties. She has been involved in numerous redevelopment and construction-management projects including East West Corporate Center in Naperville IL, and the 230,000 SF global headquarters for the Career Education Corporation in Schaumburg, IL. A Kansas City native, Milka is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Illinois and a candidate for the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).


October 28, 2014








Each and everyone one of us has to network on some level. It is, however crucial in the Real Estate field.

Every level that you touch within Real Estate has the ability to touch your market client basis.


Financial Industries-Lawyers-Owners-Brokers-Property Managers

Tax Consultants- General Contractors-Architects


We all have a part to play in the BIG picture, we each have a reach, a touch to our client basis.


♦Shouldn’t we all work together to increase our reach and assist in a betterment of the overall business?

♦How many organizations do you networks within?

♦Do you see the same people over and over again?

♦Are there organizations that you are not benefiting directly from but continue to participate because that is what every other persons does in that field?


 I believe it is very important to BREAK outside of the BOX!

Branch out to another networking group that is not as inundated with the same industry related fields.  Is that where you will find a new untapped market reach to your client(s)?

Just some questions to think about and discuss…..hope to hear your input and how you look and feel about your industry reach.


WeWork Lease at One11

October 16, 2014











As One11 hits the market for sale, landlord representative

Matt Ward hits another home run! 

(Newmark Grubb Knight Frank)

Read the most recent press release:

Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily


 20W Kinzie











◊Will 20 West Kinzie be next?

Will 20 West Kinzie be the next major lease transaction

in the River North area, when Google Inc. vacates?


As everyone in the Chicago area knows,

River North is a HOT HOT HOT market place.  

Tech and Education companies, are not just like any ol’ tenant either.

It takes a special type of Property Manager to be able to think fast on their feet and be able to adjust within the buildings structure to assure all tenancies operate simultaneously with no interruptions.

That is why Alter Asset Managers, ROCK!  

They are fast on their feet and make everything work like a well oiled machine.

Kimberley Wuensch







AAM Employee Spot Light – Kimberley Wuensch


Employee Name: Kimberley Wuensch

Employee Title: Senior Accounting Administrator

How long have you been with AAM? 13 years

What does your daily work routine include? Piles of paper and a lot of typing! Because I’ve worked in the accounting field for many years I have well rounded abilities. However, on a typical day I will complete invoice payments, process receivables, review available funds and work on an array of financial reports.

What do you like best about your job? In the greater scope of the company as a whole; I love the respect and compassion that is demonstrated from the top down toward the employees. Employees are treated as people and never as a means to an end.

What do you like least about your job? AAM employees tend to stick with the company making the opportunity to change roles very rare.

What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful in your position?

The ability to pay close attention to details; handle constant change; work with deadlines; remember every nuance of every single property requirements; be able to tackle roadblocks and make instant decisions. I start each day with a mental game plan of what I need to accomplish and adjust it as the day progresses.


What are your current goals? To smile more often.


What would you do if you did not do this job?  I find it fascinating, challenging and fun to interact with the public so perhaps marketing; or mentoring new businesses; with a dash of retail therapy.


What do you do for fun away from work?  My husband and I both enjoy cooking and gardening. We had a bumper crop of basil this year so I froze a batch of pesto I made from scratch. We are fans of the Saturday morning show, Pioneer Woman, and like to surprise each other by trying new recipes.


What is your greatest accomplishment? I’m an organizer so if opportunity presents then I make improvements. When I arrived at AAM they did not have W-9 for their vendors so over the years I’ve collected over two thousand W-9s. I also write “how to do” articles for everything. For instance, I have step by step instructions explaining how to print tenant statements for every management program we use. Before leaving each day I put everything away so I can begin the next day fresh and organized.


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I remember in 5th grade I had thoughts of becoming an attorney. As an adult, I briefly worked at a law firm completing research and copying case files. Being an avid reader I found the material fascinating to read.


If you had a magic wand, what cartoon character, movie star or athlete would you become and why? I would be Samantha on Bewitched because I can wiggle my nose and I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to sit on a cloud.


September 19, 2014

Hire a PM







Random thoughts to be a better property manager…..

  1. Have the ability to MULTI-TASK and remain CALM, COOL and COLLECTED when the heat gets turned up!
  2. See the BIG PICTURE, to take in input and make a sound decision based off the information that you have gathered.  Make sure you can back up your decision with why and how you chose the choice you chosen.  Others might not take the same route to get to the result, but as long as the outcome is the best and you kept your fiduciary responsibilities in mind while making your decision.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS.  Walk and talk as I used to say when working with my engineering staff.  Show me, explain to me so that I can understand and be able to explain it to anyone else that may need or want to know, or just plain to expand my knowledge.  How many times have you sat in a room full of people in meetings and at the end they ask, “Anyone have any questions?” then there is silence…….only to be met with a barrage of chatting (once the person has left the room) with tons of questions.  SPEAK UP!  Ask the question, because someone else is wondering the same thing.  No questions is a stupid question.
  4.  Enlist an expert TEAM of employees and vendors and build those relationships with the walk and talk, explain to me why relationship.  In addition don’t just take one person’s word for it, ask and ask again for input from others.  If it doesn’t seem right, most likely it is not!  In the wise words of Oprah listen to your internal voice.
  5. Play devil’s advocate or have another person or partner in the office to BOUNCE ideas off of.  The best relationships and most successful relationships is having someone who does not always see eye to eye with you, but you both have a mutual respect for each other.  Someone that provides you the other side of the coin, a different perspective of looking at things, and be open to consciously seeing their perspective.
  6. Be NICE to your brokers and they will be nice to you.  You are all on the same team, even if you do not work for the same company; you work for the same client.
  7. Take PRIDE in your building, you see a piece of trash….pick it up!  Walk your buildings on a daily basis, and get up there on that roof and check it out.  Walk those mechanical rooms and electrical closets.  Men and women see things differently, not better or worse just differently.  An extra set of eyes never hurts.
  8. Last but not least, SAFETY FIRST!  Be proactive, be prepared, and be conscious of your surroundings.



Employee Name: Christine Spasoff

Employee Title:  Property Supervisor

How Long Have You Been With AAM?  14 years

What Does Your Daily Work Routine Include?    Every day is different depending on the projects that are in progress or issues that arise, but on a daily basis I am working closely with the chief engineer and the building staffs (security and cleaning).  One of my major daily routines is “follow up” to make sure that everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks.

What Do You Like Best About Your Job?   I like the variety because property managers wear a lot of hats.  We handle accounting, lease and contract administration, negotiations, building operational procedures, tenants requests, purchasing, organizing, etc.  I also really like the people I work with and property management requires team work in order to be successful.  The building staff members and my co-workers in the main office are very supportive and we all work very well together to keep things running smoothly.  I have also learned so many things that help me in my daily life in regard to HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, etc.

What Do You Like Least About Your Job?  The chaos of construction projects which require a great deal of coordination due to the different tenancies in the building.   The operational hours of a 24/7 hotel and restaurant are not the same as an office tenant, so scheduling becomes a challenge. I also dislike vandalism very much!  I’ll never understand why people have such disrespect for another person’s property (and we’ve seen it all).

What Attributes Does Someone Need To Have In Order To Be Really Successful In Your Position? They need to be able to understand the bigger picture, multi-task, and prioritize.  Communication and organizational skills are very important, as well as anticipating issues in advance so that you ask the right questions in order to avoid  problems before they occur.

What Are Your Current Goals?  Learning more about social media, developing websites and blogging.

What Would You Do If You Did Not Do This Job?   If I didn’t need to earn a salary, I would explore  Italy and rejuvenate.  Anything to do with plants, trees, flowers and gardening.  I am fascinated with the whole process of watching things grow especially from a seed (it’s amazing).

What Do You Do For Fun Away From Work?  Spending time with family and friends, live theatre, movies, live music, gardening, and photography.

What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?    Opening up 20 West Kinzie which was under construction when I started working for the company.  It was quite a challenge considering it was my first encounter with new building development and a crash course in all things construction.  When I was hired I was starting from square one meaning I had no staff members, no office, no vendors, no building operational procedures, etc.  I eventually had an office on the 1st floor and it was “raw” space meaning no walls, no electric, no ceiling, no HVAC, and concrete floors.  It was a great deal of hours and frustrating at times but it was also a great learning  experience .

When You Were A Kid, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?  I wanted to own a baby’s clothing store.  I would set up a baby store in my basement with my doll clothes and antique cash register so I could play “store” with my cousin.   This may explain my love of shopping!

If You Had A Magic Wand, What Cartoon Character, Movie Star, Or Athlete Would You Become And Why?   Oprah because she has access to meet and interview the most amazing people.  It would be a great learning experience.