Meet Frontdesk: Project Manager

Meet Michael, one of Frontdesk’s Professional Nomads (Project Managers). Michael has only been with Frontdesk for less than a year and already embodies all of our core values. Michael enjoys exploring Frontdesk cities when he’s not creating new spaces for our guests. Read more about Michael and what he does at Frontdesk below.

Tell us about your role and what brought you to Frontdesk.

I’m a Project Manager, but have also played the role of Sales, TaskForce Manager, and City Manager in the past months. My main responsibilities include the procurement and logistics of furniture/decor to be placed in our units. I then work with a team of local hires to manage moving, furniture assembly, art installation, and trash removal. The only thing left to do after that is to get a local team of photographers to capture the units so I can finish the behind-the-scenes work of passing it off to listings.

I originally heard about Frontdesk through Carolina Martinez (Director of Development & Design). We met over two years ago at a bbq at a mutual friend’s house while she herself was still a Project Manager. She told me about the job and all of her experiences on the road and I remember being in awe of how amazing it sounded. I gave her my contact info and for the next two years she always kept me up to date on all the job opportunities. Then one day, after I had spent a couple months working as a carpenter in the dead of winter, she reached out and said “Would you still be interested in the project management position?” Without a second thought, I said yes! Within three weeks, I was given my offer letter, put my notice into my boss, and flew out to Tucson, AZ with nothing but two suitcases to start my training.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I enjoy the project management position mostly because of all the different people I get to work with, in and outside of the company. I also like seeing a project start from nothing and by the end of it knowing that I did my best to produce not just a beautiful stay for our guests but also provided support and resources to our listings team, city staff, and guest experience team to help them continue the future success of that stay.

What have you learned about the hospitality industry?

I have a newfound respect for the challenges the hospitality industry faces. It can be difficult to supply all the work that goes into making a dwelling for someone to stay in. From the procurement, logistics, and labor into furnishing a unit to then maintaining that unit so that each guest has a five star experience. It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it when we see those five-star ratings come in.

What is your favorite Frontdesk city to explore -- any local experiences you'd recommend to our guests?

It comes as a shock to most people, but my current favorite FD city I have visited was Pittsburgh! This city is so photogenic and has a lot of great pockets of fun and excitement.

I specifically suggest people to visit the Lower Lawrenceville area. There are a ton of great coffee shops/retail stores to visit during the day and some amazing restaurants/dive bars to explore at night!

Best travel tip?

Always travel light and be open to new opportunities. Some of my best travel experiences started without a plan and just a backpack. If you travel light, you’ll be able to beat the lines and cost of a checked bag. If you move without a plan, you might be surprised by just how adaptable you can be and how much more fun the ride will be.

Since Frontdesk is a work-from-anywhere company, where is your "home base"?

I get to experience a rare position at Frontdesk where my role is one hundred percent travel. This makes my home base wherever I am.

When you're not busy being a Frontdesk rockstar, what do you like to do in your free time?

I really like to take photos/videos and wander around whatever city I am in at the time.

Bucketlist place to visit and why?

I really want to visit New Zealand next. 

I’ve read about the culture and lifestyle there and I can’t help but feel like my personality would mesh with the people there.