Connor Group manager trainer Kia Fenty.

‘She’s absolutely instrumental’

Successfully testing out as a Connor Group manager requires four months of hands-on and classroom training. The process is intense whether associates test out as sales, operations or general managers. It’s difficult by design.  

But the right manager trainer makes all the difference.

For five managers in 2022, partner Kia Fenty was that trainer. Kia successfully trained two operations managers, two sales managers and a general manager to successfully test out last year across three different markets.

“Kia not only trained and successfully tested out five new managers in 2022, but she also taught new manager boot camp and renewal boot camps,” partner and VP of Training Ashley Smith said. “She is absolutely instrumental in making sure every new manager hire is set up to have a successful future. She has great energy and is extremely detail-oriented, which is why she delivers some of the best training we have to offer.”

We caught up with each of these trainees who shared what they’ve learned from their knowledgeable and believable resource…

Amber Troutman, sales manager

Amber Troutman successfully tested out as an operations manager in November. Her training started in Atlanta at 1660 Peachtree, and early on, Kia identified Amber wasn’t where she needed to be. Kia put Amber back on track by working side-by-side with her for three months.

“In August, she taught me the basics. In September, she let me see what I retained and then in October, I put it all into action as the operations manager at Reserve at Cary Park,” Amber explained.

“Spending one-on-one time with Kia was hugely impactful. Short-term, I moved to Raleigh for the right long-term career training. I appreciate her willingness and faith in me. It gave me the confidence to do my job.”

Amber’s best advice from Kia: “Reach up and reach out to your knowledgeable and believable resources.”

Diana Canty, sales manager

Diana Canty tested out in September as sales manager. She also spent four months with Kia at Reserve at Cary Park. After leaving retail, she admitted The Connor Group culture was a shock.

“Our culture is an experience to endure. Once I had the support of people like Kia, I started understanding it and fell in love with our company,” Diana said.

Kia goes above and beyond. Early on, I struggled with my operations training. Kia came in on a Saturday and spent three hours with me before the property opened to help get me up to speed. If you ask for help, she will be there for you.”

Diana’s best advice from Kia: “Follow the systems. If you do, everything else will fall into place.”

Ashley Debnam, general manager

In October, Ashley Debnam tested out as a general manager. This Charlotte manager calls Kia the definition of grit. Since completing her test out, Ashley’s worked at Greenway at Mallard Creek and now heads to Elizabeth Station this week.

“I don’t think I would have made it through my training without her,” Ashley said. “I started in the middle of summer, which was insane. Kia made sure I followed my schedule, no matter what. I don’t think I realized how beneficial planning correctly is for success. Kia brought that to light.”

Ashley’s best advice from Kia: “Follow the systems, do the right thing. And if you don’t know, say you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

India Smith, sales manager

Raleigh-Durham sales manager India Smith passed her test out in May. After spending time with Kia, India quickly learned Connor Group accountability.

“Kia holds herself and her team to the highest standards. She randomly pulled my renewal books and made sure I was following our standards,” India explained.

Thanks to Kia’s leadership, India learned our core values and saw them in action.

“Kia lives and breathes people count. The great thing about her is she recognizes you as a person. She can tell if you’re having an off day. She’ll pull you aside to let you know she’s there for you. She recognizes your birthday. It makes the difference.”

India’s best advice from Kia: “You’re going to fail; you won’t be perfect. Focus on one thing at a time and perfect that first, and everything else will fall into line.”

Alexandria Miller, sales manager

Alexandria Miller was Kia’s final trainee to test out in November 2022.

“Kia’s my favorite person in the entire world,” Alexandria said. “Any time I call her, she answers. I spent a month in Raleigh training with her directly. She trains to standard. It’s great to hear directly from the source, from someone who’s been doing this for years. She’s wonderful.”

Alexandria’s best advice from Kia: “Don’t lose your confidence. You have to go ‘done, next.’ Make sure your ‘next’ is a success.”

Back to News