Since its formation in 1990, Burkely has been and remains an owner-operator of apartment communities. Our perspective is long-term, reflecting both the nature of the asset-class and the conviction that long-term ownership affords the greatest opportunity to create significant value.
Better Living. For Rent.
Our reason for being is to serve our residents — to give them a superior living experience they will highly value and want to recommend to their friends. When we succeed in fulfilling our mission/purpose, we create value — and value is the yardstick that measures performance.Learn More
Who We Are
We are experienced professionals, dedicated to excellence and integrity in our work. We know that building great communities begins with organizational greatness, the essential ingredient in which is great people—who fit, and who are committed to the organization’s purpose, ethos and values. Communities are, above all, comprised of people who are drawn to something they value in common.
First, get the right people. Great vision without great people is irrelevant. 1
1. Jim Collins, Good to Great (Harvard Business, 2001).
Why We Exist
Our reason for being is to serve our residents — to give them a superior living experience they will highly value and want to recommend to their friends. When we succeed, we create value — and value is the yardstick that measures performance.
The entire enterprise must be viewed as a customer-creating and customer-satisfying organism. Management must think of itself as providing customer-creating value satisfactions.
Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. 3
2. Theodore Levitt, “Marketing Myopia,” Harvard Business Review, July-August (1960).
3. Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser and Schlesinger, “Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work,” Harvard Business Review, March-April (1994).
What We Do
We know our customers and what they want. It is central to the strategic approach we bring to the business of giving residents what they uniquely value in apartment living.
A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference it can preserve. Competitive strategy is about being different. It means choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value. Strategy is creating fit among a company’s activities. The success of a strategy depends on doing many things well—not just a few—and integrating them. If there is no fit among activities, there is no distinctive strategy and little sustainability. 4
4. Michael E. Porter, “What Is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review, November-December (1996).
How We Do It
We build powerful apartment community brands.
A brand represents a set of promises. It implies trust, consistency and a defined set of expectations. A brand differentiates products and services that appear similar in features, attributes and possibly even benefits.5 An orange…is an orange…is an orange. Unless, of course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist, a name eighty percent of consumers know and trust. 6
5. Scott M. Davis, Brand Asset Management: Driving Profitable Growth Through Your Brands (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
6. Russell L. Hanlin, quote by the CEO of the Sunkist Growers Association.
Meet The Team
R. Sterling Kelly III - CEO
Co-founded Burkely in 1990, 40 years in the industry
- Shapes Burkely as a people-centered, learning organization that strives continually to excel in meeting customers’ needs and to create value.
- Integrates the best in broad organizational and business solutions into a differentiated model of building great apartment communities
- Chair, Steering Committee for Building the Best Guilford Initiative
- Past Chair, Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (TREBIC)
- Past President, Piedmont Triad Apartment Association Board of Directors (PTAA)
Jody C. Longwill - VP of Operations
24 years with Burkely and 37 years in the industry; CAM,CAPS
- Knows the organization deeply, having joined Burkely at the genesis of the current Burkely business model, and plays an integral part in its evolution.
- Instills in team members the principles that constitute the Burkely model, leading and training by example.
- Proficient in operationalizing the brand—that is, managing and living it.
- Past President, Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC).
- Past President, Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA).
Stafford Kelly - Vice President of Development & Acquisition
Joins Burkely as a New Partner; following 13 years in commercial and real estate lending
- Leads Burkely’s business development efforts in acquisition and development opportunities
- Responsible for identifying, underwriting and securing optimal capital for new investments
- Member of Burkely’s executive leadership team
Paul E. Zechinati - Director- Accounting, HR
14 years with Burkely and 15 years in the industry
- Oversees and helps manage financial resources for the company
- Supports clients through timely, accurate financial reporting and community managers through stewardship of financial resources (i.e., cash flow)
- Promotes responsible, ethical accounting standards and practices
- Manages Human Resources administration and payroll
- Ensures compliance with NC Real Estate Commission rules as Broker-in-Charge
Donna P. Broyhill - Sr. Management
22 years with Burkely and 26 years in the industry; CAM.
- Has been integral in building the Burkely model from its earliest days and knows the organization deeply.
- Helps others understand the link between effort and results; analyzes results to identify where improvement is needed.
- Knows the tools and systems that help an organization understand how to use them to perform at ever-higher levels.
Suzanne Gray - Sr. Management
12 years with Burkely; 26 years in the industry.
- Thrives in—and sees clearly where and how to apply basic, solutions-oriented management practices to—varied property management challenges.
- Perceptively links performance and results and helps others see the connection.
- Leads Burkely’s rental homes/commercial management division
Real Estate Broker- (In Charge Eligible).
Tim Litchfield - Director of Innovation/Regional
9 years with Burkely; 17 years in the Industry
- Thrives when he is generating and executing ideas and takes pride in leading a team that exceeds expectations
- Believes leadership is best when built upon integrity and in service to the team
- In his spare time, you’ll find him hanging out with his wife and son at the beach or at a fiddle festival
- Piedmont Triad Apartment Association Diamond Award winner: 2008 & 2013
Michelle Jordan - Director of Marketing
16 years with Burkely and 17 years in the industry; NALP
- Deep knowledge of the apartment and student rental markets in Boone and the Piedmont Triad NC
- Comprehensive experience in apartment/rental advertising.
- Brings a strong understanding of effective apartment marketing (i.e. what works for residents)
- Piedmont Triad Apartment Association Diamond Award Winner: 2005, 2010, 2018
Brian Williams - Director of Maintenance
19 years with Burkely; CAMT
- Sets the Burkely standard in delivering a high-quality, physical environment
- Serves as the organization’s point-person in engaging vendors, contractors and suppliers who can help extend the brand
- Piedmont Triad Apartment Association Diamond Award winner: 2004, 2008, 2014
Marshall Campbell - Accounts Payable Manager
10 years with Burkely
- Assists all properties and homes with their accounting needs including in-depth knowledge of the management software, Appfolio and Entrata
- Responsible for auditing and financial reporting
- Coordinates and manages IT solutions for Burkely
Pete Cato - Manager- Strategy & Business Development; MBA, CAPS
8 years with Burkely
- Underpins two-way communication between executive leadership and the on-site teams
- Provides underwriting support and on-site expertise to development and acquisitions activities
- Assists all Burkely functional areas and departments as needed
Better Living. For Rent.
Want To Work With Us?
At Burkely Communities, we know that an exceptional team is crucial to our success. Creating a positive culture starts with building a foundation of reliable, people-centered professionals. Contact us to learn more about our current open opportunities.