Charles Steck

PAST Timm McCarty, 39, wanted to study golf management, so after graduating from Ferris State University in 2001, he landed a job helping to build a golf course for the Ritz-Carlton in Jupiter, Fla. Manual labor aside, McCarty also spent time with Jack Nicklaus as the pro described the topography and design of each of the holes.

After the Jupiter resort opened, McCarty began climbing the corporate ladder at Chevy Chase, Md.-based Ritz-Carlton. He first took a property management job with the company, where he helped maintain regulations and quality standards, before applying for an open position at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown.

“Timm [is] resilient,” says company general manager Allen Highfield, who hired McCarty. “He also has a great relationship with our board.”

PRESENT Throughout his eight-year career with the company, McCarty has become quite familiar with Ritz-Carlton’s countdowns: the weeks-long orientations, training, and preparations required to open a marquee hotel or resort. But when McCarty came over to the multifamily side of the Ritz-Carlton operation in 2007, there was no training platform or guidance specifically tailored to the residential side of the business. So McCarty did the logical thing: He created the training himself.

Largely based on processes from across the Ritz-Carlton portfolio, countdowns for residential properties typically take around seven days and involve condo-specific orientations, technical and computer training, and approximately 45 role-playing scenarios. “It’s a different level of service for a different customer,” McCarty says. “Unlike the hotels, I have a permanent user group. My guests don’t check out.”

ON THE JOB Since working on the training modules, McCarty has helped open assets in Baltimore and Philadelphia. In addition to higher service levels, McCarty was able to reduce condo operating budgets by $120,000, while promoting ancillary hotel amenities—dry cleaning, etc.—to his residents, resulting in $115,000 in bonus income.

“A lot of people at Ritz-Carlton aspire to train in the residences and succeed in the hotel side,” Highfield says. “From day one, Timm has not changed his agenda: He wants to be a residential expert, and his staff took to him right away.”

FUTURE McCarty credits his success to hands-on labor and a commitment to customer service. “I’m probably the only residence director that has a license to operate a Bobcat, but I honestly enjoyed every step of the way,” McCarty says.

This summer, McCarty begins a Master’s degree program in real estate at Georgetown University. “The new classes are going well but are hard,” he says. Nevertheless, McCarty is upbeat about the expertise the program will provide him. Could that eventually mean the CEO’s office? “There isn’t such a position,” McCarty says, smiling. “At least not yet.”