Nico’s Team Spotlights are a way for the community to get to know the people behind Nico a bit better. This interview explores Leslie’s background, thoughts about Nico Echo Park, and personal connections to the neighborhood.
Name and role
Leslie Hsu, Operations Lead
What do you do at Nico?
I am part of the operations team with a large focus on property management. I oversee leasing, vendor management and assist with larger renovation projects as well.
What is your background?
I’ve dabbled in the corporate sector while at 20th Century Fox as part of their real estate department, but a large portion of my career background has been with startups ranging from subscription services to transportation.
How do you describe what Nico does to your family and friends?
I describe it as similar to a 401k, but you’re investing in real estate instead of stocks or bonds. As far as the mission goes, I explain to them that beyond investing Nico is a B Corp so we have social impact accountabilities as well as being beneficial to the neighborhood.
What excites you most about working with Nico?
I chose to work at Nico because I found myself wanting to work at a company that was not only innovative but that also has a vision of giving back to the community.
Do you have a favorite Nico moment or memory?
The first week on the job and I got stuck on the roof of a building! I had to call the VP of Ops to help me get down, which was totally embarrassing but memorable for sure.
How has the changing housing market affected you? How has it affected your favorite neighborhoods?
I’m a Millennial so homeownership seems like a distant idea when wanting to purchase in Los Angeles and not the outskirts. The rent-to- homeownership ratio in Los Angeles is one of the lowest in the nation and salaries have not increased the way the housing market has, so it’s hard for people to own homes.
What makes Echo Park neighborhood special?
My parents met each other in this neighborhood way back in the day!
Why do you think investing in your local community is important?
It’s important to invest in your local community either monetarily or by volunteering your time because a community is made up of the people who live in it. By investing your time and/or money you are contributing to making your neighborhood a better place for future generations.
Do you have a favorite hangout or overlooked gem?
Pizza Buona on Alvarado!