BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA- Jesse Holland, the president and founder of Sunrise Management and Consulting, began his career earlier than most people even formulate a few ideas for what they’d like to do after high school.
Holland’s interest in real estate management developed during a summer internship in his hometown of Tuckahoe.
“I was actually interested in computer systems. So I took a job helping a local food distributor implement a new computer system,” Holland said.
After Holland worked on the computer system, the owner of the business asked what Holland could do to improve the property.
From this unexpected opportunity, Holland formulated an idea.
“I approached my dad and said, ‘I need $10,000. I’m going into business.’ And, surprisingly he didn’t say no,” Holland said.
Father and son bought their first property in 1986 in Ithaca, while Holland was attending Cornell University.
He finished his business degree in two and a half years, not only because he knew exactly where he wanted his career to go afterwards, but because his future wife, Mindy Miner, was attending SUNY Albany at the time and the distance was difficult.
After Holland graduated college he moved his business up to Albany.
“I’ve been living in Niskayuna ever since. Although we have moved once,” Holland said.
He was initially attracted by the closeness to the Schenectady Jewish Community Center and to the Niskayuna school district’s positive reputation.
“When I first started out here, I had to figure out how to compete,” Holland said. But his business steadily grew over the years.
When Sunrise began to manage Adams Park Apartments in Albany, which was one of the company’s first apartment management projects, Holland said that the renovation process was intense.
Under previous management, Adams Park had had a high turnover rate and there were some other repairs to the buildings that Sunrise needed to step in and complete.
“In 18 months, we really turned that place around,” Holland said.
From that project, Holland continued to grow into the management business.
In 2001, Sunrise began conducting multifamily rental market reports, covering the northeastern United States (excluding New York City). These are some of the most comprehensive market reports in the local industry.
The reports include data such as the average rent per square foot, the unit type, and the rent averages in years past. Market overviews for each county covered are also included in
While this may have been difficult for some business owners to tackle, Holland’s interest
and background in computer systems and data management made it an easier task.
Sunrise Management and Consulting owns and manages around 1,500 properties today, with Holland at the helm.
But not every day starts out like a successful one to Holland, who has learned that sometimes he needs to put aside his own struggles or inhibitions for the sake of the business.
“The biggest challenge to being in business and being self-employed is dealing with your own emotions and fears. It’s not something that’s talked about in business school,” Holland said, “You get to the point where you can’t have a bad day for everyone on your team to succeed.”
Beyond business, Holland has also the been the Fire Police Captain of Niskayuna’s Fire District No. 2 for over 16 years.
“It’s more of an EMT position though,” Holland said.
His first encounter with EMT work came before he was certified and witnessed a car accident.
“I was driving on I-90 and someone had crashed into a pole,” Holland said. He immediately pulled over to help the driver, who had a large head wound.
“As any parent would (Holland had two young children, Adam and David) I had clean diapers in the car. So, I just told the driver to keep still and put the diaper on his head until help could get there,” Holland said.
This sparked an interest to become EMT certified and to help the Niskayuna community in that manner.
Holland is also the director of the Maple Ridge ski patrol and gives outdoor emergency care classes there.
“It’s really a family place, it’s close to our house and my kids have always loved skiing there,” Holland said.
His sons recently began working at Sunrise Management and Consulting.
When asked if he hopes that they will someday take over the business, Holland only laughed and said, “I won’t place that burden on them yet.”
But Holland does hope that they can learn about business, which will help in any career that they decide they’d like to pursue.
Sunrise has around 30 employees and one of Holland’s greatest inspirations is watching them grow.
“We have people who have been with us for over 20 years. The people who have come up from minimum wage jobs, with little or no education, but I get to watch them grow into their positions. . . we like to promote from within,” Holland said.