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  • Writer's pictureAlison Monette

Kara - Roadmap to Property Management

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

What do you do for a living? 

Make things beautiful:). Property Management/Developer if you need a more  technical description.

What does a day at your job look like? 

Watering flowers, weeding, planting, planning and cultivating Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa* and Bluebird Mesa. Checking in on staff, managers, contractors, projects, bookkeeping, payroll, and often covering for housekeeping. Also doing massages and teaching yoga. Always planning and creating the next steps for the property! I've learned to become very well rounded in all aspects of my business as I feel it is essential to be involved in the day to day operations of a small business. I've taken the necessary steps to educate myself and procure certifications and licensing. I research all that is needed to make things run as smoothly as possible.  

What path did you take to get here?

I had a variety of jobs as a young adult that have fit the mold to where I am today ... the grass cutting and cleaning skills have become essential to my business. I do have a Marketing and Business Administration Degree, but I've found hands on work to be my valued real life lessons and learning tools. I've worked my way up in Property Management from a Leasing Agent to Manager and had a Real Estate License selling Real Estate in Denver, CO for 12 years. Property Management is where I learned about Corporate Rentals, as we set up and rented as many as 60 at one time. I've applied the experience I got in Corporate Rental furnishing and detailing to what I refer to now as Vacation Rentals. I learned through many investors, family members and friends, as well as taking on my own "Fix and Flip" properties. Some worked out great, some not so great, but the process of fixing up old properties ultimately got me to where I am today. Without that experience, I would not have taken on either Bluebird Mesa or Moccasin Springs.  Especially Moccasin Springs, being as unique a property as it is.  The renovation process was a mix of intuition and research to blend how past meets present.   

What are the challenges of your job?

Planning for the next steps in the property often has many obstacles and there are many challenges. I just take one day at a time, with my eyes on the future. It does, however, often keep me up at night.

What are the blessings of your job?

I feel honored to be the steward of such an incredible piece of land with a natural mineral spring. The former Minnekahta Bathouse officially closed in 1963, which happens to be the year I was born. I feel blessed that the property it seems waited for me to go through the experiences in my life and the universe supported those efforts.  Here we are today, going on 2 years of being open and I couldn't be happier then when I see the relaxation on people's faces. It truly is an Oasis here at Moccasin Springs.


What 3 characteristics would someone have to possess or develop to do your job well?   

Experience. Creativity. Persistence. 

What 3 steps would you tell someone to take now to start on their journey to doing what you do? 

1. Never give up. 

2. Learn from your mistakes.

3.  Always strive to be better. 

*When Kara Hagen first laid eyes on Moccasin Springs in Hot Springs, South Dakota, it was in ruins. All that was left of the 1890 Minnekahta Bathhouse and Hot Springs Hotel was the ragged remnants of a concrete foundation and crumbling rock walls. Deemed a hazard and officially closed in 1963, the buildings were torn down. A roofless skeleton of the structure was all that remained. A personal quest for healing combined with a background in property management and real estate investments, uniquely prepared Moccasin Springs owner Kara Hagen to revitalize and reopen a geothermal hot spring located in the scenic Black Hills.

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