NAA Industry Insider: The Shift Is on From Home Buying to Home Renting | National Apartment Association

NAA Industry Insider: The Shift Is on From Home Buying to Home Renting

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The Shift Is on From Home Buying to Home Renting
Digested From "It's a Landlord's World Now"
Housing Wire (01/20/14) Panchuk, Kerri Ann

The Securitization Weekly Overview from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch is projecting a shift away from single-family home purchases to a rental housing market in the months to come. The forecast follows a recent Housing Wire report that more younger Americans are expected to flood the multifamily housing market after spending years in their parents' homes or sharing apartments with roommates. The general consensus is this younger demographic lacks the momentum to make the leap into homeownership due to two factors: job constraints and a general inability to obtain a mortgage. Joint researchers Chris Flanagan and Justin Borst write: "The December housing starts report provided some confirmation of the theme we discussed last week, which was that it appears as if a structural shift away from getting a mortgage and buying a single-family home to just being a renter is underway." They note a transition is expected to subdue the possibility of dramatic changes in the single-family mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market -- a shift that should "work to keep supply of single-family MBS at what may be surprisingly low levels well into the future." Flanagan and Borst further note that this shift likely gives the Federal Reserve sufficient cover to taper its MBS purchases without much impact on mortgage rates. That is because gross supply of MBS may be shrinking more quickly than the central bank plans to taper.
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Market Trend Insights

Orlando Tops Nation in Declining Vacancy Rates, Report Finds
Digested From "Orlando Tops Nation in Declining Vacancy Rates, Report Finds"
Orlando Sentinel (FL) (01/22/14) Shanklin, Mary

During the third quarter of 2013, Orlando-area building owners saw vacancies drop and monthly rental rates rise for apartments, offices, and retail space more than in any other major U.S. metro area year over year. That is according to a survey of 80 cities released this past week by Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT. Additionally, the four-county Orlando region was the only area that placed in the top 10 for improved vacancies in each of the three property sectors. Researchers say Orlando's commercial real estate markets appear to be heading back to more traditional levels following the economic downturn that began in 2007. Coldwell Banker Commercial reported that office vacancies overall in Metro Orlando dropped from 19.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to 18.2 percent last year; apartment vacancies slid from 6 percent to 5.1 percent; and retail vacancies decreased from 14 percent to 12.7 percent. The average monthly rental rates in the metro area were: $21.43 a square foot for office space, up from $21.03 in the third quarter of 2012; $925 for apartments, up from $897; and $17.66 a square foot for retail, an increase from $17.35. Continued improvement in 2014 and beyond looks promising due to the planned opening of an 18,000-seat stadium for Orlando's new Major League Soccer franchise and the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The next highest-ranking Florida metro area was Tampa, which placed 20th out of 80 cities.
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How Much Did Tulsa Apartment Rents Rise Last Year?
Digested From "Apartment Rents Rise 3.1 Percent in 2013"
Tulsa World (01/23/14) Evatt, Robert

Tulsa-area apartment residents are now paying an average of 3.1 percent more than at the end of 2012, according to a new CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma report. The typical one-bedroom apartment is going for $509 per month -- a $15 increase -- while rents for two-bedroom apartments rose to $631 or $682 depending on the number of bathrooms -- up $17 and $23, respectively. All three totals were record highs. The increases come even as occupancy was 92 percent for the year, unchanged from a year ago. David Forrest, co-author of the report, was somewhat surprised by the results. He remarks, "We were a little worried because some of the properties we saw softened some toward the end of the year." Despite Tulsa-area employment growing by 1.5 percent in 2013 compared to 2 percent the year before, apartment owners and managers remained confident enough to hike monthly asking rents thanks mainly to wage and job growth. Still, Tulsa has some of the lowest rents in the nation. In fact, recently named Tulsa the most budget-friendly metro area in the country for apartment residents.
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Austin Apartment Market Not Shaking up National Lists
Digested From "Austin Apartment Market Not Shaking up National Lists"
Austin Business Journal (01/26/14) Buchholz, Jan

According to a new Marcus & Millichap report, the explosive construction of apartment communities in Austin the last couple of years is not necessarily a signal that the local market is a top pick for developers or investors. In fact, Austin slipped three notches in the firm's latest National Apartment Index from 15th to 18th place. The index measures economic and supply and demand variables for the upcoming year. Some of these factors include employment growth, vacancy rates, construction rates, and rents. Though job growth should continue to be strong in and around Austin, some 11,500 rental units will be completed between now and the end of the year -- nearly twice 2013's additions. Vacancy rates are expected to increase, but researchers do not expect that will result in rent decreases. In fact, Marcus & Millichap estimates that rents in Austin will increase 4.6 percent to an average of $1,065 per month in 2014 after a 5.7 percent increase last year. Investors are encouraged to turn their attentions to the north and northeast markets where many opportunities should be available for repositioning communities. Nationwide, Marcus & Millichap researchers said the big story of this past year was the stellar performance of Class B and C apartment communities, which has certainly been the case in Austin. The report states: "There is the threat of too much new, high-end supply that could result in 'price fatigue' for [residents]."
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Downtown Motown Sees Apartment Rents Go Uptown
Digested From "Downtown Detroit Apartment Rents Spiking Higher, Even Pricing Out Middle Class"
Detroit Free Press (01/26/14) Reindl, JC; Gallagher, John

Rental rates in downtown Detroit-area apartment communities have climbed so high that some of the young professionals who brought the sector back to life are now being priced out of the market and forced to pull up stakes. This type of middle-class gentrification has some multifamily housing developers eager to build anew in the city's core. Development experts say demand far exceeds existing rental apartments in certain choice areas, including Midtown, Corktown, and the Detroit riverfront where influxes of mostly young, well-paid professionals drove rental rates to new heights earlier. In many cases, apartment owners and managers are asking $200 to $400 more a month for their unit leases than they were just a year or two ago due to the high demand and practically nonexistent new supply. Observers note that monthly rents are inching closer to the "magic" $2-per-square-foot level, a price multifamily developers say could allow new residential projects to get off the ground without depending on the subsidies, tax credits, and nontraditional funding sources that are presently required. Once there is more supply of new apartments in downtown Detroit's most popular neighborhoods, the general consensus is that rent prices will stabilize.
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Oklahoma City Apartment Sales Were More Than OK in 2013
Digested From "Oklahoma City Apartment Sale Prices Go Sky High in 2013"
NewsOK (01/25/2014) Mize, Richard

Apartment sales again registered record totals in Oklahoma City last year. The real standout was Greystar Real Estate Partners' $151.6 million acquisition of all four former Legacy apartment communities locally from Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc. The deal put the average price per unit for apartments built since 1995 at just more than $112,000 per rental unit, notes CB Richard Ellis-Oklahoma's year-end multifamily housing report. At the other end of the spectrum, 1970s communities with more than 50 apartments sold for an average of $22,447 per unit. Such factors as Oklahoma City's strong economy and the significant purchase and renovation -- or demolition -- of lower-end communities combined to bolster the market for sales and keep occupancies stable. Broker Mike Buhl wrote in Commercial Realty Resources Co.'s year-end report: "Following the trend of 2012, multifamily in Oklahoma rose to astronomical levels in 2013. With strong demand and new supply, the rising tide of the apartment sector raised virtually all ships." With the best and newest apartments commanding record prices, Class B communities have emerged as the "preferred asset choice" for investors. Now, demand is also growing for Class C apartments.
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What Is Fueling New Apt. Development in South Texas?
Digested From "Eagle Ford Shale Fueling New Apartment Development in South Texas"
San Antonio Business Journal (01/22/14) Silva, Tricia Lynn

According to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services' newly released National Apartment Report, San Antonio fell from the No. 24 spot to No. 26. The reason for the drop? Marcus & Millichap researchers have concerns over the Alamo City's vacancy rates. San Antonio is indeed one of 10 cities projected to post some of the nation's highest vacancy rates in 2014. The forecast calls for the local apartment sector to register a vacancy rate of 6.3 percent by the end of December. The development side of the sector is also a concern. A total of 4,700 new rental units are slated to enter the local market throughout 2014. This "outsized ramp up in supply," as Marcus & Millichap describes it in its report, was a big factor in San Antonio's slide in the rankings. Regardless, the metro area's apartment sector is poised to see another solid year. The Eagle Ford Shale, in particular, has led to an influx of oil-field service firms. In turn, these companies have created thousands of jobs, bolstering hiring in such sectors as health, education, and government. Employers are on track to create 25,700 jobs in greater San Antonio between now and the end of the year -- a substantial increase from the modest 8,100 jobs that were created in 2013.
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Deals and Transactions

What Firm Acquired Six Apt. Communities in Three States Last Week?
Digested From "Haley Real Estate Group Acquires Six Multifamily Communities in Texas, Alabama and Georgia"
Digital Journal (01/20/14)

Haley Real Estate Group last week acquired a half-dozen apartment communities in three states -- Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. The purchases were the Omaha-based investment firm's first in Alabama and Georgia. The combined $82.2 million acquisition of the various properties adds nearly 1,400 rental units to Haley's portfolio. Doug Hastings, senior vice president of property management for DEI Communities, was especially excited about the additions. DEI is the property management affiliate of Haley responsible for the day-to-day operations for the newly acquired communities. In a statement, Hastings commented, "Acquisitions were a priority for our company in 2013, and the trend will continue into the new year as we expand upon our growth strategy in strategic secondary and tertiary markets. As part of our overall strategy, we have already initiated a comprehensive renovation plan across all six properties to ensure the communities deliver on Haley's commitment to provide residents with high-quality apartments and amenities as well as an unmatched sense of community and customer service."
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K.C. Apartment Communities Fetch $45 Million
Digested From "Two Area Apartment Complexes Fetch $45M"
Kansas City Business Journal (01/21/14) Roberts, Rob

This past month, Equus Capital Partners has sold a couple of Kansas City apartment communities for a combined total of $45 million. The latest transaction occurred late last week when the Philadelphia-based equity fund manager sold the 350-unit Madison Walnut Creek community to Denver-based Monarch Investment and Management Group. Greg Curci, an Equus vice president, remarks, "The expectation of future growth for nearby employers such as Ford, Cerner, and the North Kansas City Hospital drove pricing above our expectations." Earlier this month, Equus completed its sale of the 320-unit Madison Wood View community locally. The buyer was Philadelphia-based PRG Real Estate, which paid $22 million for the 97-percent leased community. An Equus affiliate acquired both communities 11 years ago as part of a 17-property portfolio. Equus' holdings currently include more than 18,000 apartments in over 70 U.S. cities.
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New Thor Division Hammering Out First Deal
Digested From "Thor's New Division Nears Purchase of First Deal"
Crain's New York Business (01/23/14) Anuta, Joe

Thor Equities' residential arm confirms that it will close on its first multifamily housing acquisitions -- a pair of Upper West Side New York apartment communities -- this spring. According to Thor executive Melissa Gliatta, the impending acquisitions are part of the company's plan to cash in on Manhattan's booming residential market. She states, "We are excited for what the future holds for our newest division, and acquisitions like these further demonstrate our confidence that the soaring New York City residential market will continue for years to come." The two buildings were erected in the early 1900s and are both located near Riverside Park. Thor CEO Joseph Sitt announced the creation of the new residential arm this past October, naming Alan Klein and Jonathan Fishman as co-heads of the division. Klein remarks, "The Upper West Side is the quintessential family neighborhood in New York City, and it is buildings like these that will serve as the cornerstone of Thor's residential portfolio."
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Industry Buzz

UC Releases List of 1,500 Buildings; Big Step for L.A. Quake Safety
Digested From "UC Releases List of 1,500 Buildings; Big Step for L.A. Quake Safety"
Los Angeles Times (01/25/14) Lin II, Rong-Gong; Xia, Rosanna; Smith, Doug

The University of California's recent release of data on nearly 1,500 older concrete buildings throughout Los Angeles is a key step in the city's efforts to improve earthquake safety. This is a first-of-its-kind attempt to identify buildings that experts say pose the greatest risk of death. Of the 1,451 buildings cited, researchers estimate that about 75 of the buildings would collapse in the event of a major quake. However, determining which are the ones most structurally at risk will require individual inspections. According to analysts, the cost for each of these preliminary examinations could range from $4,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of the building. Retrofitting problem buildings would cost owners significantly more, from tens of thousands dollars to perhaps more than $1 million for the largest residential and office towers. The next step for city leaders is deciding who should pay for the inspections and any needed repairs. Some City Council members have been exploring the possibility of a state bond initiative to help defray some of the costs to building owners. More than 220,000 people either live or work in the almost 1,500 buildings.
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5 Ways Apt. Communities Can Fix a Broken Brand Promise
Digested From "5 Ways Properties Can Fix a Broken Brand Promise"
Property Management Insider (01/24/14) Ellis, Joanna

Apartment owners and managers should step up their level of communications with residents and community partners whenever they break promises or fail to deliver on expectations. It is important to note that apartment communities are not only being measured by the quality of their overall product, but by the emotional impact each service interaction has on the individual resident. When an owner/manager breaks a promise, that operator must be prepared for the reactions and the fallout. The article lists five ways to respond. The first, of course, is to "Seize the Opportunity to Make Things Right." An angry call or e-mail from a resident should be regarded as an opportunity to make things right and build loyalty and trust. Second, "Engaged Execs Can Do More Good." Some property managers may be surprised to know that most customers dread that point where they have to take their complaint to customer service or management. Just know that service and support are among the most important interactions managers will ever have with their residents.

The third way to fix a broken promise is a preventive one: "Make Brand Promises That Are Believable and Achievable." Fourth, the article's author urges, "Give Property Management Employees the Tools to Act on Brand Promises." In this regard, employees should understand the negative consequences of not doing their jobs well. Finally, "Admit It When you Screw up Again — Because you Will." Anytime a mistake is made, management and their staff must be upfront about it, do not blame the resident, and never offer up any excuses that are not genuine. "If they post something negative online about their experience," Ellis writes, "respond immediately. Be empathetic and attempt to take the conversation offline so you can resolve the problem."
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New Report Studies Solutions to Affordable Housing Crisis
Digested From "New ‘Bending the Cost Curve’ Report, From ULI and Enterprise, Explores Solutions to Expand the Supply of Affordable Rental Housing"
RealEstateRama (01/21/2014)

Solutions to increase the supply of affordable rental housing are probed in "Bending the Cost Curve: Solutions to Expand the Supply of Affordable Rentals," a new report from the Urban Land Institute's Terwilliger Center for Housing and Enterprise Community Partners Inc. The study outlines factors that hinder development of affordable rental housing, resulting in a supply shortfall in many markets. The authors offer specific, actionable solutions to address these regulatory hurdles. The report states: "Bending the cost curve will enable developers to deliver additional affordable rental homes and help jurisdictions provide more housing choices, meet the growing need for affordable rentals, and ensure that individuals and families across a range of incomes have a place to call home within the community." The report is based on a series of interviews and roundtable discussions co-hosted by the Terwilliger Center and Enterprise over the last 16 months with some 200 developers, financiers, and policymakers in such markets as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh. Conclusions drawn from these discussions formed the basis for the research. The report identifies a number of overarching cost drivers, ranging from project scale to project design and construction to financing and underwriting.
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CalPERS Names New Multifamily Real Estate Manager
Digested From "CalPERS Funding New Multifamily Real Estate Manager"
CoStar Group (01/24/14) Heschmeyer, Mark

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) this past week chose Pacific Urban Residential to serve as the new manager for its Multifamily Real Estate Program. Dubbed Pacific Multifamily Investors, the partnership is a multi-year program that will be funded with an initial allocation of $200 million. It will focus on investing in Class B apartment communities throughout the nation's western regions. CalPERS currently holds approximately $2.5 billion of multifamily housing assets, among a total of $27 billion in its Real Assets portfolio. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Pacific Urban Residential has acquired more than 20,000 apartments totaling $3 billion on behalf of its investors.
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Legal/Legislative Did You Know

2014 Jan. Mission Sponsor
How Phoenix Ended Homelessness Among Vets
Digested From "How Phoenix Ended Homelessness Among Vets"
USA Today (01/23/14) Page, Susan

In December, Phoenix was credited as the first U.S. city to end chronic homelessness among military veterans, part of a nationwide push. Mayor Greg Stanton recently discussed how his city did it and what it means. According to Stanton, the city had about 220 chronically homeless veterans just a couple years ago who had been on the streets for an average of eight years. For some, he credits an unlikely source as Phoenix's means of improvement. "I know the stimulus program was much debated and criticized," he stated, "but the ability to have housing was in part caused by the fact that HUD and the VA allowed for additional vouchers because of the stimulus -- housing vouchers that allowed cities like Phoenix to have the amount of housing necessary to get the veterans immediately into a housing situation." He added that of growing importance is the necessary support services to keep these folks off the streets once they are provided housing. These services can range from mental health to substance-abuse treatment. Using a model dubbed "Housing First," Phoenix has managed to achieve a 94 percent retention rate in keeping previously homeless vets in accommodations. So, would this plan work elsewhere? Stanton replied, "Obviously, it's a lot more expensive in other cities where housing is more expensive. But the model itself of putting a roof over someone's head, wrapping support services around them, figuring out what is causing their homelessness, and making sure you're working on that particular issue -- of course, that's a model that's going to work in cities around the country." He concluded that it is a lot less expensive to provide housing and help people break the cycle of homelessness by getting them employed than it is in the cost of having someone on the streets. "Not only is it good for humanity," he stated, "it's good for the bottom line as well."
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Apartment Water Law Rises to the Top of Vacaville Agenda
Digested From "Water Law Tops Vacaville Council Agenda"
Vacaville Reporter (01/26/14) Fu, Kimberly K.

Vacaville, Calif., elected officials this week will be addressing matters related to a 2009 state law designed to promote water conservation in apartments, homes, and commercial buildings constructed prior to 1994. Senate Bill 407 went into effect at the beginning of this year, requiring that water fixtures in affected structures be made water-conserving. The financial impact on building owners has yet to be calculated, as costs depend on what water-saving measures are taken to address the law. The new law was reportedly modeled after ordinances in San Francisco and other cities, which created triggers requiring the installation of low-flow fixtures in affected properties. Such triggers include home improvements starting in January on buildings erected 20 or more years ago, all residences starting in 2017, and commercial and apartment communities beginning in 2019. Maureen Carson, Vacaville's community development director, recently wrote: "The statutory language in SB 407 allows the city some broad authority to establish policy for implementation. . . . The proposed policy provides for compliance with the law while also providing a common-sense approach to implementation."
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NAA Announcements

Class is About to Begin—Register Today for the 2014 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition

Still haven’t resisted for the 2014 NAA Student Housing Conference, March 3-5, 2014 in Las Vegas at the ARIA Resort? It’s alright, ’cause you’re saved by the bell.

NAA would like to remind you that just one month remains to get to Vegas for actionable intelligence and turnkey solutions perfect for helping you achieve your personal and professional goals in this thriving sector of rental housing.

Register today to ensure you don't miss out on the latest trends and insight into the next generation of residents. Remember to check the NAA website for schedule, housing and the latest announcements. And remember to use the official hashtag #NAAStudentConf to engage, discuss and follow the conference.

Stay connected and elevate your conference experience when you download the official mobile app! With all these cool devices everyone is walking around with nowadays, it only makes sense that you’d be first in line to download the brand-new, official 2014 NAA Student Housing Mobile App, allowing you the ability to:

• Organize and plan your conference schedule
• Choose the education sessions that fit your needs
• Interactively find exhibitors with whom you’d like to visit
• Receive important real-time communications regarding the event
• Follow and join in on the show chatter with the built-in Twitter feed
• Keep up with industry news with RSS Feeds
• Upload photos and share your event experiences
• Connect with colleagues via the Friends feature

The free app is available for both Apple and Android operating systems.
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Learn to Be an Apartment Industry Advocate for Free

Learn how to invest in your political capital and advocate to Congress with free registration to the 2014 NAA Capitol Conference. As a bonus, first-time attendees will be eligible to win two free nights of accommodations at the 2015 NAA Capitol Conference.

As an added incentive, you can save time and money on travel and lodging with this year’s customizable schedule: Attend only the Capitol Conference on March 11 and Lobby Day on March 12, or also attend the spring Board of Directors and committee meetings on March 9 and 10.

But hurry! Registration is free only until Feb. 14. Feb. 14 is also the cut-off date to book a hotel room at the $264 conference rate. After that date, hotel rooms are subject to availability with no guarantee.
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Groundhog Day is Next Week. So Is the Early-Bird Registration Deadline for the 2014 NAA Education Conference

We’re going to go out on a limb here by saying that the Groundhog will be predicting another six weeks of winter. However, one thing that won’t keep repeating itself is the registration for the 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition, set to increase $100 after Feb. 3 (otherwise known as the day after Groundhog Day, or, in Bill Murray’s case, Groundhog Day).

NAA is proud to announce that Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John, two of the stars of ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank,” will be the Friday General Session speakers, June 20, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Corcoran, who started her real estate business with a $1,000 loan and then built the largest and most successful company in New York City, will share her personal advice, insights and anecdotes on creating a powerful brand. John, regarded as one of the most sought-after branding experts and keynote speakers in fashion and business today, will share his knowledge and business genius with NAA Conference attendees. Learn more about Corcoran and John.
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Sink or Swim: NAA Innovation Tank

After Barbara and Daymond energize your entrepreneurial spirit, three lucky NAA attendees will come up on stage and pitch their idea or business concept to the Sharks - LIVE during the General Session. The Sharks will do what they do best - critique and evaluate the pitches and then along with the audience's help - will pick the lucky winner. For more information on how you can make your pitch to The Sharks, visit the contest website.

Invest in your company and your career today. Register now and remember that the largest discounts go to those who sign-up early. Have four friends? Register as a group to take advantage of even more savings!

And, make sure to book your housing as soon as you register—rooms will go fast and you will be unable to book without first registering. Visit the Education Conference website for information and reservations for all official NAA Education Conference hotels.
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NAAEI Offers Two New Leadership Programs in April

NAAEI will be offering two new Leadership programs in April, 2014. The NAAEI Leadership Experience: Powered by Dale Carnegie targets regional professionals and corporate department heads who are interested in learning how to lead effectively across generations, delegate tasks to develop and train others and most importantly, find time to work on future business growth. This course will be offered in Dallas, April 1-2. Learn more and register for this course.

The NAAEI Leadership NOW program: Powered by Gallup Consulting targets high-potential corporate executives. Participants will learn how to solve current business challenges by driving employee engagement. The NAAEI Leadership NOW program focuses on tactics for building engagement in a fast-paced work environment and is designed to introduce concepts, strategies, and tools that assist Leaders in building their leadership brand, maximizing strengths and unleashing the human potential within their workplace. This course will be offered in Washington, D.C., April 8-10, 2014. Learn more and register for this course.

For more information on, please contact Kimberly McCrossen at 703-797-0610.
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Attention All Aspiring Filmmakers: 2014 Get Reel Video Challenge

In honor of Apartment Careers Month in February, The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) is calling for video submissions for it's 2014 Get Reel Video Challenge. Aimed at promoting careers in the apartment industry in Management, Leasing and Maintenance, videos should highlight a day in your work life and show what you love about your job and the industry. A panel of industry experts will judge all entries and choose the winner who will receive a trip to the NAA Education Conference in June in Denver! View more details on rules and how to enter on the NAA website.
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NAAEI Designation Courses Offered Near You!


Apartment Association of Greater Omaha & Lincoln
March – April, 2014

Connecticut Apartment Association
March, 2014

CAM Online


Apartment Association of Greater Omaha & Lincoln
March – April, 2014


Austin Apartment Association
February – March, 2014

Rental Housing Association of Boston
April – May, 2014

Chicagoland Apartment Association
May – June, 2014

Apartment Association of Southeast Texas
May – June, 2014


Chicagoland Apartment Association
July, 2014


Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
February, 2014

NALP Online

Find more courses in your area on the NAA website.

For more information about any of the classes listed, please contact Kimberly McCrossen at 703/518-6141 ext. 121.
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January 28, 2014

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Event Highlights

A Career with Growth & Opportunity

Career Growth and Opportunity  

Learn about the perks and benefits of working in residential property management and some of the reasons the industry provides career growth, stability and endless opportunities.