NAA Industry Insider: What's Behind America's Most Surprising Real Estate Boom? | National Apartment Association

NAA Industry Insider: What's Behind America's Most Surprising Real Estate Boom?

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What's Behind America's Most Surprising Real Estate Boom?
Digested From "Downtowns: What's Behind America's Most Surprising Real Estate Boom"
Forbes (03/25/13) Brennan, Morgan

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that downtowns areas in major U.S. cities welcomed double-digit population growth in the decade ended in 2010, more than twice the rate of growth for their overall metro areas. As more Americans, especially college-educated young adults between the ages of 25 and 34, opt for the urban lifestyle, cities are scrambling to revitalize their central business districts. Denver is a prime example. The city is in the midst of a 20-year plan to expand downtown revitalization efforts. In Birmingham, Ala., meanwhile, the number of residents downtown has surged 32 percent since 2000. Currently, there are 737 planned housing units in the construction pipeline. Other cities are getting creative with their efforts. Over the last 10 years, Louisville has converted much of its subsidized housing downtown to market-rate real estate. Now city officials are adding a twist: a public-private initiative to restore downtown's Whiskey Row. Buildings were rescued from scheduled demolition and are now being renovated. The structures are expected to house bourbon-themed eateries and nightlife spots, adding to the success of nearby projects like the mixed-use Whiskey Row Lofts. "We are seeing a combination of the economics of infrastructure and the change in demographics give downtown housing markets more of a leg up," noted Jeff Soule, a fellow at the American Institute of Certified Planners and a director at the American Planning Association.
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Market Trend Insights

Three Reasons Why Minn. Offices Are Becoming Apartments
Digested From "Downtown Minneapolis Offices Find New Life as Apartments"
Minneapolis Star Tribune (03/30/13) Buchta, Jim; Moore, Janet

More and more downtown Minneapolis developers are converting commercial buildings into residential space. Three factors are driving this trend, including a shift in attitudes toward renting, an abundance of outdated office space, and the need for developers to set themselves apart in a competitive market. Such conversions are nothing new, particularly in urban areas where warehouse conversions have been happening for years. Recently, developers in Minnesota's Twin Cities have turned their attention to Class B and C office buildings, which tend to be older buildings that lack the amenities of more modern structures. Commenting on such buildings, Michael Korsh, director of real estate development for Kraus-Anderson Realty Co., notes, "There are still all of the luxuries of a new class 'A' apartment, but you also get character and uniqueness that is very difficult to imitate." Such projects cater to a growing number of well-heeled apartment residents by choice, who crave flexibility and a connection to the amenities of a major city. Since the housing boom went bust, homeownership rate in Minneapolis and St. Paul has fallen dramatically. At the same time, there has been a persistent glut of Class B and C offices in the Twin Cities. The average vacancy rate for Class B office buildings in downtown Minneapolis is currently around 25 percent, notes Jim Montez, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq.
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Which States Get Americans' Vote to Move to?
Digested From "Americans Are Migrating to More Free Republican States"
Investor's Business Daily (04/01/13) P. A1

New research from George Mason University's Mercatus Center shows that Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are faring better economically. For the "Freedom in the 50 States" study, researchers measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria -- including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering everything from land use to union organizing. They found that the freest states tended to be traditionally conservative, or "red" states; while the least free were the traditionally liberal, or "blue," states. The study concluded that the freest state overall was North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma. By far, the least free state was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. In addition, researchers compared their measures of economic and personal freedom to demographic shifts and income growth. In doing so, they determined that freer states tend to do better on both scores than those less free. An Investor's Business Daily analysis of the data found that states voting for GOP presidential candidates in the last two elections saw an overall net migration of 2.2 percent, while states that had voted Democrat witnessed an overall average net migration of -0.3 percent.
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What Sacrifices Are NJ Residents Making to Afford High Rents?
Digested From "For New Renters, It's All About Sacrifices"
Green Bay Press Gazette (03/29/13) Panissidi, Anthony

High rents are one of the biggest challenges confronting young, first-time apartment residents in New Jersey. A recent study shows that the median rent in the Garden State increased from $905 to $985 a month between 2007 and 2011. As a result, many first-timers are having to compromise and make lifestyle sacrifices when they realize the rental units they can afford often come with minor drawbacks. For some, this means less space in a different location than they had previously wanted. For others, it may mean using a laundromat instead of having an in-unit washer and dryer. Albert S. Veltri, president of the Monmouth County Association of Realtors, remarks, "When they see the size of the place they can get for the money, I think that that shocks them."
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More NYC Apartments Go Shopping ... Literally
Digested From "Spurred by Strong Downtown Retail, Landlords Convert Apartments to Stores"
The Real Deal (03/25/13) Pincus, Adam

Such Downtown Manhattan neighborhoods as Soho and the West Village have historically commanded some of the highest residential rents in the New York City market. In recent months, though, such building owners as Stone Street Properties and SMA Equities have found that converting ground-floor apartments into retail space is far more lucrative. Earlier in March, for instance, Stone Street filed plans to convert a first-floor apartment at 101 MacDougal Street, between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane, to a store. SMA Equities did the same at 22 Spring Street, between Elizabeth and Mott streets. In the last two years, a Real Deal review shows that apartment owners have moved to convert rental units in at least a dozen Manhattan buildings into much more valuable retail spaces. It should be noted that a conversion is not an easy process, as it requires city approvals and resident negotiations. The payout in some cases can be an exponential increase in rent per square foot, especially in hot shopping areas like Greenwich Village and Nolita.
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Apartment Construction Up as More Strike Out on Their Own
Digested From "February Pending Home Sales Dip"
South Bend Tribune (03/28/13) Crutsinger, Martin

Fewer U.S. homes went under contract last month versus January, reports the National Association of Realtors. NAR's seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dipped to 104.8 in February from a January reading of 105.2. In addition, more people are moving out on their own after living with family or friends during the recession. That, in turn, is driving a significant increase in apartment construction and is also pushing up monthly rents. Geographically, pending home sales rose 0.4 percent in the Midwest and 0.1 percent in the West in February but dipped 2.5 percent in the Northeast and 0.3 percent in the South.
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Deals and Transactions

2013 Diamond Sponsors
Two Reasons Why California REIT Is Investing in OK City Apartments
Digested From "Deep Deuce Apartments in Oklahoma City Sell for $38.2 Million"
Oklahoman (03/30/13) Bailey, Brianna

Steadfast Income REIT has bought the 297-unit Deep Deuce at Bricktown apartment community in Oklahoma City for $38.22 million. Deep Deuce marks the third apartment acquisition in the Oklahoma City metro area during the last year for the California-based REIT, which is investing in Oklahoma City for two main reasons -- its strong economy and its low unemployment rate. Steadfast Income REIT President Ella Shaw Neyland comments, "These latest acquisitions exemplify two key facets of our strategy -- to invest in apartment communities that are located in strong job growth markets, and to seek concentration in those markets to add synergy to our operating platform, reduce operating costs, and increase revenue."
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Va. Apartments to Build Playgrounds With Nonprofit Grants
Digested From "Improve Apartment Building Playgrounds Through Grants" (03/29/13) McLoone, Sharon

The Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network's Project Play and ACTion Alexandria are offering Alexandra, Va., apartment communites the opportunity to apply for matching funds to improve on-site play spaces and playgrounds. The two nonprofits have announced the Playspace Improvement Contest, which can provide up to $5,000 to go toward the renovation or addition of new play spaces. The funding must be matched by the contest winners and applied toward improving on-site play areas for children. Use of funds can include play equipment for 2- to 5-year-olds, playground accommodations, and play space signs and trails. The deadline to participate in the contest is April 17.
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Industry Buzz

National Exemption Service Inc.
When Will S.D.'s First 100 Percent PV Apts Have Their Place in the Sun?
Digested From "San Diego's First 100 Percent PV Apartment Community, Solterra EcoLuxury Coming Soon"
Clean Energy Authority (03/29/13) Meehan, Chris

While solar-powered homes are increasing across the nation, very few apartment communities have been built to take advantage of the sun. But Fenton Co. is nearing completion of the first 100 percent PV apartment community in San Diego with its Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments in Scripps Ranch. The property, which includes 114 rental units, takes advantage of laws and regulations passed in 2011 and 2012, allowing virtual net-metering. Each rental unit is individually metered and will have its own dedicated solar array, meter, and connection to the grid. The apartments also have garages pre-wired for electric vehicle (EV) charging and in-home virtual net metering displays. Rents for the one- and two-bedroom apartments start at $1,495 a month and go all the way up to $2,255. The first residents are expected to move in this May, with the whole community slated for completion this summer.
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Why April Is Fair Housing Month
Digested From "April Is Fair Housing Month"
Coeur d'Alene Press (ID) (03/31/13) Cooper, Kim

April 1 kicks off the start of Fair Housing Month -- a reminder that no qualified buyer or renter can be restricted from their choice of home based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or sexual orientation. It is important for real estate agents to understand that, among other infractions, the federal Fair Housing Act forbids them from refusing to sell or rent housing; refusing to negotiate for housing; falsely denying that property is available for inspection, sale, or lease; or denying anyone access or membership in a facility or service -- a multiple listing service, for example -- that is associated with the sale or lease of housing. The consequences for violating the law are severe, with agents found guilty of discrimination drawing fines of $11,000, $27,500, and $55,000 for the first, second, and third offenses, respectively.
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Walkscore CEO Talks Digital Maps and Multifamily
Digested From "Walkscore CEO Talks Digital Maps and Multifamily"
NAA News Release (04/01/2013)

As apartment owners and property managers broaden their digital marketing outreach, the use of maps and mapping services has become a critical component of advertising, SEO, and lead procurement and conversion. Nowhere is that more apparent than in multifamily’s embrace of Walkscore, which offers digital maps highlighting the walkability and neighborhood amenities of apartment communities across the country. For a deep dive into digital mapping opportunities, don’t miss Walkscore CEO Josh Herst speaking later this month at the AIM Conference, April 29 – May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.
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Legal/Legislative Did You Know

Mass. Bill Eyes Smoking Ban for Apartments
Digested From "Bill Eyes Smoking Ban for Apartments Condos"
Lowell Sun (MA) (03/28/13) Thomasseau, Allison

A bill proposed in Massachusetts would prohibit smoking in apartments and condos to protect residents from secondhand smoke. Sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg), the bill, considered an extension of the state law prohibiting smoking in public places, would permit smoking in single-family detached houses. Some local housing authorities have taken steps to eliminate smoking but insist such policies are difficult to enforce without a state ban on smoking in multifamily housing. "The only way to enforce it is with a monetary fine or threaten eviction, and you're never going to be successful in the courts, trying to evict senors who smoke," says David Hedison, executive director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. Boston became the first city in the state to prohibit smoking in housing authority residences in September.
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How to Root Out Nuisance Apartments in Little Rock?
Digested From "High Crime Creates Nuisance Apt. Complexes"
Arkansas Matters (03/27/13) Wightman, Karoline

Little Rock, Ark., is targeting apartment communities who are burdening police officers with too many calls. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, in his recent State of the City Address, said he is addressing those problem apartment communities that he says have an extremely high volume of calls for police. "What I would characterize as inordinate and excessive demands on our police patrol units," Stodola said. Stodola promises legislation from the City Board to try and remedy what he calls an "obvious problem." One such community is the St. John's Apartment Complex, which has put in more than 500 calls to police for crime over the past year. Stodola's proposed legislation would help reduce crime at nuisance communities with an ordinance he says would be costly for apartment managers who are not in compliance.
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NAA Announcements

NAA Offers $1 Million Prize For Best Education Conference Marketing Plan

A prize of $1 million will be awarded to the marketing firm or individual whose marketing proposal is adopted by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and doubles the paid registered attendance at the 2015 NAA Education Conference & Exposition.

The award is part of NAA’s new “Grow the Show” competition, designed to increase paid attendee registration at the 2015 conference by 100 percent or more over the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition final paid attendee registration numbers.

Interested contestants are invited to submit proposals designed to accomplish this surge in conference attendance. All proposals will be submitted to a judging panel that will choose one proposal.

The successful group will have two years to implement its project from the conclusion of the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition until the conclusion of the 2015 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. Read the NAA Press Release.
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2013 NAA Survey of Income & Expenses in Rental Apartment Communities

Some of the most valuable information your staff needs when preparing for the upcoming budget season is available to you for free from the National Apartment Association.

By your Company’s participation in the 2013 NAA Survey of Income & Expenses in Rental Apartment Communities, you will receive a free copy of detailed market and national economic analysis this fall that will help ensure valuable, accurate financial and benchmarking information for your company. This data helps you to compare your community’s performance against your peers.

There are several methods for your Company to complete the survey including using our designated Excel file to download data directly from your internal data systems or using our secure survey website. You can download a pdf version for reference to the questions and definitions.

If your (ownership or management) Company has multiple properties, please contact Janet Gora of CEL to determine the best response method for your company (Excel or Online). Janet can be reached at 310/207-7328. If you need an Access Code, contact NAA’s Valerie Sterns at 703/797-0624. The deadline to complete the survey is April 26.
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2013 National Real Estate Compensation & Benefits Survey

NAA has partnered with CEL & Associates to conduct the National Apartment Compensation and Benefits Survey, the nation’s largest, most widely used, referenced and recognized compensation resource for the real estate industry. This is an overall Company/Corporate-level survey, and is completed by the Human Resources department or CFO/COO offices for your firm.

In its 24th year, the national survey encompasses compensation trends, benefits, compensation policy questions, long-term incentive compensation structures, and detailed information/statistical (quartile) breakout of compensation results on a position by position basis stratified by Company Size (employees), Company Type (public and private), Specialization, Region, and Metropolitan Area.

Companies wishing to participate can complete the survey on our < ahref="">secure survey website. In addition to the general company-level questions online, a designated Excel file is available to download individual salary/bonus data from your HRIS or other internal database. The survey results will be available in early August. Companies participating in the survey receive a complimentary copy of the results. For further information, contact CEL’s Janet Gora via email or at 310/207-7328. The deadline to complete the survey is April 26.
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Notice: The Last Chance To Save on Discounted Registration for the 2013 NAA Green Conference Is This Friday

Don’t delay: this Friday, April 5, is your last opportunity to save $100 off the price of registration for the 2013 NAA Green Conference, April 15-17 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

If that’s not enough incentive to register today, consider that attendees will be rewarded with ideas for huge savings on energy and utility expenses from the knowledge and insight delivered by the apartment management professionals scheduled to share their proven methods for cost reduction. But don’t be intimidated by the perceived costs of sustainable community improvements—many of the savings strategies promised at the 2013 NAA Green Conference are ideal for small and mid-sized owners.

Still need another reason? All those registering for the 2013 NAA Green Conference will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to see the Baltimore Orioles host the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at Camden Yards, just a short, 5-minute walk from the conference hotel.
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By the Numbers: 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition Edition

78: The days remaining before more than 6,200 multifamily housing professionals convene in San Diego June 19-22 for the 2013 National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition—the largest multifamily housing event of the year.

40+: Education sessions offering the latest trends and hot topics in all areas of rental housing management, from marketing and leasing to operations and management.

7: World-renowned featured speakers, including Sir Richard Branson, international business magnate and founder of Virgin Group, one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world.

6: Attending the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition will give you up to six continuing education credits—all you need to reach your NAA professional designation renewal goal.

5+: Registrations needed to save your organization up to $400 with NAA’s group discount program.

4: Days of awe-inspiring networking events, from the Conference Kick-Off Celebration on Wednesday, June 19, the “NAA Rocks The Block: Sparking Connections Opening Party (where two whole blocks of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter—including restaurants and shops—will be closed to the public) to the Saturday NAA Awards Breakfast Celebration, featuring special guest speaker Bert Jacobs from Life is good®.

1: Registration required to attend. Why would you want to miss this? Visit the NAA Education Conference website today!
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Independent Rental Owners and Suppliers: Earn Your Credentials Online

Independent Owners: Do you manage your own personally held rental properties? Are you searching
for a way to learn what it takes to be a successful property manager? Is your time valuable and in short supply?

If you've answered yes to any (or all!) of these questions, then be aware the NAA Education Institute is now offering you the chance to earn your Independent Rental Owner Professional (IROP) Certificate entirely online.

The webinar series will begin Tuesday, April 2 and will run every Tuesday through April 23. All webinars will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. Cost is $349 for members and $499 for non-members. Module pricing is $99 for members and $125 for non-members.

Suppliers: NAAEI will offer its new course for apartment industry supplier partners, Supplier Success, as a series of 3 webinars. The advantage of this live webinar format is that students can participate from wherever they are, even while traveling on business. Students also have the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences and learn not only from the instructors, but from each supplier partner taking the course.

The Webinar Series Schedule:

The course will be held between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET on the following days:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013

Register today!
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NAAEI Designation Courses Offered Near You!


Greater Charlotte Apartment Association
April, 2013

East Bay Rental Housing Association
May, 2013

Nevada State Apartment Association
September, 2013

Roanoke Valley Apartment Association
November, 2013

CAM Online


Rental Housing Association of Boston
April – May, 2013

Chicagoland Apartment Association
July - August, 2013

Central Iowa Apartment Alliance
September - October, 2013

Greater Charlotte Apartment Association
October - November, 2013

Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles
November - December, 2013


Nevada State Apartment Association
September, 2013

Roanoke Valley Apartment Association
November, 2013

NALP Online


Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
April, 2013

Greater Charlotte Apartment Association
August, 2013

Roanoke Valley Apartment Association
September, 2013

To find more courses in your area, click here.

For more information about any of the classes listed, please contact Kimberly McCrossen at or 703/518-6141 ext. 121.
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April 2, 2013

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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.