Tag Archives: Arizona Multihousing Association

Tom Simplot

Q & A with Tom Simplot, President and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association

Tom Simplot was named president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA) in July 2008. The longtime Phoenix resident has served on the Phoenix City Council, president of the Maricopa County Board of Health, Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority, as chair of the Phoenix Historic Preservation Committee and was a member of the Phoenix Housing Commission. He has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a law degree from the University of Iowa.

The industry is seeing a cultural paradigm shift in the multihousing sector. How is that manifesting in Arizona?
The Great Recession created a cultural shift in consumer attitudes about a lot of things: saving money, spending within your means and being flexible to move when needed. Many home buyers discovered that owning a home was not a cash machine and that ownership can be an anchor on your lifestyle and a drain on your wallet. Very few apartment units were built in Arizona between 2009 and 2011, and we actually lost rental units during that time period (due to obsolescence and condo conversions, etc.). To keep up with this change in lifestyle and future growth, apartment developers are building at a pace not seen since the early 2000s, and occupancy rates are near their highest ever.

I’ve heard some people are concerned that with the increased interest in multihousing living preferences that the single-family home/residential market will be hurt and the rest of the real estate industry will be harmed in the process. How is the industry currently adapting to accommodate these changes?
Developers adapt to market conditions or they go out of business. A large number of foreclosed single-family homes were put into the rental market, and we have a large number of rental condominiums. Developers who turned to condo-conversions 10 years ago might now be building apartments. If anything, home builders learned that it was not prudent to have so much land in inventory and to build far fewer speculative homes. There will always be a large market for single-family homes, and what we are now building are lifestyle choices for the consumer.

The way Phoenix manages its apartments (through REITs, investment firms) differs from other major cities, such as L.A. How is that to our advantage/disadvantage given the market right now?
Metro Phoenix is a large market, and therefore has a large number of national and international apartment management companies. Just 20 years ago, most apartments in Arizona were locally owned and managed by small companies. The presence of REITS and publicly traded companies translates into more equity for future development, and has also transformed residential property management into a profession. As the industry has become more sophisticated, our residents have felt the difference in a positive way.

What kind of legislative decisions have affected the AMA and its members? Are there any issues that will need to be addressed in the near future?
In recent years, the legislature has addressed several key issues for the apartment industry. This past year was the expansion of the Arizona Department of Real Estate Advisory Board to include a multi-family representative. The legislature has also addressed property rights issues, and even the recent sales tax reform will provide a tremendous regulatory improvement for the industry, and ultimately, residents.

Managing hundreds, if not thousands, of apartment units across the state requires consistent laws, a transparent bureaucracy and uniform enforcement. When one city or justice of the peace interprets an ordinance in a unique manner, it causes confusion to residents and owners alike. Successful businesses want to play by the rules, and our goal is to help create a level playing field.

What kind of trends are you seeing within the sector (in what ways is Arizona still leading the way in recovery)?
It seems that Baby Boomers and Millennials both love freedom of choice and living in a more urban environment. Walkability is important as are nearby restaurants, nightlife choices and amenities within the community. Even our suburban cities have adopted this lifestyle choice, and we see new apartments in areas that historically only wanted single-family homes. The day of living in a “McMansion” is over for many people, and downsizing is key. New apartment communities reflect this as do older communities which have upgraded to “retro chic.” In Central Phoenix, communities built mid-century are now as popular as mid-century homes. Residents want something unique yet comfortable, and they don’t need excess square footage to accomplish that.
Multifamily

Multifamily Dwelling in the Future Looks Luxurious

Home ownership is down from 70 percent to 65 percent and rents are rising.
“There are just more renters,” says CBRE Vice Chairman and Managing Director Tyler Anderson.
There are also a lot more investors.

“The low interest rates make multifamily investments very, very compelling,” Anderson says. “They didn’t lower these rates for the multifamily industry, but the sector has benefited from these low rates by being able to buy deals with a significant deal of cash flow. If you went back to some points in time, you’d buy deals with minimal cash-flow with hope of getting more. Today, you go in and can get real returns right from the acquisition.”

Mark-Taylor’s Vice President of Development Chris Brozina says his company was ahead of the curve with six multifamily projects completed since 2011 and at least seven waiting in the wings. Overall, the Phoenix Metro has about 28,000 apartment units in the pipeline, near the pre-recession peak of 30,000.

“The market is telling us fundamentally what we want,” he says, adding later that for the first time he feels Phoenix is offering apples and oranges to the rental community.

Mark-Taylor’s communities are built to provide an apartment alternative to living in a custom home, whereas much of downtown Phoenix offers infill and artistic-styled apartments geared toward a less suburban demographic. That’s not to say there isn’t some redevelopment in Mark-Taylor’s portfolio. Its 74th Street and McDowell Road project was an old Basha’s lot that contained an office building and an old church.

“Apartments need traffic at their core,” Brozina says. “You like to feel you’re living in a secluded custom home apartment,zz but you need traffic. It’s temporary residents. People are always leaving and entering the community.”

This ebb and flow of more and more individuals are the life-force behind a new apartment paradigm — resort-style living with ceilings up to 10-feet high, smaller dining areas, granite tabletops, fitness centers. Even the new CityScape Residences in downtown Phoenix offer the amenities of the Kimpton Hotel beneath it, including valet, room and laundry services.
According to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report, about half of Millennials between the ages of 20 to 24 live at home with their parents. By the time they turn 25 and 29, start forming families or gaining a better financial foothold, only about 20 percent of individuals live with their parents. Accordingly, it’s estimated there will continue to be high demand for rental properties over the next few years. However, whether or not Phoenix has the sticky factor is year to be seen. Many Millennials are choosing to relocate to places such as Denver, Austin, Chicago and San Francisco, according to research accumulated by Niche.com.

Developers in the Phoenix Metro are working to build lifestyles into their communities, though, in hopes to bring more young and talented Millennials to the Arizona workforce.

Deco Communities’s design, public relations and decorating teams are comprised of 20-somethings, says Partner Rob Lyles. His company is most well-known for repurposing B- and C-class apartments for a more trendy clientele. After opening six of those projects in Arizona, Deco is slated to construct luxury condos in downtown Scottsdale and Phoenix that will match the “heartbeats” of their respective cities.

“The difference between the two downtowns is the people in Scottsdale want to be on Wall Street, people in downtown Phoenix want to Occupy Wall Street,” says Lyles of the Envy and Edison condo developments. Neither city has seen new condos in seven or eight years.
“Stuff got built in downtown, but it was the wrong stuff,” says Lyles of the pre-recession development that was vying for attention against a booming housing market. “No one was going to pay those prices, when you could buy a house. Market crashed, now it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in this cycle.”

It’s not just the Millennials that are driving multifamily development, it’s a more mature, affluent demographic, too. According to the Harvard study, the majority of rental household growth in the U.S. is due to individuals younger than 34 and older than 55. This is one Alliance Residential’s Robert Hicks says drives his company’s luxury developments such as Broadstone Camelback, which recently became the highest price per square foot when it sold for $75M.
“We’re building and operating our communities just like resorts,” says Hicks, adding that instead of two or three night stays, tenants live at a Broadstone community for two or three years.
Alliance’s Broadstone Waterfront property that opened in July is just behind a Nordstrom, making it one of the newest developments — within such proximity of shopping, restaurants and entertainment — of its kind in a long while.

The real bar-raising development in the multi housing community is the CityScape Residences. It even exceeded RED Development Vice President of Development, Jeff Moloznik.

“It’s the idea that the sum of the parts are immeasurable based on the benefits,” says Moloznik of CityScape. “I’m willing to purchase something if it comes at full value – there’s an engaging element to it. That’s the value proposition that city living offers residents. They are engaged every single day.”

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

rsz_liv-1

Liv Avenida Team Wins 2 Top Honors At AMA Tribute Awards

 

Liv Avenida and IPA Management are celebrating after two key team members were honored at the 2013 Tribute Awards hosted by the Arizona Mulithousing Association.

Heidi Arave, was honored as Apartment Manager of the Year (200+ units) and Bill Kunce was awarded Maintenance Supervisor of the Year (200+ units).

The 2013 Tribute Awards featured more than 471 nominees from 26 management companies. Awards were determined by 122 judges and presented in 22 categories. IPA was also one of three finalists for Developer of the Year for its work in developing Liv Avenida.

“We are very proud of both Heidi and Bill,” said IPA partner, Bill Fettis. “They are talented leaders who put their hearts into creating remarkable communities for our residents. To have the AMA recognize both of our leaders at Liv Avenida is a humbling acknowledgement that the Liv team is successfully pioneering a fresh approach to multifamily living.”

Kunce has been with IPA for more than 16 years and has led many successful maintenance teams in the IPA portfolio during his tenure. Arave joined IPA in 2009, and brings professionalism, enthusiasm, and significant multifamily experience to her role.

Liv Avenida opened in November 2012, and completed the final development phase in May 2013. The community features a distinctive range of amenities and services that focus on community, wellness, technology, and sustainability. Liv Avenida is located on Arizona Avenue just south of Queen Creek in Chandler.

IPA continues to expand its Phoenix portfolio with three premium multifamily communities and a senior living community under development. Liv Northgate is being developed in Gilbert in partnership with the Rockefeller Group and will offer 402 apartment homes.

Liv North Scottsdale is a 240-unit, urban-infill podium development at the hub of North Scottsdale’s trendiest shopping, dining, and nightlife developed in conjunction with PB Bell.

Liv Ahwatukee, located at Chandler Blvd. and 50th St., will offer 402 units. Generations at Agritopia, a 122-bed seniors community offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care, is also underway in Gilbert and will be managed by Retirement Community Specialists.

 

CrimeFreeSterlingLogo

Sterling Grant & Associates Named Endorsed Insurance Broker for AMA

 

Sterling Grant & Associates was selected as the endorsed insurance broker of choice by the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA), the state’s apartment trade association.

Sterling Grant was chosen because of its demonstrated expertise in providing specialized products such as the Sterling Crime Free Program, risk management education and service offerings tailored specifically for rental properties.

“Sterling Grant & Associates is proud to be named the endorsed insurance broker for the Arizona Multihousing Association,” said Timothy Zehring, Sterling Grant’s Risk Manager. “We understand the unique business needs of rental properties and provide tailored property and casualty products along with the exclusive risk management strategies which respond to industry exposures.”

The Sterling Grant & Associates portfolio of essential coverages for rental properties include: Commercial Property, Commercial General Liability, Directors & Officers, Employment Practices Liability, and Fidelity Bonds to name a few. Additionally, Sterling Grant offers a localized, dedicated customer service team – including risk management professionals who are highly experienced in managing liability risks associated with rental properties.

Jim Pierson

AMA Names Pierson to 2013-14 Board of Directors

Jim Pierson was named as a new member to serve at the Board of Directors level for the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA).

In this capacity, Pierson will serve a two-year term to participate in all of the practices and functions to assist in the oversight of the industry organization.

Pierson, principal and co-founder of Legacy Capital Advisors in Phoenix, has more than 23 years of experience in capital advisory services including mortgage banking, mortgage brokerage and direct mortgage lending.

His experience includes business development, extensive negotiating and underwriting of multi-family and commercial real estate loans.

“With multi-family housing leading the construction industry and Phoenix gaining in this market because of the rising demand for apartments, the AMA board will have a critical influence guiding and serving developers, political policy and issues that will poise the industry for success. I am honored to serve on this distinguished board.” Pierson said.

In addition to the board leadership for the AMA, Pierson has a long history of commitment to business and philanthropic organizations including: Arizona Commercial Mortgage Bankers Association (ACMBA), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Board of Directors, Ryan House Board of Directors, Foundation for Blind Children (FBC) Board of Directors and Life Member and Phoenix Children’s Hospital Circle of Friends.

Pierson holds an Arizona commercial mortgage brokers license, is a graduate from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration and moved to Phoenix in 1990.

 

MEB - Melanie Morrison, Libby Ekre, Jodi Sheahan

MEB Founders Honored by Gov. Brewer For Entrepreneurial Excellence and Commitment

Three Arizona women were the first to be named “Women of Achievement” by Gov. Jan Brewer recently. The proclamation, recognizing Melanie Morrison, Libby Ekre, and Jodi Sheahan of MEB Management Services, introduced Arizona’s “Women of Achievement” month celebrated in September.

The three business partners are the first women to ever be honored with this award.

The proclamation was presented by the Governor’s Office. Mary Murphy, the Community Liaison for Children, Youth and Families, praised the three owners of MEB Services for their “integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, strong character, originality, and business acumen. They are worthy role models who inspire other women to strive for similar achievements.”

The three women were surprised at receiving the honor during an MEB event held this week. “I really don’t know what to say except I am grateful and what an honor,” Ekre said.

Added Sheahan: “Really, we are standing here today being honored because of you … our MEB family and our families. Thank you all for what you do for our company.”

Melanie Morrison was described in comments as “a risk taker as long as it is with integrity.” These three women are the co-owners of MEB Management Services which manages multi-family communities around Arizona.

“Jodi, Libby and Melanie have given so much, not only to the MEB associates but also to so many charities and organizations throughout the years,” said Allen Bowman, President of MEB’s Commercial Division.

Each woman was given a copy of the proclamation and every woman at the event was given a special gift.

Mark Schilling, Sr. VP of Operations of MEB Management Services said, “This is a huge honor and reflects the leadership and love that Melanie, Libby and Jodi constantly practice.”

Morrison has more than 30 years experience in all aspects of real estate management. She has held previous positions with the Institute of Real Estate Management and Arizona Multihousing Association, and was the past chair of the Tucson’s Metropolitan Housing Commission.

Ekre brings more than 25 years experience in the multi-family, extended stay hotel management and property renovation; she has served as past President of the Phoenix Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management and as a former member of the Arizona Multihousing Association Board.

Sheahan has become highly respected as an industry leader known for her expertise in property management operations, training and employee education programs over the past 26 years, and has previously served as AMA Chairman of the Board.

Monroe Tribute Awards Winner

Tribute Awards Wrap Up 2012 AMA State Convention

The 2012 Arizona Multihousing Association state convention ended on a high note Thursday night with the 20th annual Tribute Awards gala at the Phoenix Convention Center.

An audience of more than 1,200 was on hand as 18 awards were given to individuals and real estate companies in Arizona’s multi-family industry. Besides the Tribute Awards, the state convention also included a two-day expo and panel discussions.

The 2012 winners:

  • Industry Partner – Tucson: Judy Drickey-Prohow, Law Offices of Scott M. Clark;
  • Industry Partner: Jim Kowalski, Kowalski Construction Inc.;
  • Volunteer: Amy Smith, Bella Investment Group;
  • Volunteer – Tucson: Chris Evans, HSL Asset Management;
  • Housekeeper: David Dreyer, Autumn Ridge (Greystar Real Estate Partners);
  • Leasing Consultant: Kaysie Keifer, San Palmilia (Mark-Taylor Residential);
  • Assistant Manager: Stuart Draper, Crestone at Shadow Mountain (P.B. Bell Companies);
  • Maintenance Technician: Jose Romero, The Lodge at Arrowhead (Alliance Residential Company);
  • Maintenance Supervisor (1-199 units): Keith Walker, The Oaks (Fairfield Properties);
  • Maintenance Supervisor (200+ units): Todd Schwartz, Fernwood Manor (Greystar RE Partners);
  • Apartment Manager (1-199 units): Meghan Banaszak, Sonoran Ridge (P.B. Bell);
  • Apartment Manager (200+ units): Don Nolder, Fountain Oaks (Greystar RE Partners);
  • Best Team & Community for Properties Built Prior to 1993: Bella Sera, Allison-Shelton RE Services Inc.;
  • Best Team & Community for Properties Built 1993-2003: Dakota at McDowell Mountain Ranch, Mark-Taylor Residential;
  • Best Team & Community for Properties Built 2004-2011: Trillium Cave Creek, Trillium Residential Communities;
  • Regional Maintenance Supervisor: Peter Parham, Alliance Residential;
  • Regional Property Supervisor: Ann Boomsma, MEB Management Services;
  • Developer’s Award: 44 Monroe, Greystar RE Partners.
November Seminar Events

November Seminar Events

November Seminar Events

Arizona Multihousing Association

2011 Perspectives and Projections Conference
Nov. 10, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
100 N. 3rd St. Phoenix

At the Phoenix Convention Center’s south building, industry experts will answering questions geared toward the multihousing industry — including where the market is headed, how current inventory is being financed, who’s buying and selling in the state and the status of multifamily foreclosures. Experts include Barry Broome, Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Joe Snell, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities; Don Cardon, Arizona Commerce Authority; Elliott Pollack, Elliott D. Pollack & Associates and more.


Lambda Alpha International

Emerging Trends in Real Estate
Nov. 18, 7:30 a.m.
2901 N. 7th St., Phoenix

Come join Lambda Alpha International at the Phoenix Country Club for Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the most highly-regarded and widely-read forecast report in the real estate industry. This report will be presented along with breakfast for everyone present.


International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Retail Green Conference and Trade Expo
Nov. 29-30
5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix

Sustainability is now more important than ever, and ICSC’s Retail Green Conference and Trade Expo at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa intends to show everyone just how much better things have gotten in this field. Conference sessions here are meant to help business owners develop and refine more sustainable practices. Not only that, attendees are encouraged to share any experiences and advice with their peers.


Land Advisors Organization

Land & Housing Forecast
Nov. 30, 3 p.m.
340 N. 3rd St., Phoenix

Come join the Land Advisors Organization at the Sheraton in downtown Phoenix for an interactive discussion of how current housing and land market conditions will affect real estate development. During this event, experts will be able to answer any questions you have, and hopefully give you a better understanding of the real estate industry.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Multihousing Association Career and Job Fair

Arizona Multihousing Association Career And Job Fair

The Arizona Multihousing Association is hosting its first property management career and job fair on Tuesday, October 11th at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Twenty of the largest apartment management companies are coming together with approximately a thousand job openings for this career and job fair, and are looking to recruit new talent for their companies in this growing industry.  No previous experience is necessary; apartment management companies invest time and money into professional training and development of their staff.

“There are 54 apartment companies in the Valley that each represent approximately 20 apartment communities; each apartment community has the need to fill five to 10 positions,” says Pam Shelton, principal with Allison-Shelton Real Estate Services. “Greystar alone manages 50 apartment communities, and they have 200 positions in their south regional office.”

The job fair will promote openings available span across the Valley with apartment properties in every area. Employers are mainly looking to fill positions in leasing and maintenance for the apartment industry.

“We are always looking for bright, hardworking individuals,” Shelton says. “We find that many people outside of our industry don’t know about all of the opportunities we have.  There are always new positions being created at our properties, and we are looking for dynamic people we can train for a lifetime career opportunity.”

There is room for growth and even possible relocation as some positions aren’t located in the Phoenix-Metro area. The management companies span the entire Southwest, and this job fair will offer opportunities to relocate around the state of Arizona, southern Utah, Denver and Las Vegas.

The companies will train the hired with an introduction into property management and the real estate industry. It takes transferable skills such as experience in retail and customer service to work in the property management industry. Maintenance persons and knowledgeable construction workers are encouraged to apply as the demand for apartment upkeep is high.

“What potential employees should hope to find is a career in property management,” Shelton says. “They can start out in leasing and in a year’s time they can manage an apartment community.”

The apartment market is very strong right now; new communities are coming on board across the Valley.

“The people who lost their homes or their loans defaulted don’t qualify to buy a new home, so there is more demand for rental housing, and that demand for apartments is increasing along with the people who will manage and maintain them,” Shelton says.

Advice For Job Fair Candidates

Because training is provided and no experience is necessary, it’s important to have a clean resume that plays up the skills of customer service, sales or construction certification.

“Look at the resume, and point out all the experience skills they have in CS sales skill, HBAC certification, training they have in plumbing or electrical; voice those strengths,” Shelton says. “We are anticipating hundreds of applicants. To be noticed, candidates need to highlight the strengths that they can bring to the property management companies.”

Job Fair applicants are invited to go to the Phoenix Convention Center to apply and interview for all open and future positions from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 11. More than 20 of the largest management companies in Arizona will be gathering at the Phoenix Convention Center to conduct personal interviews with applicants. This growing industry needs new talent at every level in their organizations – from leasing/sales to maintenance team members.

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What: Arizona Multihousing Association Property Management Career Fair

When: Tuesday, October 11, 2011; 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Phoenix Convention Center; West Building; Room 101 A-C, 100 N. 3rd St.

Applicants are encouraged to use the light rail. Parking is also available on the street and in the parking structures near the convention center.  Parking will not be validated.

Who: Applicants who are interested in a dynamic career in the apartment industry. No property management experience necessary for positions in leasing, operations and maintenance. Job seekers should bring at least 15 copies of their resumes.

More: More information about the AzMA career and job fair can be found at www.azama.org.

Facebook: Arizona Multihousing Association

Participating Employers (to date): Greystar, Fairfield Residential, Sullens & Euchner, HSL Residential, P.B. Bell Companies, Mark-Taylor Residential, Allison-Shelton Real Estate Services, Alliance Residential Company, MC Companies, ARC Southwest, Camden, MEB Management Services, Weidner, Lincoln Property Company and Equity Residential will be recruiting at this career fair.

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Arizona Multihousing Association, Property Management Career Fair, Phoenix Convention Center

Arizona Multihousing Association To Host Property Management Career Fair

The Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA) will host a career fair for jobs in property management on Oct. 11 in Phoenix, the apartment trade association announced.

Representatives of more than 20 property-management companies will interview applicants at the Phoenix Convention Center from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m in room 101 of the West Building.

“We are always looking for bright, hard working individuals,” says Pam Shelton, principal with Allison-Shelton Real Estate Services. “We find that many people outside of our industry don’t know about all of the opportunities we have.

“There are always new positions being created at our properties and we are looking for dynamic people we can train for a lifetime career opportunity.”

Apartment businesses need new employees at every level of their organizations, including leasing and sales agents and maintenance workers.

More information can be found at azama.org and on the Arizona Multihousing Association’s Facebook page.

Multi-Family Market - AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

Multi-Family Market Pumps Life Into The State's CRE Industry

The slowly recovering economy is revitalizing the multi-family market in Arizona, restoring the industry to robust health.

Rents are up, vacancies down, and, unlike most commercial real estate segments, any mid-level or upscale apartment property that hits the market attracts scores of investors hoping to make a deal.

After peaking at an alarming 15% in 2008, apartment unit vacancies in Metro Phoenix slipped to 9.7% at the end of 2010, says Marc Huisken, Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial senior vice president for the Multi Housing Investment Group.

And with no new supply in the pipeline, that trend will continue throughout 2011, regardless of any bumps or bruises to the overall economic recovery, he predicts.

In fact, the Valley’s apartment vacancy rate will dip to 7%, rental rates will soar 4% and another 11,000 units will fill up by year-end, says Brad Goff, Apartment Realty Advisors principal.

“Things are getting very healthy, very fast,” Goff says.

In Tucson, the supply of multi-family units remained low and demand high throughout the recession, according to Tim Prouty, managing director of CB Richard Ellis’ Tucson office.

“We have virtually no Class A rentals available,” Prouty says, a result of almost no construction for 10 years and a lack of in-fill space to build where the demand is strongest.

The rest of the state also escaped the volatility of Phoenix’s multi-family market because demand and supply, especially in areas with significant military or student populations, remained stable before and during the recession, says Arizona Multihousing Association CEO Tom Simplot.

Maricopa County accounts for about 80% of Arizona’s apartment inventory, Simplot says.

Multi-Family Market and Housing Shortage

So what’s driving all the demand that Goff says will lead to a “multi-family housing shortage until 2013” in Arizona?

According to Goff, four major factors are propelling the trend to rent: job growth, net in-migration to the state, decoupling of households and a major shift in the perceived value of home ownership. Virtually all of those factors were initiated or amplified by the recession or the just-starting recovery.

Job growth and in-migration were sluggish but positive in 2010, and are poised to pick up speed, according to Lee McPheters, director of the JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. McPheters estimates the state will boost its population by 665,000 and add 300,000 jobs by 2015.

During the recession, many grown children moved in with parents or vice versa. With more jobs available and investments regaining value, those grown children and parents may be moving out now.

But the most important driver of the multi-housing boom is shifting priorities, fueled by the housing industry collapse.

“Buying a home used to be perceived as a vehicle for accumulating wealth, now young people see it as a vehicle for problems,” Goff says.

ST Residential CEO Wade Hundley agrees and says the trend to rent is a national phenomenon.

“It’s harder to get a loan to buy (a home),” he says. “But also, the younger generation is wondering ‘If real estate is where I want to invest.’ They are seeing a lot of people lose their wealth in their home.”

ST Residential, a Chicago-based public-private equity consortium, was founded in the middle of the housing collapse in order to rescue a portfolio of multi-housing assets from a failing bank.

That was in 2009, before a flood of would-be investors saw the value of doing the same. With rents rising and demand for rental units escalating, the scenario is enticing to investors willing to snag a bargain now but wait a while for a nearly guaranteed windfall, Goff says.

Since multi-housing is the only commercial real estate sector that can tap Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae funding, and lots more private money has been sitting out the recession on the sidelines, there is ample financing available, Goff says. Investors just waited until the bottom was well-defined to start shopping, he adds. That happened in 2Q 2010, when rents crept up a smidge for the first time in three years.

“Everybody believes in rent growth,” Goff says. “In summer 2010, the lights turned on. Optimism has returned, and right now, buyers want to be active.” Phoenix sales numbers paint the picture. There were

18 transactions of 100+ unit apartment complexes in 2008, 34 in 2009 and 80 in 2010, Huisken says.

Supply Limited

However, rising rents are not yet high enough to justify a flurry of new construction, Huisken says, so supply is limited.

“Investors can still buy properties for significantly below construction costs,” he says. “New properties won’t come out of the ground until (developers) think they can get the higher rents.”

In 2007, average Metro Phoenix apartment rents in properties with 100 or more units peaked at $802, or 96 cents per SF, but slipped to $771 in 2009. Rents have risen to $783, or 93 cents per SF, this year. That scenario has spawned the frenzy of activity among the wannabe buyers for existing properties, especially distressed luxury digs.

“We get 15 to 20 offers on any Class A building,” Goff says.

Among the Class A distressed properties recently changing hands is the partially completed Centerpoint Condominiums in Tempe. The languishing condo project is under construction — with a new name (West 6th Tempe) and a new focus.

“It’s a fantastic project” that lost its lending in the Mortgages Ltd. mess and watched the market collapse while the situation was resolved, says Tyler Anderson, CB Richard Ellis vice chairman. Anderson, who specializes in the sale of multi-family assets, brokered the sale of the Tempe property.

Also picked up for a song by savvy investors was 44 Monroe, a 196-unit luxury condo complex in Downtown Phoenix. ST Residential snagged not only 44 Monroe, but also the 155-unit 3rd Avenue Palms in Phoenix, the 89-unit Safari Drive condos in Scottsdale and 98 more properties nationwide for $2.7B.

To take advantage of the huge demand for apartments, the new owners are now leasing unsold condos at 44 Monroe, Hundley says.

“This allowed us to take advantage of a (condo) market that’s a couple of years away, “ he adds. “We feel better about leasing at today’s rates, and renting allows us to mothball the project for a while.”

Parsing Submarkets

While some of the best bargains have been for the distressed lender-owned properties, the investor demand is pushing valuations up and luring more sellers into the market to pay off loans or balance their portfolios, CBRE’s Anderson says.

“Value has recovered so that core Class A products are selling at replacement cost,” he says. “A seller may not get all (its) equity back, but can at least pay off the loans.” Still, the picture is skewed.

“The Class A and B product market is recovering quickly, with rent increases of 8% to 10%,” Anderson says. “The Class C market is work force housing, and it is showing early signs of recovery.”

The class differences become apparent in analysis of the submarkets. According to Goff, the apartment vacancy rate is an enviable 5.12% in Chandler, but tops out at 24.14% in the central Black Canyon corridor.

Construction Cycle Starting

At least one major player in the national and local multi-housing business thinks the time is ripe to build — if you can get the right deal.

Alliance Residential bought the 4.7 acres housing the long-empty Hard Rock Café and Marco Polo restaurants near 26th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix for $10.5M, about a third of its mid-2000s value. The company already owns or manages 49,000 apartment units nationwide, 8,000 in the Valley under the Broadstone banner, and plans to build 270 ultra-upscale units in the tony Biltmore location, says Bob Hutt, managing director for Southwest operations.

Construction of Broadstone Camelback (its proposed name) is slated to start in the fall, with the first units opening in 4Q 2012, and the development completed in 2013, he says. Hutt says Alliance was positioned well to take advantage of recession-starved land prices, low construction costs due to the lack of competition, and fearful lenders.

“Clearly we wouldn’t have been able to touch this property if it hadn’t been for the recession,” Hutt says.

And since Alliance emerged from the economic downturn in excellent financial shape, it easily landed construction financing from lenders with ample cash but fear of spending it.

“It’s nice to get in early in the cycle,” Hutt says. “It’s a unique time when rentals are dominant. The opportunities today are very strong, and the outlook very healthy going forward. There is a lot to look forward to in the multi-family sector.”

For more information, visit the following links:

allresco.com
arausa.com
azama.org
cassidyturley.com
cbre.com
stresidential.com

AZRE Magazine July/August 2011