July/August Apartment News 2020

Page 1



The official publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association

ZOOMing In: AMA members take to the ‘cloud’ for classes, meetings, happy hours

Virtual Tours:

A new twist on the leasing process. Page 7

Legally Speaking: Navigating what comes next after CARES Act. Page 9

NAA Diversity Program: Resources to promote a diverse workforce. Page 13

Page 19

Apartment News | July/August 2020



It’s virtually a new way of doing business, but having fun as well

818 N. 1st St., Phoenix, AZ 85004 phone: 602-296-6200 fax: 602-296-6178 web: azmultihousing.org 2020 AMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair, Kim Pacheco Scotia Group Management

Maintenance Customer Service Boot Camp. Webinar Series with Apartment All-Stars. What Apartment Communities Need to Know. Virtual Happy Hour. Latte with a Lawyer. It’s very evident that we are learning a new way of conducting business, while

April Morris Cox Communications Gloria Munoz Maricopa County Housing

Vice Chair, Reid Butler Butler Housing Company

Lisa Osborn-Warne Priderock Capital Partners

Treasurer, Scott Hines PEM Real Estate Group

John Rials Western Wealth Capital

Secretary, Linda Coburn NexMetro Development

Lisa Rosenfeld HSL Asset Management

Imm. Past Chair, John Carlson Mark-Taylor Residential

Mark Schilling MEB Management Services

AMC Exec., Sue Campbell Redi Carpet

Tina Schreiber Alliance Residential Company Stacey Searl Weidner Apartment Homes

at the same time learning to still enjoy BOARD OF DIRECTORS Elizabeth Beaulieu Quarterpenny Management

the comradery that exists. COVID-19 has pretty much affected what the AMA offers to its members,

Krisanne Beckstead Picerne Real Estate Group

whether it’s educational programs, sig-

Lesley Brice MC Residential

nature events, dinner meetings, or my

Dahnn Brown Camden Property Trust

Kim Pacheco AMA Board Chair

Christine Shipley Dunlap & Magee Michelle Sinclair Evergeen Devco, Inc. Justin Steltenpohl P.B. Bell Companies Greg Stobart MG Properties

Luz Bruscini MEB Management Services

Carmen Suggs ConAm Management Corporation

the AMA staff is being proactive in continuing to provide its always-spec-

David Connant Valley Wide Security

David Vanek Greystar Real Estate Partners

tacular programs. The above-mentioned programs are just some of

Crystal DeHoag Bella Investment Group

Luis Verger Shelton Residential

Anna DiSabato Dunlap & Magee

Wendy Weiske Gorman & Company

Kohl Eisenhour Avenue 5 Residential

Debbie Willis P.B. Bell Companies

someone is still possible. Don’t forget your favorite adult beverage.

Natalie Evans Apartments.com

Nicole Wray Greystar Real Estate Partners

This issue of Apartment News examines how the virtual world is

Kimberly Fitch Nicolosi & Fitch, Inc.

Rhonda Wooder Stratton Restoration

serving our industry. This includes virtual tours for prospective res-

Adam Greco Burns Pest Elimination

Chris Worrell GPM Landscape, Inc.

Kristin Heiple Baron Property Services


favorite, happy hours. It’s now a virtual world. Thankfully,

what AMA offered members in June via the virtual world. Virtual happy hour? You bet. Anywhere a person can sit down with a laptop or their cell phone, reaching out and (virtually) touching

idents; how to navigate video platforms such as Zoom; and a look at what AMA is offering.

Robert Hicks Alliance Residential Company

Did we mention a CAM certification course? Yup, that’s virtually available as well.

Stacey Hogue Greystar Real Estate Partners

Until we see each other again in person, stay safe.

Michelle Howland Blue Steel Security Services Susan Knowles J.R. McDade Matt Koglmeier Koglmeier Law Group, PLC

– Kim Pacheco, AMA Board Chair,

David Kotin Kay-Kay Realty

Scotia Group Management, Inc.

Sharon Kuhlman Shelton Residential Dustin Lacey Mark-Taylor Residential


Regular and Associate members participating in a virtual happy hour. This was the third virtual happy hour AMA has hosted since April.

Apartment News | July/August 2020

Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus President and CEO clevinus@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6200

Kyle Simplot Accounting & Operations Manager kyles@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6203 Sarah Fluke Manager of Membership & Business Development sfluke@azmultihosusing.org Phone: 602-296-6212 Sharon Hosfeld Manager of Community Outreach shosfeld@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6214 Lisa Garcia Membership & Operations Administrator lgarcia@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6207 Amanda Perkumas Tucson Area Executive Assistant aperkumas@azmultihousing.org Phone: 520-323-0643 Jonathan Baldenegro Events & Education Administrator jbaldenegro@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6209 Christina Desaubin Communications & Marketing Coordinator cdesaubin@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6204 AMA CONTRACTORS CAPITOL CONSULTING GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Courtney LeVinus Government Affairs Consultant courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com Phone: 602-390-1398 Jake Hinman Government Affairs Consultant jake@azcapitolconsulting.com Phone: 602-712-1121 Bastien Andruet Municipal Lobbyist bastien@azcapitolconsulting.com Phone: 602-712-1121

Lauren Romero Tucson Area Association Executive lromero@azmultihousing.org Phone: 520-323-0643

PUBLIC RELATIONS/ COMMUNICATIONS MadridMedia Peter Madrid Owner, MadridMedia ptmadrid1975@gmail.com Phone: 480-495-3762

Erika McDowell Director of Operations emcdowell@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6210

Leibowitz Solo David Leibowitz Owner, Leibowitz Solo david@leibowitzsolo.com

Michelle Rill Director of Membership, Events & Education mrill@azmultihousing.org Phone: 602-296-6205

GRAPHIC DESIGN James Dempsey Design james@jdempsey.com Phone: 602-510-5508

Crystal Litzau Weidner Apartment Homes Omar Mireles HSL Asset Management



Let’s concentrate our focus on the principles of inclusion, diversity

APRIL - MAY 2020 NEW AMA MEMBERS The AMA would like to welcome all new members from April & May. We are excited to work alongside you and to continue to make our association and industry the best.

Inclusion and diversity should be a part of our everyday vocabulary, not just when they are words that become part of the news cycle.

• American Standard Painting of Arizona LLC

Recent incidents in our country have put the spotlight on these principles.

• Arizona Integrity Plumbing

In June, the National Apartment Association issued a statement as our country was “grappling with racial unrest, which is especially distressing during

Courtney LeVinus AMA President & CEO

this trying time. Our residents are struggling, as are many of you.” The statement went on to read “… The professionalism of our industry is interlocked with the principles of the Fair Housing Act, which

• Phalanx Tactical Security Group

• Overlook At Pantano

Equity in the treatment and service to all of our residents has been

• AAA Landlord • Safe from Spread

to be done, and we will continue to listen and learn.”

• Four Rivers Recruiting

NAA offers resources on inclusion and diversity to its members. It does

• CTI Roofing

so through a Diversity Leadership Program, Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Grants and Diversity Best Practices. You will find a story

• Maravilla Rentals

with more information on Page 13.

• MODUS Holdings Inc.

NAA is also offering its unconscious bias program for free until July 30. It is a 2-hour program. We encourage you to watch this training

• Flax Properties

soon. The link is Unconscious Bias: Understanding Bias to Unleash

• Anna Mae Fritz

Potential and the promo code is FCFREEOFFER.

• Schulte Properties

“Equity in the treatment and service to all of our residents has been

• Villa Delano Apartments • Belbrook 19 LLC

• Crimshield, Inc.

affiliates and members. We acknowledge that much more work needs

• The Thomas at Midtown

• Best Option Restoration Avondale

is based on the concept that all people should be treated equally … and continues to be the cornerstone of NAA’s mission and that of our

• Helpful Housing

• Danbury Residences

• Arcadia Gardens • Amiya • Northern Edge • Elevation San Tan • The Elton Apartments • Indigo Apartments • Encore 202 Apartments • The Roosevelt • Canyon Vista • GreenWater El Conquistador

• Daniel Withers

and continues to be the cornerstone of NAA’s mission and that of our affiliates and members,” the NAA statement says in closing. AMA mirrors that principle.

– Courtney LeVinus, President & CEO, Arizona Multihousing Association Apartment News | July/August 2020



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AMA Recognized by the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program Arizona Multihousing Association was recognized by the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program as achieving the Silver level of excellence in worksite wellness. The Healthy Arizona Worksite Award recognizes employers that are making efforts to positively affect the health and well-being of their employees, their families and their community by implementing comprehensive worksite wellness strategies. The minimum qualifications to be considered for this award include attending the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program training and developing a plan to improve employee health and safety. To qualify for the Silver and Gold levels of the award, employers need to support employee health through policy and systems changes. AMA received this recognition by supporting its employee health and

County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). Its mission is to help

mental wellbeing in many qualifying factors.

employers learn how to successfully implement worksite wellness

The Healthy Arizona Worksites Program is a public health initiative

initiatives to improve the health of their employees and businesses.

offered by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa

For more information visit healthyazworksites.org.

BGF UPDATE The Arizona

$1M GOAL Multihousing Association Better Government Fund $900K+ (AMA BGF) is an industry RAISED defense fund used to independently support candidates and initiatives and to help support policies that strengthen the apartment industry in Arizona. As of press time, the BGF has raised $900,000 toward its goal of $1 million. Click here

BGF Apartment News | July/August 2020

to learn more.



602-675-8700 office 602-675-8707 fax ROC# 327236 azmultihousing.org

Rethinking the leasing process via virtual tours, & best ways to do it By Paul Bergeron

Apartment operators spend thousands of dol-

Practice, Practice, Practice

And be sure to honor that. (Recorded tours

lars and thousands of hours training their

There are many commonsense points that

should not go beyond two minutes. Really,

onsite leasing professionals. Faced with the

apartment communities might be overlooking

about 1 minute, 45 seconds is the sweet spot,

new (temporary) normal of reliance on vir-

if they haven’t adequately thought this through.

she says.)

tual leasing tours, there’s no reason to rely on guesswork and your agent’s smartphone to get this right. Virtual tours are not the same as self-guided tours and certainly aren’t the same as walking tours. Those points were made by apartment expert Lisa Trosien during a recent webinar on the topic as part of her Speedy Solutions program. And while recent statistical data from RealPage, CoStar and Zillow each show that traffic is picking up again, this doesn’t mean that virtual tours are winding down. These types of tours will remain a desired alternative in the future for out-of-town prospects, or for those who might still be hesitant to relax social distancing.

“It’s not just walking around with your phone taking video,” Trosien says. “You need to plan.

device they will be using to view the tour so

Storyboard it. Practice it.”

you can plan accordingly.

Virtual tours can be recorded or be conducted

“Remember, the tour is about them; not you,”

as live walk-throughs with the leasing profes-

Trosien says. “They need to feel comfortable

sional communicating to the prospect every

about what device they want to use. For a

step of the way. That’s the ideal situation,

lot of people, taking part in a virtual tour is

Trosien says. The tour can include walking

a real shift for them. Think about how awk-

the prospect through your website or a pre-re-

ward it might have been for you the first time

corded video, if it’s feasible. “With a live virtual tour, go out of your way to show them that during these challenging

you joined a Zoom call. You don’t know what buttons to click and when. You don’t how to turn on and off the video or audio.”

times you are doing it for them,” she says.

Accessibility and accommodation are other

“They will appreciate it and remember you

components to address when delivering a

for it.”

well-executed virtual tour. By customizing a

For in-person virtual tours, always ask the prospect: How much time do you have?

Apartment News | July/August 2020

Ask the prospect ahead of time what type of


live virtual tour, persons with disabilities can –Continued on next page


be shown accommodations such as ramps,

Before the tour, Trosien says to list things that

parking spaces and interior fixtures such as

the prospect has shared that they are inter-

accessible apartment homes.

ested in seeing and be sure to include them.

For persons with hearing disabilities, audio can be replaced by captioning. Live tours are more authentic because they are more interactive and conversational, she says. It starts with a warm welcome where the prospect can see the leasing professional’s

“If they want a ‘western view’ then give them one,” she says. “And right now, balconies are hugely popular, especially for prospects who didn’t have one before. During shelter-athome, this might be there only (or primary) window to the world.

face. “Let them see who you are,” she says.

“And even if they didn’t emphasize the kitch-

“Make that personal connection at the start.”

en, you should. Spend extra time in the

Trosien says introverts and even extroverts really need to ramp up the personality while giving the tours. Yes, extroverts, too. “You must by ‘on’ the entire time,” she says. “Ask questions throughout the tour after your points are being made: ‘What do you think of this?’ “Are you okay with that?’ ‘What do you think so far?’ ‘Do you have any questions?’ Keep it moving.

kitchen. During this pandemic, people are doing more cooking and baking from home.

Finally, it’s tough, Trosien says, but at the end of the tour, you must ask the prospective resident: Was there anything you didn’t like?”

Highlight that.”

This is mandatory because, “again, you have

Hundreds of Dollars, Thousands of Dollars

weren’t able to see their reactions to things,”

no idea what they are thinking because you

Remember, Trosien says, “whether they will be leasing for a few hundred dollars a month

she says. “And if they say something was not right, be ready to respond to it.”

in rent – or a few thousand – signing a lease

Technical Difficulties

is a major investment. You need to treat it

Most technology needed to do a strong virtual tour is surprisingly affordable. Communities should absolutely buy tablets or smart phones for their properties specifically for this use, Trosien says. “Matterport (cameras) are great, great products, but you don’t absolutely need one to do these tours well.” Virtual leasing must be accessible across all types of devices, browsers, operating systems, and technologies so as to not alienate anyone from joining those experiences because of the device that they do or do not have. Leading virtual tour companies include Tour24, SmartRent, Rently, Power Pro, Virtual APT, LCP360, Show My Property and Engrain. A Word About Privacy Privacy for leasing professionals is an important aspect of this process. Onsite staff do

“Having this interaction is so important because you cannot see them; you are not getting your usual body-language cues and facial expressions to help you gauge their interest or displeasure. “However, don’t turn your virtual tours into a creativity contest for your staff. This is not the place for this. Be creative about how to market it, such as on social media. But if you try to be clever during the tour, it can become a distraction for the prospect.”

Apartment News | July/August 2020

like that no matter what Class property you

not want their personal cell phone numbers

work at.”

made available to the public. One benefit to

Even though your amenities are closed, show them. They will be using them at some point.

Zoom is that it doesn’t capture or display cell phone numbers or other contact information.

If it’s difficult to do, make sure you have a recorded video that highlights the amenities to show them or to send to them. For recorded tours, make sure to do them

Paul Bergeron is a freelance reporter who covers the apartment industry. Reach him at pbergeron333@gmail.com or (703) 434-0280.

shoeless. There is nothing worse than the distracting echo of footsteps. And please: Put the toilet seat down, she says.




Legally Speaking

With the CARES Act expiring, next step is to begin proceedings for residents in default of their rental obligations

By Christopher R. Walker On March 27, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law wherein a federal eviction moratorium was authorized. The moratorium applies to “covered dwellings” and “covered properties.” See Sec. 4024(a). The most common covered property type is one with a federally backed mortgage. Pursuant to the Act covered properties are prohibited from initiating eviction proceedings or charging late fees, penalties, or other charges against a tenant for the nonpayment of rent until July 25.1 However, Section 4024(c) of the Act sets forth another requirement that extends the moratorium an additional 30 days. Section 4024(c) prohibits a covered property from issuing a non-payment of rent notice prior to the expiration of the Act. Further, Section 4024(c)

late fees owed starting July 26 as set forth in the lease agreement. The

requires that any notice issued must not demand the tenant vacate

landlord is not compelled to accept any partial payment.

the dwelling unit for at least 30 days. It is in this new requirement that

Upon the expiration of the 30-day vacate period a landlord of a covered

landlords must adjust their approach to any non-payment of rent evic-

property may commence an eviction action to recover possession of

tion notice issued during the time period of July 26 through August 31.

the dwelling unit and obtain a monetary judgment for the monies

With the above in mind, the following are three approaches that a

owed under the terms of the lease relating to the non-payment of rent.

landlord of a covered property may take when addressing non-payment

Following the entry of judgment, assuming there is no extension of

of rent matters following the expiration of the Act.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-14, a landlord should be able to obtain a writ of restitution 5 days following the date the judgement

Option 1: Likely to be Industry Standard

is entered by the court.

While Arizona law does not label a non-payment of rent notice a “notice to vacate” the intent of the drafters of the Act is clear that Section

Option 2: The Hybrid

4024(c) is to apply to matters related to non-payment of rent. Accord-

A hybrid approach has been suggested by some in the legal commu-

ingly, landlords of covered properties will need to use revised notices

nity that will allow for the filling of an eviction prior earlier than in

that provide for the 5-day cure period set forth in A.R.S. § 33-1368(B) as

Option 1. Under the Hybrid the notice for the non-payment of rent

well as the 30-day vacate period required by the Act. In reality, since

notice will be the same as in Option 1. The difference in the Hybrid

Arizona is a cure jurisdiction, that means that a tenant will have 30

is that a landlord of a covered property may file the eviction after the

days to cure the non-payment of rent breach. The cure payment must

expiration of the 5-day cure period and prior to the expiration of the

include payment, in full, of the rental delinquency along with any

30-day period provided the landlord does not seek an award of a writ –Continued on next page

Apartment News | July/August 2020



of restitution for a date earlier than 30 days following the issuance of

As for Option 3, this option is the one most likely to result in a negative

the non-payment of rent notice.

outcome for a landlord, one that could cost not only a delay in the recovery of a dwelling unit from a non-paying tenant but also lead to a

While this approach may result in some time savings in the eviction

possible financial loss should the tenant obtain legal counsel and the

process there is a fault. Filing on a notice prior to its expiration may

court award the tenant its legal fees and costs. In the end, saving a few

result in the court dismissing the eviction notice. A landlord in using

weeks may sound appealing, especially when landlords have been forced

the Hybrid therefore stands a substantial risk that a judge will find

to sit on their rights for 120 days, but the risks in doing so could cost

the filing on the notice premature and therefore deny the eviction,

the landlord far more time than it intended to save and could lead to

leading to greater losses incurred by the landlord and time wasted.

a financial burden at court should the landlord face an adverse ruling.

Option 3: The Nuclear Option

As with any legal decision it is highly recommended that you consult

Under this approach, a landlord of a covered property would proceed

with your legal counsel.

as normal with a regular 5-day non-payment of rent notice on July 26. If the tenant does not cure the breach or vacate the dwelling unit

Christopher R. Walker is the Managing Attorney at the Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, P.C. He can be reached at christopher@scottclarklaw.com.

within 5 days following its receipt of the notice then an eviction action would be commenced. While the case may move forward to court earlier than Option 1 and result in a writ of restitution earlier than Option 2, a landlord of a covered property using this approach would most likely be violating the Act or at the least the intent of the Act. Recommendation Each landlord of a covered property should consult its legal counsel prior to making this decision it is the recommendation of this author to follow Option 1. While Option 1 is the more conservative approach

1 Please note, a landlord of a covered property is entitled to request late fees once the Eviction Moratorium ends. Accordingly, a notice for non-payment of rent issued on or after July 26, 2020 may set forth late fees that accrue starting on July 26th and beyond. Landlords of covered properties will not be entitled to retroactively apply late fees to any period of time during the Eviction Moratorium.

the time savings a landlord of a covered property obtains in Option 2 does not outweigh the risk of the landlord losing the eviction due to a premature filing on the notice.

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Operation Update Leave initiated to aid U.S. Census 2020 count The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state and local health officials, has begun a phased restart of some 2020 Census field operations in select geographic areas. Updates on the operations resuming by location are available at 2020census.gov. This webpage will be updated weekly as 2020 Census operations resume across the U.S. by phone or by completing and returning the paper form by mail.

The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance. All returning staff received safety training to

Responding with the census ID or by completing and returning the

observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment.

paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of their community.

For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau ordered

For more information, please visit the 2020 Census COVID-19 opera-

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all field staff, including those

tional adjustments page.

that work in a field office. These materials were secured and provided to staff prior to restarting operations. As part of the phased restart of operations, the Census Bureau resumed dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home. This operation is also known as Update Leave. About 5 percent of households are counted in the Update Leave operation, where census workers will confirm or update a household’s physical location address and then leave a census questionnaire packet. The Census Bureau began delivering census materials to these households on March 15; however, this operation was suspended on March 18 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Update Leave operation does not require interaction between households and a Census Bureau employee and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. In states where we have resumed the Update Leave operation, we are also resuming fingerprinting for new hires to keep applicants moving


through the hiring process. ACO staff will begin returning to the office as necessary to support the Update Leave operation, as well. Households that receive the 2020 Census invitation packets are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to the 2020 Census using the census ID included in the questionnaire packet. People can respond online,

Apartment News | July/August 2020



602-675-8700 office 602-675-8707 fax ROC# 327236 azmultihousing.org

NAA develops resources to promote diverse and inclusive industry workforce With issues of diversity and inclusiveness taking center stage in the national conversation, the National Apartment Association (NAA) is committed to developing resources and guidance that promote a diverse and inclusive workforce in the rental housing industry. With that in mind, NAA is encouraging industry partners to access and utilize available resources and apply them in the workplace. Free to members of NAA is Best Practices in Diversity & Inclusion, resources that underscore these initiatives and how to best create and achieve goals associated with these programs.

importance of diversity and inclusion, and

retain all residents. This not only helps en-

how to best achieve related initiatives at their

tice prospective residents to move in, it also

companies. Such efforts typically involve

encourages them to stay for as long as renting

launching a diversity and inclusion program,

makes sense for them and their families.

but ultimately should result in diversity and

In addition to these offerings, NAA’s

inclusion being integrated into the DNA of

Operation Solutions website features ex-

the corporate culture.

pert-based information for operational best practices across a spectrum of rental housing-related topics. Disclaimer: The materials and information referenced in this document are provided for general and informational purposes only. They are not offered as, and do not constitute, legal advice or legal opinions.

tiatives for residents, organizations must first address these issues among their employees.

Applies to: All NAA members who are involved

Companies should be thoughtful and strate-

in hiring and retaining diverse workforces,

gic from the start, gain buy-in from leadership

especially human resources professionals

and throughout the company, ensure em-

and C-suite leadership.

ployees understand the business imperative,

Overview: Apartment management companies of all sizes typically serve a diverse group of residents. They should therefore have a diverse, inclusive workforce to match, en-

Purpose: To ensure that National Apartment

suring a community and service infused with

Association (NAA) members understand the

the competencies necessary to attract and

Apartment News | July/August 2020

To create effective diversity and inclusion ini-


develop a sense of belonging and celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion, among other steps. Diversity and inclusion efforts provide myriad benefits for all stakeholders.

–Continued on next page


CASE STUDY: The Bozzuto Group launched its formal diversity and inclusion program in 2014. What started as an initiative has now been woven into the fabric of the organization, affecting hiring, training, internal mobility, policy making and overall

specific issue such as employee recognition.

business units and attend to any anticipated

This can reveal that, for example, a compa-

concerns. Each organization needs to define

ny-wide survey might demonstrate positive

diversity and inclusion and take into account

results overall, but those at the concierge

considerations such as demographics, life-

level might not feel like they’re fully a part

style issues like marital and parenting status,

of the team, and the reasons why.

and organizational departments.

3. Gain Executive Buy-In: Diversity and inclu-

6. Carefully Consider Hiring Practices: To build

sion should be an organizational imperative,

a more diverse workforce, a company needs

not just a human resources initiative, with

to think about where and how it hires. Does it

agreement at the highest levels that diver-

target the same advertising or recruiting sourc-

represents all segments of society, with

sity and inclusion provides a key strategic

es? Is that demographic going to be diverse?

employees from more than 60 different

advantage for the organization. A human re-

company culture. Bozzuto’s talent pool

countries, half of whom are female. The

sources-only initiative doesn’t carry the same weight and can feel disciplinary. The effort

representation of women in both the de-

absolutely requires executive-level buy-in,

velopment and construction companies,

with a clear statement that the organization

both under the umbrella of the Bozzuto Group, exceeds industry averages.

GUIDANCE 1. Be Intentional and Thoughtful at the Outset:

is committed to building and sustaining a diverse, inclusive workforce. This includes a focus on equity, which means leveling the

7. Put Training in Place: Appropriate training should be put in place to ensure that hiring managers are aware of their own unconscious biases and develop strategies to prevent these biases from influencing decisions. By creating this self-awareness, the pool of candidates should organically become more diverse.

playing field for all employees. Both lead-

8. Don’t Just Hire and Then Declare Victory: It’s

ership and mid-level management need to

one thing to entice people to your company;

understand that diversity has a direct rela-

it’s another to make them feel included once

tionship to organizational profitability.

Don’t just rush into a diversity and inclusion

4. Don’t Just Pay Lip Service: Where it con-

program because everyone else is doing it.

cerns diversity and inclusion initiatives,

A program that’s ill-conceived can struggle,

talking the talk without walking the walk

they’ve arrived. Companies sometimes have an impulse to check a few boxes, say, “We’re diverse now, and we’re done,” but this process requires longer-term efforts.

which will sour everyone on the idea. Spend

results in negative outcomes. You need to

9. Consider All the Elements of Diversity: Di-

time thinking it through and include every-

ensure leadership and culture support di-

versity is not just about gender, race, reli-

one in the process. Consider hiring an outside

versity and inclusion and that your company

gion; other aspects include personality types,

consultant who specializes in diversity and

remains committed. If you simply say, “We

languages spoken, economic class, military

inclusion to guide the organization through

value diversity,” and don’t follow through, the

service and disabilities, to name but a few.

the early stages. Realize that diversity and

sentiment rings hollow. Part of that follow-up

Companies should broaden their definition.

inclusion need to align with your company’s

needs to involve creating a sense of safety

Diversity cannot be exclusively tracked at

core values and existing culture for any ini-

wherein team members can connect and

the macro level; rental housing companies

tiatives to successfully integrate and persist

be vulnerable with one another, especially

need to think about how diversity at a more


if they are facing challenges. The follow-up

micro level, too.

2. Establish a Baseline: To know whether your company is seen as diverse and inclusive, it’s important to first gain a sense of how employees feel about the existing environment.

also involves ongoing communication and setting of expectations, so all employees are aware of what’s in place and reassured that it’s going to stay in place.

10. Develop a Sense of Belonging: Employees need to feel comfortable as themselves at work and feel valued as an individual among a larger group. Employees who feel good about

Before addressing the issue and putting train-

5. Build a Diversity and Inclusion Team: When

coming to work are more loyal and engaged, and often work harder as a result.

ing in place, surveys and focus groups can

you’re getting diversity and inclusion estab-

paint a picture of whether and to what extent

lished as core values, convene a group of key

employees feel included, whether they see

stakeholders from across the organization,

barriers to their professional growth, wheth-

from field operations to property manage-

er they receive needed feedback from their

ment, so that all aspects of the organization

managers and how that all breaks down when

are represented. One must also ensure this

evaluated across different groups.

group is itself a diverse team. This can iden-

Surveys help create accountability and can be conducted by business unit or based on a

Apartment News | July/August 2020

tify any issues that might emerge and predict how the initiative will be received by various


Organizations that truly understand the value of diversity and inclusion programs will regard them as ongoing initiatives that require consistent measurement and re-evaluating of program goals and progresses. As referenced above, these programs should be considered a part of the DNA of an organization’s culture, not simply an item to be checked off a list.



Legislative Update

Special sessions on the horizon Their work unfinished, lawmakers await reconvening for the governor’s special sessions By Bastien Andruet and Jake Hinman

In a somewhat dramatic, but not unexpected move, the state Senate reconvened on May 26 and formally adjourned sine die. Only 3 minutes after meeting quorum, three Senate Republicans broke rank with their party and voted with Senate Democrats to end the session. This adjournment came on the heels of a contentious House session the week prior, wherein House Republicans had rejected Senate Republicans’ calls for adjournment, insisting that there were uncontroversial bills that still deserved to be heard and passed. While the 54th Legislature’s second


regular session is formally over, with over 1,500 bills and resolutions now dead, legislators’ work is not yet finished. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey has indicated that he will –Continued on next page

Apartment News | July/August 2020



be calling at least one, if not multiple, special session to discuss COVID-related issues, as well as finish budget negotiations. What is a special session? For those that have never heard of it, a special session, unlike a regular session, is normally called during irregular times. An example is after the Legislature has adjourned sine die, but can occur even during a regular session. The Arizona Constitution specifically states that the governor may call a special session, whenever, in his judgment, it is advisable. Property managers be aware of new storage requirements for certain property management records

In calling a special session, the governor must specify the subjects to be considered, and at such special session no laws can be enacted except such as related to the subjects mentioned in the call. For

Of the 90 bills that passed the Legislature, one bill will have a direct impact on all property managers beginning August 25. SB1096, introduced by Sen. Tyler Pace (LD-25), may require property managers to store additional tenant-related documents if they haven’t done so in the past.

example, if the governor were to call a special session tomorrow on the subject of healthcare, and a legislator attempted to introduce a bill on education, the legislator would be barred from discussing it and the bill would not be allowed to move. This, in theory, facilitates

Prior to the new law, A.R.S. 32-2175 required property management

more concentrated debate and expedient bill passage, in order to

firms to keep a residential rental agreement and related residential

best respond to crises and emergencies as they arise.

rental agreement documents for one year from the expiration of

What will they address?

the rental agreement or until the rental agreement and related doc-

While, at the time of this writing, everything is mostly speculation, it

uments are given to the owner at the termination of any property

is largely assumed that at least one special session will be convened

management agreement. Prior to the law change, “related residential

to finish budget negotiations. As you may recall from the March-April

rental agreement documents” was never actually defined.

issue of Apartment News, legislators were hotly contesting how this

SB1096 provides more clarity as to what these “related documents”

year’s budget was to be allocated, as prior to COVID, the state was

may include. The new law specifies that related documents may

sitting on a $1 billion surplus. Following the governor’s Executive

include rental applications with tenant-identifying information,

Orders requesting individuals shelter in place and businesses shut-

move in forms or default notices.

ter, the economic landscape has dramatically changed for the state,

SB1096 also codifies where these documents may be stored. Histor-

effectively dashing any hopes that the projected surplus would be used for new education spending, tax reform, or any other hot-button

ically, property managers have relied on the Arizona Department of

issues this year. Using economic forecast predictions from the Joint

Real Estate’s policy to allow for storage outside of the broker’s main

Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), legislators will re-evaluate the

office, such as the leasing office, or for electronic storage. While

state’s financial health, and decide how best to allocate the remaining

this policy has been in place for some time, it could have easily

funds not approved in their “skinny budget” passed earlier this year.

been eliminated or modified at the will of the Department. SB1096 codifies this policy in statute, providing clarity and certainty for

Beyond the budget, it is all but guaranteed there will be another

property managers.

special session dedicated to addressing statewide issues pertaining to, or resulting from, the COVID-19 pandemic. This could include anything from sheltering vulnerable homeless populations to state

Bastien Andruet is a Municipal Lobbyist for

marketing campaigns to assist small businesses, and everything in

Capitol Consulting.


He can be reached at 602-712-1121.

One issue that has been guaranteed to be addressed during a special session has been business liability pertaining to COVID-19. State Sen. Vince Leach (LD-11) has been a vocal champion of liability protections

Jake Hinman is the Director of Government

for businesses and has promised to introduce protections for those

Affairs for Capitol Consulting.

operating in earnest to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from frivolous

He can be reached at 602-712-1121.

lawsuits akin to the ADA “drive by lawsuits” that swept the state in 2016. The AMA will be actively working with lawmakers to ensure that such liability protections extend to apartment communities.

Apartment News | July/August 2020




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Apartment News | July/August 2020



Education & Events All AMA education sessions in Phoenix and Tucson are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to the AMA website for any changes and/or cancellations. All Education Classes & Events Take Place at

Landlord Tenant

AMA Tribute Awards

the AMA Gallery Unless Otherwise Specified

Wednesday, August 12, 9 a.m. to noon

Friday, August 21

818 N. 1st Street, Phoenix, 85004

$30/member price; $60/non-member

VIRTUAL: Details to come!

Registration online is preferred. To register you will need your username and password. If you need help or are a non-member, please contact Jonathan Baldenegro at JBaldenegro@azmultihousing.org or

Knowing how to use and comply with state law that governs all rental housing operations can save time, make you money, and minimize legal difficulties. This is a must for any property owner, community manager, and leasing consultant. You’ll review the revised

(602) 296-6209.

law, which outlines the rights and responsibilities for both landlords and renters. Time will be allocated for audience questions and


answers. Get your NALP, CAM, CAPS, and Real Estate CEC’s.


CPO: Certified Pool Operator Course Wednesday, August 26 to 27, 9 a.m. to noon

Secrets of Leasing Leaders

$220/member price; $275/non-member

Friday, July 10, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

We are pleased to offer the NSPF Certified

Webinar: via Zoom

Pool Operators Course. This nationally and

$30/member price; $60/non-member Recommended for all onsite management and leasing team members. Learn the behaviors of an elite leasing leader from an expert panel. Learn how to customize the experience and develop a sales strategy to identify key personas and buying signals. We will discuss ways to elevate the qualifying process to uncover and overcome any objection a prospective resident may raise as well as how to measure success and identify your presentation style that will bring you


internationally recognized certification benefits include: better understanding of technician’s role in pool care and management, risk reduction, and understanding of local and state codes. This course is 16 hours in length and held over two consecutive days. (Pool and spa operator handbook required.)

n PHOENIX EVENTS ssociate Member Council Meeting: A LivCommunities

to an elite status versus the same everyday

July 28, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

ways of the past.

Webinar: via Zoom Free for Associate Members

n TUCSON EVENTS Reverse Trade Show presented by ATI “Wild West Show Down with the AMA” Thursday, July 16, 1 to 5 p.m. Virtual: via Zoom

n TUCSON EDUCATION CLASSES Fair Housing Thursday, July 23 9 a.m. to noon $30 members; $60 non-members For owners and managers, understanding and complying with fair housing law and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) is critical. This course provides an overview of fair housing and ADA law and investigative procedures. This course is taught by an AMA Member Attorney and is eligible for 3 hours of RE continuing education.

Plumbing Basics Thursday, August 27 9 a.m. to noon $30 members; $60 non-members Plumbing is one of the most commonly requested repairs in our industry. During this course, we will cover plumbing safety, lock

Learn more about


azmultihousing.org Apartment News | July/August 2020


out/tag out, PPE, water heater installation and maintenance, preventive maintenance, isolation valves, mapping your utilities, locating sewer odors, boiler operation, slab leaks and more.


Putting the


on virtual events

By Peter Madrid

It’s no secret that AMA-sponsored events are popular year-round with the membership. The numbers speak for themselves. So, when activities in Arizona came to a screeching halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMA staffers made it a priority to continue

Holliday and Blythe Edmondson with Edmondson Law participated

providing quality events and educational programs – in the virtual

in town hall style Zoom sessions, aptly titled “Latte with a Lawyer.”

world through Zoom.

n The Tucson Reverse Trade Show will be a virtual extravaganza July

This includes everything From Latte with a Lawyer to happy hours to

16 from 1 to 5 p.m. This year’s theme is “Wild West Showdown.”

the Phoenix and Tucson Reverse Trade Shows. Some of the highlights:

n The Phoenix Reverse Trade Show was a virtual event on June 24.

n Three Fridays in June, AMA presented a live Q&A session with local

This year’s theme was “Roaring 20s.”

attorneys – free of charge to members. Industry experts including Chris Walker with The Law Offices of Scott Clark, Mark Zinman

n A MCF Big Hearts events included a Zoom lunch and Zoom

with Zona Law Group and Denise Holliday with Hull, Holliday and

happy hour.

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azmultihousing.org 3/26/19 3:14 PM

How to avoid ‘Zoom butt,’ other remote training tips By Elaine Simpson shared on screen during business meetings). To avoid this, be sure to

Most of us are working from home now due to

create a meeting password and a waiting room for all meetings. The

COVID-19, and many people are also catching

meeting host can then manually let people join.

up on education. Not everyone learns in the same

Zoom is also changing their defaults to do this automatically as well

way and it can be a challenge to learn new things

as limiting screen sharing to the host only.

in a new way.

Lack of Proper Technology: In order to train or work remotely, one must have proper equipment. If you have been working on an old desktop computer at home,

Having to learn how to use new technology before setting about to

it’s probably time to invest

learn new content or skills can be exciting but also frustrating.

in a portable

Sometimes we grumble when asked to learn something new or take

laptop with a

additional courses online but bottom line, it does increase

built-in cam-

our knowledge, benefit our business skills and make us more

era necessary

valuable employees.

for Skype, Zoom or

At Occupancy Solutions, we are constantly seeking out

Team virtual meetings. Update the

new ways to do things and streamline processes. We

browser in order to run new versions

just changed platforms for our e-learning courses

of training webinars and e-learn-

and hope you will find the time to check them

ing courses.

out. Before, we had hundreds of property man-

Unreliable Internet: If you have

agement and business topics to choose from

the typical one size fits all

but found the sheer number offered was too

cable or satellite internet

daunting for most learners.

service at home, there are

We have compiled a few tips and best prac-

times that it may be unreli-

tices for dealing with some of those virtual

able. One way to bypass this

training challenges. These tips existed before

if necessary or have a back-

the pandemic of 2020, but are especially help-

up is to activate the hotspot

ful in the current business environment where

on your smart phone and sync

many, many people are having to work, train and

it with your laptop.

supervise remotely for the first time. Even though

Sometimes the signal coming from

you may be in your pajamas, as one journalist put it,

your phone is stronger than the one being

“working at home is not all rainbows and unicorns”.

sent through your home router. Speaking of

Zoom Bombing: Video conferencing app, Zoom, has become a very

routers, installing a more powerful router often helps

popular training and meeting tool during the COVID-19 pandemic.

the home service as well. If all else fails, consider taking your laptop

The increase in users created a new security issue for Zoom referred

in the car and drive to a business that offers free internet. You might

to as Zoom Bombing.

receive the signal outside the building in order to connect from the safety of your vehicle.

Uninvited guests were able to crash Zoom meetings with sometimes amusing but always annoying consequences (like pornography being

Apartment News | July/August 2020

–Continued on next page



Distractions: It is best to create an office environment somewhere in

standing desk in order to avoid this symptom.

your home preferably in a room with a door that can be closed. When

Lack of Structure and Motivation: Build a training schedule you can stick

it’s time to take your online course, tell your roommate or family

to. Take breaks and set clear begin and end times. Manage your energy,

members when it is acceptable to interrupt you and what can wait.

not your time. While on break, don’t fall down the Facebook hole. It’s

Turn off notifications or mute your telephone. Have your supplies ready.

soooo easy to participate in avoidance behavior. Remember Brian Tra-

Set aside pens and paper for taking notes. Keep your refreshments or

cy’s “Eat That Frog?” If you have been procrastinating, once you attack

tissue handy. Close the door to also keep pets out of the room. Cats

the biggest obstacle first (the biggest frog), the rest will seem easier.

love to jump up and walk across keyboards. Train your children and significant others to be self-sufficient to occupy themselves while


you are in training.

If you are new to property management and need to take a

Feeling of Isolation: How many times have you heard “you are not alone”

Fair Housing course or you are a team leader and your team

and “we are all in this together?” Sounds good, but in reality, you proba-

members require additional remote training, please review our

bly are working alone. Lack of instant feedback is one complaint about

training and e-learning options at occupancysolutions.com. Call

e-learning. However, many courses are set up with interim quizzes that

1-800-865-0948 for your free consultation today.

offer instant feedback to your responses. Also, if you participate in live

Elaine Simpson, an operations, leasing,

webinars, most instructors leave time at the end of the presentation

marketing consultant and training special-

for a question and answer period and some will stop to take questions.

ist, is President of Occupancy Solutions,

Computer Fatigue: If you have a series of classes or seminars to tackle,

LLC. She has been involved in the housing

include a few social breaks in your schedule. Set a timer if necessary.

industry since 1986. Starting on site as a

Leave the room to make a phone call, stretch, or go for a short walk.

leasing agent, she moved up, working as

Be mindful about your health habits. Sitting in front of the computer

assistant manager, site manager, executive

screen for long periods of time with too many snacks at your fingertips

director and finally senior regional manager with communities

can also create “zoom butt” or the “COVID 15” similar to “the fresh-

in several states and portfolios containing more than 1400 units.

man 15” putting on extra pounds. Stand up frequently or try to use a

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Apartment News | July/August 2020



AMA Patron Profile Apartments.com Tucson, Arizona

By Peter Madrid

It makes perfect sense that a company named Apartments. com would have a collaborative relationship with the trade association that represents the apartment industry in Arizona.

through her company since 2016. Membership, she says, allows Apartments.com opportunities to nurture current business, as well as seek and create fresh opportunities for new business – opportunities that it might not otherwise have. Apartments.com has been a member of AMA since 2014. Membership in an industry group is vital to the success of any business. How has Apartments.com leveraged its standing in the Ar-

However, that relationship goes beyond the

izona multifamily community through its

Apartments.com moniker.

membership in AMA?

“Being a member of the AMA has afforded us the ability to collaborate with industry partners for the betterment of the multifamily industry as a whole; with a lasting and reaching impact not only nationally, but statewide and locally as well,” says Natalie Evans, General Manager of Multifamily Sales – Southwest for Apartments.com.

As an industry, we are enjoying the wide variety of investments in to our space. Forward moving development means success for us all – more jobs, more rooftops over heads and a contribution to the economy.”

“For us, operating in a market like Tucson, the opportunity to have these

“Between myself and our Local Marketing

kinds of interactions and impact is especially

Consultant, Ashley Williams, Apartments.

important. In addition to representing its

com is able to participate in every commit-

members in legislative, legal and regulatory

tee and event held by the AMA,” Evans says.

matters, the AMA also facilitates numerous

“Apartments.com takes great pride in the ac-

opportunities throughout the year for us as

tive role we play in the AMA. Especially close

associate members to get in front of our cli-

to our hearts are the philanthropic arm of

ents and prospective clients,” Evans says.

the organization AMCF – Big Hearts, and

Evans has been in the multifamily industry since 2004 and affiliated with the AMA

Apartment News | July/August 2020

Project S.A.F.E. –Continued on next page


Natalie Evans General Manager of Multifamily Sales – Southwest (520) 528-5404 nevans1@costar.com



AMA Patron Profile




“Through these committees and events, we are able to maintain a regular presence in multifamily and the Tucson community as a whole. Apartments.com is unique in that in addition to our presence and sponsorships, we offer impactful market data and statistics that help in keeping our local association informed and armed to fight the good fight on behalf of our regular members,” she says. Apartments.com is dedicated to all things multifamily, Evans says. The growth and success of the industry in Arizona includes the growth and success of Apartments.com, she adds. “As an industry, we are enjoying the wide variety of investments in to our space. Forward moving development means success for us all – more jobs, more rooftops over heads and a contribution to the


economy,” Evans says. “We’ve enjoyed unprecedented growth … we are market experts embedded right in your local cities, ready to help our clients address many of the wide array of issues they are faced with in today’s digital marketing world.” On a personal level, what does it mean to Evans to be a member of AMA?


“Being a member of the AMA means that I am a part of something that is so much larger than me as an individual or representative for Apartments.com. Through our membership, I know confidently that my team and I are making a positive difference in our client’s operations through our diversified offering of services,” she says. “Additionally, we are proud of the role we play in supporting critical, industry relevant legislation. What’s more is that we know our data is supporting clients in their pursuit of payment from non-profit, state, and other local agencies, at a current and fair market value. That reach is so much larger than any one individual, community or company. Being a part of the AMA allows us a reach and impact that knows no limits.”

For more information on how to become a patron member of AMA, please contact Sarah Fluke, sfluke@azmultihousing.org, 602-296-6212. Apartment News | July/August 2020





By Blythe Edmondson, Attorney at Law Xxxxxxxx

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