ABODE January 2016

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January 2016

Alison Hall, 2016 HAA President

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CONTENTS January 2016




30 On the Scene – Photos from the HAABGF Meeting in November.

A Fabulous Future (with Style) – Meet HAA’s 2016 President, Alison Hall, Camden. Photo by Mark Hiebert, Hiebert Photography

32 Earn Your Blue Star – Promote safety for your community through HAA’s training partnership with HPD. 42 2016 HAA Officers and Vice Presidents at Large – Learn more about your incoming leadership. 44 Product Service Council – Meet the HAA supplier member board officers and members. 46 Clear Your Path to Success – Follow these seven strategies to combat clutter and boost your productivity, profits and peace. 48 The Future is Now – As the demand for access and connectivity increases, property managers must stay ahead of the curve to meet resident expectations. 50 Tell Your Story – Monitor your online reputation and build your digital curb appeal across multiple social platforms. 54 On the Scene – Photos from the HAA Annual Business Meeting. 58 On the Scene – Photos from the ACES Holiday Luncheon. 72 On Site with ABODE – College View Apartments offers a cozy suburban community.

COLUMNS & MONTHLY UPDATES 7 President’s Corner – Greetings from 2016 HAA President Alison Hall. 8 Patron of the Month – Meet and support Houston Planned Energy Systems. 9 Legislative Update – Changes in apartment-related legislation take effect this month. 11 It’s The Law – This year, be sure to plan ahead and maintain careful documentation to keep your property operating smoothly. 14 Resident Relations – A resident breaks her lease without notice after a domestic dispute. 19 Upcoming Education – Find out what education courses the Houston Apartment Foundation is offering in January and February. 20 Calendar – HAA’s schedule of events for the next coming months. 26 NAA Update – New, largest-ever apartment survey highlights amenities renters want and what they’ll pay to get it. 28 On the Road with HAA – See photos from our Montgomery County Justice of the Peace and Constable Appreciation Luncheon. 64 The Go-Getters – News from HAA’s membership recruiters. 66 Welcome Mat – Find out who the newest HAA members. 68 The Ambassador ONE Society – News from the HAA welcome wagon. 70 Portfolio Changes, People on the Move and In the News – Industry news clips from our members. 74 Index of Advertisers – See the supplier members who support this publication. 75 MarketLine – The latest area market numbers. 76 BackPage – News from around the community.

We welcome your comments. Email us at comm@haaonline.org.


January 2016



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KELLY SCOTT Vice President at Large

KYLE BROWN President-Elect ALISON HALL President

DEBBIE SULZER Vice President at Large

SAL THOMAS Vice President at Large

MICHELLE PAWELEK Secretary/Treasurer

CLAY HICKS Vice President at Large


STARLA TURNBO Vice President at Large JEFF HALL Executive VP

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jackie Rhone, Immediate Past President Josh Allen Mack Armstrong Jeff Blevins John Boriack Kyle Brown Grant Crowell John Fedorko Paula Forshee Israel Garza Diane Gilbert Clark Gregg Ira Gross Alison Hall Bryan Head Clay Hicks David Jones Jacob Kunath Barby Lake Kristin McLaughlin Carlos Neto Dean O’Kelley Michelle Pahl Jenifer Paneral Mark Park Michelle Pawelek John Ridgway Christy Rodriguez Kelly Scott Kurt Seidel Kim Small Debbie Sulzer Sal Thomas Starla Turnbo Beth Van Winkle Quintina Willis Jerry Winograd Tracie Yoder DIRECTORS EMERITUS Ken Bohan Gary Blumberg Kathy Clem Jack Dinerstein Darlene Guidry Jenard Gross David Hargrove Larry Hill

Stacy Hunt Hap Hunnicutt Mike Koch Dick LaMarche Tim Myers P. David Onanian Eileen Subinsky Steve Sweet Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley HJ Tollett Pat Tollett Vic Vacek Jr. ADVISORY DIRECTORS Joe Bryson Scott Douglas Billy Griffin Cesar Lima Robert Lopes Karen Nelsen Tony Whitaker GENERAL COUNSEL EMERITUS Joe Bax HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS Claude Arnold Kenn Brown Tina Cavaco Kevin Fenn Diane Gilbert Anita Harrison Dwayne Henson Mike Koch Merry Mount Monette Reynolds Sherry Stevenson Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley Sonny Unverzagt Del Walmsley Nancé Wells Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks

PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL OFFICERS Kristin McLaughlin, CASE, President Mohawk Industries Israel Garza, CAS, Vice President Maintenance Supply Headquarters Grant Crowell, CAS, Secretary The Urban Foresters Jacob Kunath, CAS, Treasurer Century A/C Supply Mark Park, CAS, Immediate Past President AAA Plumbers MEMBERS Marivel Bownds, CAS, Valet Waste Debbie Brueckner, CAS, Dixie Carpet Installations Peggy Charles, CAS, Meyer Smith Arrie Colca, CASE, Craven Carpet Dylan Coleman, CAS Camp Construction Services Deborah DeRouen, CAS, RentPath Derek DeVries, CAS, Camp Construction Services Brian Febbo, CAS FSI Construction Sarah Fox, CAS BG Staffing Jimmie Hotz, CASE, HD Supply Dan James, CAS, Redevelopment Services

Debra Knight, CAS, Valet Waste Stephanie Krop, CAS, Buyers Access Laura Lestus, CAS, The Liberty Group Liz Levins, CAS, Criterion Brock David Lindley, CAS, FSI Construction Inc. Candis Mohr, CAS, AAA Plumbers PATRON MEMBERS 1980 Coinmach 1982 Republic Services 1986 Craven Carpet 1987 For Rent Media Solutions 1994 AAA Plumbers Presto Maintenance Supply 1996 Houston Planned Energy Systems 1997 RentPath 1999 FSI Construction Inc. 2003 Dixie Carpet Installations 2009 Camp Construction Services 2013 Criterion Brock

SPONSOR MEMBERS 1968 Century A/C Supply Hoover Slovacek LLP Reliant 1973 Brady Chapman Holland & Associates CORT Furniture Rental 1974 Mueller Water Conditioning Inc. 1976 Great American Business Products 1977 Webb Pest Control 1978 Houston Metro Electrical Corp. The Liberty Group 1981 AmRent Marvin F Poer & Company 1983 Namco Mfg. Co. Inc. Sherwin Williams Company 1984 RENCON 1985 Gemstar Construction Development Inc. 1986 ApartmentData.com 1988 Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects Inc. 1992 Alexander-Rose Associates Inc. Saint Clair & Sons Inc. 1998 AAA Staffing Ltd. CoreLogic SafeRent 2000 Moveforfree.com Inc Pura Flo Corporation 2002 American Fire Systems Classic Touch Painting Direct Energy LP Keystone Resources Southwest Painting Contractors Inc. Wilmar Industries Inc. 2003 Sign-Ups & Banners Corporation 2004 Assessment Advisors 2005 LSR Multifamily Swain & Baldwin Insurance & Risk Management United Protective Services 2006 CAD Restoration Services LLC Corestone Paving & Construction DoodyCalls Lopez Carpet Care & Painting Masonry Solutions Inc. Roto-Rooter Services Co. TXU Energy Multifamily Services Valet Waste 2008 ARE Business Solutions LLC Flavor Finish Resurfacing HARCO Insurance Services Texas Turf Management 2009 Contractors Inc. Moen Inc. Moon Shepherd Baker Insurance Redevelopment Services Storm Maintenance & Monitoring 2010 ALN Apartment Data Inc. BAC Products Belfor Property Restoration Certified Termite and Pest Control Cotton Commercial USA Inc. FTK Construction Services 2011 Buena Suerte Spanish Newspaper DNM Contracting Inc. Fantastic Floors Greenway Environmental Services Infinite Energy Inc. NRG eVgo Parking Management Company/ PMC Towing Seal Security Solutions State Contractors LLC Sterling Wiring Solutions 2012 ABC Supply Co. Inc. Accent Sign & Awning Co. Brown & Gay Engineers Inc. Cantrell McCulloch Inc. Drake Realty Group LLC EnviroSmart Multifamily Pest Solutions Final Touch Remodeling Inc. Floor and Decor Outlets Giordano Construction Inc. Go-Staff Inc. Maldonado Nursery & Landscaping Inc. Morrison Supply Company Nationwide Eviction Rent.com TAMKO Building Products Inc. Texas Concrete Professional Company 2013 Arbor Contract Carpet Inc Arm Strong Environmental (ASE) ASAP Steamers Carpet Cleaning ASW Allstate Painting & Construction

Audio Images Capitol Wrecker LLC Comcast Disaster America Gambit Construction Gorman Roofing Services Outdoor Elements Pool Works LLC ProMaster Roofing & Gutter StoveTop FireStop Tidal Renovations LLC Tuttle Construction 2014 Adventure Playground Systems Inc. Chadwell Supply Classic Same Day Blinds Corporate Housing Associates/ Woodlands Interim Housing Crawford Electric Supply Co. Inc. CXC Talent Solutions D&G Quality Roofing Inc. enTouch Systems Inc. Evolution Roofing Systems Inc. Goodman Manufacturing Ltd. J National Jay’s Iron Works and Iron Fence Painting Jonah Systems LLC MX2 Commercial Paving On Site Towing LLC Parking & Towing Experts Inc. Pathfinder Insurance Group Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas Ram Jack Foundation Solutions SisTerra Landscape State Roofing Company Storage West Terry’s Landscape Texas Apartment Pool Services The Katy Plumbing Company Virtual Leasing Systems WCA Waste Corporation Zillow Rental Network Zippy Shell of West Houston 2015 A All Animal Control of North Houston Access Industrial Services Inc. Admiral Linen & Uniform Service by Alsco Air Pro Systems America Outdoor Furniture American Painting & Renovations Inc. ASAP Personnel Inc. ASI Astro Towing Solutions BSI Byte Time Computing Inc. Cameras Onsite Carrier Enterprise CertaPro Painters Citi Fence & Access Control Competitive Choice Inc. CSI LED Lighting & Batteries D&C Painting Delta Mechanical Inc. Division-9 Inc. DTS Services Duke Sys Dust Lady Cleaning & Services LLC Dynamo Contracting Inc. Fix My Slab Foundation Repair Foster Fence Ltd. Fujitec America Inc. Full Steam Ahead Houston Fulton Law Group PLLC Gateman Inc. Goes Heating Systems Greater Houston Pool Management Greenmark Environmental Ground Control Concrete & Construction H.S. Services Hinton Construction Co. Inc. Holder’s Pest Control Housing100 I-45 Signs - G Quest Enterprises Kathy Andrews Interiors Lane Law Firm Levee Locker Liberty Builders LLC M&J Painting and Construction Nate Robb Commercial Construction Network Outfitters Nobe Nash Inc. Notifii LLC Pace Residential LP Pinnacle Pumping Services LLC Power Express Preferred Home Technologies Inc. Pro Turf Landscaping Restored Resources Rivas Roofing & Gutters Inc. Robert G Smith Electric Inc. Seisco International LLC Smith Protective Service SOCi Inc. Springbok Valet Trash Solutions Sustain-Ability Solutions LLC Tax Recourse LLC TEI Insurance Agency Inc. Texas Home Painters LLC The Allshouse Group LLC The Countersource Torocon Services LLC Total Lender Services LLC Trident Security Professionals United Painting Restoration Unwanted.com Inc. Vineyard Restoration Wilsonart

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ABODE JANUARY 2015 I VOLUME 39, ISSUE 1 Executive Vice President and Publisher


Director of Publications and Design DEBORAH NIX dnix@haaonline.org ADVERTISING

Director of Membership and Marketing AMANDA SHERBONDY asherbondy@haaonline.org CONTRIBUTING STAFF

Vice President and General Manager SUSAN HINKLEY, CAE shinkley@haaonline.org Vice President of Professional Development EMILY HILTON, CPP ehilton@haaonline.org Vice President of Public Affairs ANDY TEAS, CAE ateas@haaonline.org Controller NANCY LI LO, CPA nlo@haaonline.org Director of Information Technology ART EIDMAN aeidman@haaonline.org Director of Resident Relations MATILDE LUNA mluna@haaonline.org Director of Events and Meetings EMILY BANNWARTH ebannwarth@haaonline.org Director of Rental Credit Reporting TINA DEFIORE tdefiore@haaonline.org Rental Credit Reporting Manager LUISA AREVALO larevalo@haaonline.org Education and Meetings Coordinator KAREN MITCHELL kmitchell@haaonline.org Strategic Growth Coordinator LAUREN OWENS lowens@haaonline.org Public Affairs Specialist MERCEDES SANCHEZ msanchez@haaonline.org Membership and Marketing Coordinator LAUREN WOLFSON lwolfson@haaonline.org Webmaster and IT Specialist WILL ALFARO walfaro@haaonline.org PRINTER

TGI PRINTED www.tgiprinted.com HOUSTON COMMITTEE Executive Program & Budget Nominating Ethics Investment Fair Housing By-Laws Strategic Growth Legislative PAC Fundraising HAA Better Government Fund Century Club Multifamily Fire Safety Alliance Media Relations Golf Leadership Development Product Service Council Community Outreach Registration Task Force Resident Relations Appeals Resident Relations A Resident Relations B Membership Ambassador ONE Society 2015 Expo IROC Education Advisory Council Career/Community Development NEXT HAF Fundraiser Property Awards RCR Advisory


HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MISSION AND VISION HAA is the leading advocate, resource and community partner for quality rental housing providers in the Houston and surrounding area. HAA develops leadership in the multifamily industry by engaging broadly diverse membership, embracing effective technology and advocating for a geographically inclusive association.

Visit HAA Online at www.haaonline.org ABODE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION. Serving the multihousing industry in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Waller and Wharton counties. ABODE, JANUARY 2016 VOLUME 39, ISSUE 1 ABODE (USPS 024-962) is published monthly by the Houston Multi Housing Corporation. Publishing, editorial and advertising offices are located at 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041. Telephone 713-595-0300. The $50 annual ABODE subscription rate is included in all member dues and additional subscriptions are available. The annual subscription rate is $50 for members, $65 for non-members. Advertising rates are available upon request. Contributed material does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Houston Apartment Association. Copyright Š 2015 by HAA. Periodicals Postage Paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ABODE, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041.


January 2016



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please join HAA for a special event

2016 Installation & New Year Gala presented by

The Houston Apartment Association cordially invites you to witness and celebrate the installation of the 2016 President, Officers, Board of Directors and Product Service Council Officers with dinner and dancing. New location

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016 7:30 P.M. TO 11:30 P.M. at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square,16090 City Walk in Sugar Land, 77479 $90/person early bird registration by January 8; $110 after January 8 $900/table of ten by January 8; $1,100 after January 8

For more information or to register, please visit www.haaonline.org/gala or contact meetings@haaonline.org or 713-595-0300.

Hotel Information: Reserve a room at the group rate for $129. Book online at www.haaonline.org/gala or call 800-228-9290 (mention “Houston Apartment Association� to receive the special rate). Rate valid for Saturday, January 16, 2016 only. Must book by December 31, 2015.

Premier Sponsors; Arbor Contract Carpet Crestmark Construction DirecSupply Inc.

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President’s Corner By ALISON HALL, CPM, CAPS, 2016 HAA President

HAPPY NEW YEAR Together, we will continue to achieve, lead and have fun as we support our industry.

I AM SO EXCITED and honored to serve our association as president! I know together we will accomplish great things through vision, team work and fun. In August of 2015, the HAA leadership attended a three-day planning session to define a roadmap for our association over the next three years. Based on this session, our 2016 goals are centered around the political action committee, education and communication. I am committed on updating the membership on our progress quarterly in this column, to ensure transparency into our leadership decisions. PAC Involvement and the Elections And I know we’re financially successful. That’s one goal – continuing to grow our PAC contributions, even if we just beat last year by a dollar. At press, Sylvester Turner was elected the new City of Houston mayor and, along with our new new city controller and several new City Council members, we will be working hard to educate our new leaders about the important


role the apartment industry plays in Houston and to make sure the city continues to focus on policy choices that recognize the needs of renters and rental property owners.

Our new president has a new email address – askalison@haaonline.org. Alison wants to know what your thoughts and what your needs are from your association. Alison and HAA want to hear from you!

Networking, Education and Outreach When you work on a team with me, we don’t miss our deadlines, we don’t miss our budget and we don’t miss our goals. That’s the easy part. The hard part is to rally people and make them feel passionate about the industry. That’s where our wonderful networking, education and outreach programs come in. I want us to keep developing those areas for the future. And the future is now. Let’s get started! I would like to see more participation, especially more people enrolling in designation courses and more graduates – and I want to see more companies invest in their people by paying for their professional development.

Participation and Communication It is my vision that with increased participation and communication, we will achieve our 2016 goals. I want to encourage each member to go beyond their 2015 commitment in time and resources, attend one more class or event, give approval for one more employee to get involved with a committee or designation, spend $1 more toward PAC and advocate for our great association. If each of us does this, we will multiply the power of the people and association. Let’s make this a great year!

January 2016



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These companies have generously supported the Houston Apartment Association with their patron membership. Please give them careful consideration, whenever possible, in your business.

Houston Planned Energy Systems

For Rent Media Solutions

HAA Member since 1978

HAA Member since 1987

Republic Services

Criterion Brock

HAA Member since 1982

HAA Member since 1985

Presto Maintenance Supply

AAA Plumbers

HAA Member since 1983

HAA Member since 1984


FSI Construction Inc.

HAA Member since 1961

HAA Member since 1999

Craven Carpet

Dixie Carpet Installations

HAA Member since 1986

HAA Member since 1987

Camp Construction Services

Apartment Guide

HAA Member since 1994

HAA Member since 1979

January Patron of the Month



January 2016


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Legislative Update

By KYLE BROWN, HAA Legislative Chair, with ANDY TEAS, CAE, Vice President of Public Affairs

NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS Changes in apartment-related legislation take effect this month.

MOST LAWS PASSED by the Texas Legislature take effect at the beginning of September, three months after the Legislature adjourns. The apartment industry, however, has a long tradition of asking that new laws about apartments take effect at the beginning of the next calendar year. Over the years, this has helped us make the TAA Redbook better and has helped us make sure our leases and forms match perfectly with any new changes in state law. Most of last year’s changes became effective this month. They were covered extensively in Texas Apartments by TAA, and in our own “It’s The Law” column last year, but here’s a brief reminder on several key changes.

Ex-Offenders The apartment industry continues to struggle with the conflict between our desire to help former offenders find housing and our duty to avoid unreasonable risks to our residents and to owners’ investments. A new law makes it harder to successfully sue an apartment owner simply for renting to a nonviolent ex-offender. Read about this carefully in your Redbook before changing any policies on background screening.

Smoke-free Housing The Houston Housing Authority enacted a smoke-free policy more than a year ago for its 25 public housing and tax-credit properties throughout the city. In November, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Most importantly, a resident appealing through a a proposed rule that would prosurety bond – starting this month – will need to post hibit smoking in public housing one month’s rent into the court registry nationwide, using the danger of secondhand smoke as the priin order to continue the appeal. mary justification. This proposal could impact about 1 million households and would include common areas and administrative offices. Eviction Appeals “We have a responsibility to protect public Starting this month, residents who wish to housing residents from the harmful effects of appeal an eviction by posting a surety bond secondhand smoke, especially the elderly will have to follow some additional rules deand children who suffer from asthma and signed to address frequent attempts to game other respiratory diseases,” said HUD Secrethe system by posting bogus sureties. Most tary Julián Castro. “This proposed rule will importantly, a resident appealing through a help improve the health of more than surety bond – starting this month – will need 760,000 children and help public housing to post one month’s rent into the court regagencies save $153 million every year in istry in order to continue the appeal. healthcare, repairs and preventable fires.” The Centers for Disease Control estimate Notices to Vacate that around 44 million Americans smoke – Also starting this month, owners have an about 19 percent of the adult population – additional option to post a vacate notice on but many studies show the percentage of the outside of the main entry door under cersmokers beginning to decline. The Texas Detain circumstances and if certain rules are partment of State Health Services estimates followed. Make sure you read the article in that the percentage of Houstonians who your new Redbook before you use this smoke is somewhat less than the average for method to deliver a vacate notice. www.haaonline.org

Texas and that Texas’ smoking rate is below the national average. Are smoke-free housing policies likely to jump from public to private housing? According to a recent study conducted for the National Multi Housing Council, 76 percent of residents are “interested” or “very interested” in smoke-free apartments, making it the sixth most desired community amenity among 33 choices offered in the survey. In Long Beach, Calif., nearly half of all apartments are smoke-free. Apartment owners can imagine the difficulty of effectively enforcing a no-smoking rule in individual apartment units. On the other hand, every owner has faced the difficulty of performing an effective makeready on a unit that has been inhabited by a smoker, especially as non-smokers – increasingly accustomed to not having to experience tobacco smoke in restaurants, hotel rooms and workplaces – become increasingly sensitive to the smell. Houston has long been a fiercely individualistic city and reluctant to impose the views of society on individual citizens. Houston is the largest city in the United States without zoning. It may be that smoke-free apartment policies in Houston’s market-rate apartments will be driven more by market demand than by government requirement. New City of Houston Officials At press time, the runoff election was decided and Houston has a new mayor, Sylvester Turner, along with a new city controller and several new City Council members. HAA will be working hard to educate our new leaders about the important role the apartment industry plays in Houston and to make sure the city continues to focus on policy choices that recognize the needs of renters and rental property owners.

January 2016



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It’s the Law

By HOWARD BOOKSTAFF, Hoover Slovacek LLP , HAA General Counsel

LEGAL RESOLUTIONS This year, be sure to plan ahead and maintain careful documentation to keep your property operating smoothly.

2016 IS HERE! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Lose weight? Increase business? Spend more time with friends and family? I can help. Although you probably haven’t given much thought to the law this early in the year, there are things you can do today to increase efficiency and minimize claims in the upcoming months. You might consider these legal New Year’s resolutions in 2016. I will develop a mold management plan. Mold problems and claims have been at the forefront of our industry for the past couple of years. Many owners and managers are dealing with problems as they arise, but many also do not have a pre-organized plan that can be used to train others as well as deal with an issue in a timely and cost-effective manner. A plan should be developed to minimize potential mold-related problems, provide evidence to support defenses against moldrelated claims and establish an effective plan for communicating mold-related issues to residents. The plan should address the following: • How to recognize a mold issue. • How to respond to notices to repair or remedy water damaged conditions. • What action is taken after an issue is recognized. (When do you hire a mold expert?) • How residents are kept informed. • Whether insurance coverage is available. • How to respond to media inquiries. I will respond appropriately to requests for accommodation and modification. Fair Housing issues permeate everything we do in the apartment industry. The most popular types of claims seem to involve responding to requests for accommodations and modifications from disabled applicants and residents. www.haaonline.org

I will document how a notice to vacate You have an obligation to make reasonis delivered. Giving a notice to vacate to a able accommodations in rules, policies, resident is the initial step in the eviction practices or services when such accommoprocess. The notice can be delivered in perdations may be necessary to afford a person son or by mail to the apartment. Notice in with a disability equal opportunity to use person can be by personal delivery to the resand enjoy a dwelling. Similarly, you cannot ident or any person residing at the apartrefuse to permit, at the expense of the disment who is 16 years of age or older. Notice abled person, reasonable modifications of by personal delivery to the apartment is acexisting premises occupied or to be occucomplished by affixing the notice to the inpied by such person if such modifications side of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be necessary to afford such person full can be by regular mail, registered mail or cerenjoyment of the premises. tified mail. A new Texas law also allows postYou have three choices when responding ing the notice on the outside of the door to requests for accommodations or modifiunder certain circumstances if certain condications. You can grant the request, deny the tions are met. request or ask for more information. A housing provider may request reliable disability-related inYou have three choices when responding to requests formation that: (i) is necesfor accommodations or modifications. You can sary to verify that the person grant the request, deny the request or ask for meets the Fair Housing Act’s definition of disability (if the more information. disability is not known or obvious); (ii) describes the needed accommodation or modiOn the bottom of the standard TAA notice fication; and (iii) shows the relationship beto vacate form, there are boxes to check inditween the person’s disability and the need cating how the form was delivered. If the for the request. boxes are either not checked or the wrong Be careful before denying a request. Rebox is checked, there may be a credibility quests can be denied only if providing the issue in court, especially if the resident deaccommodation or modification is not reanies receiving the notice. As your resolution, sonable; that is, if it would impose an undue each notice given in 2016 should be properly financial and administrative burden on the marked with respect to how the notice was housing provider or it would fundamentally delivered. A copy of each notice should also alter the nature of the provider’s operations. be kept in the resident’s file. When responding to modification requests, where it is reasonable to do so, the housing I will fill out the water allocation or subprovider can condition permission for a metering addendum completely and modification on the resident agreeing to recorrectly. Compliance with water submestore the interior of the premises to the contering and allocation regulations in Texas can dition that existed before the modification, be complicated but should not be overreasonable wear and tear excepted. looked. If you use the standard TAA water submetering or allocation addendum, many January 2016



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of the requirements are satisfied in the form. However, there are still some blanks that need to be filled in. For example, the regulations require that the addendum must state the average monthly bill for all dwellings/ units in the previous calendar year and the highest and lowest months bills for that period. Additionally, the regulations require that the addendum must provide a clear description of the formula used to allocate utility services. There is a reason for the blanks in the addendum. They need to be filled in. If you are using an allocation addendum, the allocation method should be properly checked in the addendum. Additionally, the allocation method checked should be the same one used to formulate the bill to the resident. The Texas Water Code provides that the resident may recover three times the amount of any overcharge, a civil penalty equal to one month’s rent, reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs from the owner. Even if the resident has not been overcharged, the civil penalty can be assessed. However, an owner is not liable for a civil penalty if the owner proves the violation was a good-faith, unintentional mistake. Notwithstanding this potential defense, if you fill out forms



January 2016

incorrectly and do so on a continual basis, the civil penalty alone could be several months of rent. I will notify residents of amounts due before reporting the amount to a consumer reporting agency or debt collector. A new Texas law that took effect January 1 requires owners to notify the resident in writing of claims for damages and charges before the owner reports the claim to a consumer reporting agency or third-party debt collector. This requirement only applies if the resident did not pay a security deposit. If a resident paid a security deposit, the law has not been changed with respect to the requirement to refund or provide an itemization of deductions from a security deposit. If you have not collected a deposit, the law is important because the penalty is rather severe. If the owner fails to give the required notice in a timely fashion, the owner loses the right to collect damages and charges. I will review all age-related rules for discriminatory effect. Various Fair Housing agencies, including HUD and the Texas Workforce Commission, have investigated complaints that housing providers have

discriminated based upon familial status because rules are too restrictive on families with children. From a disparate impact standpoint under the Fair Housing Act, a policy can be a violation of the Act if it has a discriminatory effect on a protected class, even if it does not have a discriminatory intent. The policy can overcome a disparate impact claim if the policy serves a substantial legitimate nondiscriminatory interest in the least discriminatory manner. This comes into play with respect to agerestrictive rules. For example, if you have a rule that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at the swimming pool, the rule may be looked at as unduly discriminatory against families with children. If you have a safety-related concern, having your age cutoff at 18 may be too high. You need to determine, from a legitimate safety-related standpoint, what age you are comfortable with that meets your legitimate concerns, yet is stated in the least discriminatory way possible. The lower the age, the better you will be from a Fair Housing standpoint. You need to strike a balance between being low enough to appease a Fair Housing issue but high enough to address your safety concern. / See Law, Page 71


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Resident Relations from the RESIDENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

ONE MONTH’S RENT A resident breaks her lease without notice after a domestic dispute.

A RESIDENT FILED a complaint with HAA to dispute charges and asking to be reimbursed a month’s rent. The resident stated that her ex-boyfriend had pulled a gun on her and that she had called the police. The police told the manager the resident had to move immediately because the ex-boyfriend was a dangerous person. The resident stated that when she went to give notice to the property manager, she was told she would still have to pay the next month’s rent and get a protective order. Enclosed was a copy of the lease.

early without providing a written 60-day move-out notice. The resident came into the office on three weeks after moving out and stated to management that her boyfriend, who was living with her in the apartment, had pulled a gun on her. She also stated that she did not want to be liable for a broken lease. The resident was informed of the move-out charges due to not fulfilling the lease. The resident responded that she was not going to pay anything and left the office. Enclosed were copies of the security deposit statement and lease.

Management’s Response Management responded to HAA, stating that the resident had an executed 12-month lease and moved out more than a month

The Committee’s Decision The committee decided in favor of management. The resident did not follow the terms of the lease prior to vacating. Charges



January 2016

were justified. The resident owes the property $2,054 and may wish to pursue this complaint in small claims court. The HAA Resident Relations Committees provide an impartial review of resident complaints using the documentation provided by both the resident and management. When the committee finds in favor of the resident, we appreciate a direct response from the property to the resident within two weeks and a copy of the payment sent to HAA for our records. When the committee finds in favor of the resident, management may file an appeal. When the committee finds in favor of the property owner, the decision is final. If you are a manager with a resident relations issue, call HAA at 713-595-0300 for assistance.


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Market your Brand! Sponsorship


Lasso up your next marketing opportunity and gain exposure for your company by sponsoring an upcoming HAA event or meeting! Events in the roundup: Top Golf PAC Fundraiser, Volleyball, Maintenance Mania, Education Conference and Expo, Honors Awards, Bowling Tournament and tons of educational seminars and courses. Is this your first rodeo? Come early for the Auction 101 session to find out how to bid, what’s for sale and how it all works. Have to miss the cattle call? If you can’t make the live auction, Proxy bidding is available. Contact asherbondy@haaonline.org. Visit the HAA website for the full Auction Program with the list of events up for bids at


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HAF Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd. off Clay Road just east of Beltway 8

Auction 101: 2:30 p.m. Registration: 3 p.m. Drawings close: 3:45 p.m. Live Auction begins: 4 p.m. RSVP to Amanda Sherbondy at asherbondy@haaonline.org

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State Industry of the

Join HAA and industry leaders, including Bruce McClenny, ApartmentData.com, and Patrick Jankowski, Greater Houston Partnership, as we assess the current and future state of Houston’s multifamily market. Topics will include recent economic trends, job growth, forecasts, rental rate and occupancy trends, new construction developments, technology, marketing trends and much more.

State of the Industry Breakfast Tuesday, January 26 Breakfast and Registration: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Program: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Location: Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Program cost: $75/person if prepaid with a credit card; $90/person if invoiced

Sponsored by Costar Apartment Network and For Rent Media Solutions

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Upcoming Education

JANUARY CAPS Exam Wednesday, January 6 at 10 a.m. Email education@haaonline.org for details. APPLE “Upfront” Luncheon Friday, January 8 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Program cost: FREE/members Get a sneak peek at the APPLE Workshop Series lineup for 2016 at this free luncheon. See Page 22 or email education@ haaonline.org for details. Leasing 101 Tuesday, January 19, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.* and Wednesday, January 20, 8:30 a.m. to noon Program cost: $65 if paid by January 15; $75 at the door NEW CONTENT! This day-and-ahalf introduction to the apartment industry covers greeting and qualifying the customer, presenting the lease, industry terminology, Fair Housing and more. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate, as well as a listing of HAA member management companies. *NOTE: Students not yet employed in the industry begin at 8:30 a.m. on the first day. HAA member employees begin with lunch at noon. The course concludes at noon on the second day.


2016 State of the Industry Breakfast Tuesday, January 26 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Blvd. (just west of Loop 610 at Westheimer) Program cost: $75 prepaid with credit card; $90 by invoice. Sponsored by CoStar Apartment Network and For Rent Media Solutions Join Bruce McClenny of ApartmentData.com, and Patrick Jankowski of the Greater Houston Partnership for this comprehensive look at what’s happening in Houston’s apartment market. Topics include recent economic trends, job growth, forecasts, rental rate and occupancy trends, new construction, technology and marketing trends and much more. See Page 18 for details. IROC Breakfast Friday, January 29 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Program cost: FREE/members; $25/non-members Sponsored by CORT Furniture Rental Calling all independent owners of multifamily! Come kick off the year with your fellow independent owners with this networking and education breakfast.

FEBRUARY NALP I: Bringing in New Residents Tuesday, February 2 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member;


are subject to change without prior notification. Notice of cancellation is required two days in advance to receive a refund, less a $15 administrative fee. Seats are guaranteed on a first-come, first-served basis when payment and registration are received in advance of the program. Unless otherwise indicated, courses are held in either the Camden and Michael Stevens Interests Room or the Direct Energy and Liberty Personnel & Executive Search Room at the Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd. on the second floor of the HAA Office www.haaonline.org

$425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental Kickstart your career by earning the National Apartment Leasing Professional designation. See Page 23 for details. NALP II: Marketing and Maintaining Your Community Tuesday, February 2 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member; $425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental NOTE: If you are taking this as a stand-alone course, please arrive by 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. NALP III: Why Your Competition Matters Tuesday, February 9 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member; $425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental See Page 23 for details. NALP IV: Relevant Laws & How to Apply Them Tuesday, February 9 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member; $425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental NOTE: If you are taking this as a

stand-alone course, please arrive by 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. APPLE Core Session I: The First Five Minutes Count with Amy Kosnikowski Wednesday, February 10 8:30 a.m. to noon. Program cost: $50 (annual property subscriptions available) Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental The APPLE Workshop Series kicks off with this deep-dive into making a lasting and positive first impression. See Page 22. Blue Star Thursday, February 11 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Greenspoint Mall, “Ellipse” Food Court Entrance, 12300 North Fwy., 77060 See Page 32 for program details, or contact Mercedes at msanchez@haaonline.org for details and to register. HAA Next: Professional Development Breakfast Friday, February 12 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact Emily Hilton for details at ehilton@haaonline.org. NALP V: The Sales Process & Building Relationships Tuesday, February 16 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member; $425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental See Page 23 for details. / See Education, Page 27

Building. Seating is limited. You must pre-register. For more information and to register, go online at www.haaonline.org. Notice to Attendees: All pre-registered no-shows will be billed. For admittance into HAA/HAF events, payments will be required at the door if not received prior to the event. Start times listed above include a 30-minute registration period. Notice of cancellation is required two days prior to the event for a refund, less a $15 administrative fee. January 2016



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Calendar HAA Schedule for JANUARY and FEBRUARY

3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 31

JANUARY 1 Offices Closed The HAA offices will be closed on Friday, January 1 for the New Year holiday.

Expo Committee Meeting Wednesday, January 6 9 a.m. Email asherbondy@haaonline.org for details. CAPS Exam Wednesday, January 6 10 a.m. Email education@haaonline.org. Ambassador ONE Society Wednesday, January 6 3:30 p.m. Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub 10001 Westheimer, 77042. All supplier members welcome. Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

8 APPLE “Upfront” Luncheon Friday, January 8 1:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get a sneak peek at the APPLE Workshop Series lineup for 2016 at this free luncheon. See Page 22 or email education@haaonline.org for details.

13 Resident Relations Committee A Wednesday, January 13 2 p.m.

New Member Open House Thursday, January 14 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All members welcome. See Page 69 for details.

Installation & New Year Gala Saturday, January 16 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sugar Land Marriott Town Square 16090 City Walk in Sugar Land (just southeast of Hwy. 6 at Hwy. 59). See Page 6 for details. Presented by Camp Construction Services. Sponsored by Arbor Contract Carpet, Crestmark Construction and DirecSupply.

19-20 Leasing 101 Tuesday, January 19 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.* and Wednesday, January 20 8:30 a.m. to noon. New content for 2016! *NOTE: Students not yet employed in the industry begin at 8:30 a.m. on the first day. HAA member employees begin with lunch at noon. The course concludes at noon the second day.

21 Market Your Brand Sponsorship Auction Thursday, January 21 Auction 101 at 2:30 p.m. Registration at 3 p.m. Live auction at 4 p.m. See Page 16 or visit www.haaonline.org/sponsor for details.


14 Product Service Council Thursday, January 14 1:30 p.m. Contact Susan for details at shinkley@haaonline.org.

S 2 9 16 23 30

FEBRUARY S M T W 1 2 3 7 8 9 10 14 15 16 17 21 22 23 24 28 29

T 4 11 18 25

F 5 12 19 26

S 6 13 20 27


New Member Open House Thursday, January 14 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. See Page 69 for details.

16 6

F 1 8 15 22 29

2016 State of the Industry Breakfast Tuesday, January 26 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Blvd. See Page 18 for details. Sponsored by CoStar Apartment Network and For Rent Media Solutions.

27 Community Outreach Committee Wednesday, January 27 2 p.m. Contact Susan for details at shinkley@haaonline.org. Resident Relations Committee B Wednesday, January 27 2 p.m.

28 Legislative Committee Thursday, January 28 3:30 p.m. Board Meeting Thursday, January 28 4:30 p.m. Sponsored by CoreLogic SafeRent.

29 IROC Breakfast Friday, January 29 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sponsored by CORT Furniture Rental.

FEBRUARY 2 NALP I: Bringing in New Residents Tuesday, February 2 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental. NALP II: Marketing and Maintaining Your Community Tuesday, February 2 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.

3 Expo Committee Meeting Wednesday, February 3 9 a.m. Email asherbondy@haaonline.org for details. Ambassador ONE Society Wednesday, February 3 3:30 p.m. Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub 10001 Westheimer, 77042. All supplier members welcome. Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

4 Area Council: Katy Thursday, February 4 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Lauren Owens at lowens@haaonline.org for details and to register.

UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, all events meet at our Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., second floor, in either the Direct Energy and Liberty Personnel & Executive Search or the Camden and Michael Stevens Interests Room. Meetings located at the HAA Offices, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., first floor, will be held in the Redi Carpet and Winograd Families/Judwin Properties Conference Room. See www.haaonline.org for an interactive calendar. 20


January 2016


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Please note that dates and times are subject to change. Check the calendars at www.haaonline.org for the most up-to-date information.



HAA Next Hosts a “Bee”-G-F Spelling Bee Fundraiser Thursday, February 4 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. See Page 25 for details. Sponsored by Brandt Electrical and FSI Construction.

NALP V: The Sales Process & Building Relationships Tuesday, February 16 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.

9 NALP III: Why Your Competition Matters Tuesday, February 9 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.

NALP VI: Effectively Meeting the Needs of Current Residents Tuesday, February 16 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.


NALP IV: Relevant Laws & How to Apply Them Tuesday, February 9 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.

APPLE Maintenance Session I: Trends in Maintenance with Mark Cukro Wednesday, February 17 8:30 a.m. to noon. See Page 22 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing.



APPLE Core Session I: The First Five Minutes Count with Amy Kosnikowski Wednesday, February 10 8:30 a.m. to noon. See Page 22 for details. Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental.

Redbook Seminar Thursday, February 18 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. See Page 73 for details. Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and TXU Energy.

Resident Relations Committee A Wednesday, February 10 3 p.m.

NALP: Market Survey Presentation & Exam Tuesday, February 23. For details, email education@haaonline.org.

10-12 TAA Quarterly Meeting Wednesday, February 10 through Friday, February 12 in Austin Visit www.taa.org for details.

11 Blue Star Thursday, February 11 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Greenspoint Mall, “Ellipse” Food Court Entrance, 12300 North Fwy., 77060. Contact Mercedes at msanchez@haaonline.org for details and to register.

12 HAA Next: Professional Development Breakfast Friday, February 12 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact Emily Hilton for details at ehilton@haaonline.org.


Don’t miss the FREE

APPLE “Upfront” Luncheon


25 Redbook Seminar Thursday, February 25 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. See Page 73 for details. Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and TXU Energy.

26 ACES Luncheon Friday, February 26 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details will be sent to invitees. Contact Emily Hilton at ehilton@haaonline.org for details.

Friday, January 8 1:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get a sneak peek at the APPLE Workshop Series lineup for 2016 at this free luncheon. See Page 22 for more on the APPLE series or email education@haaonline.org for details.

January 2016



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APPLE is sponsored by

Grow your career with the right ideas, the best advice and watch your future blossom –

Grab an APPLE!

Here’s a taste of some of the sessions for 2016: APPLE: Core Session 1 February 10 The First Five Minutes Count: Perfect Your Personal Brand and Positive Impressions with Amy Kosnikowski Dilisio APPLE: Maintenance - Session 1 February 24 Trends in Maintenance – What You Can Expect in the Future! with Mark Cukro APPLE: Core - Session 2 March 15 On the Telephone, Are You Sending Busy Signals or Making Connections? with Patty Morgan Seager

APPLE features some of the best nationally acclaimed speakers in the industry.

Individual sessions are priced at only $50 each, a real steal for quality education.

APPLE: Marketing Session 2 April 5 Reputation Marketing with Megan Orser

Annual Property Subscriptions are also available with unlimited attendance for all on-site property staff to all sessions at discounted prices: • Only $199 per year per property for properties with fewer than 200 units • Only $399 per year per property for properties with 200 to 350 units. • Only $450 per year per property for properties with more than 350 units.

APPLE: Leadership Session I April 26 The Hiring Games: Hiring, Training & Retaining Today’s Top Talent with Megan Orser

Take a bite out of these education opportunities and enroll for 2016 today. Contact the HAA Education Department at education@haaonline.org or register online at www.haaonline.org.



January 2016

APPLE: Core Session 3 April 26 Fair Housing with Jackie Ramstedt APPLE: Marketing Session I May 24 Selling to the Selfie Generation with Rommel Anacan

APPLE: Leadership Session 2 July 19 Challenges in Leadership Roles: Communication Issues Between On-site and Corporate Employees APPLE: Core Session 5 August 9 Are You Focusing on Renting or Renewing? with Patty Morgan Seager APPLE: Marketing Session 3 September 13 Don’t Act Your Age! How Established Communities Can Succeed in a Lease-up Market with Amy Kosnikowski Dilisio APPLE: Maintenance Session 2 September 21 Maintenance Economics with Chad Moulin APPLE: Core Session 6 October 20 Before You Hit ‘Submit!’ How to Communicate Effectively in an Online World with Rommel Anacan APPLE: Leadership Session 3 October 27 Leading from the Inside Out with Petra Marquart APPLE: Maintenance - Session 3 November 16 Life Cycle of a Building – How Long Things Really Last and How to Prepare for Them with Mark Cukro

APPLE: Core Session 4 June 7 The Power of Service with Petra Marquart www.haaonline.org

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ore m e Se

.org e n i l aon a h . ww at w

Education is your key to a great future

Distinguish yourself amongst a field of “tour guides” – learn to be a real salesperson and attain your NALP designation this year. The National Apartment Leasing Professional Program enhances the skills of the apartment leasing professional, resulting in better informed, highly professional individuals with increased lease activity and improved resident relations. Course Location and Schedule: Courses are held at the HAF Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., off the beltway at Clay Road. Morning Sessions: 8:30 a.m. – Check-in and registration 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Program Afternoon Sessions: 12:30 p.m. – Check-in and registration 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Program

Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental

Total Program Cost: $325 Individual modules may be taken as stand-alone seminars at $65 per module. NALP I: Bringing in New Residents: Be Prepared Morning Session, February 2 or October 4 This course focuses on the skills needed to deliver exceptional leasing support. From personal organization and time management to teamwork and technology, the top leasing professional applies these talents to a successful outcome for prospective residents. NALP II: Marketing and Maintaining Your Community Afternoon Session, February 2 or October 4 Explore the importance of image, reputation and brand in well-maintained communities. The course covers a detailed list of what keeps a community in peak showable condition, along with the importance of a robust and varied marketing approach for maximum exposure. NALP III: Why Your Competition Matters Morning Session, February 9 or October 11 A loyal and satisfied resident is at the heart of this course. The leasing professional is a critical component in inspiring and maintaining loyalty but must also understand the role of competitors and their offerings. This knowledge must be complete, accurate and timely. NALP IV: Relevant Laws and How to Apply Them Afternoon Session, February 9 or October 11 This course teaches a full spectrum of Fair Housing and ADA compliance for both prospective and current residents. In addition, the course covers laws applying to prospect screening, application verification, the lease and lease addenda. NALP V: The Sales Process and Building Relationships Morning Session, February 16 or October 18 Learn the foundations of relationship selling and the importance of problem-solving for both the prospective and current resident. Learn essential duties such as listening and responding specifically to the customer, handling objections and meaningful ways to close the sale. The course closes with a personal assessment of sales readiness. NALP VI: Effectively Meeting the Needs of Current Residents Afternoon Session, February 16 or October 18 Once the prospective resident moves in, the leasing professional’s relationship and responsibilities continue. Learn the importance of handling maintenance and resident issues and continuing to be the positive brand for the community. Lease renewals and a focus on the all-important resident’s sense of community are pivotal skills for success. NALP: Market Survey Presentation & Exam: February 23 or October 25 www.haaonline.org

January 2016



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Events Schedule HAA’S Top Events for 2016 JANUARY



APPLE Upfront: Series Introductory Luncheon – January 8

Blue Star Program – May 12

Go-Getters – September 8 #HAAGoGetters

New Member Open House – January 14 Installation Gala – January 16 at the Marriott Town Square in Sugar Land, #HAAGala #PurpleProm $90 early/$110 regular | $900/$1,100 table of 10 Sponsorship Auction – January 21 #HAAAuction

Sports Challenge – May 13 #HAAAllStars Price TBA HAA Education Conference & Expo – May 19 at NRG Center #HAAExpo #HTX2016 FREE to attend for owner/management members only Education Conference prices TBA Booth prices for supplier members TBA

State of the Industry Breakfast – January 26 #HAASOI $75

Board of Directors Meeting – May 19

Board of Directors Meeting – January 28



ACES Luncheon – June 3 $55

Spelling Bee-G-F PAC Fundraiser – February 4 #HAABeeGF $500 table of 8 (includes one speller onstage)/ $50 spectator APPLE Workshop Series Kickoff – February 10 $50 per seminar or annual property subscription (see www.haaonline.org/apple for details) TAA Board Meetings in Austin – February 10-12 See www.taa.org for details

Fun Run – June 4 #HAAFunRun #CampHope $25 adults/$10 children Honors Awards – June 8 at the Hilton Americas Downtown #HAAHonors $65 early/$85 regular | $650/$850 table of 10 NAA Education Conference & Expo in San Francisco – June 15-18 See www.naahq.org for details

Blue Star Program – February 11 Redbook Seminar – February 18 or 25 $125 ACES Luncheon – February 26 $55

MARCH NAA Capitol Conference – March 6-9 in Washington, DC See www.naahq.org for details Volleyball Tournament – Friday, March 11 #HAAVBall $250 team/$20 spectator Legislative Committee Meeting – March 30

Go-Getters Finale – September 22 #HAAGoGetters Board of Directors Meeting – September 29 ACES Luncheon – September 30 $55 Dinerstein Golf Tournament – Date TBA #HAAGolf

OCTOBER Chili Fest – October 29 #HAAChili Adult: $7 early/$10 at the door Children 5-12: $3 early/$5 at the door Kids 4 and under free Booths: $350 single/$750 double

NOVEMBER Blue Star Program – November 10 Fair Housing Seminar – November 17 $89 Annual Business Meeting – November 17 #HAAABM $45 early/$65 regular | $450/$650 table of 10

Membership Drive Kickoff – June 23 #HAAGoGetters

Board of Directors Meeting – November 17

Sponsorship Auction – June 30 #HAAAuction



ACES Holiday Luncheon – December 2 $55

Go-Getters – July 14 #HAAGoGetters

Volunteer Appreciation Party – Date TBA #HAAVols

Bowling Tournament – July 15 #HAABowl $250 team/$20 spectator Board of Directors Meeting – July 20


Board of Directors Meeting – March 30

APRIL Maintenance Mania – April 7 #MaintMania $55 competitor/$35 spectator TAA Education Conference & Lone Star Expo in Houston – April 13-16 See www.taa.org for details

Business Exchange – August 10 #HAABizX Price TBA Blue Star Program – August 11 Go-Getters – August 11 #HAAGoGetters Supplier Education Program – August 24

Top Golf Spring BGF Fundraiser – April 28 #HAATopGolf Price to be announced

MARK YOUR CALENDARS for these fabulous networking and professional development events in 2016. Events listed are free of charge to members unless otherwise noted. Please note that dates and prices are subject to change. Check the calendar pages at www.haaonline.org for the most up-to-date information and registration links, or call 713-595-0300.

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pen to all HAA m

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rk Blvd.

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bidding tion from the audience by ac e th on in t ge n ca ms available Spectators and tea ge, with easy/difficult words sta on ers ell sp !) ge ota GF) – sab to save (or Better Government Fund (B A HA e th fit ne be ll wi s ed for purchase. All proce ment industry. your local PAC for the apart ins r ion beg r and Cash Ba t a r t s i g e e n R n speller – Di Bee m. – 5:30 p. to 6:30 p.m. Live Spelling nated as the – sig m. 5:30 p. to 8:30 p.m. ne person de $500 o e– m. 6:30 p. eight (8) with table on stag / f o ch m a Tables ting your tea tors – $50 e a n t represe l tickets/spec ua Payment must be made by personal credit card Visa, MasterCard, American Express Individ

or Discover or personal check payable to HAABGF. Payment must accompany registration. HAA is prohibited from accepting corporate contributions for PAC events. Name _______________________________________________ Company_____________________________________________ Phone (____________)__________________________________ MC____ Visa____ AmEx____ Discv_______ Credit Card #___________________________________________ CCS Code____________ Exp Date__________ Name on Card___________________________________________ ___________ Table of 8 @ $500 per table with one designated speller on stage ___________ Spectators @ $50 each Mail completed form and payment to: HAA NEXT Spelling Bee, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041. Credit card registrations may be emailed to education@haaonline.org or faxed to 281-582-1508; payment must accompany registration.

Sponsored by Brandt Electrical and FSI Construction Inc.

Produced by

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New, largest-ever apartment survey highlights amenities renters want and what they’ll pay to get it.

THE RISE OF APARTMENT living is changing communities, driving new development and raising the expectations for the amenities and services offered to the 38 million people in the United States who call an apartment home. From walkable neighborhoods to on-site fitness classes and package pick-up solutions to online rent payments and more, new data from the largest-ever survey of apartment residents gives a detailed picture of what apartment residents want – and even what they’d expect to pay for it. The National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Associates 2015 Apartment Resident Preferences Survey analyzes data from nearly 120,000 responses across the country about their priorities for home features, community amenities and more based on a variety of demographic factors. Comprehensive analysis is also available for 44 local markets. Key findings from the survey include: Location, Location, Location. While many factors are considered during an apartment search, some of the most important concern location convenience and communities amenities. Apartment renters have strong opinions about walking vs. driving to their regular destinations. Walking wins over driving for getting to the grocery store (by 7 percentage points), restaurant and bar (by 6 percentage points for both) and public transit (by 19 percentage points). Conversely, driving is preferred over walking when traveling to work/office (by 24 percentage points), school (by 7 percentage points) and college/university (by 6 percentage points).

Electronic Payments Grow Packages Pile Up In the digital age, writing a rent check is Online shopping has grown into a more going out of style. Apartment renters rethan $300 billion industry, and apartment ported that 78 percent prefer paying online. communities are seeing a corresponding inAdditionally, 63 percent were interested in crease in package deliveries for residents. paying their rent with a credit card. According to recent NMHC/Kingsley Associates research, a typical apartment community can receive as many as 100 packages a week, which can double during the Mobile is king, with 91 percent of apartment renters holiday season. Currently 88 using a mobile phone all the time. In fact, 53 percent percent of management ofof residents tested connectivity during their fices accept packages for resiapartment tour. dents, and 72 percent of residents want a package storage/holding area. EightyTakeaways seven percent of respondents say they are “There have been 1.6 million new renter not willing to pay for a package locker, but if households created in the past five years,” there were a charge, they would expect to said Rick Haughey, NMHC vice president of pay around $20 per month. industry technology initiatives. “Many of these new residents are making a lifestyle Mobile Is a Must choice to rent instead of buy and are thus Mobile is king, with 91 percent of apartlooking for personalized services and ameniment renters using a mobile phone all the ties. The apartment industry is stepping up time. In fact, 53 percent of residents tested to provide those experiences.” connectivity during their apartment tour. This largest survey of its kind reveals new While 98 percent report good reception is insights into this fast-growing segment of the important, only 68 percent say coverage at housing market, according to John Falco, their current community is great. principal with Kingsley Associates. “With Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Pets Need Pampering Studies projecting upwards of 4 million new Pet owners will spend an estimated $60 renters during the next decade, we expect the billion on their pets this year. Renters are race for new amenities – and the demand for part of this spending population, as 33 perthem – will only grow,” Falco said. cent of apartment residents own a pet. Pet Visit www.nmhc.org/residents for a deowners in apartments report interest in tailed infographic with more information amenities for their pets, including commuabout top community and apartment nity dog park (67 percent), dog treats in the amenities, preferences across the nation and lobby (35 percent) and community petother hot trends. washing station (54 percent).

Did you know you have access to a lot more member benefits than just the lease contract and forms? If you’re receiving this magazine, your company has joined and made your company and YOU part of the largest local apartment association in the nation! Every employee of your team is a member of HAA and also a member of the TAA and NAA. Check us out online at www.haaonline.org. This is YOUR HAA!



January 2016


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Education, continued from Page 19 NALP VI: Effectively Meeting the Needs of Current Residents Tuesday, February 16 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program cost: $325/member; $425 non-member Individual modules may be taken as standalone seminars: $65 each Sponsored by Brook Furniture Rental NOTE: If you are taking this as a stand-alone course, please arrive by 12:30 p.m. See Page 23 for details. APPLE Maintenance Session I: Trends in Maintenance with Mark Cukro Wednesday, February 17 8:30 a.m. to noon. Program cost: $50 (annual property subscriptions available) Sponsored by Best Plumbing See Page 22 for details. Redbook Seminar Thursday, February 18 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program cost: $125 prepaid with credit card; $160 by invoice Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and TXU Energy 2016 brings a new TAA Redbook! Join HAA General Counsel Howard Bookstaff for a rundown of changes in the law. See Page 73 for details. NALP: Market Survey Presentation & Exam Tuesday, February 23 For details, email education@haaonline.org. Redbook Seminar Thursday, February 25 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program cost: $125 prepaid with credit card; $160 by invoice Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and TXU Energy 2016 brings a new TAA Redbook! Join HAA General Counsel Howard Bookstaff for a rundown of changes in the law. See Page 73 for details. ACES Luncheon Friday, February 26 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details will be sent to invitees. Contact Emily Hilton at ehilton@haaonline.org for details.


January 2016



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On the Road with the HAA STRATEGIC GROWTH COMMITTEE Montgomery County Justice of the Peace and Constable Appreciation Luncheon Friday, November 13 at Landry’s Seafood, The Woodlands We had a wonderful turnout for our third annual Montgomery County JP and Constable Appreciation Luncheon. Special guests included Constable Ryan Gable, Constable Gene DeForest and Captain Rusty Fincher. About 25 area managers and assistant managers attended the luncheon, some for the first time, and Howard Bookstaff discussed new laws for 2016. We are excited to see continued growth in our Montgomery County outreach efforts and will be returning for a luncheon in March.

HAA IS REACHING OUT to better serve our members by bringing targeted networking and educational events to different parts of our 12-county service area. Contact strategic growth coordinator Lauren Owens at lowens@haaonline.org to sign up for these FREE, management-only events where you can learn about issues affecting your area and network with your fellow managers. Want to host an event? We are looking for member properties to host Area Council meetings. Contact lowens@haaonline.org. 28


January 2016


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On the Scene with the HAA BETTER GOVERNMENT FUND HAA Better Government Fund Meeting Sponsored by 1 For Rent Media Solitions Friday, November 16 at the HAF Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center The November meeting focused on the results of the Houston area elections and the upcoming runoffs for the City of Houston Mayor and other notable positions.


WE’RE ALL ABOUT BETTER GOVERNMENT Threats from government are coming at the apartment industry at a rapid pace. The HAA Better Government Fund, the political action committee of the Houston Apartment Association, needs your help to fight bad legislation. HAA members can participate in the HAA Better Government Fund PAC, also known as HAABGF, on several levels. 2016 registration forms are now available! To join, renew or learn how to become involved with the BGF, see online at www.haaonline.org or contact Mercedes Sanchez at msanchez@haaonline.org. 30


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On the Scene with BLUE STAR

EARN YOUR BLUE STAR Promote safety for your community through HAA’s training partnership with HPD. By


CRIME HAPPENS in the world we live in. Although we cannot eradicate crime completely, preventative efforts can help keep it from reaching our doorsteps. The Blue Star Certification Program was created for this purpose, and it is free for any apartment community management team in the city of Houston. The Blue Star Certification Program is a joint effort by the Houston Police Department and HAA, created to promote the health, safety and welfare of apartment residents. The program began after City Council passed an ordinance in 2006 to reduce and deter criminal activity in apartment communities, giving rise to the Apartment Enforcement Unit and the Blue Star Certification Program. All Properties in Houston are Eligible The program, intended for all rental property sizes within the city limits, works to reduce criminal activity by increasing the awareness of property management professionals. The program begins with a free training class in which police officers discuss various topics and give insight on “red flags” to look out for around acommunity. For example, the drug awareness section covers what types of drugs are common and signs to help identify whether these drugs are around your property. The gang awareness section covers the knowledge and trends consistent with gang activity. These discussions enable managers to be able to notice, stop and prevent such activity on the property. Specific topics covered in the class include: • How to become a Blue Star Property • Understanding Crime Prevention • CPTED Concepts (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) • Cyber Crime • Disaster Preparedness • Drug Awareness • Gang Awareness • Identity Theft • Liability Issues Getting Certified The process of certification begins once a property’s management staff has enrolled in



January 2016

the Blue Star class, which is the first step of the program. Thanks to sponsorship by HAA and member companies, this training program is free! Training is recommended for property owners, managers, leasing staff, maintenance personnel and others who are part of the management team. The first phase is the completion of this eight-hour program taught by HAA General Counsel Howard Bookstaff along with police officers and other crime prevention professionals, such as the city of Houston’s gang prevention specialist, and other guest speakers. Upon completion of phase one, each participant will receive a certificate and learn more about the two other phases to be completed in order to obtain the Blue Star Certification. The second phase includes an evaluation of the property by HPD according to CPTED standards, focusing on lighting, fencing, landscaping and resident screening procedures. Once the property is determined to meet the CPTED requirements, residents are invited to a safety-themed social event to introduce the program, and then the apartment is awarded the Blue Star Certification. HPD will perform annual inspections to help the property maintain the certification. Get Started You can never have too much knowledge when it comes to safety. Take advantage of this great opportunity with one of the four free classes offered this year: February 11, May 12, August 11 or November 10. HAA members can log on at www.haaonline.org to register. Non-HAA members can email their names, property and company names and desired date to attend to govaffairs@haaonline.org.

To learn more, visit: www.houstontx.gov/police/crime_prevention/cpted.htm www.houstontx.gov/police/multi_family/cpted15.htm www.houstontx.gov/police/multi_family www.haaonline.org/BlueStar 2016 Blue Star Schedule • Thursday, February 11, at Greenspoint Mall, “Ellipse” Food Court Entrance, 12300 North Fwy., 77060 • Thursday, May 12 at HAA Offices, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., 77041 • Thursday, August 11 at Braeswood Assembly of God, 10611 Fondren, 77096 • Thursday, November 10 at Tracey Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Drive, 77042 NOTE: Pre-registration is mandatory and will reserve a space and lunch for the class. HAA members simply register with your password at www.haaonline.org. If you are not an HAA member, email your name, property/company name and the date of the class you want to attend to govaffairs@haaonline.org.


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Interviewed by Rachel Zoch Photgraphed by Mark Hiebert, Hiebert Photography

a fabulous

future (with Alison Hall, director of the Camden Contact Center, grew up in Houston and got her start in the apartment business as a teenager when looking for a summer job with a friend.

She has worked in the industry ever since, earning a degree with concentrations in communications and biology, a real estate license, CPM and a CAPS designation along the way. ABODE sat down with her last fall to talk about her career, her leadership style and her plans for the year as the incoming HAA president for 2016. ABODE: How did you get started in the apartment business? Alison Hall: My best friend Carol Andrews aunt, Carolyn Hudson, was a property supervisor and very involved in HAA. We loved her and knew she had fun at work. She is the reason Carol got in the business. She passed away years ago, but is still remembered for her sweet personality, over the top jewelry and 100+ HAA new members. Without her, we would have never even known the industry existed. In college, I needed a job for the summer, so I begged my friend Carol to ask her community manager to let me answer the phone as a receptionist at her property. I got the job and started at Gessner Place Apartments (now called Boca Springs), at Gessner and Westpark, for The Dinerstein Companies. That summer, everyone at the property left for various reasons including Carol. In a short period of time, I was forced to fend



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“I want to have fun. I want the members to feel united. I want each person to feel important and that he or she can make a difference. I want our members to get a return on their investment, whether it is monetary or volunteering their time and ideas. We are the biggest, strongest association in the nation, full of really smart people. I want to leverage that talent to continue to grow a successful organization.�

style) www.haaonline.org

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Gary Blumberg Brite Real Estate Investors “Alison actually worked for me a long time ago when we were both much younger. She had that big personality then and still has it today. She worked on site as a manager and was passionate about her career. She wanted a promotion, and I didn’t think she was ready. She’s definitely proved me wrong. I passed up on a real star. But I’ve followed her career and have been proud of her accomplishments. I know she will bring that same passion to her HAA presidency. HAA is in for a whirlwind year!”

Eileen Subinsky Michael Stevens Interests “Alison is someone who has always had a vision for the future. She does not believe because “we have always done it that way” that it is the best way or the only way. She is not afraid of change and will embrace new ideas and concepts with open arms and an open mind. Her attitude is the wave of the future. Alison embodies the experience of HAA past and the vision of HAA in the next 20 years. She relates to the “under 30” members with her vivacious personality while maintaining the respect of long-term members who know her commitment to the association and the years of hard work that has brought her to this point in her volunteer career. It should be an exciting and colorful year!”

for myself. I made 101 mistakes along the way, but loved the energy of the daily activities, not sitting behind a desk all day and talking to customers. I went to college at Southwest Texas State University [now Texas State University] in San Marcos, and met the most awesome man ever, the now famous Don Hall. He was the reason I left school early and moved back to Houston. We both graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown in 1987, and got married April 9, 1988. I worked with The Dinerstein Company during the summers and holidays while in college in San Marcos and part-time in Houston until graduation. I started working as a district manager/property supervisor at Centeq in 1991, which was Camden’s predecessor company until the name was changed to Camden in 1993 during our Initial Public Offering. I continued to grow in that position until 2008, when I was asked to develop a new department for Camden, the Camden Contact Center, which is where I still get to have fun every day! ABODE: What got you hooked on the business? AH: I didn’t really get hooked until I had my own property, after graduation. I managed a four-story midrise for the Dinersteins called Augusta Court and I loved it because it was different. It was owned by Wells Fargo Bank and I had a great relationship with my asset manager. Don and I lived on the property. In 1988, the economy was in a slump due to the savings and loan crisis. I was given a lot of independence in managing the community, and no one really had great expectations because of the economy – but I did. The property was performing at over $1 per square foot in rent, and was 98 percent occupied with a waitlist by 1990. I knew what could be done there and we were hugely successful. That’s when I got the bug, because I was able to do it my way. But I realized that I was not cut out to

Larger Than Life

be a community manager long term. ABODE: What made you think that? AH: I do not have the patience for details that being a community manager requires. What I do love is big projects that involve risk, that have a finite goal and that are moving the needle forward toward the future. I knew after managing Augusta Court for three years that I should be a property supervisor. I just knew it. ABODE: You talked about making mistakes at the beginning of your career. What are some of the most important things you learned in those early days? Who showed you the ropes? AH: I learned that this is a real business. I moved people into apartments without getting their money, I moved people into apartments without them signing a lease, and I did everything that someone who was new to the business world would do. It was during this time that I was first introduced to the power of the Houston Apartment Association and started taking classes. Of course, I had the full support of the Dinersteins, and they even paid for my classes. In 1990, I approached Gary Blumberg with my desire to be a property supervisor. He was an executive, but was personable and open, which made me not afraid to talk to him. He gave me good advice: I needed more time and experience on site and experience managing a variety of properties with different issues. He gave me the advice I would probably give anybody who walked in my office with the same story. What he may not realize is what he actually taught: That there is always more than one solution; you just have to be willing to look in another direction to find it.This lesson has been the foundation for my thought process in both my professional and personal life since that day. Thank you, Gary! ABODE: How has the business changed since you took that first summer job?

Known for her big, sparkling personality, Alison Hall’s friends and family are as fabulous as she is.

Alison and Don Hall today Alison and Don Hall at their wedding in 1988



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Alison with Camden’s Jackie Carroll and Brandon Thomas

Alison’s daughter, Hollan


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Dear Alison,

Alison Hall’s sis ters Jalinna an d Alissa share grow up with th what it was lik eir big sister. e to Many people kn ow Alison Hall. Th ey may know he co-worker, volunt r as neighbor, fri eer, artist or life end, of the party. But way no one else we know Alison can: as sister. in a Alison James Ha ll, firstborn of Ca mella and Alvin been to us a role “Jolly” James, ha model, visionary s always and someone wh And for that, we o has paved the are grateful. way. Being the eldes t in a family of th ree girls wasn't alw tional Italian mot ays easy. With a her and farmbo tradiy-turned-attorney the art of negotia father, Alison lea tion at an early ag rned e. Whether it wa ed curfew, or a ne s a first date, exte w pair of stiletto nds, Alison always prepared, with a ca me to our parent thoughtful argu ment and compe s lling reasoning. And she set a hi gh bar for self-co nfidence and po our mother reca ise at an early ag lls, young Alison e. As once got lost in Our panicked m a department sto om and the sto re. re personnel sear found Alison in ched all over, an a perfect frozen d finally pose, up on a pe nequin – she ha de sta d been here for l next to a manover half an hour natural-born pa ! She has always cesetter and mak been a es others feel at her laid-back, pe ease just by bask rsonable, energe ing in tic aura. Our sister, Alison, can fix anything, and makes beau touches. Any plan tiful anything sh of hers will be ex e ecuted perfectly, not ever see the although we m planning and wo ay rk behind the sc around 3:00 am enes (it’s usually ). Brush away th done e sequins and gl dation, and hear itt er t, of pure gold. Sh and there is a fo une has been our lives, and we co leader for all of ou uld not be more r proud of her turn as yours. As President, Al ison will represen t and lead the Ho Association like uston Apartmen no one else can, t with a determin own, and we ar ation and style all e excited to see, her as we have so m she will take it. W an y times before, wh herever Alison go ere es, we are all fortu on the ride. nate to go along She is our purple person, our brig ht and shining No fearless leader. Co rth Star, and ou ngratulations an r d best wishes fo r a wonderful ye ar. With love from your family and your two bigges Jalinna James Jo t fans, nes, “The Middl e Child”, and Al issa James, “The Baby”

The James family in Galveston


Keith Oden Camden, President & Trust Manager “When Alison was considering creating the Camden Contact Center, she asked me what my expectation was for the new Contact Center Team. I told her that I wanted her to deliver a “consistently brilliant” customer experience to our residents. Through Alison’s leadership, she has met and exceeded her initial promise. Alison is a boundlessly positive person. Her natural optimism leads her to believe she can accomplish things that others might view as not doable. Her ability to think strategically, from the desired outcome back to the current situation, combined with her unbridled energy, allows her to run circles around her skeptics. Some people might be surprised to learn that, at times, Alison uses her “Blonde Persona” to disarm those she seeks to persuade or outwit. The truth is that Alison is very intelligent, street smart and a gifted strategic thinker. When it suits her purposes, she allows her adversaries to believe that she is playing checkers when in fact she is playing a game of three-dimensional chess. By the time they figure that out, the game is already over. HAA will be well served under Alison’s leadership. Her experience, passion and intellect will allow her to raise the already high bar at HAA. It will be an honor to have one of Camden’s finest serving in this important leadership role.”

Sisters Alissa, Alison and Jalinna

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Turning Up the

that park and spent every evening dancing at the “Boogie Fog Disco.” When we turned 13, we wanted to work somewhere and no one would hire 13-year-olds, so we decided to volunteer as “Candy Stripers” at the brandnew Memorial Southwest Hospital that was opening a Stories of Alison block away from our house.We Hall’s life and loved it; we toured all the career from her Houston and hospital dignibest friend. taries on opening day. By Carol Andrews We worked there for months before an internal audit revealed we were only 13 and technically here are some you had to be 14 to volunteer, but technically people in life that they never asked us how old we were – we left make you laugh that line blank on the application. They were a little louder, ever so sweet when they fired us, saying their smile a little bigger, and hands were tied, it was the rules, etc. One live just a little bit better, week later, they called us back and realized and Alison Hall is certainly one of those unique how much work we did there and they asked and unforgettable people who always leave us to come back. you laughing. An icon in our industry and a We were so happy to be back at our jobs, mentor to so many, our new 2016 HAA where our entire motivation for volunteering in President is excited to bring her casual the first place was to cruise through the ER for approach to tackling challenges we face as an football players who had injuries and needed industry as well as turning up the style on just us to bring them food and drinks. Our least about everything we do. favorite things to do there were to carry urine trays down to the lab and escort new patients A Little Family History to Start to the 10th floor, which was the psychiatric A native Houstonian, Alison grew up in ward, complete with padded walls. Sharpstown, and graduated from both Sharpstown High School and the University of The First “Real” Jobs Houston, Downtown. Alison also attended the As much as we loved candystriping, the former Southwest Texas State University in draw of actually getting a paycheck lured us San Marcos, now known as Texas State where to waitressing jobs at the Marie Callendar pie she was a proud Coors Light Silver Bullet Girl. shop. The after-hours pie fights were legShe grew up in an Italian family and is literendary! We got to work with older kids, 16 and ally related in some way to every prominent 17, so we loved it. It wasn’t unusual to see Italian restaurateur in Houston. It’s true, walk in somebody running down the median on with her and it’s all hugs and kisses and stories. Bellaire Blvd. being chased down with a pie to Her parents, Jolly and Camella James, the face. Everyone would try to get Alison with waited seven years to have a family and a meringue pie because it made such a beauAlison has all the traits of a first-born daughtiful dramatic mess in all that hair. ter. She has two younger sisters, and they are We could bring home any of the pies at close as sisters can be, spending all holidays closing time, as they were all thrown out. We with each other, summering on Galveston brought pie to our teachers at our junior Island together and raising their beautiful high school and they loved us for it. Our scichildren closely together. ence teacher even gave us “A”s for bringing Alison has been married to her husband, him pie. We learned a lot about business at Don, for 27 years, and they have a 16-year-old 15 years of age. How to be persuasive, diplodaughter, Hollan. matic and how to act like we had no idea They have lived in Greatwood in Sugarland that it could be perceived as bribery, smiling for more than 20 years, but can be found the whole time. most Friday nights at St. Pius X football games, After a year, we began to get restless for a and most Sundays at NRG Stadium as they change. The smell of a pie shop eventually are avid supporters of the Houston Texans. makes you queasy and the idea of working at Sharpstown Mall was too tempting and, quite Growing Up Together frankly, we had a friend who worked My best friend and I moved in next door at Hickory Farms, so we were hired as to each other in the 5th grade. We spent Christmas help. literally three straight summers going to Soon, we were the ones stationed out in Astroworld daily in the summer. We had a the mall, luring people to try our “beefstick” season pass and our parents would drop us or “cheese balls,” all with an innocent straight off around noon and pick us up around face. We had surely arrived. This was where 10:30 p.m. We knew every square inch of we saw our first fax machine. It was the size

Style T



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of a double bed and we were mesmerized that someone at the other end could see what you wrote in your handwriting. But alas, after about a year of working in the mall until 1O p.m., we felt like our social life was suffering and decided checking groceries at Foodarama would be ideal as we could work all day on Saturday and Sunday and have our evenings free to go out. However, we were pitifully slow checkers and memorizing all those specials every week proved to be too much for us. So many people yelled at us when we didn’t remember the tomatoes that were on sale that week for 29 cents a pound. Keep in mind that was pre-scanner days. Every item had a price tag you had to look for and press the number buttons. We moved on to a market research company, where we phone called people to interview them on their opinion of shampoo, or hardware stores, or anything they were surveying for each week. We really loved that job as we were allowed to call whoever we wanted to ask the market research questions and get paid for it! Come to think of it, this was Alison’s first experience with a call center type of environment. Old fashioned phones, no windows, huge criss-cross directories and everyone who worked there smoked it seemed. We decided we liked that job and kept it for quite a while. We were racking up the business experience and learned as we went. We learned that an impromptu interview in a construction trailer while barefoot and in cutoffs didn’t seem to impair our ability to get hired; we were hired on the spot. However, it was for a restaurant that was brand new to Houston that we had never heard of called “Grandys.” This was very short lived career as we were not impressed once we saw the restaurant, the uniforms and were asked to clean the bathrooms. Needless to say, we worked there for maybe a week. Ingenuity and Teamwork When your best friend lives next door, it’s also great for homework. Every evening we would decide who would do which assignment and then we would trade with each other and copying the answers. Our parents got wise to it and stopped letting us run back and forth between our houses late at night. We were forced to make and install a pulley system between two upstairs windows so we could pull a box along a line between and share our homework that way. Then there was the time we forgot a home economics project was due the next day. It was 11 p.m. We were supposed to cook an entire dinner and include reviews from our parents. We quickly realized that frozen food seemed to photograph fine and actually looked cooked. It was a polaroid camera so resolution wasn’t really a problem. However, we had to wake up my mom and visiting aunt to come out and pose as diners. They were not pleased, but went along with the ruse for the sake of our grade. The table was set beautifully with china and crystal, / See Style, Page 62


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AH: It’s changed just like the world we live in has changed. Many industries have evolved from a small family-run business to larger, strategically-managed organizations. Our industry just happened to transition while I was in the workforce, and it’s been fun to watch the reputation and professionalism of our sector grow. It’s been exciting to watch HAA grow and pave the way for improved legislation and education. When I started in this industry, it seemed to be a secondary business based on the needs of development. Now it’s a purposeful industry providing quality housing for 1 million Houstonians and career opportunities for thousands. Now it is impressive business. Obviously, the implementation of computers and the internet has played the most significant role in changing not only in our industry, but all businesses. I can remember managing multiple communities from a payphone in the 7-11 parking lot, with a roll of quarters and a pager; it was me against drug dealers for phone time. They were the only other folks at the time with pagers who didn’t work in the hospital. ABODE: Looking at the bigger picture, what do

you see as the biggest challenge for the industry in the next year or two? A lot of people are concerned about finding good talent. AH: I am not concerned about that. I think that that most of us are guilty of trying to fill our open positions in the same old ways with the same type of people we always have because we are so eager to mark the task off our checklist. I believe, in order to fill our vacancies, we have to be creative, we have to be patient and we have to adapt our recruiting, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, training and career pathing practices to the people who are out there and need jobs. I am not worried about hiring someone who is 60 or who is 18 years old. That doesn’t bother me. I’m looking for someone who is educated and can learn the skills necessary to be successful. I’m looking for integrity. I’m looking for optimism. I’m looking for technology-savvy, coachable, customer service, management and sales-minded individuals who I can foster to excel and add value to Camden. I am also committed and accountable for their success and don’t mind the time and resources it takes to mentor, because the results are priceless. Hiring the right person is not the end of our task, but the beginning. In the past, for a leasing position, it would be required for a candidate to have multifamily experience. Well, today you are limiting your own success with this type of approach. I am curious and open to what those from other industries can teach us. Historically we have looked to assistant managers to slide into the role of community manager. It is possible to recruit from outside of multifamily and find assistant managers and managers we can bring into the industry. It takes more work and there is definitely more risk, but I believe there’s also more reward, because those people bring something to the table that we haven’t experienced or maybe they have a new

Alison with baby Hollan and the 1999 Chili Fest Committee on the cover of the October 1999 ABODE

Season ticket holders since the first season, Alison, Hollan and Don Hall at a Texans’ game


Alison’s niece, Aislinn, and daughter, Hollan

Roger Camp Camp Construction Services “I’ve always admired Alison – her honesty, solid moral values, work ethic and her passion for all the things she gets involved in. I love the way she empowers and inspires others to achieve goals and solve problems. She’s not one to need to get the credit for something, but she is the one who will see that it gets done. Alison didn’t sell me on HAA – she TOLD me I was signing up and it would be the best thing I would ever do. AND then she took my credit card. AND, as usual, she was right! Alison is a big reason that Camp is where it is today. Not only did she recruit me, she made sure I stayed involved and active. Alison doesn’t hide much – with her, what you see is what you get. I especially love that she can be spirited, fun and aloof, but then, in an instant, becomes serious, solution-oriented, intentional and driven. She doesn’t focus on the problem, she focuses on the solution. She has a “roll up your sleeves” common-sense approach to the challenges she faces. And Alison thinks “out of the box” – she sees solutions that others often overlook. If you ever want a task accomplished, tell her what it is and then get out of the way. She will get it done. Alison will be great for HAA. She will lead with a positive attitude, combining humor, common sense, focus, understanding and passion to accomplish the goals of the industry. I love Alison! She’ll be a great president.” Robert Lopes Relik Realty “Alison is amazing. Her enthusiasm inspires us. She appears very humble and genuine but not afraid to support an idea that will push the association forward, even if it is unpopular to a specific group. I believe she will be the perfect president to help continue to bridge the generational gap in building on what the previous and current leaders of the association have accomplished, while still keeping a focus on the future. I think she will help to encourage and amplify voices that bring in new ideas that may not have otherwise offered their ideas before. I see her as a catalyst for change. This will be an exciting year.”

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Jackie Carroll Camden, Contact Center Manager “Alison is not afraid to break out of the mold of the industry standard and learn from other markets. When she was tasked with creating an in-house contact center, she looked at contact center operations from every vertical market and added her personal spin on the best practices out there. To Alison, change is progress. This is what keeps the Camden Contact Center on the cutting edge of customer service. Not all aspects of work require change, but there are plenty of changes associated with her forward thinking. In turn, this keeps our team engaged and excited, which motivates our agents to stay long term. Behind those sparkly earrings and champagne nail polish, Alison is surprisingly very conservative. She is careful and calculated when making major business decisions. Yes, she is definitely the true definition of Business Barbie, and her personality is larger than life, but behind that image Alison carefully processes information and weighs the options from all sides. She has taught me not to pull the trigger so fast. Most people aren’t aware that this takes quite a bit of discipline if you are an action-oriented person. Action is great in business when you are trying to get things done, but the right decision is even more important in order for you to ultimately save time and money. I have witnessed her patiently scrutinize the processes and projects to ensure we are on the right path. Alison is an amazing visionary who always thinks about the possibilities of the future. It’s exciting to work alongside her every day because we are constantly collaborating. She is famous for taking a grandiose idea and molding it into something plausible. Customer service is a people business, and she knows exactly how to hire and motivate the right people. Alison is big on transparency with her team. She believes information sharing is the only way to continue to get better and learn from each other.

spin on an old idea we had not thought of before. The maintenance category is different. I think that we’re experiencing a shortage in skilled workers in general, and I think we’re starting to feel it in multifamily. It may be time to evaluate the role of maintenance at our communities and compete with other industries by adjusting our job descriptions, duties, expectations and salaries. ABODE: What are you looking forward to as president of HAA? What are some of the things you want to focus on? AH: I want to have fun. I want the members to feel united, I want each person to feel important and that he or she can make a difference. I want our members to get a return on their investment whether it is monetary or volunteering their time and ideas. We are the biggest, strongest association in the nation, full of really smart people. I want to leverage that talent to continue to grow a successful organization. When you work on a team with me, there are a few ground rules that need to be communicated: We don’t miss our deadlines, we don’t miss our goals and we don’t miss our budget. That’s the easy part of the job. The fun and exciting part is going to be rallying people and making them feel openly passionate about the association and industry. I want to encourage participation and communication in 2016. Each year we survey our membership for feedback, this year we had a really good response rate as far as surveys go, but I think we can do more. I do not feel surveys are always timely; many times I have had something to say and cannot remember it at survey time. I want to hear from the people who did not fill out the survey. I am excited to announce, a new email address – askalison@haaonline.org because part of communication is listening. I will rely on the staff’s help for research, but I will reply to everyone and I hope it will become an avenue for people to ask a question or

provide feedback in real time. Along with communication comes transparency, and I absolutely believe transparency is going to continue to change our industry. Remember years ago, when someone would say something bad on ApartmentRatings.com about us, and we didn’t know how to respond. Many times, we just didn’t respond, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Let me look into it further,” and make a statement so the rest of the world sees that we are serious, we are interested. Visibility has forced us to up our game. I would much rather hear from my customer or my employee than not. That is also my approach to the association. I want to hear everything from members. If I don’t hear about it, I can’t resolve it or educate the person regarding the issue. ABODE: Speaking of participation, what are some of your favorite HAA events? AH: I like a lot of different things, for a lot of different reasons. I play dress-up every morning, so I love dressing up for the Gala. I get energized by hanging out with younger people, so I enjoy the HAA Next events because that’s when I really get to meet and bond with the up-and-comers and listen to their ideas. I am in awe of the creativity and skill on display at the chili cook-off, and I like that it’s more of a family. I enjoy seeing the kids. As the chairman of the Strategic Growth Committee, it has become the most meaningful committee to me. It has embodied all the elements I thrive on – invention, defined goals, risk, and strategy – but also attending the many events held in the surrounding counties over the past two years has opened my eyes to the value of HAA to our members and the opportunities that await us. The footprint of our association is changing and that is exciting. ABODE: Why is HAA important? AH: The value of the association to our industry from a legislative perspective is invaluable. The reality that business / See Hall, Page 60

I think Alison will bring a fresh perspective to all aspects of the association. Innovative thinking is Alison’s expertise, so be prepared for her to make changes and have fun in the process!” Don and Hollan Hall attend a football game



January 2016

The Hall family models two kinds of boots at a nephew’s weddding www.haaonline.org

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2016 HAA Officers and Vice Presidents at Large 2016 OFFICERS Alison Hall, CPM, CAPS President Alison Hall is director of the Camden Contact Center, a specialized, boutique-style call center focusing on inside sales and customer satisfaction for Camden Property Trust. The Camden Contact Center provides support to Camden communities, prospects and residents. Before opening the center, Hall spent a year developing and creating the department for Camden. Previously, Hall spent 16 years as a district manager for Camden in the Houston market, managing seven communities totaling 4,000 apartment homes. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of HoustonDowntown. She is a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker as well as an IREM Certified Property Manager, and she holds the NAA Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor Designation. Hall has been a member of the HAA Board of Directors since 2000. In 1996, she received the HAA Property Supervisor of the Year Award and in 1998 was named the HAA Go-Getter of the Year. Kyle Brown, CPM President-Elect Kyle Brown serves as a senior district manager for Milestone Management and is responsible for 18 properties and more than 4,100 units in Houston. Brown has more than 27 years of experience in the multifamily industry, gaining expertise in all variables of property operations ranging from property management to acquisitions, repositioning and lease-ups. He has experience in both conventional and bond property management. In 2001, Brown joined Walden Management Company (now Milestone Management) as district manager. Prior to joining Walden Management Company, he served as regional property manager for AIMCO, where he supervised portfolios of





January 2016


2016 VICE PRESIDENTS AT LARGE approximately 2,800 units in the Houston and Dallas markets. Brown is actively involved in HAA and served as chair of the Community Relations Committee from 2007 to 2009. In 2007, he was named HAA’s Property Supervisor of the Year. In 2009, he joined the HAA Board of Directors and graduated from the HAA Leadership Lyceum program. In 2010, Brown became a member of the inaugural TAA Lyceum class. He is member of the TAA Board of Directors, an NAA Delegate and is a 2016 candidate for the NAA Leadership Lyceum. Brown received a bachelor of arts degree from Texas Tech University and received his CPM designation through IREM in 2009. Michelle Pawelek, CPM, CAPS Secretary/Treasurer Michelle Pawelek is a director of real estate with Greystar. Pawelek has been in the industry since 1986, and her experience encompasses overseeing all classes of properties, due diligence, repositioning of properties, rehabs and lease-ups. Pawelek has won Greystar’s National Regional Property Manager and Houston Regional Property Manager awards, along with the Houston Apartment Association’s Property Supervisor of the Year award. She holds her Certified Property Manager designation in addition to her Certified Apartment Property Supervisor designation. Pawelek continues to be active in the Houston Apartment Association, serving on committees and having chaired many committees over the years. She is chair of the HAA Career and Community Development Committee, as well as the Investment Committee.




Kelly Scott, CAM, CAPS Kelly Scott is regional vice president of operations for Alliance Residential Company’s central region, where she oversees operations at 13 communities and 3,800+ units in the Houston market. With more than 25 years of industry experience, her background includes oversight of leaseups, stabilized and rehab communities, market analysis, budget preparations, due diligence, developing staffing plans and building relationships with key equity partners and owners. She has also worked for Gables, Pinnacle, Trammell Crow Residential, Riverstone Residential and the Lane Companies and has experience managing tax credit, student housing and public housing assets. Scott began her multifamily career in 1987 with Duddlesten Management and joined the HAA board of directors in 1997. She holds the CAM and CAPS designations and has served as chair of both the membership and education committees with HAA, as well as the Education Conference Chair for TAA. Scott was named regional manager of the year twice (in 1997 and 2003) by HAA and earned the Rita Kirby Regional Property Manager of the Year Award from the Texas Apartment Association in 1999. Scott volunteers with Uplift Fourth Ward and serves as volunteer manager of Kimble House, a 22-unit senior community in the Fourth Ward. She also enjoys life with her sons, Matt, 23, and Jon, 33, and her doggies, Ellie and Rocket. Scott also enjoys traveling, weightlifting, writing and spending time with family and friends. Debbie Sulzer, ARM Debbie Sulzer is vice president of the Texas division for Francis Property Management. Since coming to the Texas market in 2004, Francis Property Management has grown by nearly 3,000 units in the state.




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Sulzer is a 31-year industry veteran and began her career in the multifamily industry in 1983 while still in college. She is an active HAA volunteer. She was co-chair of the 2009 and 2010 HAF Fundraiser Committee and is a current member of the Go-Getter Club and chair of the HAA Membership Committee. Sulzer is also an HAA Leadership Lyceum graduate and is a member of the ACES and the HAABGF Steering Committees. Sulzer received the both the President’s Award and the Product Service Council’s Special Recognition Award in 2012 and was the HAA Honors Award Owner/ Management Executive of the Year in 2013. Sulzer is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and holds her Texas Real Estate License and is an Accredited Residential Manager with IREM. She is also a proud mom of her two boys, Tyler and Travis. Sulzer is a Christian and loves spending time outdoors. Sal Thomas, CPM Sal Thomas is vice president of the multifamily division of Tarantino Properties and is responsible for all of its operations, including management, leasing and maintenance. He joined Tarantino in 1989 and has operated more than 40,000 apartment units during his tenure. Prior to joining Tarantino, Thomas operated an apartment maintenance company that provided painting, carpet cleaning, make-ready services and renovations. Thomas has held his Texas Real Estate License since 1990 and is an active member of

2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jackie Rhone, Immediate Past President Josh Allen Mack Armstrong Jeff Blevins John Boriack Kyle Brown Grant Crowell John Fedorko Paula Forshee Israel Garza Diane Gilbert Clark Gregg Ira Gross Alison Hall Bryan Head Clay Hicks David Jones Jacob Kunath Barby Lake Kristin McLaughlin


HAA and the Houston Board of Realtors. He earned his Certified Property Manager designation in 2004 from the Institute of Real Estate Management and is LIHTC certified. Thomas has lived in Houston for more than 37 years. He has been happily married for 32 years and has two daughters. Clay Hicks, CPM Clay Hicks is the president of apartment management for The Dinerstein Companies. As president of one of the nation’s largest developers of conventional and off-campus student housing communities, he is responsible for the operational oversight of TDC Management’s national footprint. Prior to joining TDC, Hicks was a managing director for Greystar where he helped direct the operations of more than 40,000 units of real estate operations in the Central South Region. Hicks currently sits on the boards of directors for both HAA and the Texas Apartment Association, where he was part of the Leadership Lyceum founding class, and he was named to the inaugural “Forty Under 40” class for HAA. He is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University and was a member of their Big 12 Championship football team. Clay and his wife, Maryann, have been married 15 years and have two daughters, Camryn, 8, and Loren, 10, and he loves spending time with them and their various activities, including soccer, basketball, golf and musical theater.

Carlos Neto Dean O’Kelley Michelle Pahl Jenifer Paneral Mark Park Michelle Pawelek John Ridgway Christy Rodriguez Kelly Scott Kurt Seidel Kim Small Debbie Sulzer Sal Thomas Starla Turnbo Beth Van Winkle Quintina Willis Jerry Winograd Tracie Yoder

Starla Turnbo Starla Turnbo is regional director and partner of SMI Realty Management. She began her career in the multifamily housing industry in 1985. Starla assisted in the charter of SMI in 1993 and has held the position of regional drector since 1995. She was made partner in 2005. Starla earned her Realtor® designation and license from the Texas Real Estate Commission in 1988. She is a member of ACES and has served as its committee chair. She is a member of the HAA Better Government Fund, the RCR Advisory Committee, Steering Committee and Educational Committee. She has served as a CAPS instructor for the apartment association and volunteered on the Citizen’s Advisory Council. Starla chaired the annual HAA Membership Campaign in 2005, “Born to Recruit.” She maintains close relationships with key industry vendors and executives. Starla is also a Feed the Hungry volunteer and serves on the board of directors for Incarnate Word Academy. She has served her community as a Sunday school teacher, college and career instructor and as an overseas missionary for the La Porte Worship Center. She is also involved in numerous industrysponsored fundraising activities.

2016 DIRECTORS EMERITUS Ken Bohan Gary Blumberg Kathy Clem Jack Dinerstein Darlene Guidry Jenard Gross David Hargrove Larry Hill Stacy Hunt Hap Hunnicutt Mike Koch Dick LaMarche Tim Myers P. David Onanian Eileen Subinsky Steve Sweet Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley HJ Tollett Pat Tollett Vic Vacek Jr.

2016 ADVISORY DIRECTORS Joe Bryson Scott Douglas Billy Griffin Cesar Lima Robert Lopes Karen Nelsen Tony Whitaker

January 2016



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2016 Product Service Council Officers

Kristin McLaughlin, CASE President Kristin McLaughlin, Mohawk Industries, has a tenure of more than 30 years of multifamily industry experience that includes 15 years as an owner/manager member, IRO member, a director of membership and benefits for a state-wide apartment association and a 15year veteran supplier to the industry. At each position, she has served as a volunteer and has encouraged association involvement and education as a must-do for success as an owner/manager or as a supplier. Her credentials include the ARM (Pass Superior), CAPS and the CAS designations and, in 2012, she earned her NAA designation of Emeritus status. As an HAA volunteer, Kristin has served as an officer of the Product Service Council, as the HAA Expo exhibitor chair, a co-captain of Ambassador ONE, a member of Resident Relations Committee B, BGF Century Club and various subcommittees under the umbrella of the Community Outreach Committee. Israel “Izzy” Garza, CAS Vice President Israel Garza is national account manager for Maintenance Supply Headquarters. He joined MSHQ in June 2013, following a 14-year career as a sales representative for Glidden Professional and Pittsburgh Paints. Garza is an active HAA member and volunteer. He graduated from the HAA Leadership Lyceum program and has received his 10-member pin for recruitment for the Go-Getter Club. Garza has served as an Ambassador Club co-chair, is a member of the Century Club and Community Outreach Committee and is chair of HAA’s Expo Committee and was a previous booth sales leader. He received his Certified Apartment Supplier designation in 2007.





January 2016

Grant Crowell, CAS Secretary Grant Crowell is founder and president of The Urban Foresters. He earned a degree in forestry from Texas A&M, and he is a Certified Arborist through The International Society of Arboriculture and a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional as designated by the Tree Care Industry Association. He also holds a Texas Commercial Driver’s License and is certified as a pesticide applicator by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Active in HAA since 2005, Crowell holds the CAS designation and completed the HAA Lyceum program in 2012, and he served as an Ambassador team co-captain in 2014. He volunteers at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sugar Land and is a former young professionals board member of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. He also donated tree trimming services to Camp Hope. He and his wife, Caitlin, have been married since April 2010, and they have three children: Adelaide, 4; Dean, 3; and Duncan, 1. Jacob Kunath, CAS Treasurer Jacob Kunath is a sales consultant for Century A/C Suppy and has been with the company for 10 years. He became an active HAA member immediately upon arriving at Century and has held numerous leadership positions with the association. This year, Kunath chairs the HAABGF Century Club. He is a Lyceum graduate and was named an Expo Committee Rookie of the Year. He received his CAS designation in 2007. Kunath has been on the board of directors for the First Colony Little League for the past two years and is part of the missions committee at his local church. The committee’s main goal is to help lower income families rehab their homes, either by making major structural repairs or by adding a fresh coat of paint.



Kunath has been married to his wife, Courtney, for 14 years and has two sons, Jaxon, 9, and Dane, 6. The Kunaths are a big sports family: Jaxon plays baseball for the First Colony Bucks, along with multiple other sports, and Dane plays baseball and soccer and, according to Jacob, “When they let me, I also help coach.” Mark Park, CAS Immediate Past President Mark Park is vice president of AAA Plumbers and is a native Texan, born in Houston. He graduated magna cum laude from both Eisenhower High School and the University of Houston-Downtown with a BBA in computer information systems. Park served four years in the Army as a mortuary affairs specialist, serving two years under the Department of the Army’s civilian director for the 101st Airborne/Air Assault Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky. Park completed Air Assault School and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal for work with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Richmond, Va. morgue. After returning from the army, Park resumed working with his dad, Steve Park, at AAA Plumbers. He has been actively involved in HAA since 1999, earning his CAS designation in 2009. He also earned his Journeyman Plumbing License in 2009 and his Master’s License Plumbing in 2013. Park is married to Keely, who works for the Dinerstein Companies, and they have three children: Chase who is 15; Kelan, who is 8; and Kensley, who is 5 years old. Park is very competitive and enjoys almost all things sports, especially football and boxing.



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2016 Product Service Council The HAA SUPPLIER BOARD

President KristinMcLaughlin, CASE Mohawk Industries Cell: 281-734-1497 kristin_mclaughlin@ mohawkind.com

Marivel Bownds, CAS Valet Waste Cell: 713-806-9830 mbownds@valet waste.com

Vice President Israel Garza, CAS Maintenance Supply Headquarters Cell: 832-683-7896 281-530-6300

dderouen@rent path.com

Dan James, CAS Redevelopment Services Cell: 713-501-7555 281-942-9164

Debbie Brueckner, CAS Dixie Carpet Installations Cell: 832-277-0166 281-261-6334

Derek DeVries, CAS Camp Construction Services Cell: 713-859-8799 713-413-2267 ddevries@camp construction.com

Debra Knight, CAS Valet Waste Cell: 281-250-9517 dknight@valet waste.com

djames@redevelop mentinc.com

David Lindley, CAS FSI Construction Cell: 832-477-1158 713-690-5330

Candis Mohr, CAS AAA Plumbers Cell: 832-330-3998 713-462-4753

david@fsi construction.com

candisaustin@ aaaplumbers.com


grant@theurban foresters.com

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner for more information.

Treasurer Jacob Kunath, CAS Century A/C Supply Cell: 713-598-0482 281-776-1900

Immediate Past President Mark Park, CAS AAA Plumbers Cell: 832-434-3218 713-462-4753



Dylan Coleman, CAS Camp Construction Services Cell: 409-673-7210 713-413-2267

Arrie Colca, CASE Craven Carpet Cell: 281-725-0309 713-956-1395

izzy.garza@supply hq.com

debbie@dixie carpet.com

Deborah DeRouen, CAS RentPath Cell: 903-277-5451

Secretary Grant Crowell, CAS The Urban Foresters Cell: 832-731-6531

Peggy Charles, CAS Meyer Smith Inc. Cell: 713-417-2126 713-862-7339 pcharles@meyer smithinc.com


dcoleman@camp construction.com

Sarah Fox, CAS BG Staffing Cell: 832-286-2832

Jimmie Hotz, CASE HD Supply Cell: 713-822-0426

713-781-8367 sfox@bgstaffing.com


Stephanie Krop, CAS Buyers Access Cell: 832-477-0081 800-445-9169

Laura Lestus, CAS The Liberty Group Cell: 281-650-2878 713-961-7666

Liz Levins, CAS Criterion Brock Cell: 832-473-2403 713-462-7999

skrop@buyers access.com

laura@theliberty group.com

llevins@criterion brock.com

Brian Febbo, CAS FSI Construction Cell: 281-415-5190 713-690-5330 brianfebbo@fsi construction.com

THE PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL is a group of 22 active supplier members whose objectives are to promote the active involvement and participation of supplier members, to communicate information and to encourage suppler members to further their education, to improve the quality of their products and services and to mentor and assist all new and current supplier members. For more information on the council, its members and how you can find a mentor, see online at www.haaonline.org or contact Susan Hinkley at shinkley@haaonline.org.

January 2016



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Clear Your Path to Success Follow these 7 strategies to combat clutter and boost your productivity, profits and peace. By

KATHLEEN RONALD, Speaktacular.com


ould you like to expand your profits, elevate your productivity and find more peace in your day? Could you use less stress and frustration in your week? How would you like seven additional hours in your week? Does that sound like a far-off dream? It doesn’t have to be. You can have all that and more! You can begin to transform every level of your life if you will simply commit to getting hooked on what I call “clutternomics” for a minimum of an hour a week or 15 minutes a day for one year! Too Much Stuff Clutter is a silent killer, a disease that sucks out the joy of life and traps us in a neverending cycle of emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological pain. I’m curious … Do you feel stuck in any area of your business? Does your clutter cause you stress and loss of time, money and peace of mind to name a few? It is no secret that clutter affects many areas of your life. In our busy, over-booked lives, we all struggle to find harmony due to all of life’s clutter, whether tangible or intangible, that consumes us on so many levels. Take a moment to check in and ask yourself how you feel when you walk into an office or space that has piles of files and zero white space. I hear “overwhelmed” as one of the top comments to that query. Tell me – is that any way to start your day?



January 2016

By the Numbers Did you know? • An hour each day is lost to disorder, costing an organization over $8,000 for an employee earning $65,000 a year.” – Stephanie Winston, author of The Organized Executive • We rarely use 80 percent of the files we retain. – Agency Sales Magazine I’ve been creating business strategies to support my clients for over 25 years and I will say, if you want record results by using a few simple strategies, consider implementing this simple “Clutternomics Formula” each week for an entire year. You will become one of the happiest, most productive and abundant people ever. I promise! We don’t have any time to waste. Here are a few simple tips to get you started for the New Year! 1. Create a vision of your cleared space! 2. Make a list of each area that needs your attention. For each area on the list, break it into smaller zones. For instance, if you are looking at your desk, it might break down to the following areas: • Top of the desk • Desk drawers • Computer • Drawers of the desk 3. Prioritize your list. 4. Start with the sub-zone that causes you the most pain. 5. Set a date to begin. 6. Consider getting an accountability partner to keep you on task. 7. Have fun!

Here is a very simple strategy to get started: Take everything off or out of the sub-zone area. Now, touch every item and ask the following questions: • Do I love it? • Am I using it? If an item gets a “yes” and “yes” you get to keep it. I ask my clients many questions, but these will get you started quickly in the right direction. Anything that does not get a yes-yes, I personally toss, recycle, shred or give away. Certainly there are other options, but I’m all about easy and effortless in all that I do. Now that you’ve cleared away that area’s clutter, take the items you love and use and put them back in a way that makes sense for you. Repeat for each sub-zone. Easy, right? You can do this, and I promise you, these simple strategies can make massive changes in your life and business! I am excited for you, and I challenge you to be the first person whom it doesn’t work for. I’d love to hear your stories and answer any questions you might have. Please email me at Kathleen@speaktacular.com. Happy New Year! Kathleen Ronald is a networking expert, a contributing best-selling author and the founder of Speaktacular.com. She presented her “Clutternomics” program at an ACES luncheon last year and brings more than 30 years of experience providing custom inspirational keynotes, training seminars and consultancy to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, direct sales organizations and professional associations.


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The Future is Now

As the demand for access and connectivity increases, property managers must stay ahead of the curve to meet resident expectations. By


echnology has become ubiquitous and pervasive in everyone’s life. It is a trend that has moved in one direction, at an ever-increasing pace, since the Internet became broadly available in the mid-1990s. As both work and personal lives have become intertwined with the Web, naturally it has become a top priority for residents. In fact, recent surveys have shown that the availability of technology services has surpassed even in-home laundry as the most important amenity for apartment hunters . While streaming video, tablets, smartphones and telecommuting are all well-known trends competing for bandwidth in the home, several new technologies on the horizon will create an even greater demand for Internet services. Many know about home automation devices, such as smart thermostats, but there are dozens of other smart home technologies that will soon be broadly available. All these gadgets have enormous benefits, but all of them need to share space on the same WiFi network. All of these packet-hungry devices can cause serious network overload – a problem that needs to be taken care of proactively, before it affects consumers. The Demand Is Real – And So Are The Issues In November 2015, the National Multifamily Housing Council published a survey – one of the most massive and thorough research reports to date – of 120,000 renters across the country . Out of nearly 70 amenities, highspeed Internet access topped the list as the one amenity that residents were most interested in, with a whopping 94 percent response rate. The study also showed that 69 percent of residents want their communities to set up wireless hot spots in common areas. Many in the same survey said that the availability of high-speed Internet would affect future renting decisions. The rise in the popularity of streaming video

MICHAEL SLOVIN, Xfinity Communities

services, mobile devices and smart home devices parallels with the demand for technology services. But these services and devices come at a cost. A recent story in Variety magazine pointed out that at peak hours, more than 50 percent of downstream bandwidth is consumed by watching video. On the device side, the trends are equally explosive. The recently released Ericsson Mobility Report predicts that by the end of 2021, mobile devices will account for 90 percent of all Internet traffic . And while mobile growth is obvious – people everywhere are glued to their phones – what’s less noticeable is the exponential growth of the Internet of Things in both business and home settings. Research from IHS Technologies has estimated that 19.42 billion new devices will flood the planet between 2015 and 2017. All of these devices are on the network, and they’re all talking to one another, creating a surge in traffic. This is a serious problem, and it’s one that will have to be dealt with by property managers. There’s no putting the cat back in the bag – residents love their devices and streaming video and will continue to use both. As these residents make apartment choices based on the availability and quality of Internet access, property managers will need to be proactive about their network infrastructure. How To Stay Ahead Of The Game As new technologies continue to place incredible demands on Internet services, property managers will need to proactively invest in network services. As they examine their options, here are three things to keep in mind for 2016: 1. Even if your property does not offer technology services as part of the lease terms, it is still critical that the communications provider you choose is capable of offering WiFi and Internet services that can scale up to gigabit speeds. While that much bandwidth seems

unnecessary today, your network will need that much capacity sooner than you would think. 2. Give your residents options when it comes to service providers. Many residents prefer a service provider that can offer high-speed Internet access, entertainment and home automation services together, or they want providers that offer dedicated customer service and other amenities. While high-speed Internet remains the top concern, it is important to keep other services in mind, understand the potential value of combined services, and focus on adding value for your residents. 3. Once network infrastructure investments have been made, don’t keep them a secret. Current and prospective residents need to know that you are a forward-thinking property manager who is focused on delivering the amenities that they want. And you never know – that might make a positive impact on the number of leases you’re able to sign in the next year. There’s a lot of excitement about the everimproving world of consumer technology, but it all unravels if the network infrastructure isn’t there for support. Future-proofing your building today will guarantee happy residents tomorrow. Michael Slovin is vice president of Xfinity Communities, Comcast’s business unit focused on bringing Xfinity services to the multifamily industry. He is responsible for national sales, sales operations and developing programs that improve the community and resident experience. He brings more than 20 years of sales, operations and marketing leadership experience in the telecommunications and cable industries and has additionally held senior sales leadership positions with Sprint, Winstar and MCI Communications (now Verizon).

1 Broadband Communities survey, http://www.bbpmag.com/Features/0714feature-ConsumerSurvey.php 2 NHMC 2015 Renter Preference Survey, http://www.nmhc.org/uploadedFiles/Files/2015%20Renter%20Preferences%20Study%20-20Executive%20Summary.pdf 3 “Netflix Bandwidth Usage Climbs to Nearly 37% of Internet Traffic at Peak Hours,” Variety, http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-bandwidth-usage-internet-traffic-1201507187/



January 2016


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Tell Your Story Monitor your online reputation and build your digital curb appeal across multiple social platforms. By


magine for a moment that your negative reviews showed up printed on yard signs and placed in front of your property for the entire world to see. In the middle of an expanding market with plenty of choices for apartment seekers, do you really think your prospects and residents don’t see your online reviews? Millennials are 50 percent more likely to find user-generated content trustworthy, as opposed to branded advertising. User-generated content is media created by your peers. It includes status updates, blog posts and restaurant reviews – any content from non-professionals. Thousands of marketing dollars are wasted every day due to lost leads from a property’s negative online reputation. The quality residents you want are digital-savvy and mobilefriendly, conducting a majority of their research online. A recent study by J Turner Research found that 52 percent of residents are looking at online ratings and reviews as the first step in their search for an apartment community. Negative reviews along the prospect’s path may cost your team opportunities to lease. Focusing your marketing efforts on beautiful curb appeal won’t matter if a negative review derails your future residents before they even get there. Building digital curb appeal includes a proactive plan to: • Strategically monitor, capture and measure your property’s online perceptions across multiple ratings websites. • Inspire positive reviews and train your team to convert compliments. • Diplomatically respond to both positive and negative conversations. • Grow positive user-generated content with a 52-week Google feeding schedule.

TONI BLAKE, TotallyToni.com, and MINDY PRICE, J Turner Research

The Power of Expansion Managing your online reputation begins with expansion! Multiply your impact with a diverse group of targeted consumer apartment review sites, Internet Listing Sites and social and streaming video platforms. How diverse is your digital marketing plan? A BrightLocal consumer survey reports that more than 88 percent of consumers require up to 10 review sites to establish trust in your businesses, and 44 percent say a review must be written within the last month to be relevant. A truly inspired digital marketing plan should include a variety of consistent online conversations discussing your brand on several platforms. Since each site has a different ratings scale, you need to quantify and measure your property’s aggregated perceptions

across these multiple sites. You also need to be able to benchmark your property’s online reputation locally, regionally and nationally, both within your portfolio and vs. the competition. Many factors affect this process. Each site has a different modus operandi that impacts the time period, validity and authenticity of the reviews featured on the site. Some sites are more trusted by consumers than others. A review site with a high SEO that is not believable will be overlooked for one that is more believable. Other factors include reviews generated through survey results vs. organic reviews in which the residents post comments without any prompting.

Graphic courtesy of J Turner Research



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Monitoring Matters The crux of the matter is that monitoring your online reputation is a dynamic process that involves constant, careful monitoring of complex analytical data. There are experts providing these types of services. Regardless of the focus of your current marketing dollars, monitoring your online reputation is essential for effective digital marketing. J Turner Research tracks reviews of more than 55,000 properties across various sites, calculating the market share and the top sites to pay attention to: 1. Apartmentratings.com – 69 percent 2. Google+ – 62 percent 3. Yelp – 32 percent 4. Facebook – 17 percent 5. Yahoo – 13 percent 6. Yellow Pages – 11 percent 7. Rent.com – 9 percent 8. ApartmentGuide.com – 5 percent Where else can you tell your story? Be sure to set up accounts with more than just Facebook and Twitter. Establish a presence for your community on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Tumblr, SlideShare and Pinterest. The Marketing Pantry Expansion Begin to tell your lifestyle story by building it with images and great text. The three key ingredients to a great digital curb appeal are text, images and video. Once an image or story is built, it can be shared across multiple social platforms with unique styling. This means that one story can be expanded into 10 posts! If you are building a 52-week Google feeding schedule across 10 platforms, you only really need five or six great lifestyle stories to improve your overall online reputation. If you choose 12 platforms and add one new message to each once a month, you’ll


finish the year with 144 pieces of positive searchable online content sharing the story of life at your property. Inspire and Convert Using surveys to generate resident reviews is a simple and effective way to build and enhance your digital curb appeal. You can do this in house or by using a third-party survey provider. At the end of your survey, ask the resident if he or she is willing to give you an additional testimonial. Some of the review sites and ILSs allow you to feed these testimonials to their sites. This leads to a boost in the reviews of your property and is likely to help in improving your online reputation. You can also post these surveys on your social media platforms. Another easy way to generate positive reviews is each time a resident or prospect compliments your property, encourage that person to share that review by directing them to relevant sites. Don’t be afraid to ask. This article is Part 1 of a series by Toni Blake (www.totallytoni.com) and Mindy Price (www.jturnerresearch.com) introducing dynamic digital curb appeal strategies designed to inspire a positive online reputation and user-generated content. In the next article we will share how to develop a 52-week Google feeding schedule, along with diplomatic rules for responding to reviews by topics.

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On the Scene Photos by MARK HIEBERT, Hiebert Photography


HAA Annual Business Meeting Sponsored by 1 Maintenance Supply Headquarters and TPI Inc. Thursday, November 12 at the Hyatt Regency Galleria More than 400 members attended this year’s meeting. The event honored 2015 President Jackie Rhone, recognized the committee and club chairs and education designates for the year and elected the 2016 HAA officers and board. The 2015 President’s Appreciation Awards were also presented.



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1. Event sponsors Maintenance Supply Headquarters and TPI Inc. with 2015 President Jackie Rhone. 2. Product Service Council President Mark Park presents the PSC Special Recogntion to Jackie Rhone. 3. Jackie Rhone presents the President’s Awards to Kyle Brown and Beth Van Winkle. 4. The newest Go-Getters receive their jackets. 5. Jackie Rhone presents State Representative Dan Huberty with the HAA Distinguished Service Award. 6. Certified Apartment Manager designates. 7. National Apartment Leasing Professional designates. 8. New HAA board members for 2016: Robert Lopes, Carlos Neto, Christy Rodriguez, Quintina Willis, Joe Byson, John Boriack and Jacob Kunath. 9. Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician designates. 10. The 2016 HAA Executive Committee: Clay Hicks, Sal Thomas, Michelle Pawlelek, Kyle Brown, Kelly Scott, Alison Hall, Jackie Rhone, Debbie Sulzer and Starla Turnbo. 11. Certified Apartment Supplier designates. 12. Independent Rental Owner designates.



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On the Scene Photos by MARK HIEBERT, Hiebert Photography HAA Annual Business Meeting



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On the Scene with ACES ACES Holiday Luncheon Sponsored by 1 AAA Plumbers, 2 Camp Construction Services and 3 CORT Furniture Friday, December 4 at Brennan’s of Houston The Apartment Community Executives & Supervisors held their annual holiday program, with a festive lunch and pop-up shopping for all to enjoy. Thanks to our sponsors listed above and the many vendors, including Scentsy, Thirty-One Girls, Marlene’s Fine Glass, Stella & Dot, D&M Gourmet Foods, Mary & Martha, Mary Kay and much more. 1



IN PURSUIT OF AN EVER-INCREASING LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM, the Apartment Community Executives & Supervisors group was created to offer executive-level members a way to network and exchange information and knowledge. It offers them an opportunity for educational programs and presentations, along with greater knowledge of the political and legislative needs of the industry. ACES is intended for those on the property management side of HAA membership in an executive or leadership role. For more on ACES, see online at www.haaonline.org or contact Emily Hilton at ehilton@haaonline.org. 58


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Hall, continued from Page 40 Kristy Simonette Camden, Senior Vice President of Strategic Services

“Alison’s commitment to providing living excellence is the foundation of her leadership. She has built an incredible team of skilled professionals that embrace the notion that the Camden Contact Center is an extension of all of our 170 apartment communities’ leasing offices. Alison has a way of inspiring her team to go above and beyond, which ultimately results in an excellent customer experience. Alison began her career on site many years ago and has evolved as our industry has grown and become more sophisticated. Her insight and vision have helped us to expand our Contact Center into a full-service solution for both internal and external customers. Alison looks for new and innovative ways to solve our age-old property management problems. Alison has a BIG personality! Everyone knows that, but what some may not know is that she is a very savvy businesswoman. She’s never had a budget she couldn’t beat, a problem she couldn’t resolve, she’s never rested on her laurels and she is just a good person. She is warm and honest, always looking out for the company’s best interest. Alison is respected by her peers and is looked to for sound advice by all of us that are lucky enough to work with her every day. What will she bring to HAA as president in 2016? Leadership. And, of course, rhinestones! Seriously, Alison has an uncanny way of enrolling others in her vision and her cause. She will bring value to the organization through many years of experience and her network of influential peers.”

Alison with the HAA Officers for HAA’s 2015 Installation and New Year Gala



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people can influence the minds and votes of our legislators is priceless to our business, residents, employees and reputation. It is the way America works and it is exciting to witness and being able to participate in it is extraordinary. The education programs available to all our members are career changing for many – the idea of someone being able to take a class and learn about our business before they start actually working is a testament to the breath and quality of the curriculum. Introducing someone, through education, to a career path so they, too, can spend 30 years in the industry, like the Dinersteins and Camden have done for me, is providing a solid foundation for the future. Our industry is like no other – you get in and you don’t leave, that’s because of our association. The association allows us to get to know each other while giving back. We are competitors on the street, but we are family in all other ways. It’s a unique, challenging, modern business with a hometown-family feel accomplished with the upmost respect for each other. ABODE: What are some of your ideas for getting younger HAA members more involved in the organization? AH: I think we have to realize that they’re not as young as we think they are. They’re into their careers; they are professionals in our industry and making their mark. They’re doing it, their way. I nominated our first Next committee member, Robert Lopes, to the Advisory Board in 2016. I think that goes a long way in showing the association that there is a path to leadership. I want them to know if you work hard, your actions will count and your voice will be heard. Now, we have someone who’s representing that group on the advisory board. In addition, I want the up-andcomers to recognize they also have a responsibility to participate and diversify. The Next committee is great, but I am expecting those members to branch out into other committees and take on other responsibilities in the future. I also think that as “old-timers,” we need to take ourselves out of long-held positions of

Alison with booth judges during the 2015 HAA Chili Fest

responsibility to make room for those that are coming after us. Someone had to move out of a spot in order for me to have an opportunity, and I’m happy to do that for the next person. I have served HAA for 30 years, by choice. I am grateful to Camden for their support and encouragement in my volunteering. I love this association. I believe in it so much that I’m willing to put it in the hands of those people who are coming after me, because they know best what the future can be. But, I will only feel good about that if, while I have the responsibility, I listen and I do my best to bridge the gap to make them successful. ABODE: It sounds like listening and change will be themes for you this year. AH: Listening is important, but you’ve got to take action on it, too. We have such an awesome legacy of people and talent that have gone before us, and we have this awesome tradition of what we do at HAA. We have the legislative piece, which is the reason we’re all here, and then we have the education piece, and I think everything else revolves around those two pieces. But I think that we’ve gotten away from the people piece. It’s kind of a hard place to be in, because I respect and admire our tradition and our legacy, but I also think we need to move this ship forward. That means change and people don’t like change. There’s not a lot of change you can make in 12 months, but I can start steering. And without listening to the people and without their involvement, we can’t steer the ship in the right direction. ABODE: With your focus on growth and improvement, would you say that your goal is to be a catalyst? AH: Yes. For sure. Not change for change’s sake, but to explore what changes, if any, need to be made. For me, the past is important because it grounds us and teaches us our values. It is important to embrace the big picture and to honor and learn from those that went ahead of us, but other than the history lessons and the foundation, it can be really boring in the sense that we already did it. I’m not afraid to make a mistake. I’m going to make a thousand of them, but the thing about

Alison with family and friend for a charity event


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the future is… it’s tomorrow, let’s get going on making it the best we can. One of my favorite saying is by Alan Kay, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” So, as a catalyst, I’m not scared, naïve, maybe, but not scared. I have no fear. I don’t know why – I feel like sometimes I should, but there’s just not any in there. I’m not a worrier. I don’t stress, but I don’t get stuck, either. I figure it out as I go, because things change. Things come out of nowhere that are unexpected, so you have to be nimble. I don’t always know how I’m going to get there, but I know the goal. People at HAA see the funny, outgoing Alison. They never see the work Alison. Common sense, people skills, fairness and strategy is what has made me successful. ABODE: Tell me more – what does fairness mean to you? AH: You have to be mindful of the big picture, and make decisions that are impartial. Fairness is about taking feelings and friendships out of decisions and making the best decision for the company or the association. But you have to have the ability to explain the process and reasons for decisions to individuals, and that’s where the people skills come in. I’m always open and honest, but I’m strategic and tactful in the time, place and the delivery. I don’t worry about what people think about me. If, I need to tell you something, I’m going to deliver the message to you so that you understand. It’s about moving the relationship forward and conveying your message for understanding. It’s about establishing relationships with others so that together we’re focused and we can move in the same direction. That’s what business is, that’s what a family is, that’s what your friendships are – and that’s what a leader does. ABODE: Tell me about you – your childhood, your family, etc. AH: I was born in Houston in 1962 – I’m the oldest of three daughters – to the best parents anyone could ever have. We grew up in Sharpstown, my dad is a retired attorney and my mom is a retired secretary and stay-at-home super-mom. I am not sure how she did it, but my mom worked, took care of a husband and three daughters, and we always had a clean house and supper at the table every night. We were raised with the idea we could do anything we wanted. There was no question we would graduate from college, it was assumed. My family had open communication and the three girls were taught to share and support one another. There was no jealousy among the sisters and today we take a sister vacation every year because we love each other. It is a special bond that is shared by our daughters – that’s right no boys! My niece Aislinn and daughter www.haaonline.org

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Style, continued from Page 38 and the bread basket contained frozen rolls. It all photographed beautifully. We got an “A.” We were very good kids, but when you run the streets of Houston, you do get very street smart and seem to be in the loop on all parties in town somehow. And there was no twitter, you just heard. We heard about a party some kids from Memorial were having north of Westheimer and Gessner. Word on the street was it was a vacant mansion. We had to check it out. Cars lined the street for miles. We were so excited and were able to snake an upfront parking space in my little MGB convertible. Beer trucks were delivering kegs. This was an extraordinary production. Guys had to pay $10 to get in but girls were free. We got a drink and toured the mansion, which was fabulous and belonged to Houston socialite Joanne King Herring, who was not in the country that month. The place was packed. However, we could hear from all the buzz happening downstairs that the cops had come and were shutting down the party. As we walked out with the tremendously large crowd, we saw the media. Channel 2 News was there for a live shot on the 10 o’clock news. We immediately walked straight up to them to make sure we were interviewed for this epic adventure. The media was floored by the magnitude of an event like this being organized by high school students. Wouldn’t you know that our parents saw us being interviewed on the news. I remember they were proud and thought it was funny. We were Teflon. Really. High School was such a great time in our lives. To this day, there are seven of us who have stayed very close and travel often. When it was time to go to college, we decided we should room with others in order to widen our circle of friends and influence. We were always secure in our friendship and saw this as an opportunity to really experience college in San Marcos at Southwest Texas State. I lived directly above Alison in room 76 of The College Inn. She lived in room 66. Boy, did we fit right in there. Alison immediately got a job as a Coors Light Girl and had access to lots of parties. Joining the Industry Together I have often felt guilty over the years for persuading Alison to come to work with me in the apartment business. The guilt was because, I feel like if I had not led her astray, she could have been a jeweler or an interior designer or used her incredible artistic abilities somewhere “fabulous.” However, Alison has carved out ways to use her artistic ability anyway, in some pretty creative ways, in the multifamily space. My aunt was Carolyn Hudson, a property supervisor for a small management company. She asked me to come work with her one summer and was so passionate about HAA, I naturally followed. When I got my job with the Dinersteins, naturally Alison had to come too. That was how we rolled. It wasn’t unusual for me to persuade her to work with me in the apartment industry. We had always worked at jobs together. And it



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wasn’t unusual for Alison to volunteer with HAA, she had been volunteering all her life and my aunt always made sure that we were in attendance for Go-Getter meetings. Since we never met a bar we didn’t like, the Go-Getters sounded good to us. The timing was perfect for her to join me in property management She was on summer break from school and we needed a parttime leasing agent at the Gessner Place Apartments, a Dinerstein Company property where I had just started working. We were both very familiar with leasing offices, as we were always swimming in the pools at my aunt’s properties, even delivering late notices when she needed us to. We found it exciting. Much more excitement and drama went on at an apartment community than ever happened on our block in Sharpstown. She ended up staying with the Dinersteins for several years at many different communities. She managed for quite a few of their third-party clients and was really adept at managing those complex relationships at both lower and higher end assets. The Camden Culture No matter the day of the week, Alison Hall makes the business of leading Camden Property Trust’s National Contact Center look easy. As director, she oversees a team of more than 35 people and they know her well. They seem to anticipate her words and finish her sentences. If there is ever stress, it rarely surfaces. Always cool and always confident, you truly cannot damper her enthusiasm. As she looks forward to 2016 she shares her vision for leading the largest apartment association in the country with the same passion she has in leading her team. “At Camden, it’s all about the customer: We have both our internal customers and our external customers and we are here to serve them,” Alison says. “In HAA, Our customers are our members and mentoring them and volunteering is how we give back to the association. I tell my people, the only answer we ever need to give is “Yes!” In 2008, she moved from the secure district manager position with Camden she had held for 17 years to something completely different, designing and implementing a world class customer service team which today answers over 490,000 calls and emails a year for all 168 Camden communities nationwide. “I had no idea what a contact center business was, but they told me that didn’t matter, that it was a people business, and that I can do. I know Camden, and I hired an expert in the call center industry and technology expert, and we were on our way.” Today, it is robust hub of activity with panoramic views of the Houston skyline as a backdrop and large screens which display real time activity of all calls coming into Camden’s communities, and which individual agent is handling each of those calls. They operate like a well-oiled machine, just like their leader envisioned. A large, bright yellow wall parrallels the beautiful view and says, “Always do the right thing” in large block lettering.

Walking through the halls of Camden, you see that Hall is deeply engrained in the Camden culture and is very serious about exactly how they make the magic happen. Just outside her office on the 23rd floor of the Camden headquarters in Greenway Plaza, is a large room with an engraved name plate next to the door reading “Costume Closet” and next to that an entire “Green Room,” with green screen to accommodate all the videos they produce. Culture is their middle name and having fun is one of their core values. It may be what has kept her here for the past 24 years. “I loved being a district manager more than I did being a property manager.” Alison says. “My make-readys were perfect. I am meticulous about details on everything – painting cabinets, kitchens – everything had to be spray painted. I managed a unique midrise style property on Augusta, high end for the day, and got lots of great experience. I once had an audit there and the only action item needed was to throw away a dead plant. I definitely needed more of a challenge. That’s when I got more involved with HAA.” HAA Volunteerism She recruited her first new HAA member in 1990, and chaired her first committee in 1994, Community Relations. Alison has always loved the HAA Chili Cook-off and was the first to buy a double or larger booth. That was an event where she could showcase her creativity every year and really loved leading her Chili Cook-off team. Her passion lies in cultivating new initiatives for the association and a new generation of volunteers. She also loves the decentralization taking place within the association. The division of the city into sectors and as chair of the Strategic Growth Committee, she sees that as more of way to get more involved in association business – HAA comprises communities in 12 different counties. “This initiative is what I am most excited about as it will permanently change the footprint of HAA,” Alison says, “It allows managers from all over our area to take part in the association events right there in their own community. It can sometimes be impossible for a manager to come all the way into town from Baytown or LaPorte.” I am very proud and excited for my best friend to take the reins of HAA in 2016. She has a long history of working well to find a collective solution for our association. Alison is very serious about the business of having fun, little does anyone know, that underneath the surface, she is ultimately very conservative in business and thorough in completing her tasks. Now is the time for you to be inspired to join us for a great year. Make that commitment to come to more meetings, recruit more members, step up and give of your time more than ever. I promise you will enjoy the ride. So hang on everyone, this association is about to get very busy!


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Hollan are as close as we are, it is beautiful! My parents knew what they were doing and they are still setting a great example for us. We vacation as a family in Galveston every year, and spend Christmas at the lake. We’ve been doing that for 16 years. It started the year Don Hall and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Hollan Anne Hall. ABODE: What do you and your family enjoys doing for fun? AH: Don Hall and I were married for 11 years before we had Hollan, in those years we traveled, ate at every cool restaurant, went to many sporting events and parties. For the past 16 years we have been focused on Hollan, she is the center of our world. We’ve had Texans tickets as long as the Texans have been around, Hollan and Don are serious about football. Hollan attends St. Pius X Catholic High school and we never miss a Panther game. Hollan is a golfer and Don Hall plays, so we are on the golf course a lot – really, they are, I’m in the spa. Hollan’s been in Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten and she’s now working on her Gold Award. Last summer, two other moms and I took the Girl Scout troop to London and Paris for seven days and had a blast. Hollan is fabulous, I’m so proud. She is a confident, smart young lady and I cannot wait to see how her future unfolds. I’m married to the best husband and dad in the world. You don’t know when you marry someone really what kind of parent they’re going to be. But he has exceeded all my expectations and then some, for sure. When Hollan goes off to college, I look forward to Don Hall and I once again having more time to travel, eat at every cool restaurant, and attend sporting events and parties.

Want to talk to Alison? Our new president has a new email address – askalison@haaonline.org. Alison wants to know your thoughts and what your needs are from your association. She, along with the HAA staff, will reply to everyone. Alison wants this to become an avenue for people to ask real questions and get real feedback, in real time. Don’t miss your chance to talk with your president and your association. Alison and HAA want to hear from you! www.haaonline.org

Rental Credit Reporting has an eagle eye on the basics. RCR gives your staff immediate access to information about which residents are in good standing and who has received their deposit refund. RCR also tells you who hasn’t paid rent or who has broken a lease. Don’t miss out on this basic information that can tell you a whole lot more about a renter than just a credit score.

For more information or to subscribe, contact RCR at 713-595-0330, e-mail rcr@haaonline.org or visit us online at www.haaonline.org/rcr.

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Start the year right! Come join one of the most important clubs in the association.

HAA works because our members support each other and the industry. The association is your best bet for informed referrals when you are looking for a new product or service provider. If your property deals with a vendor that is not a member, encourage your contact with that company to join HAA and discover all we have to offer!

What is a Go-Getter? The Go-Getter Club is a year-round membership recruitment group of individual HAA members who work for owner/management and supplier companies.

Blue Jackets for all! Thank you and congratulations to these hardworking Go-Getters. During the November Annual Business Meeting, they each received their official Blue Jacket for recruiting 15 new HAA members. Pictured from left are Kim Small, Jackie Rhone, Quintina Willis, David Jones, Christy Rodriguez, Angie Lavrack, Kurt Gilpin, Club Chair Kelly Scott, Mark Park, Cheryl Cotton and Michelle Pahl. Photo by Mark Hiebert.

Why recruit for HAA? Joining the Go-Getters will give you additional exposure and special recognition among HAA members. You are also helping to strengthen your association with new members and new involvement. HAA events create opportunities to talk with your peers, make new industry connections and develop lasting relationships. Keep an eye here and on the HAA Facebook page for details on recruiting contests and this year’s membership campaign. You could win some new cash in the new year!

THE GO-GETTERS ARE THE BACKBONE of the Houston Apartment Association. By recruiting new members, the Go-Getter Club helps both new management and supplier companies and the association grow for the future. To join the club and get going on recruitment, see online at www.haaonline.org or contact Amanda and Lauren in the Membership Department at members@haaonline.org. 64


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#mynews #mynetwork #myfriends #myfun

Get in the picture! ABODE magazine is your source for what’s happening in the Houston-area apartment market. Every month, our members-only publication highlights industry news and trends, plus photos of YOU, our members, from HAA events! ABODE is your source for industry-specific legal and legislative news as well. Share your promotions and new hires in our “People on the Move” column, or the latest development in your area of expertise by writing an article. Look for ABODE in the mail the first week of each month, or read online at issuu.com/haa_abode. Contact the Communications Department at comm@haaonline.org for details, and contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org to advertise. ABODE is your HAA, and it’s #notjustaprettyform!

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Welcome Mat OWNERS Broder & Sachse Deborah Oaks 260 E Brown St. #280 Birmingham, MI 48009-6231 248-554-6858 Arlington Place Apartments HQC Management LLC Cynthia Nguyen 514 Wilmington Drive Bellaire, TX 77401-3610 832-704-6184 Cynthia Properties Mandell Place LTT Houston Royal North LLC Alan Chang P.O. Box 3101 Cerritos, CA 90703-3101 626-716-6300 Royal North Apartments Referred by Nancy Richardson Nationwide Properties & Management Joseph M. Noor 4141 North Fwy. #117 Houston, TX 77022-4213 713-478-6024 Referred by Del Walmsley Rowhouse CDC Previn Jones 3353 Elgin St. Houston, TX 77004-3531 713-374-1210 Rowhouse CDC Properties Rozell Holdings Casey Rozell P.O. Box 1048 Conroe, TX 77305-1048 936-662-8461 Referred by Del Walmsley TSM Property Investments LLC Teresa Pella 13407 Live Oak Glen Lane Cypress, TX 77429-5177 281-678-7921 Tronewood Apartments Referred by Del Walmsley


WSSA LLC Kevin Burgess 140 E Second St. #220 Flint, MI 48502-1731 312-953-1911 Bella Vista Apartments The Village at Uvalde Apartments Westbury Reserve Apartments Richmond Chase Apartments

SUPPLIERS Admiral Linen & Uniform Service by Alsco Ryan Potter 2116 McGowen Houston, TX 77004-1310 713-759-9494 Cleaners Uniforms Referred by Jacob Kunath Budget Pest Control Services Inc. Miguel Ramirez P.O. Box 720392 Houston, TX 77272-0392 713-480-2530 Pest Control Services Termite Treatment Circa Innovations Tommy Muller 18507 Royal Mist Lane Tomball, TX 77377-4089 713-551-3523 Communications Consultants Computers – Software Property Mgmt. Telecommunications Consultants Telecommunications Services Dirt Force Arnaldo Urrutia 1135 Forestburg Drive Houston, TX 77038-2120 832-794-5713 Air Purifying & Cleaning Equipment Carpet Cleaning Referred by Jennifer Ramos

Tyran Shivers Tyran Shivers 302 Cobia Drive #5106 Katy, TX 77494 281-520-8154

ALL SUPPLIER MEMBERS are listed online at haabuyersguide.com, searchable by product/service category or company name. 66


January 2016

Division-9 Inc. Jorge Salazar 7110 Santiago St. Houston, TX 77023-2536 832-831-9492 Building Contractors Cabinets Carpet Installation Concrete Stain & Sealer Materials Counter Tops Floor Laying Refinishing & Resurfacing Grout/Tile Cleaning & Sealing Kitchen Cabinets Painting Contractors Remodeling & Repair – Building Contractors Stone-Granite/Natural Vinyl Flooring Dust Lady Cleaning & Services LLC Osvaldo Garcia P.O. Box 30105 Houston, TX 77249-0105 281-668-4390 Maid Services Make Ready GDE Renovations LLC Eric Martinelli 3300 Buckeye Road #777 Covington, GA 30014 770-458-7676 General Contractors Painting Contractors Got U Covered LLC Miguel E. Garza 7314 Skybright Lane Houston, TX 77095-1410 346-300-5932 Carports Fences

Notifii LLC Syta Saephan 8150 Sierra College Blvd. #230 Roseville, CA 95661-9417 888-506-8536 Computers – Software Property Mgmt. Resident Notification Service

Two Men And A Truck Roger Daniel 7935 B Wright Road Houston, TX 77041 713-278-1112 Movers Moving Supplies Referred by Jennifer Linker

Rental Beast Jeff Geloneck 6575 West Loop South #500 Bellaire, TX 77401 713-900-2800 Apartment Leasing Apartment Rental Info. & Svc.

Unwanted.com Inc. Tim McDonough 1300 Jackson St. #100 Golden, CO 80401-1982 800-716-0844 Appliances – Major-Used Appliance Removal

Seisco International LLC David Seitz 241 Airtex Drive Houston, TX 77090-6627 888-296-9293 Water Heaters & Boilers Plumbing Equip. & Supplies

Urban Corporate Housing LLC Sana Ali 3033 Chimney Rock Road #321 Houston, TX 77056-6200 832-808-4802 Apartments – Furnished Corporate Housing

Southwest Sales Craig Calhoun 4500 N Sam Houston Pkwy. West #140 Houston, TX 77086 800-840-2682 Plumbing Fixtures/Parts/Supply Water Heaters & Boilers The Ground Up Luis Chamorro 9945 Windfern Road Houston, TX 77064-5811 832-367-4351 Fertilizer Landscape Contractors Mulch Trees Referred by Melody Taylor

Wildlife Removal Experts LLC Tim Moss 10800 Gosling Road #130136 Spring, TX 77393 832-745-2540 Animal Removal Services Animal Trapping Services Pest Control Services Referred by Brian Febbo

9:19 AM Page 1

Guardtech Pest Management Chris Thierheimer 7714B N Hwy. 146 #216 Baytown, TX 77523 281-739-0635 Pest Control Services Pressure Washing – Equip. & Service Referred by Darlene Guidry Hahn Equipment Jason Van Alstine 5636 Kansas St. Houston, TX 77007 713-868-3255 Pumps Pumps-Service & Repair

www.haabuyersguide.com www.haaonline.org

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Get Involved VolunteerHAA The Houston Apartment Association’s committees and clubs are some of the most productive tools we have to ensure that we remain the nation’s largest and most effective apartment association. Committee and club members face the challenge of getting involved to carry out the duties and purpose of each club and committee. Some general responsibilities of committee and club members include a commitment to attend all meetings and help develop marketing strategies (i.e. telemarketing, developing handouts, fliers, articles). To serve on any of these committees and clubs, please contact the HAA office at 713-595-0300, online at www.haaonline.org or email the departments listed below. Education education@haaonline.org Education Advisory Council HAF Fundraiser Committee* Career and Community Development Committee Government Affairs govaffairs@haaonline.org HAA Better Government Fund* Century Club* Media Relations Committee Fair Housing Committee Strategic Growth Committee Membership members@haaonline.org Ambassador ONE Society Go-Getter Club Membership Recruitment Expo Exhibitor Committee* Community Outreach shinkley@haaonline.org Community Outreach Committee Product Service Council* Resident Relations resrel@haaonline.org Resident Relations Committee *Note: These committees have specific requirements for membership. Contact HAA for details.



January 2016



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Congratulations to the top Ambassadors for 2015 and thanks to all.

Mark your calendars and join us! Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month: January 6 February 3 March 2 April 6 May 4 June 8 July 6 August 3 September 7 October 5 November 2






1. Congrats to the top team for 2015, Amped UP. 2. Congratulations to our top Ambassador for 2015, Paul Marks, with HAA President Alison Hall. 3. Second place Ambassador Raedean Mitchem. 4. Ambassador Co-chair Laura Lestus, The Liberty Group. 5. Ambassador Co-chair Debra Knight, Valet Waste. 6. Third place Ambassador Peggy Charles.


Ambassador ONE Society members with at least 10 points, ranked by points earned: Paul Marks Raedean Mitchem Peggy Charles Chelsea Cegelski Christian Tesoriero Angie Lavrack Candis Mohr Ross Love Grant Almquist Liz Levins Marivel Bownds Guillermo Gomez Kristin McLaughlin David Waldrop Sarah Davis April Wilkin Tammy Johnson Angela Covington Fernando Gomez Ashley Wendt Joe Slaughter Kim Sanders Tracey Moore Shelly Shea Greg Carillo Deborah DeRouen Phillip Price Shannon Bass Shelley Wood

WaterLogic ApartmentData.com Meyer Smith Gail Construction All Aquatics & Kids Playgrounds The Liberty Group AAA Plumbers Scott Equipment Texas Apartment Pool Service Criterion Brock Valet Waste Arbor Contract Carpet Mohawk Industries TAMKO Building Products Texscape Services HD Supply Hire Technologies BG Staffing Century A/C Supply BG Staffing Arbor Contract Carpet Office Systems of Texas HD Supply Sherwin-Williams RentPath HD Supply Impact Floors Republic Services

210 129 76 73 71 60 43 37 35 34 32 28 26 22 22 20 18 16 15 14 14 14 14 13 12 10 10 10 10

Ambassadors earn points by sharing leads, making introductions and through other activities that support HAA and its members. For details, attend an orientation and one of the monthly meetings listed above, or contact Amanda at 713-595-0316 or asherbondy@haaonline.org.

THE AMBASSADOR ONE SOCIETY , formerly known as the Ambassador Club, is an organized network exchange that helps vendor members build their business contacts within HAA. It’s the perfect way for new supplier members to get started with the association. Group members share leads, make introductions and support HAA and its members. For detais, attend an orientation and one of the meetings listed here, or contact Amanda Sherbondy in the Membership Department at 713-595-0316, or email asherbondy@haaonline.org. 68


January 2016


r u m o e y m e t ber a r e sh l e cc



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Get on the road to networking opportunities by driving to our house.

HAA open house | january 14 New to HAA? Join us on Thursday, January 14 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Meet the HAA staff and learn how to get involved and maximize your membership at the 2016 HAA Open House. HAA is YOUR association, and it’s #notjustaprettyform! This event is free for all owner and supplier attendees. All members are welcome to attend. Contact the Membership Department for more information at members@haaonline.org. Houston Apartment Association | 4810 Westway Park Blvd. | Houston, Texas 77041 | 713-595-0300

prop news pg 70.qxp_Layout 1 12/16/15 1:21 PM Page 1

Portfolio Changes The following owner/management companies have added the listed properties to their portfolios: • Abbey Residential Services: The Abbey at Grant Road, 372 units at 9611 Grant Road. • Ascension Commercial Real Estate: The Falls at Clearlake, 400 units at 801 E. NASA Blvd. in Webster. • Broder & Sachs: Arlington Place Apartments, 230 units at 116 E. Edgebrook. • Karya Property Management: Village at Piney Point Apartments, 1,094 units at 8600 Woodway. • Q10 Property Advisors: La Mariposa Apartments, 78 units at 2930 Plum Creek Lane; Park Place Apartments, 101 units at 3340 E. Walnut St. in Pearland; Madison at Bear Creek Apartments, 180 units at 5735 Timber Creek Place Drive; and Cedar Bluff Apartments, 105 units at 5930 Red Bluff Road in Pasadena. • Robbins Property Associates: Stirling Court Apartments, 228 units at 12703 Jones Road, and Hastings Place, 176 units at 10730 Glenora Drive. • TSM Property Investments: Tronewood Apartments, 24 units at 9222 Lockwood.

People on the Move Mally Cook is now national account manager for FTK (For The Kids) Construction Services. Kristin McLaughlin has joined Mohawk Industries as senior business development manager. Nancy Garivey is now a property manager with Nolan Real Estate Services. Concierge Management Services has welcomed Manuel Alvarez and Cesar Arizpe. Jeanette Rogers is now with Capstone Real Estate Services. American Realty Investors has welcomed Jose Cabrera, Jose A. Bonilla, Mara Hanka and Vernon Ledwell. Guillermo Gomez is now part of the sales team at Arbor Contract Carpet. Veritas Equity Management has welcomed Brenda Becerra, Brenda Reyes and Biby Moreno. Andrew Blumberg is now with Crestmark Construction Services. NOI Property Management has welcomed Luisa Arias, Kyle Hummel and Daniel Salmeron. Jordan Clem has joined Vesta Management. Southhampton Management has welcomed Yara Arias, Alison Bernier, Gina Carranza, Jami Mayfield, Alvaro Orantes and Jackie Wiegand.

In the News Congratulations to the HAA member companies that were recognized among the Houston Chronicle’s 2015 Top Houston Workplaces, selected according to nominations and employee evaluations. Congrats to Venterra Realty, Milestone Management, Asset Plus, Brady Chapman Holland & Associates, CWS Apartment Homes and Stream Realty Partners.



January 2016


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Law, continued from Page 12 The same test applies to other agerestrictive rules. If you prohibit children from playing with scooters in the parking lot, you may want to consider simply having a rule that no one the the parking lot. You might consider conduct-related rules, as opposed to age-restrictive rules, with respect to the fitness center and business center. I will review my criminal criteria to address disparate impact issues. A disparate impact analysis can be made on a number of issues relating to rental criteria, including criminal history criteria. If you believe statistics that more minorities are convicted of felonies than non-minorities, a policy that eliminates all felons may be deemed to have a discriminatory impact. You may want to look at your criminal history criteria to be sure that it properly addresses your legitimate concerns regarding who can live at your property without having an unduly discriminatory effect. This can be done by automatically eliminating a criminal history with certain crimes and then incorporating a lookback period for other crimes. In this regard, you may want to consider a new Texas law in determining what crimes will result in automatic denial. A new law that took effect January 1 states that a cause of action does not accrue against an owner or the owner’s agents solely for leasing a unit to a resident convicted of, or arrested or placed under deferred adjudication for, an offense. However, the new law provides that the limitation of liability does not preclude a cause of action for negligence in leasing to a resident if the resident was convicted of certain serious offenses including murder, capital murder, indecency with a child, aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated robbery, injury to a child, compelling prostitution, trafficking of persons, burglary or an offense for which a person is required to register as a sex offender. The crimes identified in the new Texas law support a policy that automatically rejects applicants convicted of these crimes. Other crimes can have a look-back period to address any legitimate business concern you have regarding who can live at your property. I will enforce subletting rules equally and consistently. Houston is a popular place to visit. Many residents find that temporarily subletting their apartment can be a valuable decision. This is going to become a

bigger issue in April 2016 when the NCAA Final Four visits Houston and with the Super Bowl coming in February 2017. Section 30 of the standard TAA lease provides that replacing a resident, subletting or assigning tenancy rights are prohibited without the owner’s written consent. If you want to enforce your rights, action should be taken when you become aware that a resident is subletting the apartment. You can either develop a policy of giving written notice to the resident for a first offense and a notice to vacate for a second offense, or provide a notice to vacate for any offense. The decision is yours. However, your enforcement rights should be exercised in an equal and consistent manner to avoid waiver or Fair Housing claims. If this is a problem at your property, you may also want to write a pre-emptive letter to all residents advising them of what they agreed to in the lease and that it is a default if they fail to comply. I will document, document, document. Documentation is the key to success in any legal proceedings. A claim that an owner did not properly repair or remedy a condition often involves documenting work orders. Work orders should reflect when a request was made, when it was fulfilled and what work was done. When evicting a problem resident, it is often beneficial to describe the history of the resident’s conduct. The best and often only way to know of the history is through the documentation in the resident’s file. Complaints against the resident or notes regarding the resident’s conduct should be kept in the resident’s file in a legible and organized fashion. I will continue to educate myself on legal issues. Laws are consistently changing and subject to new interpretations. Education and training takes effort. Resolve in 2016 to get better acquainted with the legal requirements that affect your day-today activities. Take advantage of the numerous seminars offered by the state and local associations. Depending on the size and resources of your company, you may find it beneficial to also do in-house training with your colleagues. Ask questions and find answers. May 2016 be a productive and efficient year. Follow these and other resolutions to minimize claims. Happy New Year!

Want to see current and previous issues of ABODE online? Go to http://issuu.com/haa_abode. www.haaonline.org

January 2016



On Site Jan16 pg 72.qxp_Layout 1 12/16/15 1:25 PM Page 1

On Site with ABODE


COMMUNITY SPIRIT College View Apartments offers a cozy suburban community.

“On Site with ABODE” features a randomly selected member property each month. Property: College View Apartments Owner/Management: Venterra Realty Location: 3333 Luella Blvd. in La Porte, across the street from San Jacinto College’s central campus and a few blocks from the Pasadena Convention Center Units: 104 Built: 1995 Web: www.venterraliving.com/collegeview Interesting features: Located across from a busy community college in just up the road from most of the area’s petrochemical plants, the College View Apartments offer a cozy suburban community with easy access to grocery, retail, education and more. Manager Crystal Bradford says that demand for housing has been on the rise on the east side due to job growth, and the property is 100 percent preleased, with just one unit available at Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, given the location, perhaps only 10 units are rented by students, other than the units leased by San Jacinto College for its volleyball team. College View’s residents are mostly chemical workers, teachers and medical professionals. Bradford, who came to manage the community in August 2015, likes to plan special events like children’s crafts and food drives, as well as cookouts and pool parties, to bring residents together and reach out to the larger community. “People get excited about our events,” she said. “In September, we did a barbecue event at the pool. We served 50 hot dogs and 50 burgers. I had heard there was usually low turnout, but we ran out of food. The maintenance guys were like master chefs, flipping burgers and serving drinks. Everyone was involved.” In October, the property served as an official drop-off location for Bras for a Cause, a breast cancer fundraiser promoted by 104 KRBE FM. For the holidays, Bradford collected food for the La Porte ISD food drive and organized a program to send greeting cards to soldiers overseas and children in the hospital. The property has been recognized as one of ApartmentRatings.com Top Rated Award recipients for several years, and Bradford regularly seeks resident feedback. She proudly says the residents know the maintenance staff by name and praise them by name on surveys sent after each work order and move-out. Apartments range from one to three bedrooms, and each unit includes a washer and dryer. Residents enjoy a fenced dog park, and Bradford plans to add agility items this year. Other amenities include a poolside outdoor kitchen with propane grill and pergola, two grills with picnic tables, and a resident computer, DVD library, board games, coffee bar and popcorn machine in the leasing office. The community also established a Little Free Library, chartered and installed by the mailboxes last summer and already very popular with residents.



January 2016


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Choose your day.

Thursday, February 18 or Wednesday, February 25

Location – HAF Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd. (off Clay Road and the Beltway) Registration – 8:30 a.m. Program – 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program Fee (includes lunch) – $125 prepay; $160 invoice Sharpen your knowledge of your legal rights and responsibilities as a rental housing owner or manager by participating in one of the REDBOOK seminars offered at HAA. The seminars emphasize changes in management practices required by new laws passed during the last legislative session and updates on key regulatory issues that affect property management. Here’s your chance to hear from the experts and get answers to your questions. Morning Session (9 a.m.to 12:30 p.m.) • Uncover hidden treasures in the new REDBOOK. Experienced attorneys will review basic leasing, eviction and other elemental aspects of managing rental property. • Review what has changed in the new REDBOOK regarding guidance for the operation and maintenance of rental properties, including new notice to vacate and appeal bond options. • Review the most often used and important TAA lease forms and highlight changes in the 2016 leases and related forms so you’ll learn more about what they mean to you operationally. Afternoon Session (1:30 to 4:30 p.m.) • This session will provide an in-depth explanation of all federal and

Presented by Howard Bookstaff, HAA General Counsel

state statutory and regulatory changes since the last REDBOOK revision that affect rental property ownership and management. With ample opportunity for questions and answers, this discussion will provide details about what members need to know regarding law changes addressed in the new REDBOOK. • We will cover laws that experienced practitioners need to understand

For more information and to register, see online at www.haaonline.org.

and discuss laws that you probably have never heard of but that can cause you problems if you don’t know about them. • Explore issues on the horizon that we may have to address as an association, including adverse local ordinances.

Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and TXU Energy

ad index jan pg 74.qxp_Ad Index pg 74 12/16/15 1:28 PM Page 1

Index of Advertisers By CATEGORY

Carpet Cleaning – Equipment & Supply

Glass – Plate, Window, Etc.

Television – Cable

Namco Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 800-634-5816 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.namcomfg.com

Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

Comcast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 800-XFINITY www.comcast.com/xfinitycommunities

Carpet Installation


Trash Hauling

Dixie Carpet Installations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 281-261-6334 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.dixiecarpet.com

Harco Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 713-681-2500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.harco-ins.com

Waste Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 713-354-5230 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.thinkgreen.com

Landscape Contractors

Video Products & Services

Collection Agencies

Outdoor Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 713-955-0990 . . . . . .www.outdoorelementstx.com

Virtual Leasing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 281-738-1222 . . . . .www.virtualleasingsystems.com

Alexander-Rose Associates Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 713-644-4441 . . . . . . . . . . .www.alexanderrose-inc.com

Texscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 281-846-3779 . . . . . . . . . .www.texscapeservices.com

SWC Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 972-300-1700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.swcgroup.com

Locks & Locksmiths

Rasa Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover 713-660-7777 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.rasafloors.com

Electric Contractors

Pest Control

Brandt Electrical Services Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 281-693-3383 . . . . . . . . . . .www.brandtelectrical.com

Apple Termite & Pest Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 713-880-3322 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.applepest.com

American Fire Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 713-466-9898 . . . . . . . . . . .www.americanfiresys.com

Foundation Contractors Foundation Specialists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 832-767-1115 . . . . . . . . .www.foundationexperts.com

Gates & Gate-Operating Devices Meyer Smith Inc. (Houston Gate) . . . . . . . . . . . .70 713-862-7339 . . . . . . . . . . . .www.meyersmithinc.com

General Contractors Camp Construction Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 713-413-2267 . . . . . . . .www.campconstruction.com

Rental Credit Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 713-595-0330 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.haaonline.org

CKI Wholesale Lock Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 713-462-0704 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ckilock.com

Affordable Quality Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 713-695-5992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.acuityelectric.com

Fire Alarm Systems

HAA Products & Services

Plumbing Contractors AAA Plumbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 713-462-4753 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.aaaplumbers.com

Plumbing Supplies Seisco International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52, 53 281-876-3300 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.seisco.com

Resident Screening Service CoreLogic SafeRent . . . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover 888-297-8821 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.saferent.com

Resurfacing Perfect Surface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 713-952-0202 . . . . . . . .www.perfectsurfaceinc.com

Cotton Commercial USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 877-511-2962 . . . . . . . . . . .www.cottoncompanies.com FSI Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 832-767-1115 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.fsiconstruction.com Gemstar Construction & Development . . . . . .47 281-821-1195 . . . . . .www.gemstarconstruction.com MultiFamily Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 713-266-9100 RENCON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover 713-666-3636 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.rencon.com TPI Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 713-668-7986 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.tpiinc.com

Roofing Contractors State Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 281-293-7000 . . . . . . . .www.stateroofingtexas.com

Screens Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

Security Control Equipment/Systems SentriForce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 888-671-2202 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.sentriforce.com

Want to see current and previous issues of ABODE online? Go to http://tinyurl.com/HAAlibrary or http://issuu.com/haa_abode. Or view this issue on your iPad or smartphone at http://issuu.com/haa_abode/docs/abode_jan2016.



January 2016


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MarketLine By BRUCE MCCLENNY, President, ApartmentData.com

HOUSTON 90.8% $968/mo. 110.3¢/sq.ft./mo. 878 sq.ft.

Past 12 Months: 5.8% rental rate growth 13,063 units absorbed

• •

• •

– 90.0

– 89.0 96.0 –

– 88.0 94.0 –

Recently Opened (12 months): 76 communities 21,637 units

98.0 –

Occupancy (%)

Operating Supply: 2,602 communities 605,107 units

Rental Rate (¢/sq.ft./mo.)

Snapshot Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

– 87.0 Under Construction: 106 communities 30,054 units

Nov 15

Oct 15

Sep 15

Aug 15

Jul 15

Jun 15

Apr 15

May 15

Mar 15

Feb 15

Jan 15

Dec 14

Nov 14

Oct 14

History of Effective Rental Rate & Occupancy for All Units

Hottest Submarkets Over the Past Three Months


Annualized Rank 1 2 3 4 5

Sep 14

Aug 14

Jul 14

Jun 14

Apr 14

May 14

Mar 14

Feb 14

Proposed Construction: 57 communities 16,476 units

Jan 14

Dec 13

92.0 –

Submarket Baytown Northline/Aldine Greenspoint Almeda/South Main Woodlake/Westheimer

% of Market Absorbed 9.7% 11.7% 8.4% 4.5% 8.4%

Rental Rate Growth % 1.5% 0.1% 0.1% 0.4% 0.1%

Total Units Class w/Concessions All 170,894 A 62,841 B 54,896 C 40,392 D 12,765

% of Total Units 28% 42% 25% 23% 20%

Average Special -1.8% -3.2% -1.2% -0.9% -1.0%

Citywide Effect -5.9% -7.0% -4.5% -4.4% -5.3%

One Month Free = -8.33%

THE FIRST TABLE ABOVE GIVES A SNAPSHOT of the current market conditions. The graph displays the overall occupancy and effective rental rates over the past 24 months. These statistics are derived from a continuous survey of all apartment communities in the Houston region. The effective rental rates are the calculated net of concessions and utility adjustments. The second table lists the five hottest submarkets in the Greater Houston area. There are a total of 39 submarkets, and the ranking is based on the best combination of rental rate growth and absorption over the past three months. The third table distributes and analyzes concessions (specials) by classification. Concessions generally are represented by three types of specials: move-in, months free or floor plans. The effect of these specials is captured and prorated over a lease term to arrive at a percentage reduction in market or street rents.


Dallas/Ft. Worth

San Antonio


Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

93.3% $966/mo. 111.2¢/sq.ft./mo. 869 sq.ft.

90.6% $867/mo. 102.6¢/sq.ft./mo. 845 sq.ft.

92.3% $1,133/mo. 130.1¢/sq.ft./mo. 871 sq.ft.

Past 12 Months: 8.4% rental rate growth 19,219 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: 5.5% rental rate growth 4,717 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: 7.4% rental rate growth 8,788 units absorbed

Operating Supply: 2,809 communities 643,131 units

Operating Supply: 817 communities 169,521 units

Operating Supply: 845 communities 193,042 units


ApartmentData.com has been providing apartment data and marketing products since 1986. ApartmentData.com covers Texas’ four largest metro areas and provides real-time access for property specific information, market surveys and historic submarket data for more than 1.3 million apartment units. For more information, contact Bruce McClenny at 800-595-8730. © 2016 ApartmentData.com January 2016



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Back Page

with News from around the COMMUNITY

HAA Food Drive HAA members, properties and volunteers made the holidays a whole lot brighter for people and pets in 2015, collecting and delivering food to the Channel 13 Studios for their “Share Your Christmas” food drive. Thanks to Camp Construction Services and Cotton Commercial for being our drop-off locations, as well as packing, picking up and delivering food to the studio. The Houston Apartment Association is proud to support area food banks with food and financial donations on behalf of apartment industry professionals. Check next month’s issue for a list of participating companies, properties and individuals.

ONLINE STATISTICS for the Houston Apartment Association Website and Social Media www.haaonline.org Total visits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14,464 Visitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,099 Most visited pages: 1. Jobline Board 2. Rental Credit Reporting 3. Rental Owner Complaint Form



January 2016

HAA Jobline Apply button cicks . . . . . . . . . .3,733 Job postings for the month . . .86 Resume postings . . . . . . . . . . . . .214 Job seeker signups . . . . . . . . . . . .93

Twitter @HAAOnline www.twitter.com Followers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,809

Facebook http://tinyurl.com/2ae7gnq

Houston Apartment Association Group members . . . . . . . . . . . .1,729

Linkedin http://tinyurl.com/2667ppr Houston Apartment Association Group followers . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,276


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Houston Apartment Association 4810 Westway Park Blvd. Houston, Texas 77041

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