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ABODE e r a We THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

www.haaonline.org

l a i t n e s Es May 2020

essential ne of the o r e b to ud show you sing is pro rn how you can u o h y il Multifam ee Page 14 to lea s. S industrie ntial. eing esse b in e d ri p

#multifamilystrong


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CONTENTS May 2020

ON THE COVER

FEATURES & PHOTOS

14

14 We are Essential – Show your pride in being essential in the June ABODE.

We are Essential – Multifamily housing is proud to be one of the essential industries. See Page 14 to learn how you can show your pride in being essential for the June ABODE. COVID-19 information can be found throughout this issue. Cover image © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

24 On the Scene – Photos from NAA Advocate. 32 On the Scene – Photos from the ACES Lunch. 34 How to Lead During a Pandemic – Sensible advice during a chaotic time. 38 Working as an Essential Employee – Here are some tips from professionals with experience working in times of crisis. 42 Communication and Engagement with Residents During COVID-19 – How to communicate with and engage your residents during a pandemic. Also included are fun activities for your residents to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. 46 Protecting Apartment Communities Amid COVID-19 – Learn how to protect yourself, your team and your residents from COVID-19. 48 Operating During the COVID-19 Crisis: Communicate with Your Peers – A weekly phone call brings onsite staff together to address COVID-19 challenges. 50 The Basic Secrets of Success – It’s the little things that matter most to people.

COLUMNS & MONTHLY UPDATES 7 President’s Corner – Discussing the coronavirus at press time. 8 Patron of the Month – Meet and support Craven Carpet. 9 Legislative Update – HAA is active at the local, state and federal levels during the pandemic. 11 It’s The Law – COVID-19 liability in the apartment industry. 20 Calendar – HAA’s schedule of events for the coming months. 26 NAA Update – Next Steps: What owners and operators should consider. 28 On the Road with HAA – Photos from the Outlying Redbook Seminars. 64 Go-Getters – Membership: Engage! 67 Welcome Mat – Find out about the newest HAA members. 68 The Ambassador ONE Society – Essential suppliers at work. 70 Portfolio Changes and In The News – Property updates and 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.

54 All-Star FOCUS – During the COVID-19 pandemic, staying focused will get us through. 56 Your Role in Teamwork – Communication – The third article in a follow-up series on Debbie Phillips’ four cornerstones for effective teamwork. 60 Hurricane Season: What to Do Before Disaster Strikes – With hurricane season around the corner, learn how to prepare for property damage with these steps that will ensure maximum recovery. 72 60 Years – The history of the Houston Apartment Association’s membership recruitment.

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

www.haaonline.org

May 2020

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OFFICERS AND ASSOCIATION LEADERSHIP JOHN BORIACK President-Elect

TINA CAVACO Vice President at Large

CLAY HICKS President

SCOTT DOUGLAS Vice President at Large

STEPHANIE GRAVES Vice President at Large CHRISTY RODRIGUEZ Secretary/Treasurer SHELLEY WATSON Vice President at Large

HOWARD BOOKSTAFF General Counsel

JEFF HALL Executive VP BOARD OF DIRECTORS Clay Hicks President Starla Turnbo Immediate Past President Mack Armstrong Jeff Blevins, CAS Jill Bounds, CAM Michelle Bridges, CAS Kyle Brown Joseph Bryson, CAM, IROP John Boriack Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton Michelle Croasmun Derek DeVries, CAS Ian Douglas Scott Douglas Gina Erwin Tamara Foster Israel Garza, CAS Diane Gilbert Monica Gracia Stephanie Graves Ira Gross, CAPS Bryan Head, CAM Melissa Herrera Deborah Holcombe Crystal Jackson, CAM, CAPS Debbie Kelm Jacob Kunath, CAS Barby Lake Laura Lestus, CAS David Lindley, CAS Robert Lopes, NALP, CAM, CAPS Sonia Lopez, CAM, CAPS Betsy Marshall, CAM, CAPS Kristin McLaughlin, CASE Candis Mohr, CAS Carlos Neto Dean O’Kelley, CAS Jenifer Paneral Mark Park, CAS Velissa Parmer Michelle Pawelek Loyal Proffitt Jackie Rhone Christy Rodriguez Kelly Scott Kurt Seidel Kelley Suess Debbie Sulzer Dana Tucker Shelley Watson Quintina Willis, CAM Tracie Yoder, CAPS

DIRECTORS EMERITUS Josh Allen Ken Bohan Gary Blumberg Kathy Clem Jack Dinerstein Jenard Gross Darlene Guidry David Hargrove Alison Hall Larry Hill Stacy Hunt Hap Hunnicutt David Jones Mel Kieke Mike Koch Dick LaMarche Tim Myers P David Onanian John Ridgway Kim Small Eileen Subinsky Steve Sweet Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley H J Tollett, Jr. Pat Tollett Vic Vacek, Jr. Beth Van Winkle Jerry Winograd ADVISORY DIRECTORS Billy Griffin Manu Gupta Cesar Lima Mary Lawler Patrick Magnuson Bruce McClenny Angelee Kumar Parikh Nikki Sekunda Penny Sprang Theri Tinelli Tony Whitaker GENERAL COUNSEL EMERITUS Joe Bax HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS Claude Arnold Kenn Brown Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton 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 H.P. Paul Young Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL OFFICERS Laura Lestus, CAS, President The Liberty Group David Lindley, CAS, Vice President FSI Construction Derek DeVries, CAS, Secretary Camp Construction Services Candis Mohr, CAS, Treasurer AAA Plumbers Jacob Kunath, CAS, Immediate Past President Century A/C Supply MEMBERS Marivel Bownds, CAS, Valet Living Dixie Caldwell, CAS, The Liberty Group Shaun Callaway, CAS, Earthworks Peggy Charles, CASE, Fidus Construction Services Neal Conant, CAS, Gemstar Construction Development Sean Cunningham, CAS, Flooring Warehouse Deborah DeRouen, CAS, Designs By Holmes Clark Gregg, CAS, Fidus Construction Dan James, CAS, Redevelopment Services Debra Knight, CAS, Fidus Construction Services Stephanie Krop, CASE, Poolsure Liz Levins, CAS, Rasa Floors Tracey Moore, CAS, Flooring Warehouse Karen Nelsen, CAS ALN Apartment Data

Matthew Nunn, CAS, Camp Construction Services Doug Oehl, CAS. Flooring Warehouse Joseph Rodriguez, CAS, The Urban Foresters Nikki Sekunda, CAS, The Liberty Group Blaise Spitaleri, CAS, Gemstar Construction Development Blake Subinsky, CAS, HD Supply Mat Tilley, CAS, WeDoTrash Alan Young, CAS, Dixie Carpet Installations PATRON MEMBERS 1961 CSC ServiceWorks 1986 Craven Carpet 1994 AAA Plumbers 1996 Houston Planned Energy Systems 1997 RentPath 1999 FSI Construction Inc. 2003 Cotton Commercial USA Inc. Dixie Carpet Installations 2006 Maintenance Supply Headquaters 2009 Camp Construction Services 2013 Interior Logic Group Property Services 2018 Apartments.com

SPONSOR MEMBERS 1968 Century A/C Supply Hoover Slovacek LLP Reliant 1973 Brady Chapman Holland & Assoc CORT Furniture 1974 Mueller Water Conditioning 1976 Great American Business Products 1977 Webb Pest Control 1978 The Liberty Group 1981 AmRent Marvin F Poer & Company 1983 Sherwin Williams Company 1984 RENCON 1985 Gemstar Construction Development Inc 1986 ApartmentData.com 1988 W Partnership 1992 Alexander-Rose Associates Saint Clair & Sons Inc 1998 AAA Staffing Ltd CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions 2000 Moveforfree.com Inc Pura Flo Corporation 2001 Apartment Life Inc 2002 American Fire Systems Southwest Painting Contractors Inc 2003 Sign-Ups & Banners 2005 Swain & Baldwin Insurance & Risk Management United Protective Services 2006 Bell’s Laundries CAD Restoration Services DoodyCalls Lopez Carpet Care & Painting Masonry Solutions Inc Roto-Rooter Services Co TXU Energy Multifamily Services Valet Living 2008 CRE Business Solutions LLC Flavor Finish Resurfacing HARCO Insurance Services Texas Turf Management 2009 Contractors Inc Moen Inc Redevelopment Services Storm Maintenance & Monitoring 2010 ALN Apartment Data Inc Belfor Property Restoration Believe, Achieve and Conquer, LLC Certified Termite and Pest Control FTK Construction Services 2011 Fantastic Floors Infinite Energy Inc Parking Management Company/PMC Towing 2012 ABC Supply Co Inc Accent Sign & Awning Co BGE/Brown & Gay Engineers Cantrell McCulloch Inc EnviroSmart Multifamily Pest Solutions Giordano Construction Inc Go-Staff Inc Maldonado Nursery & Landscaping Inc Nationwide Eviction Texas Concrete Professional Company 2013 ACTIV Answer by Audio Images Arbor Contract Carpet Inc ASAP Steamers Carpet Cleaning Comcast Gambit Construction Outdoor Elements Pool Works LLC Tidal Renovations LLC 2014 Adventure Playground Systems Inc Chadwell Supply Classic Same Day Blinds J National Jonah Digital Agency MX2 Commercial Paving Pathfinder Insurance Group Ram Jack Foundation Solutions Texas Apartment Pool Services WCA Waste Corporation

Zillow Rentals 2015 America Outdoor Furniture ASAP Personnel Inc BSI Cameras Onsite DeNyse Companies Gateman Inc Infinity Power Partners Kathy Andrews Interiors Notifii LLC Pace Mechanical Services The Allshouse Group LLC The Lane Law Firm Wilsonart 2016 Action Window Coverings Bath Fitter Cinch – Cabinet Refacing Kits Citi Fence & Concrete E-Systems Pest Management Inc Ecolo Environmental Inc Embark Services Fidus Construction Services Fun Abounds Green City Security LLC Guardian Chimney Sweep Halo Doors Inc JLL Johnstone Supply KONE Leah McVeigh Design and Consulting Liquid Waste Solutions Paul Davis Restoration North Houston RAM Construction Sparkle Wash Pressure Washing Texas Southwest Floors Inc WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems WellKept Whitmans Contracting and Roofing 2017 ACT Security Group All About Doody Pet Solutions LLC All American Mailboxes of Houston Inc Allegion BioTechs Crime & Trauma Scene Cleaning Cano Electric Inc Classic Towing Continental Adjusters Inc Cypress Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc Designs by Holmes Fast Forward Services LLC Frost Insurance Agency General Recon, LLC Lithotech Printed Products/Forms Center McMahan's Flooring Inc MPS Direct Norman Construction NorthMarq Capital On Site Towing LLC PCS Creative Surface SEAL Security Solutions LLC Secure Insurance Texas Engineered Roofing & General Contracting USA Patrol Division Vima Decor Willbanks & Associates Inc 2018 A Homestead Specialist LLC AAdvantage Laundry Systems Apartment Lines Archcon Arizona Tile Benefits 4 Rent Brannan Designs LLC Architecture & Interior Design CashFlow Pros LLC Centex Construction Construction ECO Services Featherston Sign Partners Finish Factory Inc Green Garbology Guardian Gutters Higginbotham Kastle Systems Ledge Lounger Matrix Construction Services Merricks Company O'Conor, Mason & Bone PC Penco Access Control PERQ LLC Phoenix Roofing & Construction Inc Platinum Enterprises LLC Preventive Pest Control Quatro Tax LLC Rent Debt Automated Collections RG Miller Engineers Saifee Signs & Graphics Signal 88 Security Surface Designers Remodeling Inc Swadley Roof Systems LLC Texas Steam - Laars Heating Systems Tropical Roofing Products Wildlife Removal Experts 2019 3 Men Movers A + Infinity Blue Outdoors, AAA Texas Absolute Construction LLC

Action Towing Inc ACUTRAQ Background Screening, Inc Advance LED Solution AmCap Insurance Anchor Roofing Inc Andrews Myers PC AppFolio ARC Solutions Atom4 Security Camera & Electronics August & Suttles Contractors Bio-One Houston South Builders Direct Depot Classic Touch Painting CLS Technology Inc Consolidated Communications Cougar USA CSI LED & Hardware D.A.M. Remodeling Group Dal-Tile Corporation DNM Contracting Inc Door Clearance Center Expertz Construction & Renovation LLC Granite Surfaces of Texas Green Faubourg Lawn & Landscaping LLC H.S. Services Harding & Carbone Inc Heritage Construction Co Hive Technology Howitzer Building Engineers Hurtado Roofing & Construction IGD Plumbing LLC In Service Security LLC Interior Logic Group Property Services IronEdge Group ITWS LLC J and B Carpet Services Kerely Towing Solutions King's Granite and Marble Knight Restoration Services, Ledtech Lexington Group International LP Building Solutions: Louisiana-Pacific Corporation LSR Multifamily Max Digital Printing McKenzie Drake Corporate Housing Morris Contracting Nations Roof Houston LLC Northwest Construction Group NSJ Painting & Flooring OdorDeFence/BugDeFence One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating Onesource Moving Onyx Restoration LLC Opiniion PHR A/C & Heating Pool Knights Prime Texas Metal Roofs Property Services Quick Roofing Reliable Roofing Service Master by Century Signal 88 Security of The Woodlands & East Houston Slime Busters Inc Smart Water Valve SOS-ASAP Softwashing Strata Roofing and Construction LLC Streamline Construction Houston LLC Structural Concrete Systems, LLC Surface Experts League City Texas Crime Prevention Agency Texas Management Group The Playwell Group Inc Three Amigos Texas LLC Turnage & Associates US Multifamily LLC Waterproof Solutions Winhill Advisors Woodlands Water Restoration YottaReal 2020 ACM Contractors of Texas Ages Consulting, LLC dba Alternative Green Energy Solutions AM Conservation Group Electric Eel Mfg Everest Siding and Windows Floodproofing.com Hillco Building Service Imperial Hospitality and Security Services, Inc JAK Environmental, LLC DBA: Legacy Power Washing & Graffiti Removal On-Site Propety Services RCPS of Texas Resto Medic Royal Painting & Remodeling LLC Wayfinder Tax Relief LLC Wickley Interactive


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ABODE

MAY 2020 I VOLUME 43, ISSUE 5 Executive Vice President and Publisher JEFF HALL, CAE jhall@haaonline.org EDITORIAL AND DESIGN STAFF Director of Publications and Design DEBORAH NIX dnix@haaonline.org Managing Editor MORGAN TAYLOR mtaylor@haaonline.org ADVERTISING Vice President of Membership and Marketing AMANDA SHERBONDY, CAE asherbondy@haaonline.org CONTRIBUTING STAFF Vice President and General Manager SUSAN HINKLEY, CAE shinkley@haaonline.org Vice President of Professional Development EMILY HILTON, CPP, CAE ehilton@haaonline.org Vice President of Public Affairs ANDY TEAS, CAE ateas@haaonline.org Vice President of Finance 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 LAUREN RAGIN, CMP lragin@haaonline.org Director of Rental Credit Reporting TINA DEFIORE tdefiore@haaonline.org Assistant Vice President – Outreach LAUREN TURNER, CAE, CMP lturner@haaonline.org Public Affairs Manager ALPA PATEL apatel@haaonline.org Education and Meetings Coordinator KAREN MITCHELL kmitchell@haaonline.org Membership and Marketing Manager KAYLON NEWCOMB knewcomb@haaonline.org Membership Engagement Assist. MONSERRAT BUFFINGTON mbuffington@haaonline.org Webmaster and IT Specialist WILL ALFARO walfaro@haaonline.org PRINTER TGI PRINTED www.tgiprinted.com

HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION COMMITTEES COMMITTEE CHAIR STAFF ADVISOR Executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CLAY HICKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Program & Budget . . . . . . . . . . . .JOHN BORIACK . . . . . . . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Nominating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .STARLA TURNBO . . . . . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MICHELLE PAWELEK . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Investment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CHRISTY RODRIGUEZ . . . . . .JEFF HALL Fair Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MACK ARMSTRONG . . . . . . .JEFF HALL By-Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .KYLE BROWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Past Presidents Council . . . . . . .KATHY CLEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JEFF HALL Leadership Development . . . . .ALISON HALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SUSAN HINKLEY Product Service Council . . . . . . .LAURA LESTUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SUSAN HINKLEY Community Outreach . . . . . . . .TRACIE YODER . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SUSAN HINKLEY Legislative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JOHN BORIACK . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANDY TEAS HAA Political Action Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .STACY HUNT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANDY TEAS Multifamily Fire Safety Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JOHN BORIACK . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANDY TEAS Developers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .TODD TRIGGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANDY TEAS Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .TERRI CLIFTON . . . . . . . . . . . . .AMANDA SHERBONDY Ambassador ONE Society . . . .MARIVEL BOWNDS/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .RYAN WEIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AMANDA SHERBONDY 2020 Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DAVID LINDLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . .AMANDA SHERBONDY Independent Rental Owners . .STEPHANIE BRYSON . . . . . . .AMANDA SHERBONDY Education Advisory Council . . .MONICA GRACIA/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BETSY MARSHALL . . . . . . . . . .EMILY HILTON Career/Community Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PENNY SPRANG . . . . . . . . . . . .EMILY HILTON NEXT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PATRICK MAGNUSON/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NIKKI SEKUNDA . . . . . . . . . . . .EMILY HILTON Strategic Outreach . . . . . . . . . . . .CHRISTY RODRIGUEZ . . . . . .LAUREN TURNER Century Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CANDIS MOHR . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ALPA PATEL PAC Fundraising . . . . . . . . . . . . . .GARY BLUMBERG . . . . . . . . . .ALPA PATEL Golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MARK PARK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ALPA PATEL Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . .NORMA ALVEAR/ . . . . . . . . . . .ALPA PATEL/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MARILYN ROMERO . . . . . . . . .LAUREN WOLFSON HAF Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DEBBIE ANDREOZZI/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MARK PARK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LAUREN WOLFSON Resident Relations Appeals . . .DARLENE GUIDRY . . . . . . . . . .MATILDE LUNA Resident Relations A . . . . . . . . . .BEVERLY NORRIS . . . . . . . . . . .MATILDE LUNA Resident Relations B . . . . . . . . . .KEVIN HARTMAN . . . . . . . . . . .MATILDE LUNA Property Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SUSAN DEAR/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CRYSTAL JACKSON . . . . . . . .TINA DEFIORE IT Task Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .JOE BRYSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ART EIDMAN 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. 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, MAY 2020, VOLUME 43, ISSUE 5 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 © 2020 by HAA. Periodicals Postage Paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ABODE, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041.

www.haaonline.org

May 2020

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VISI N

NEW DATE! JULY 23 Join Conference and Expo Chairs David Lindley, FSI Construction Inc., and Monica Gracia, Barvin, and sharpen your vision at NRG Center.

HAA 2020 Education Conference & Expo NEW DATE! Thursday, July 23 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. NRG Center, Hall C All Stars Registration opens at 8 a.m. Expo Show Floor opens at 1:30 p.m. Don’t miss the

Apartment All Stars!

9 a.m. – Coffee Bar and Registration 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Program

Luncheon for All Stars Attendees 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Early Bird pricing available May 4: $135 $175 after May 4 Special pricing for NAA Credential holders (must be current) $105

JULY 23

NRG

Visit www.haaexpo.org for more information and to register

Expo Show Hours 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Over 250 Exhibitors!

$3,000 in Cash Prizes! Free professional headshots available on the show floor during Expo show hours. Presented by HAA NEXT

Expo only is FREE for all management personnel. No registration required. Non-exhibiting suppliers are not admitted. NRG Parking: $15 CASH ONLY

#haaexpo2020 www.haaexpo.org


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Letter from the President

By CLAY HICKS, 2020 HAA President

WELL, IT’S BEEN FOUR WEEKS SINCE I LAST WROTE A PRESIDENT’S COLUMN, WHEN I WAS ON A PLANE RETURNING HOME FROM A BUSINESS TRIP. Back then, flying was still normal. My, how things have changed. Even though people were still flying, things were visibly starting to change, and it was only the beginning. Back then, seeing someone wear a mask was a little odd, and you almost assumed they had the virus, because why else would you wear a mask in public? Fast forward four weeks, to today, and I have a mask for each member of my family, and I wear a mask any time I go out in public. The perception of a mask almost has the opposite affect now. It seems odd if someone isn’t wearing a mask! And, traveling on an airplane right now? No, thank you. You know what else has changed that has proved to be interesting? The way we do business. Yes, the first few weeks were clunky as we all learned how to work remotely. It’s been interesting what we’ve had to relearn or learn for the first time – talking to each other on the phone again, realizing the little camera on our computers has a purpose, logging into a Zoom conference call, realizing you should probably clean up the background behind you, using a virtual background so you don’t have to clean up, teaching your children (or pets) they can’t yell (or bark) or run behind you when you’re on a Zoom call or my favorite, waiting for someone else to finish speaking before they speak. Conversation courtesy is making a comeback because of the way we have to communicate now. I’m confident we are going to be a better and more efficient organization as a result of all of this. Our first board meeting since this whole thing began was set for April 2. I felt it was important to continue to operate as normal as possible, so we decided to set it up as a Zoom meeting. So, on Thursday, April 2, I led the first ever Zoom HAA board meeting. People were just starting to use video conferencing, so I thought it would be a train wreck, but you know what? I think it was the smoothest, most efficient board meeting we’ve ever had. And you know what else? It was the highest attended board meeting we’ve had since I’ve been around. Amazing how that happens. Everyone was engaged, only speaking when necessary, using the chat box to discuss side topics or to ask a question to discuss later in the meeting, etc. We made it easy for people to be part of it, we set up guidelines and parameters and people showed up and participated like I’ve never seen before. In many ways, we are being forced out of our comfort zones right now, which will make us a better organization going forward. I’m excited to see everyone in person at the next board meeting we can do, but I’m also excited about the possibilities Zoom could open for us in the future. For board meetings and even committee meetings – oh, the committee meetings. Most committee leaders have a hard time scheduling a time and date that works for everyone’s busy schedules to meet at the HAA office. Well, not anymore. Hello, Zoom committee meetings. Better participation equals better committees. Yes, there are a lot of challenges we are facing right now during these unsettling times, but there are great things that are going to come out of this. The way we communicate and how we work with each other are a couple of them, I believe. So, let’s learn and “Make It Better.”

www.haaonline.org

May 2020

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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

HAA Member since 1997

Cotton Commercial USA Inc.

Interior Logic Group Property Services

HAA Member since 1982

Maintenance Supply Headquarters HAA Member since 2006

CSC ServiceWorks

HAA Member since 1961

Craven Carpet

HAA Member since 1986

Camp Construction Services

HAA Member since 1994

May Patron of the Month

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ABODE

May 2020

Apartments.com

HAA Member since 1978

HAA Member since 1985

AAA Plumbers

HAA Member since 1984

FSI Construction Inc.

HAA Member since 1999

Dixie Carpet Installations

HAA Member since 1987

RentPath

HAA Member since 1979

www.haaonline.org


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Legislative Update

By JOHN BORIACK, HAA Legislative Chair, with ANDY TEAS, CAE, Vice President of Public Affairs

COVID-19 – KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES HAA is active at the local, state and federal levels during the pandemic.

NOBODY HAS BEEN

through anything quite like the current coronavirus crisis. Houston Apartment Association members have been through unexpected challenges before – the oil bust of the 1980s, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey just to name a few – but nothing quite like this. Crises always create legislative challenges. Here’s a brief recap of our key issues over the last several weeks and a preview of what may lie ahead. Eviction Moratoriums As the pandemic began, federal, state and local officials and activists began calling for a moratorium on evictions. This created a problem on several fronts. First, no one ever wants to evict a resident. Eviction is a last resort – the only way an owner can reclaim possession of a unit when a resident violates their lease and the situation can’t be resolved. Most, but not all evictions, are for nonpayment of rent. Many other evictions, though, are for behavior issues that can make a resident a serious threat to other residents or to the property staff. The most important part of a restriction on evictions was to make sure that evictions for dangerous or criminal behavior would be able to continue as before. With HAA’s input, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo included this important exception in the eviction moratorium agreement arranged with the county’s 16 justices of the peace. At the urging of the Texas Apartment Association, this exception was repeated the next day in a statewide eviction moratorium issued by the Texas Supreme Court. The eviction moratorium delays evictions for nonpayment of rent trials for weeks or even months, but evictions can still be filed for nonpayment of rent. Continuing eviction filing for nonpayment of rent was of secondary importance for several reasons. First, many organizawww.haaonline.org

tions that provide rental assistance require proof that a resident is being evicted before that person is eligible for assistance. An order preventing notices to vacate and eviction filings would have caused the unanticipated consequence of blocked rental assistance for a lot of Houstonians. Second, the moratorium will not last forever. Courts will have an easier time returning if they don’t have to deal with weeks or months of cases filed the day the moratorium lifts. At press time, the industry is working with the Texas Supreme Court to create a way for justice of the peace courts to resume nonpayment eviction cases in a fair and orderly way when the time comes. Many issues regarding service of process to residents, trial scheduling and other matters will be addressed. Most of all, we need to help public policymakers realize that setting residents up to be evicted in the future is not a good solution. Short-term rental assistance for residents who need it is the key. Stay Home Orders The next major issue for the industry involved stay-at-home orders issued by local governments to “flatten the curve,” reducing the opportunity for social interaction that could spread the virus and increase the velocity of the pandemic. Judge Hidalgo quickly worked on an order that closed all “non-essential” businesses and required employees to stay home. Apartment properties are always essential, and onsite staff are more essential than ever during a time like this, when Houstonians are spending more time in their apartments than ever before. Making sure apartment workers would be classified as “essential” was our industry’s next major challenge. With input from HAA, Harris County’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order specifically listed apartment workers as essential, and orders from the surrounding counties all followed suit with similar language.

HAA monitored orders in all area counties and provided online certificates for apartment employees and prospective residents who might be seeking to lease an apartment – also an essential activity during the crisis. Adverse Government Action The top priority in government affairs is to play defense. In any crisis, well-meaning people demand action without thinking through the unintended consequences. Local governments in several Texas cities quickly discussed antiapartment initiatives that created more harm than good. Houston is blessed with a more forward thinking, business-friendly mayor and a city council that tends to think before they act, which made our job much easier. Calls for action that would have put housing providers out of business were treated politely but uniformly rejected by local leaders and those in surrounding cities and counties. Federal Stimulus Speaking of well-meaning policymakers, the U.S. Congress passed a sweeping 800-page stimulus bill in late March that contained significant financial resources that were badly needed, but which also had serious problems. In coordination with the National Apartment Association, HAA members are calling for corrective measures in the “phase four” stimulus bill to fix a disconnect between a well-intentioned eviction moratorium that was supposed to be tied to mortgage forbearance for properties with various types of federal funding, and to make sure housing providers could take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program for their employees. If this issue hasn’t already been resolved by the time you read this article, look for important action alert emails asking you to contact your congressman about fixing these critical issues.

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It’s the Law

By HOWARD BOOKSTAFF, Hoover Slovacek LLP , HAA General Counsel

COVID-19 LIABILITY IN THE APARTMENT INDUSTRY A tangled web may offer some answers.

AS WE CONTINUE

to deal with COVID-19, issues may come up with respect to whether an owner is responsible for residents getting sick at properties. The Supreme Court of Texas, in a case styled, Homer Hillis v. Henry McCall, delivered an opinion March 13 involving a brown-recluse spider bite that may provide some insight into what a court would do with a case regarding the virus. Facts: Hillis owned a bed-and-breakfast and a neighboring cabin in Fredericksburg, Texas. In 2014, Hillis leased the neighboring cabin to McCall. In December 2014, McCall went to the B&B at Hillis’ request to check the dishwasher and to investigate if the sink was leaking. While checking under the sink, McCall was bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider, which is found in several states, including Texas. Before he was bitten, McCall had observed spiders in both the cabin and the B&B on several occasions and had notified Hillis about the general presence of spiders in the B&B. According to Hillis, when McCall reported issues with insects or spiders, Hillis would pass along the information to the housekeeper, who prepared the B&B for guests. Although Hillis knew brown recluses lived in that part of Texas, neither Hillis nor McCall had any personal knowledge of the presence of brown recluse spiders on the property or in the immediate area. The Suit: McCall sued Hillis for negligence under a premises liability theory alleging that: (i) the presence of brown recluse spiders on the property constituted an unreasonably dangerous condition; (ii) Hillis knew or should www.haaonline.org

have known of the condiThe Supreme Court of Texas, in a case styled, tion; (iii) Hillis owed McCall a duty to adequately warn Homer Hillis v. Henry McCall, delivered an opinion him of the condition or March 13 involving a brown-recluse spider bite that make the property safe; (iv) may provide some insight into what a court Hillis breached that duty; would do with a case regarding the virus. and (v) McCall suffered damages as a result. ous conditions of which the landowner is, or Hillis filed a motion for summary judgreasonably should be, aware but the invitee ment arguing that under the long-standing is not.” In line with this rule, the duty does doctrine of ferae naturae, he owed no duty to not extend to warning the invitee of hazards McCall with respect to indigenous wild anithat are open and obvious. mals that Hillis had neither introduced nor Notwithstanding the general rule regardharbored on the property. ing the duty an owner owes to invitees, the The trial court granted Hillis’ motion for court approached the scope of the duty difsummary judgment. McCall appealed. The ferently in certain circumstances. With cerCourt of Appeals reversed, concluding that tain exceptions, an owner generally owes no McCall was bitten by a spider in an artificial duty to protect invitees from wild animals on structure and Hillis knew or should have the owner’s property. Under the long-standknown of an unreasonable risk of harm posed by the spiders inside the B&B. ing doctrine ferae naturae, such a duty does not exist “unless the landowner actually rePremises Liability v. Ferae Naturae: duced indigenous wild animals to [his] posThe case was appealed to the Supreme session or control,” “introduced indigenous Court to consider whether Hillis was liable. animals into the area,” or affirmatively “atThe court stated that a claim against a proptracted the animals to the property.” erty owner for injury caused by a condition The reasoning underlying the ferae natuof real property generally sounds in premises rae doctrine is that wild animals “exist liability. When the claim is based on the throughout nature” and are “generally not property owner’s negligence, the threshold predictable or controllable.” In turn, the question is whether the owner owed a duty to mere fact that an indigenous wild animal has the injured person. The existence of a duty is crossed a landowner’s property line does not a question of law for the court to decide from make the landowner better able to protect an the facts surrounding the occurrence at invitee than the invitee can protect himself. issue. The duties owed by a landowner in a Under ordinary circumstances, Texas premises-liability case depend upon the role landowners do not have a duty to warn their of the person injured on the premises. guest about the presence and behavior patGenerally, when the injured person qualiterns of every species of indigenous wild anifies as an invitee (as McCall did), the mals and plants which pose a potential landowner owes a “duty to make safe or warn threat to a person’s safety. The risk and foreagainst any concealed, unreasonably dangerseeability of injury do not outweigh the seMay 2020

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vere burden and potential consequences of imposing a general duty on a landowner with respect to indigenous wild animals in their natural habitat. The Court’s Conclusion: The court held Hillis owed McCall no duty as a matter of law, notwithstanding the fact that the injury occurred inside the B&B. The court stated that McCall and Hillis had identical actual knowledge of the presence of spiders on the property. Both knew they had been seen in the B&B periodically. Neither knew of the presence of brown recluses or other types of venomous spiders. Although McCall argued that Hillis should have warned him that the spiders McCall himself had seen could be venomous, the court stated that it was common knowledge that some spiders are venomous and other are harmless. The court refused to impose a duty on a landowner to warn an invitee about something invitee already knows. What Can We Learn? One can draw similarities between a wild animal and COVID-19, particularly when the animal is as small and often undetectable as

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a brown recluse. Hills v. McCall sheds some light on how Although McCall argued that Hillis should have a court might view an owner’s warned him that the spiders McCall himself had seen liability against claims of recould be venomous, the court stated that it was comsponsibility if a resident gets mon knowledge that some spiders are venomous and sick while at home in an other are harmless. The court refused to impose a apartment. Consider the following: duty on a landowner to warn an invitee about 1. The virus can be viewed something invitee already knows. similar to a wild animal. The Supreme Court’s reasoning seems just as applicable when substituting tracting a virus] may occur indoors does the word virus or COVID-19 in place of refernot amount to an unreasonable risk of ences to wild or dangerous animals: harm imposing a duty on the property • “The reasoning underlying this docowner to guard against or warn of this fact trine is that [viruses] ‘exist throughout naof life.” ture’ and are ‘generally not controllable.” • Further, McCall and Hillis had identical • “In turn, the mere fact that [COVID-19] actual knowledge of the presence of crossed a landowner’s property line does [COVID-19] on the property. “We will NOT not make the landowner better able to proimpose a duty on a landowner to warn an tect an invitee than the invitee is to protect invitee about something that the invitee alhimself.” ready knows.” 2. The court stated that the owner’s legal • “The risk and foreseeability of injury do duty does not extend to warning the invitee not outweigh the severe burden and potenof hazards that the invitee already knows tial consequences of imposing a general about or which are open and obvious. There duty on a landowner with respect to is no one (on earth!) that could seriously [COVID-19].” / See Law, Page 63 • “The ever-present possibility that [con-

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Show the world you are proud to be essential in ABODE!

To be a part of the June ABODE, submit photos of you and your team working to provide support to residents, coworkers and the community amid COVID-19. Email your photos and stories to comm@haaonline.org. Note: Photos for ABODE need to be large, high-definition images from your phone or camera. Sorry, we cannot use images posted on Facebook or social media, only the original images.

The deadline for publication is Tuesday, May 12.

e r a We

l a i t n e s s E #multifamilystrong


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Nominate your stars! T

The event has been

T

RESCHEDULED

Property awards will be based on size, age and style of the property.

to November 13

T

Don’t miss the opportunity to nominate your best and brightest properties and people!

T

T T

Individual awards are in 14 categories based on nominations made by management company executives. supervisors, coworkers , vendors and friends.

Nominate individuals online at www.haaonline.org/honors/nominations Nominate properties online at www.haaonline.org/honors/honorsform.aspx See links above for nomination forms and more information, including category breakdowns and award criteria.


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`

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Business is Better

`

with Tacos!

o c a T s ’ Let ur o t u o ‘b ! s r o s n Spo

` Events on the menu include the Dinerstein Golf Tournament, Chili Fest, Installation Gala, State of the Industry Breakfast, Avenue Programs, HAA 60th Anniversary Program and a whole line-up of education sessions and seminars.

We’ve missed going out for Mexican food and margs, so come fiesta with us, have some festive fare and get back to business!

*

Sponsorship is a great way to gain recognition for your company, personnel, products and services. By sponsoring an event, your company gains immediate name recognition and credibility with decisionmakers. We sell sponsorships of our events and meetings through a live auction. You are able to determine the value of an event in a live and entertaining auction setting.

` `

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If you have neve ppetizer? Need an a fore, come early to

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ion ed Prokop Educat HAF Dinerstein Re Road ay Cl f of . vd Bl ay Park Center, 4810 Westw ay 8

just east of Beltw

p.m. Auction 101: 2:30 m. ing Lots Open: 3 p. Registration/Draw e: 3:45 p.m. Drawing Lots clos ns: 4 p.m. Live Auction begi Sherbondy at RSVP to Amanda nline.org asherbondy@haao

auctions be attended one of our t how to bid, at 2:30 p.m. to find ou on Auction 101 sessi your sponsohip. s on how to improve tip d an le sa r fo 's at wh e live auction, If you can't make th ? t ie D A n O the day able until the end of proxy bidding is avail y at nd bo er ail Amanda Sh Monday, June 22! Em . ion at m ne.org for infor asherbondy@haaonli Visit

/sponsor www.haaonline.org available on June 1.

ion program for more details. Auct


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Calendar HAA Education, Events and Meetings SCHEDULE

MAY S M

T

W T

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

F 1 8 15 22 29

S 2 9 16 23 30

JUNE S M 1 7 8 14 15 21 22 28 29

T 2 9 16 23 30

W 3 10 17 24

T 4 11 18 25

F 5 12 19 26

S 6 13 20 27

MAY 1

7

14

25

IROC Breakfast Friday, May 1 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sponsored by CORT Furniture

Blue Star Program Thursday, May 7 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Blue Star Certification Program is a joint effort by the Houston Police Department and the Houston Apartment Association. The May Blue Star meeting will be held at the HAA office. Created for rental properties of all sizes, the program's goal is to help law enforcement officials and the multifamily housing industry work together to effectively reduce criminal activity in rental properties. Register online at www.houstontx.gov/police/multi_fa mily. Please direct questions to officer Leoroy Ferguson at: Leoroy.Ferguson@houstonpolice.org. Sponsored by On Site Towing and SentriForce

2020 Education Conference and Expo RESCHEDULED: Thursday, July 23 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. NRG Center, Hall C 1 NRG Park, 77054 Registration and payment are required for the education conference. There is no pre-registration or fees required to attend the expo (tradeshow). *Non-exhibiting vendors/suppliers are not permitted to attend.* See Pages 22 and 23 to view the list of sponsors and for more information.

HAA Office Closed Monday, May 25 HAA will be closed for Memorial Day.

IROC Committee Meeting Friday, May 1 10 a.m.

5

27 Avenues: Marketing – Session 1 “Stop Selling – Start Attracting! The Keys to Relationship Driven Selling,” with Rommel Anacan Wednesday, May 27 8:30 a.m. to noon See Page 18 for details. Sponsored by ALN Apartment Data

een b ve ive. a h ay entat M gCourse through Friday) IROP in e is t r s o t . (Wednesday 6 n e Wednesday, May 27 en Board uMeeting v Education Advisory Committee n J e i . l l May 14 n 8:30 am. to 4:30 p.m. Meeting al eledThursday, – e o 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 Sponsored by On Site Towing and c s a m n i t t NRG Center 10 a.m. PPG Paints a a n c h ss or e 1.NRG Park, 77054 e r v wSponsoredlbylCoreLogic , Education Outreach – d e The Woodlands Region Meeting 28 eSports d of pp8All-Stars n e Challenge w Pasadena POSTPONED: Wednesday,sMay 6 o l a A ost Friday, May 8 e w e “Throwing .Shade: The Secrets of 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 20 n c d o e p n e 9 a.m. to s 2 p.m. Dealing with Difficult People” Due to limited seating, this meeting Certified Pool Operator course – l a s Expo Committee Meeting Tuesday, May 5 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. HAA Expo Committee members only.

u c e e t d s n a e a e Ple r upd as be resch 21 d fo at h an 13 h d w one p t s po

is only open to onsite personnel. This meeting is FREE to attend, but an RSVP is required. Join HAA for a great program and to network with your industry peers. By attending, you have the chance to win a door prize. Bring your questions! Please contact the outreach department at outreach@haaonline.org for questions and to RSVP. Sponsored by Apartments.com New Supplier Member Orientation Wednesday, May 6 3 p.m. Craft Republic 11470 Westheimer, 77042 All new supplier members welcome. Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

Houston Sportsplex 12631 South Main St., 77035 For more information, please contact Susan Hinkley at 713-595-0313 or by email at shinkley@haaonline.org.

Northwest Lunch and Learn POSTPONED: Wednesday, May 13 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. NAM, Second Floor 15702 Bammel Village Drive, 77068 This program is free to attend, but you must RSVP to outreach@haaonline.org in order to guarantee lunch. Join us for a program led by the Harris County Fire Marshal on fire safety updates and tips.

Spanish (two days) Wednesday, May 20 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

with Rommel Anacan CANCELED: Thursday, April 28 8:30 a.m. to noon Sponsored by Century A/C Supply and The Liberty Group

Pearland Region Meeting Thursday, May 21 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to limited seating, this meeting is only open to onsite personnel. This meeting is FREE to attend, but an RSVP is required. Join HAA for a great program and to network with your industry peers. By attending, you have the chance to win a door prize. Bring your questions! Please contact the outreach department at outreach@haaonline.org for questions and to RSVP.

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

Ambassador ONE Society Meeting Wednesday, May 6 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Craft Republic 11470 Westheimer, 77042 Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

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

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www.haaonline.org


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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.

JUNE 1

5

3

Supplier Education Friday, June 5 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

CAS: Supplier Success Monday, June 1 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Class participants will learn the economic impact of the multifamily housing industry, along with understanding the types of ownership, management and financing. Learn how to identify decision makers and how to utilize resources, timing and opportunities to boost your success.

New Supplier Member Orientation Wednesday, June 3 3 p.m. Craft Republic 11470 Westheimer, 77042 All new supplier members welcome. Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details. Ambassador ONE Society Meeting Wednesday, June 3 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Craft Republic 11470 Westheimer, 77042 Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org or details.

4

HAAPAC Luncheon Thursday, June 4 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Program fee: $30 per HAAPAC member; $40 per non-HAAPAC member Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. The program and lunch begin at noon. Contact Alpa at apatel@haaonline.org for registration and details. Sponsored by Ideal Towing HAA NEXT: Mix N Mingle POSTPONED: TBA 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 941 W. 18th St., 77008 Sponsored by Northwest Construction Group

It’s the Law Luncheon POSTPONED: TBA 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join HAA's Legal Counsel, Howard Bookstaff, for lunch and a legal discussion in a casual environment allowing for questions and answers. The topic for this luncheon will be announced at a later time. Sponsored by Matrix Construction Services

9

Leasing 101 (day and a half) Tuesday, June 9 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. An in-depth introduction to the apartment industry for new leasing professionals as well as those individuals looking to learn more about the industry as a career. This one-day program covers topics including: greeting and qualifying the customer; executing the lease contract; overcoming objections and closing techniques; an overview of Fair Housing and more. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate, as well as a listing of placement agencies and management companies that are members of HAA. If you are not working for a member company of HAA, download the registration form at https://www.haaonline.org/uploaded Files/Site_Content/Education/Profess ional_Development/leasing101_2020 .pdf.

10

Introduction to Microsoft Excel TENTATIVE: Wednesday, June 10 8:30 a.m. to noon Learn to conquer your fear of the spreadsheet! This great-for-beginners course offers a detailed look into this multi-faceted, often daunting program.

10

Mix N Mingle Happy Hour: Lake Jackson Wednesday, June 10 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Onsite Personnel: Come meet your fellow industry peers by joining us for a little networking and fun. Your first drink is on us! Please contact the HAA Outreach department at outreach@haaonline.org if you have any questions. Sponsored by Century A/C Supply

11

Honors Awards RESCHEDULED: November 13 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hilton Americas 1600 Lamar St., 77010 The Honors Awards recognizes the multifamily industry's finest professionals, properties and recent NAA credential holders. See Page 16 for more information. Sponsored by AAA Plumbers, Contractors Inc., CORT Furniture, FSI Construction and The Liberty Group

18

Mix N Mingle Happy Hour: The Woodlands Thursday, June 18 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Onsite Personnel: Come meet your fellow industry peers by joining us for a little networking and fun. Your first drink is on us! Please contact the HAA Outreach department at outreach@haaonline.org if you have any questions. Sponsored by Matrix Construction Services

25

June Sponsorship Auction Thursday, June 25 2:30 p.m. – Auction 101 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Auction Join us for the June Sponsorship Auction! Sponsoring an event or meeting is a great way to gain recognition for your company. Over 70 events will be up for auction. Live auction, drawings and proxy bidding will be available. First timers can arrive early at 2:30 p.m. for the Auction 101 session to learn how the auction works and about the events up for bid. Contact Amanda Sherbondy for more information at asherbondy@haaonline.org or 713-595-0316. This event is free for all supplier members. See Page 18 for more information.

Mix N Mingle Happy Hour: Baytown Thursday, June 25 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Onsite Personnel: Come meet your fellow industry peers by joining us for a little networking and fun. Your first drink is on us! Please contact the HAA Outreach department at outreach@haaonline.org if you have any questions. Sponsored by Gemstar Construction Development ACES: Manager Appreciation Luncheon Friday, June 26 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Apartments.com and The Liberty Group

24

Introduction to Microsoft Word TENTATIVE: Wednesday, June 24 8:30 a.m. to noon Learn to conquer your fear of the spreadsheet! This great-for-beginners course offers a detailed look into this multi-faceted, often daunting program.

Resident Relations Committee B Wednesday, June 10 2 p.m.

www.haaonline.org

May 2020

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Industry Update from the NATIONAL APARTMENT ASSOCIATION and the NATIONAL MULTIHOUSING COUNCIL

NEXT STEPS What owners and operators should consider.

This information is current as of press time, April 16, 2020. Written by Stephanie Anderson: We are all still deep in the trenches of adjusting our operations to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It may seem that day-to-day modifications and on-your-toes thinking is the best one can accomplish given the regular changes happening. However, leaders need to begin thinking about postCOVID-19 life and how the forward-thinking decisions made now will have the greatest impact on operations in the future. The following scenarios suggest a range of possible outcomes as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. It is too soon to tell which of these—if any, or others, or some combination— will emerge, but resilient leaders are preparing now for what the future may hold. The human and financial impact on a company, its residents and its property operations can be devastating if the recovery process is not included in the overall business continuity plan. Checking-in on your employees should be a vital part of your weekly, if not daily, goals. Additional considerations should be given to human resources policies, transitioning employees back to work if moved to remote work and identifying any need for Employee Assistance Programs or counseling. For those employees still serving on the front lines of your business during this time, it’s an immediate priority to follow updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), government and other public health officials to ensure they are protected and supported as much as possible, even after the pandemic hits its peak. Deferred maintenance will factor significantly as we emerge from shelter-in-place policies. Filter changes, apartment inspections, delayed capital expenditure projects and postponed service requests are just a few items that may have been delayed as many communities are only responding to emergency requests at present. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts, what could the long-term ef-

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fects of this deferred maintenance have on the asset itself? Even with a full maintenance staff, it could take months to catch up on the backlog of maintenance, if not longer. Property Meld, a computer software company in South Dakota, has provided data that suggests residents are withholding 22 percent of service requests, while property management firms are prioritizing emergency work resulting in a 32 percent decline of work being completed. As we head into the summer months of HVAC calls, turnover season and potentially re-opening amenities, you will need a plan in place to strategize the maintenance workload once shelter-in-place orders are lifted. Consideration of resident screening qualifications is another aspect to evaluate. Because of this pandemic, potential residents may suffer financial hardships that can equate to lower credit scores, late payments and possible bankruptcy. To maintain occupancy while also ensuring residents are qualified, should you consider changing your rental criteria to accommodate credit blemishes and poor owner/operator references? If you use a thirdparty credit screening service, should you consider lowering your scoring model? If your company executes a credit screening for employment applications, be mindful of any hardships that could have affected a credit report. Top talent is hard to find and even harder to attain; therefore, overcoming the challenge of onboarding talent should be a consideration. It’s also important to make note of the recent changes incorporated into available positions that may require a different skill set or personality. Changes could include increase in technology usage, interpersonal skills that require extra attention for distant connecting, and organizational skills that allow prioritization to be at the forefront. Of course, the priority concern when thinking ahead is the financial and economic impacts that will directly result from COVID-19. Strategic conversations will need to take place

to consider how to offset loss of income and unexpected expenses. Watching and anticipating portfolio delinquency will be a large factor, and plans should be put into place to determine how the property mortgage will be paid in the event of negative cash flow. Speaking with your lender as soon as you are aware of financial challenges for making future payments may assist. Your company should be familiar with local and federal regulations to include eviction moratoriums for renters. While the easiest areas to cut expenses may turn to resident events, property marketing and employee training, it is advised that your company to be careful on trimming costs that reduce company value. Your employees and residents alike will need more encouragement and motivation in the months to come as they navigate this new normal. Market rent may change as a result of supply and demand in the economy downturn. Renewal lease offers may need to be evaluated with the intent for reduced or no increase to monthly rent instead of the budgeted increase if occupancy is a concern. This will be marketspecific and should be evaluated on an ongoing basis. It’s important to take emotion out of pricing and build a pricing strategy with a balance of science and operational expertise. For properties on revenue management platforms, this can still be a solid strategy for pricing if the 2008 recession is any indication of the systems’ successes. Thoughts for continued reflection: • What would you need to do differently to move your company forward post-pandemic? • What changes can you make in your daily operations? • What changes have you made in response to this pandemic that may continue to be implemented to have a greater impact in the future? • What capabilities, partnerships and strategies do you need to learn more about? / See NAA Update, Page 26 www.haaonline.org


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On the Scene with the HAAPAC NAA Advocate Conference Tuesday, March 10 through Friday, March 13 in Washington DC HAA visited members of Congress for the National Apartment Association day on the hill advocating on behalf of the apartment industry. Representatives visited included Dan Crenshaw, Sylvia Garcia and Randy Weber.

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Do you need to find a product or service for your property on the go?

The Buyer’s Guide is online! Simply search for a member by name or category to find the most up-to-date HAA supplier member listings. You can contact the companies directly or use our “Request for Information” tool. It's quick and easy!

www.haabuyersguide.com

www.haaonline.org

May 2020

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NAA Update, continued from Page 22 Explaining the Breakdown of $1 of Rent Because there exists a misconception that rental housing owners enjoy large margins and can continue operating in the absence of rent payments, and with so much discussion around rents during COVID-19, the National Apartment Association (NAA) has released resources that help explain the breakdown of $1 of rent. Because education is an effective way to counter talk of rent freezes and rent strikes and

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battle the perception that owners are greedy with no concern for their residents, NAA offers an explanatory video and companion infographic breaking down a dollar of rent into its component parts. You can find the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQfb4Zzt qH4 and the graphic is below. It is a reasonable to expect that rent payments will be increasingly challenging for many as unemployment increases because of COVID-19, and with May 1 right around the

corner, the apartment industry must help society understand the benefits of rent payments for all Americans, whether or not they reside in rental housing. From property taxes that finance schools, emergency services and other local needs, to investor returns that include public pensions and 401(k)s, as well as the dollars put back into the apartment community to ensure quality living for residents, a rent payment is much more important than one might otherwise realize.

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On the Road with HAA

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The HAA Outreach Department and HAA General Counsel Howard Bookstaff hit the road to Pearland, Baytown and The Woodlands for the 2020 TAA Redbook Seminars.

Pearland Redbook Seminar Thursday, February 27 at Pearland Hilton Garden Inn Sponsored by 1 Apartments.com and Hire Priority Staffing & Executive Search

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 Assistant Vice PresidentOutreach Lauren Turner at lturner@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 a Region Meeting. Contact lturner@haaonline.org. 28

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Baytown Redbook Seminar Wednesday, Tuesday, February 25 at Baytown Springhill Suites Sponsored by 1 The Liberty Group and SouthCross Security

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On the Road with HAA The Woodlands Redbook Seminar Thursday, March 12 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center Sponsored by 1 Earthworks and The Liberty Group

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On the Scene with ACES

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ACES Luncheon Sponsored by 1 American Technologies Inc. and 2 Apartments.com Friday, February 28 at b.b. Italia The Apartment Community Executives & Supervisors enjoyed the presentation “You Can’t Train DNA” with speaker Mona Vogele. 2

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Fear, for many people, is driving the bus right now. Fear of getting the virus. Fear of gathering together. Fear of losing income. Fear of not being able to pay rent. Fear of not being able to find childcare while their kids are home and they’re still going to work. Fear of going to the bathroom only to find there is no toilet paper. And yes, the fear of dying.

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How to Lead During a Pandemic Sensible advice during a chaotic time. By

ROMMEL ANACAN, The Relationship Difference

A note from the editor: This article was written on March 13. It was edited on March 27. The COVID-19 situation in Houston as it relates to housing providers and the health and safety of residents may have changed.

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f you are going to work in this COVID-19 fueled temporary new normal, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on how to effectively manage yourself, your team (if you're in a leadership position) and your residents during this crisis. Fear, for many people, is driving the bus right now. Fear of getting the virus. Fear of gathering together. Fear of losing income. Fear of not being able to pay rent. Fear of not being able to find childcare while their kids are home and they’re still going to work. Fear of going to the bathroom only to find there is no toilet paper. And yes, the fear of dying. So, if you're dealing with fear from your residents and/or from your team here are some tips:

Don't Minimize, Empathize This pandemic has affected many people in many different ways. For some, their lives haven’t changed much. They’re still going to work and no one they know has contracted the virus. While others may have worked from home for some time or are still working from home. Other, may have either been or still are on furlough or terminated completely. Therefore, we each one of us is dealing with this crisis in many different ways. I’m not a doctor, a lawyer nor a city official, but I can offer you guidance on how to manage people through a crisis. First, do not minimize your team’s fears. Avoid statements such as: • It's not that big of a deal. • You shouldn't feel afraid. www.haaonline.org

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So, even as you're empathizing with someone's fears, you may need to avoid adding anything to their already extensive fears-especially if it's unverified and/or irrelevant to the situation. • You're blowing this way out of proportion. Rather, you want to empathize with people's fears with simple statements such as: • I can see why you're concerned. • It is crazy isn't it? • I'm worried about all of the things going on, too. Providing empathy to people simply means giving them permission to feel their feelings and to have their own experiences. When people feel they have permission from you they feel safer and will trust you more. This is what you want to build a foundation of safety and trust, especially in these chaotic times. NOTE: This does not mean that you have to agree with them. You can think someone is being dramatic or fearful, and you certainly have the right to your own opinions! The key principle here is the importance of separating what you may feel personally from what is prudent professionally. Don't Add Fuel At the same time, you don't want to be adding unnecessary fuel to the fire. When people around you are afraid, they need a calming, steady voice in the midst of the storm. So, before you share rumor or unverified information, double check that it's true. Don't criticize people who feel different than you. Don't purchase 1,000 rolls of toilet paper if you don't need to! (Yes, this toilet paper thing has got me riled up!) So, even as you're empathizing with someone's fears, you may need to avoid adding anything to their already extensive fearsespecially if it's unverified and/or irrelevant to the situation. My friend, if your internal world is chaotic and uncertain, I get it. Mine is, too. I've taken some financial hits because of this crisis and my wife and I are trying to figure some things out. I have to manage myself and my emotions through this situation, too. The point here is, you can make such a positive and powerful impact by not adding more fuel to an already raging fire. Control What You Can, Surrender the Rest There is so much happening that you have

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no control over. When fear and worry start to crowd back in, pause and think about what can control. In the areas where you do have control, take reasonable and prudent action. (NOTE: This section wasn’t included in the original version of this article. Of course, many things have changed in the days since I originally wrote this. This section was updated on Thursday, March 26.) This is an unprecedented time and things are changing almost every day. As of Thursday, March 26, Houston is under a Stay Home, Work Safe Order. Housing providers and supplier partners are considered essential employees, so many in the apartment industry are still going to work every day. Some, those who are able, I would imagine are working from home. As the situation evolves, we must resolve to change with it. If you are continuing to go to work, maintain six feet of distance between your coworkers or employees. If you are working from home, make sure to get dressed for “the office” and set a schedule for yourself each day. It would be difficult to plan each week in a time when each day brings new challenges and limitations, so my suggestion is to take your to-do list day by day. By the time you read this article, the world, may and hopefully, go back to normal. Perhaps you'll want to determine NOW what to do if: • A resident can't pay rent due to financial problems brought on by this emergency. • A resident has or is suspected of having COVID-19. • A team member is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. • A team member is concerned about their own health and well-being. • The unexpected happens. • And: How you will professionally and effectively communicate your actions and responses to all of the different aspects of this situation to your residents and team members? The key principle is this: Surrender what you don't have control over. Let it go. Don't waste any time on what you don't have control over. By doing this, you'll have more time, energy and effort to do the things you can do. I'm a praying person, so in this time I

am praying for the courage to change the things I can change and the ability to accept what I can't change and the wisdom to know the difference. From a leadership perspective, keeping people focused on what they can control helps to reduce fear and build safety and trust. Lastly, I want to say this: • Be patient and understanding with everyone. • Offer empathy and compassion (even when you feel differently). • Show and offer more grace to others than normal. • SMILE. • Don't allow someone else's fears to become your fears. • Create your crisis action plan. • Be flexible. • Operate from peace, not fear. • Take care of you! (Eat well. Get exercise. Get eight hours of sleep. Do things that bring you joy.) • Save some toilet paper for the rest of us, will ya? If you do these things, I believe you'll go a long way in managing the people side of the COVID-19 emergency well. Rommel Anacan (and, yes, his last name is pronounced like Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars) is a multifamily industry veteran. He worked at all levels of the industry from onsite to corporate, where he developed a reputation for tackling common industry challenges in uncommon ways. Today, as the president of The Relationship Difference, Anacan is widely known as The Connection Expert whose "Win with People" message and approach to personal, professional and organizational development has powerfully impacted thousands of people at leading companies and organizations nationwide. To learn more about Anacan please visit www.RelationshipDifference.com.

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Working as an Essential Employee Here are some tips from professionals with experience working in times of crisis.

“Our strengths in the multifamily industry are found in our people. Those dedicated people on the front lines who are accessible, approachable and rock solid for their communities.”

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A note from the editor: This article was written on March 31. It was edited on April 3. The COVID-19 crisis in Houston may have changed since this article was written.

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ecause of the Houston Apartment Association and the Texas Apartment Association’s efforts, property management professionals were included in Harris County Judge Linda Hildalgo’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order as essential employees. It is challenging to lease and manage properties during this unprecedented crisis, but the multifamily industry is accustomed to challenges. “During my 35-year career in the multifamily industry, we have navigated through many crises. Each one teaches us something new. From floods to fires, hurricanes to banking crises, we weather storms and we rise again, stronger, more united and more resilient than ever,” President of Houston-based Better World Properties LLC, Terri Clifton, said. “I believe the same will hold true for the current global viral crisis. Our strengths in the multifamily industry are found in our people. Those dedicated people on the front lines who are accessible, approachable and rock solid for their communities.” Clifton, a 35-year multifamily industry veteran, has worked at every level of property management, including leasing associate, property manager, regional manager, apartment owner and now president of her own property management firm. Better World Properties LLC was at the forefront of recovery efforts during Hurricane Harvey, one of the costliest tropical cyclones in history. Angela Blanchard, a partner of Better World Properties, is a globally recognized expert practitioner in community devel-

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“When regular communication focuses on community, and on making sure residents are valued and people feel welcome, residents trust the person in the front office, and the apartment manager is the first person they will tell, ‘I’ve got a problem.”

opment and a disaster recovery expert. Blanchard works with businesses and civic and nonprofit leaders to tackle complex challenges of community transformation, long-term recovery and resettlement. Her clients include housing developers, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and social impact entrepreneurs. “As the first of the month approaches, all the upheaval, uncertainty and threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will come to rest on individual families. Even if they are considered ‘essential’ their hours may have been cut. Transportation options are shrinking. There’s a chance childcare arrangements depended upon regular school hours – no longer true. Their rent is due and even if they are still employed, the daily news reminds them that nothing is certain, especially not their livelihoods,” Blanchard said. “When regular communication focuses on community, and on making sure residents are valued and people feel welcome, residents trust the person in the front office, and the apartment manager is the first person they will tell, ‘I’ve got a problem.’”

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Here are traits that are essential in effective in essential multifamily professionals: Angela Blanchard: 1. Great apartment managers, at their core, are community builders. They know who’s hurting, who’s in trouble and who’s frozen in place. 2. Effective managers are emotionally intelligent and savvy. They listen carefully. Their first response is, “Tell me more about what’s going on.” 3. It’s tough to avoid jumping in with a demand or solution. When we listen well, people often have a pretty good idea of where they need help. Give them a chance to propose their solutions. 4. Listen twice. Help once. 5. Families call your properties home. They want to keep their homes and you want to keep your strong residents. Honest conversations now will mean stronger relationships on the other side of this upheaval. Terri Clifton: 6. Apartment professionals actively manage communities rather than letting their

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communities manage them. Being proactive and reaching out to your residents creates trust and a human bond. Walking your properties, being visible and speaking directly with your residents will tell us more than numbers in an Excel column ever will. 7. Effective apartment managers require solid and clear direction from regional managers during crisis management. Regional professionals shine when they have decisive, guiding light from the corporate mothership. It is a critical hierarchy that depends on layer upon solid layer. When these operational systems are in place long before disasters or crises occur, we have a much better chance at steering the ship in the middle of stormy seas. 8. At the corporate level, it’s essential to monitor the pulse of local, state and federal guidelines during crises as these are often rapidly changing. Corporate-level multifamily professionals also keep tabs on industry regulations and trends so they can disseminate clear information to regional managers and property managers as breaking news becomes available. 9. Communication with apartment owners and multifamily investors during a crisis is crucial. They fear the unknown just like the rest of us during a crisis. They are relying on the calm and cool under pressure directives from multifamily professionals. 10. At all times, and at all levels of multifamily management and operations, well researched, unbiased and clear direction highlighting best choices with sound operating practices provide everyone with a

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proven game plan. The goal is to preserve assets while maintaining a compassionate human touch. Multifamily professionals are essential employees who add tremendous value to millions of lives across the country. During times of crises, this value becomes even more clear. When you’ve been through many different types of crises over many years, you learn what works well and what doesn’t. These tips are designed to help you in the coming days. We do not know for sure what lies ahead. What we do know is, we are up to the challenge. Together, we will get through this and we will make the world better. Terri Clifton is the owner and president of Better World Properties LLC and an HAA board member. She has 35 years of industry experience. Angela Blanchard is an independent advisor and thought leader who has partnered together with Better World Properties to help lead the way with community development and disaster recovery efforts. Blanchard has spoken to audiences on six continents, in dozens of cities, on the role of cities in welcoming and resettling inflows of people.

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During times of crisis, there is no such thing as over-communication. People are anxious and idle, both of which can lead to a lot of frustrating requests that our onsite teams will have to field. We can't eliminate frustrations, but many can be avoided or reduced by how and what we communicate.

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Communication and Engagement with Residents During COVID-19 How to communicate with and engage your residents during a pandemic. Also included are fun activities for your residents to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. By

BARBARA SAVONA, Sprout Marketing

A note from the editor: This article was written in late March and edited on the first of April. The situation in Houston may have shifted by the time you read this article. Please consider the tips in this article for resident communication and engagement. Refer to the CDC and NAA for any additional questions you may have.

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partment community operators impact many lives. After all, we are talking about people’s homes. This is our opportunity to step up from a communication and engagement standpoint. First things, first. You need to continue to communicate with your residents. During times of crisis, there is no such thing as over-communication. People are anxious and idle, both of which can lead to a lot of frustrating requests that our onsite teams will have to field. We can't eliminate frustrations, but many can be avoided or reduced by how and what we communicate. It’s crucial during this time to let empathy guide all of your communication regardless of the response from your resident or prospect. When it comes to communication with your residents, you have options, so be selective and pick which ones work for your apartment community.

Various Communication Tools and the Pros and Cons of Each: Phone: Pro: People are used to calling in. Con: If staff is limited, calls can quickly become overwhelming, and you may be responding to repetitive questions. Tip: Set up a voicemail that answers FAQ and/or directs them to your website and/or resident portal where they can find the appropriate information. That way, if phone calls become overwhelming, residents can get answers to the most common questions. Email: Pro: Most people are accustomed to this form of communication. It’s fast and effective. Con: People’s inboxes are flooded with COVID-19 related emails right now. It will be easy for your emails to get lost in the shuffle. Tip: Use a consistent subject line to let residents know that emails are from your community. Example: Sprout Apartments: Community Updates 3/18. Resident portal: Pro: If residents are already used to accessing your property’s resident portal for updates and information, they will automatically go here for updates. Con: There isn’t really a con we could identify. Tip: Keep your resident portal up to date, so people will continue to check the portal. Doing this, may also reduce the amount of calls. Chat Feature on Website: Pro: Residents and prospects may already be going to your website to determine how to reach out. A chat feature allows for quick responses, lowering phone calls and increasing capacity for your team.

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Con: People expect a quick response time with chat. If your team isn’t able to quickly respond to chats, turn it off. You should also turn it off if you step away from your computer to go to the bathroom or to take a break (which, by the way, is totally allowed). Tip: Reach out to your web provider. This can be an easily added means of communication. Physical Notices and Signage Throughout Your Community: Pro: For now, people are still able to walk around the community to get a breath of fresh air. Posting signage will be one more way to make sure your residents see your information. Con: Someone would have to physically post the signage. Tip: Include information for residents about where to look for more information or how to contact someone. Text: Pro: Text messages are an easy way to reach your residents on their cell phones, many are glued to them. Con: Many communities don’t have this setup. Tip: If you have a third-party service, providing text message updates can be useful in relaying time-sensitive information. Social Media: Pro: For diversion, many people are turning to social media. Seize this as an opportunity to buid your online presence and to be part of the online conversation. You can also post videos that feel a lot more personal in a time when you can’t have face-to-face interactions with your residents. Con: Conversations can quickly turn negative and threads can spiral out of control with varying opinions on how things should be done. Tip: Consider setting up a Facebook group where you can approve comments or respond privately. Get creative and post about topics that encourage engagement with your residents. Engaging with Your Residents: Consider this an excellent time for you to go above and beyond for your residents by giving them the resources they need. Resources can look like activities to do during the quarantine. Let’s face it, everyone is probably about to be stir crazy if they aren’t already. Social Media: In the previous section, we made the point that this is a great opportunity to boost your property or management company’s social

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media presence. You can also use social media to engage with your residents and to give them a fun activity to do. Here are some ideas for social media posts: ● Tag a Friend Challenge: You can encourage followers to tag a friend who you can’t wait to do a certain activity with, such as going to the dog park, or other captions to get them chatting. ● Spring Cleaning Challenge: With residents cooped up inside their apartments, encourage them to use this time to do spring cleaning and to send you a photo of their clean apartment home or organized pantry. You can either post a photo that challenges them to clean a specific area or a room of their apartment home every day. You can share the photos your residents send you to one of your property’s social media stories. ● Recipes to Try: Find a yummy recipe from Pinterest or your favorite personal cookbook and post it on social for your residents to cook for breakfast, dinner or lunch. ● DIY Projects: Encourage residents who are at home to try those projects they’ve been eyeing on Pinterest for way too long. You can find project ideas on Pinterest to give your resident inspiration. ● Best Balcony or Door Decoration Contest: You set a theme or allow a free-for-all, but this is a great way to get residents in a creative mood and feel connected, while still practicing social distancing. ● Learn a New Skill: There’s probably something your residents have always wanted to learn but never had the time to. Now is the chance to encourage that! ● Have a Virtual Book Club: If you have a resident Facebook page, or even just through your social media channels, you can have residents vote on a book to read and then invite them to chat about it through social media. Entertainment Ideas for Your Residents: Here are some ideas that you can pass along to your residents for entertaining people of all ages during COVID-19. Ideas for How to Keep Kiddos Entertained at Home: ● Play a board game or card game. ● Bake and decorate cookies. ● Build a Lego set. (Bonus: if you build it, you probably won’t step on those darn things so much.) ● Build a blanket fort. ● Create a scavenger hunt that allows them to search for items inside. ● Have a movie marathon (Frozen II is out on Disney Plus. You’re welcome.)

If none of these appeal to you, there are plenty of online material with ideas for parents to use to entertain the little ones How to Entertain Teenagers to Get Them off Their Phone During Social Distancing: ● Minute to win it games. These are so fun and they will make you laugh. Two of my personal favorites are “grab bag” and “junk in the trunk.” ● Have an at-home spa day with manicure, pedicures and face masks. You can also make your own face mask. ● Do something or have them teach you something they enjoy, like how to play an Xbox game or a TikTok dances. ● Play a board game or card game. ● Play charades. ● Encourage them to read a book. ● Family exercise session. Ideas for Adults to Do (Besides Nap, Clean, Work and Watch the News): ● Play a board game or card game. (The kids can’t have all the fun.) ● Do a crossword puzzle or play Sudoku. ● Start a hobby you’ve been wanting to try. ● Learn a new skill. TED talks are great for getting the brain pumping. ● Plan that trip you’ve wanted to take (just wait on the travel part). ● Practice all the self-care you forget to do or never do any other time. Bonus: No matter the age, create an activity jar with all these activities written, and when you hit the boredom wall, draw an activity. The main goal here is to encourage your residents to have fun during this challenging time while keeping them informed on the most upto-date information. Barbara Savona is the CEO and co-founder of Sprout Marketing, a Texas-based marketing company specifically for multifamily professionals and realtors. Sprout Marketing offers social media, outreach marketing, resident retention and apartment community engagement services. For more resources, many of which are free, on how to operate and communicate during the coronavirus pandemic visit www.watchyourbusinesssprout.com. Come out on the other side of this craziness with a reputation of an apartment community that goes above and beyond for their residents, regardless of the situation.

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Learn how to protect yourself, your team and your residents from COVID-19. By

MICHAEL FULWEBER, GEORGE MORRISON and THOMAS POLCYN, Bio-One

A note from the editor: This article was written on March 30. It was edited on April 1. The public health and safety guidelines to protect apartment communities, residents and employees still apply, but the overall COVID-19 situation in Houston may have changed.

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t’s vital to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines during this pandemic. The CDC has a dedicated webpage for COVID-19, which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has a COVID-19 page as well, www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/. These pages have a lot of up-to-date information on the status of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as preventative measures and steps to take if you become infected. Having a deep experience in property disinfection for a range of bacterium infections, (such as the abbreviated MRSA and C. diff), HIV, hepatitis and now coronavirus, this article contains advice to help during these difficult times:

Protecting Your Leasing Office You likely already have protocols in place to fight this disease. Some communities have closed leasing offices, but others have remained open with a limitation on the number of people admitted at one time. In addition to the personal practices that help prevent spread of the virus, like hand washing for at least 20 seconds, coughing or sneezing into the crook of your elbow, avoiding touching your face (easier said than done), making sure you’re constantly wiping down touch points and hard surfaces with an approved CDC/EPA chemical that is registered to kill the coronavirus. The CDC recommends the use of EPA-registered household disinfectants, a link to those disinfectants can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2), many of which are bleach, ammonia or at least 60% alcohol based. Recently in the news, because some people tried to make hand sanitizer from it, Tito’s Vodka is being used by people to make hand sanitizer, but with it being only 40% alcohol, Tito’s is not effective against the coronavirus. As a safety note: never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser, as toxic gasses can be released. Spray down your work area every 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately spray any area where there is an interaction between people. Maintain social distances at the six-foot rule and minimize gatherings. Coronavirus is primarily transmitted through droplets from airborne discharge, so remember to cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow. If you suspect you have contracted the virus, please wear a mask to prevent spreading it to others, and better yet, stay at home. It’s vital to ensure common areas are sanitized and frequently www.haaonline.org

cleaned. Although residents have the right to refuse to disclose such information, it’s also important to encourage residents to inform management if they are infected, as a courtesy to management and your neighbors. We recommend that you consult your legal counsel for more information. Resident Infection at your Community Here is some general guidance from the National Apartment Association on resident infection: If a resident tests positive for the coronavirus and notifies the property owner or manager, the owner or manager should follow the CDC’s guidance and work with health officials. It is the responsibility of the health care provider, not the patient to report cases of disease to health departments and the CDC. A notice to the community may go out in the event a resident or employee with a confirmed case and should be a business decision made with appropriate local counsel. Extreme caution is advised if choosing to make a disclosure because of privacy laws, and the person’s identity to include name or unit number should not be disclosed. If a resident or employee is known to have contracted COVID-19, there are steps you can take to prevent its spread to adjoining units and common areas. First, though, we believe it is essential to treat the infected resident with care and respect. Because spread is possible before a person shows symptoms, people who have become infected haven’t necessarily done anything wrong, although they may feel distressed and vulnerable, especially when quarantined. This could be a great opportunity to let your residents know that you support them and their health. With a known infection onsite, we recommend that you call a professional biohazard remediation service immediately to sanitize and clean the common areas and the unit(s) that might be vulnerable to spread. A team will come in and fog these areas with a CDC/EPA approved, hospital grade disinfectant and wipe down all surfaces with a sprayed liquid disinfectant to thoroughly decontaminate. Allowing a professional to clean and sanitize your community, as opposed to treating your community yourself, will guarantee a healthy and safe community, as professional cleaning companies are trained find the more exotic touchpoints that may not be plainly obvious. Another difference is expert use of fogging to decontaminate porous materials, such as upholstered furniture, drapes and carpets. Once disinfection is completed by a professional, its critical to set the protocols previously mentioned in place, so that these previously treated areas are not re-contaminated. Inform all residents of the proper protocols. Also, encourage any residents who are ill to remain in their units. Either refer to NAA or your legal counsel on how to manage this. We all want to act legally and ethically during this difficult time. / See Protect, Page 53

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Operating During the COVID-19 Crisis:

Communicate with Your Peers

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And as the days went by, everywhere they looked, another unique and critical issue arose, so more contributors were needed. Each weighed on their own networks and word of mouth, and by the second week, there were 32 people on the call. Third Week: 65 Fourth Week: 108

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A weekly phone call brings onsite staff together to address COVID-19 challenges. By

PAUL BERGERON

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hen the COVID-19 calamity began to wreak havoc on daily apartment operations about a month ago, Jamin Harkness, CAM, CAPS, executive vice president of The Management Group, Atlanta, knew it would be something he couldn’t handle on his own. With everyone involved in property management putting out their own fires – mostly the same crisis he was dealing with – he decided to reach out to seven of his closest peer confidantes in the Atlanta area and arrange a one-hour roundtable call. The goal was informationsharing – learn what was working and what lied ahead – for this unprecedented work interruption. The Management Group is a new, smaller but growing management company that has six communities under development. Call participants represent small-, medium- and large-sized companies. Everyone had something to contribute. For information how to participate, reach out to Harkness at jharkness@tmg-living.com. The group discussed high-urgency topics such as working with a skeleton crew, renewals, amenities and evictions, among other things, and decided to make the call a regular, weekly thing. And as the days went by, everywhere they looked, another unique and critical issue arose, so more contributors were needed. Each weighed on their own networks and word of mouth, and by the second week, there were 32 people on the call. Third Week: 65 Fourth Week: 108

The greater the number of participants, the greater the information. Harkness, who has been in property management since 1997, serves as organizer, moderator and secretary for the 11 a.m. EST calls. Realizing his phone system and general IT capabilities were unable to bring together a group this large, he reached out to Yardi and had them create a platform to help the calls run more smoothly through Zoom Communications. Realizing that every participant on the call had their own jampacked workday, he firmly kept the calls to a maximum of one hour, allowing each featured presenter 5 minutes of airtime. Harkness’s latest call recap covered topics such as: • Setting Up Virtual Leasing Offices • Virtual Renewals • Maintenance Team Compensation & Bonuses • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act • Emergency Paid Sick Leave • Flexible Payment Programs • Lender Compliance • Notice to Vacate • Emergency Preparedness • COVID-19 resources

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And that was just on one call. “Navigating this storm alone would be unwise,” Harkness said. “I am thankful for my friends and colleagues in Atlanta (and elsewhere who are joining our calls) for giving our group an hour of their time each week. Together, we work through operational challenges, most of which none of us have ever faced. Collectively, we make better decisions and will reach the other side of this crisis with fewer missteps. “The confidence and assurance gained from gathering industry leaders who I've known and respected for years, learning from them, and talking things out is invaluable during these uncertain times.” The April 10 call’s agenda (Editor note: This article was submitted on April 6.) already includes paycheck protection programs and selfguided tours. Call participants reach out to Harkness with recommendations of other areas to cover. A Google Docs folder, including an email contact list of the call participants, was created for sharing documents and expanding on topics from that week’s fast-moving call. Dozens of files can be found in the Google Docs folder – samples from a variety of companies on topics such as apartment policy statements, lists of resources, PPTs, resident communications about operational challenges and other notices. The library grows each week. Harkness is limiting the call participants to regional-level and above, with various selected consultants, HR directors and attorneys, as well. “We’ve invited a few suppliers, but politely have asked them to remain mute,” he said. “There’s no playbook for dealing like a crisis such as this,” said 2020 NAA Chairman of the Board, Mike Holmes, and President, Easlan Management, Greenville, S.C. “We’re a competitive industry, but in times like this, it’s so commendable that our owners, managers and suppliers are able to come together, circle the wagons, and fight for our industry, sharing forms and materials with no restrictions. “Calls like these do help to minimize the uncertainty when great minds are working together to find solutions, even for problems that maybe some didn’t even think were out there. Groups doing this like NAA, NMHC and Grace Hill as well as those at the local level across the country should be thanked.” For information how to participate, please reach out to Jamin Harkness at jharkness@tmg-living.com. For local COVID-19 resources, visit the Houston Apartent Association website at www.haaonline.org. Paul Bergeron is a freelance reporter who has covered apartment management for more than 20 years, most recently for the National Apartment Association. He can be reached at pbergeron333@gmail.com.

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Here’s a little secret you should know: contrary to common perception, residents will not live anywhere just to save a buck. You need to stand out in an overloaded marketplace by matching the expectations of today’s residents with your own business plans.

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The Basic Secrets of Success It’s the little things that matter most to people. By

JACKIE RAMSTEDT, CAM, CAPS, CAS, Ramstedt Enterprises

A note from the editor: This article was written on April 1 by Ramstedt, a presenter for the May 14 HAA Education Conference & Expo which has been rescheduled to Thursday, July 23. While not COVID-19 specific, this information is still beneficial to our readers, as leasing and property management doesn’t stop, even in a pandemic.

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hether you are managing a small apartment community in a rural area or one of the industry’s largest assets, people’s expectations in principle, are still basically the same: give me good, quality products with reliable service performed by competent employees for the value of money I am spending. In today’s aggressive competition, with properties competing solely on price, your business may quickly be on the road to ruin if you can’t differentiate between expectations and advantages. Here’s a little secret you should know: contrary to common perception, residents will not live anywhere just to save a buck. You need to stand out in an overloaded marketplace by matching the expectations of today’s residents with your own business plans. This will clearly separate yourself and your business from the competition. You have to stand for something. The quickest way to get people to ignore

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you is to not stand for anything, except price. So, if you want to avoid getting beat up on price, stop trying to compete on price alone. What your property needs to stand out is not just better but exceptional customer service producing more satisfied customers. But don’t make it just the simple pleaseand-thank-you variety. Aim higher. Strive for fabulous, prominent, outrageously great service to set your business apart from all the others in your market area. Keep your word and your promises. If you want loyal residents, you need to get them to care about you. Trust is a huge factor in the formula for exceptional relationships. Seems like it would be easy to get people to trust you and your property, but the truth is, it isn’t. According to the Retail Consumer Dissatisfaction Survey, 33% of people can't find a salesperson when they shop and 25% are ignored by associates. Furthermore, here are some other interesting facts about what the general public endures: * 96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain directly to management or owners. * 90% will just not return. * One unhappy customer will tell at least nine others. * 13% of unhappy customers will tell at least 20 other people, even if unsolicited. Lack of sincerity and concern combined

with empty promises makes your credibility worthless. Offer multiple ways for them to contact you including phone, email, text, fax or live chat. We want to hear from them. The most beautiful words to their ears. When you hear this phrase, you immediately think of a person’s name being the most persuasive. This is true, however in this case, we are speaking about certain words that encourage or entice people to action more than others, in particular: free, new and guaranteed. When customers hear these words (and when the promises those words imply are backed up), they’ll enjoy their stay more than they would have otherwise. Creating unique advertising that shows your property actually walks the talk will boost your credibility rating. Money back guarantees for satisfaction, 24-hour or same-day response time to service requests and staff being available when the customer or residents needs them, are all examples of your credibility. After all, it’s what you do to back up what you said you will do that’s so powerful. Make it personal, very personal. In a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that servers could increase their tips by 23% by the simple act of returning to tables with a second set of mints. So, do the mints have magic powers? Probably not, but the

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researchers did see a correlation with the mints that created the feeling of a personalized experience among the customers who received them. For us, that personalized experience comes from each encounter with our customers: prospects, residents, vendors, former residents, shoppers, etc. Moments of truth are revealed when an individual makes a conscious decision about the professionalism and worth of our business, good or bad, and that decision affects future outcomes of customer encounters. That’s why the renewal process is an ongoing course of action that reinforces those promises made during the initial leasing process. Quality always exceeds speed. This is especially true in our business. Because of the long-term aspects of our customer relationships, people may understand that we may not be able to get to their request quickly sometimes, due to unforeseen issues, such as lack of staffing or other emergency issues. What they won’t excuse is after waiting longer than a reasonable amount of time for the problem to not be corrected effectively or to their satisfaction expectations. Gallup Poll studies have shown that customers were nine times more likely to continue to be engaged when they evaluated the service given as “courteous, willing and helpful,” versus the speedy evaluation, which only made customers six times more likely stay or

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purchase again. Albeit speed to address a resident’s problem is crucial, it is that expectation of consistency of quality that really keeps your residents happy. Invest in your customer’s needs. Customers want to feel like you care about their needs and that you’re emotionally invested in helping them solve their problems. It’s a little easier to convey this message in a brick and mortar setting, but online surveys using such web sites as www.Survey Monkey.com, can let your online customers know that you will meet their expectations and that you need their valuable input. Most people aren’t looking for another place to live, they’re looking for a solution to their problems, too. If you can solve their issue(s) and provide satisfaction, you’ll have a resident for life. Customers expect the little extras at no extra charge. If you nickel and dime them for every little thing, they’ll quickly decide that you’re only interested in taking their money. By adding value to the product at no additional cost to your customer, you could find your competitive edge and increase your customer base. Finally, who wants to spend their hardearned money with someone who doesn’t appreciate their business? Make sure that you offer special promotions, perks or gifts to your long-term customers. Show them you appreciate their continued support and investment

in your property and your company. If you can give your customer what they want, your success will be as simple as saying thank you for being a valued customer. Be your customer’s ASSET: A-Apartment, S- Service, S- Satisfaction, EEliminates, T- Turnover! 2020: Your Best Is Yet to Come! Jackie Ramstedt, CAM, CAPS, CAS, is a nationallyrenowned motivational keynote speaker, national trainer, consultant and performance coach who has 35 years of experience in the multifamily industry. She has spoken to thousands of industry professionals for NAA, TAA, Multifamily Pro, the Institute of Real Estate Management, National Affordable Housing, numerous state and local associations and various management and investment companies throughout the United States and Canada. Ramstedt is a veteran instructor of all NAA credential courses, and she was awarded Faculty Member of the Year from the Austin Apartment Association, where she has served on the board of directors and the education committee chair. Ramstedt can be reached at jackie@jackieramstedt.com. You can also visit her website at www.jackieramstedt.com.

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Protect, continued from Page 47 Protecting Your Senior Community At a senior community in Kirkland, Washington, 18 residents died from COVID-19 as of the time this article is being written. Many senior communities have discontinued visitations in order to reduce traffic coming in and out of their communities. If you manage a senior community, we highly recommend that a professional biohazard remediation service as soon as possible, as these residents are considered by the CDC as high risk. Doing this immediately may save lives in the long run. The service company will mitigate all common areas and treat all hallways to include touchpoints such as light switches and doorknobs. Once the service company has completed a sweep of the community, it’s once again vital to make sure all residents and staff are practicing proper protocols. Additionally, limit the gatherings of seniors and close all shared amenity spaces. Biohazard remediation companies can return at regular intervals as needed, in order to reset the clock on professional disinfection. Discounts for these repeated visits are typically offered. As previously mentioned, encourage all residents who are ill to remain in their apartment homes, but maybe offer services and activities

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to your elderly residents such as medicine delivery, grocery delivery, delivered disposable activity books like crosswords, etc. Maintenance personnel should only enter units in an emergency and only with full personal protective equipment. Stay Safe We’re all in this together and we can all fall ill to this disease. It’s important to follow safety protocols to fight this virus. Stay safe and practice good hygiene. Bio-One Houston South is owned and operated by native Houstonian Michael Fulweber. Fulweber has owned and operated numerous businesses. Bio-One is especially important to him as he helps families and communities during times of tragedy. Bio-One Houston South can be found in Compliance Depot as vendor #882742. For further information, visit www.BioOneHoustonSouth.com. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to your local Bio-One office for further clarification or to formulate a plan of attack against this disease.

Bio-One Houston and BioOne Austin are owned and operated by George Morrison, a former mortuary representative and medical device engineer with 20 years of hospital and operating room experience. Bio-One Houston is Blood Borne Pathogen Certified, bonded and insured. Find them in Compliance Depot as vendor #902166. Thomas Polcyn is the owner of Bio-One Houston North. A psychologist who spent years helping others through grief counseling is also a chaplain licensed by the state of Texas. Bio-One Houston North is focused on caring for people who suffer from thoughtless acts of violence or conditions that they cannot control. Bio-One Houston North can assist apartment communities with all types of biohazards. Bio-One Houston North is compliant with the CDC and EPA. They are available 24/7, licensed and fully insured. Compliance depot vendor #882354.

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Focus has been superseded by uncertainty, as a staggering number of long-term management practices have been disrupted by the challenges of 2020. For some, this is a season of survival, for others, an opportunity to shine.

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All-Star FOCUS

During the COVID-19 pandemic, staying focused will get us through. By

TONI BLAKE, TotallyToni.com

A note from the editor: This article was written in late March, when the HAA Education Conference and Expo was still set for May. The Apartment All Stars will still be speaking at the education conference that has been postponed to Thursday, July 23. Amid COVID-19, staying focused will help onsite teams get through this pandemic that is greatly impacting the apartment industry.

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ocus has been superseded by uncertainty, as a staggering number of long-term management practices have been disrupted by the challenges of 2020. For some, this is a season of survival, for others, an opportunity to shine. A principle is a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a system, a chain of reasoning. The the chain of reasoning in the principles of focus begins with vision, which inspires commitment, which produces momentum, which leads to results. Focused organizations will continue to accomplish their goals on time and within budget, with high-quality results. Overcoming disruption is a requirement if we are to successfully reach our 2020 key performance indicators (KPIs). FOCUS Principle 1: VISION A clear vision establishes confidence and direction. It provides the exact GPS for our growth, accomplishments and suc-

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cess. In February of 2019, I signed up for the Outdoor Diva Triathlon Series held in Colorado on Aug. 18. I, along with 600 women, trained extensively to complete the triathlon sprint. I knew from my first triathlon experience what it was going to take to get ready. I studied the map of the 1.5-mile swim, reviewed the 12.6-mile bike course and followed the turn-by-turn map on the 5K to the finish line. I established goals, set alarms and posted motivational affirmations. My audiences were a part of my accountability group. My vision was seeing myself cross the finish line. Have you heard the saying, “The devil is in the details?” Unfocused goals create insecurity, unpreparedness and confusion. If the path to accomplish goals are vague, teams will stall out trying to find their way. They will perform, unknowingly, outside of the executive expectations. A clear vision for property management certainly requires focus. It should embody goals, along with purpose and core values. A clear vision, with purpose, comes to life in the hearts of team members. Take time to add implementation details to your 2020 directives. Provided additional resources, team support and clarity on new policy and procedures. Create shared motivational experiences with executives to reinforce the company culture. Reengage the company communication platforms with fresh, informative updates to keep the mission, vision and culture fresh.

FOCUS Principle 2: COMMITMENT Commitment is the gas in our engines that moves us forward. In business, it’s the “why” behind our efforts – why we do what we do. In his book, “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek explains his Golden Circle of communicating from the inside out. Beginning with why, moving out through our how, we deliver our what. Today, millennials and Generation Z make-up more than half of our workforce. They are very committed to the why. They grew up with fast-moving change and instability. Their relationship to work is very purpose-driven and socially connected. They care about social, culture and work/life balance. Just as it was in my triathlon aspiration, the why fuels their commitment to achieve their (your?) goals. Increase methods for feedback with your onsite teams. Remind team members of all the opportunities for onsite teams to submit questions, ask for advice and confirm their decisions. Create video and podcast communication directly from the executives to inspire loyalty and reinforce commitment. FOCUS Principle 3: MOMENTUM Momentum is defined as strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. It helps people push through obstacles, solve problems and maintain their course. Teams today are facing new / See FOCUS, Page 59

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The third article in a follow-up series on Debbie Phillips’ four cornerstones for effective teamwork. By

DEBBIE PHILLIPS, Ph.D, CPM, The Quadrillion

Your Role in Teamwork –

Communication Beyond Words Communication can be defined as the process of sharing information, thoughts and feelings between people orally, in writing and through body language. So, communication is not just about your words – people also take in visual cues or listen with their eyes.

A note from the editor: This article was written in early March before Houston had any confirmed COVID-19 cases. It almost feels insensitive to publish articles that aren’t focused on the virus, but an article on communication during a time like this could be beneficial to everyone, and communication is more important than ever right now. As a leader, it’s important to communicate during times of heightened sensitivity and anxiety with transparency, certainty, empathy, humanity, inspiration and in a way that unites people. With the situation changing so fast and it being unknown territory, people value leader communication more than ever right now. Take this article as ways to communicate with your coworkers and to your employees for your consideration

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y January article, titled Your Role in Teamwork, emphasized four core elements in relationships within teams: trust, commitment, communication and connection. Merely one quarter into 2020 and I think we can all agree that it has been quite a year so far. I am more convinced than ever that literary critic and Nobel Prize recipient George Bernard Shaw was right when he said, “The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” At press time, Malcolm Gladwell’s “Talking to Strangers” has sat on the New York Times bestseller list for 27 weeks. Gladwell’s latest work includes famous examples of how miscommunication serves as the backdrop of potential conflicts and misunderstandings. With the everchanging and growing COVID-19 pandemic, effective communication will be a topic of interest throughout 2020. What You Say and Your Body Language Communication can be defined as the process of sharing information, thoughts and feelings between people orally, in writing and through body language. So, communication is not just about your words – people also take in visual cues or listen with their eyes. Communication experts agree

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that communication is 7% of your actual words, tone of voice is 38% and body language makes up 55%. Subtle nonverbal messages enhance intent and meaning through the presence, stance and eye contact of the sender. When the communicator’s message says one thing and their body language says another, it leaves the receiver not only confused about the message, it can also create an environment of mistrust. Effective communication requires that the content and body language be congruent. Our posture and our stance can either strengthen or weaken our message, according to Amy Cuddy, body language expert. Advancing Careers and Personal Development Effective communication can often be a game-changer for people seeking advancement. It can also increase a person’s potential for personal development. Influencing others, competing for a job or winning the trust of your team or customers depends largely on your ability to communicate effectively. A 20-year study that followed progress of Stanford University’s Master of Business Administration students revealed that the most successful graduates (as measured by both career advancement and salary) developed their communication skills by choosing courses such as business writing, leading, persuading, selling ideas, negotiating, conducting meetings, resolving conflicts and working with cultural diversity. After college, technical skills that can help secure a first job or first promotion don’t necessarily guarantee your next move. Successfully coaching teams, managing stress, delivering information and collaborating with others are highly dependent on a person’s ability to communicate. Renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman would add that emotional intelligence exhibited in the examples listed above accounts for nearly 90% of what sets high performers apart from their peers with similar technical skills and knowledge. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. Experts caution leaders when making decisions based off emotions. When leaders do make a decision based off an emotion, it causes them to rush to bad judgments because they’re unconsciously filtering the information they’ve received.

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Your communication skills show up in your own personal dashboard, indicating the quality of the relationship you have with yourself and with others. As author Susan Scott said in her book, “Fierce Conversations,” the quality of each of your relationships is based on one conversation at a time. Leadership and Communication Today Today, communication is like a superhighway. We live in a 24-hour information age where everything we want to know is just a Google search or a “Hey, Alexa” away. At work, people want two-way, real-time conversations within their teams and leaders. This doesn’t mean we need to throw out traditional methods of communication, but it does require a bit of adjustment. Leaders of the past would give a speech at a podium and walk off the stage. Today, leaders may still give speeches while standing at a podium, but they don’t walk away right after. They stay, take live questions and have realtime chats. If you have ever watched Steve Jobs on stage, his expertise preciseness of storytelling combined with his passion made him one of the most influential business communicators of our time. He, like all powerful leaders, knew that knowing your audience and connecting with them were key to getting your message across. Are We Taught Communication? According to Forbes.com, less than 2% of all professionals have had formal education or learning to understand and improve listening skills and techniques (Llopis, 2013). Yet, the Society of Human Resources Management reveals that at least 80% of companies in finance, insurance, real estate and services assess writing skills during their hiring process. An interesting statistic considering the National Commission on Writing found that U.S. businesses spend $3.1 billion annually training people to write. When my students question the high volume of writing assignments in my classes, I’m quick to remind them of these statistics. Over the years, I’ve changed the length of my assignments from an in-depth research paper to an executive summary as a way of training the students to be succinct and effective in their writing. Harvard Business Review recently investigated the impact of information overload as it relates to written material in their feature article titled The Elements of Good Judgement.

Listening Active listening is key to strengthening relationships and ensuring understanding and cooperation in teams. There should be more emphasis devoted to the importance of listening in course curricula, which is also echoed by the Greek philosopher Epictetus. He said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Research suggests that the average person hears between 20,000 to 30,000 words within 24 hours. There is a need to understand not only what we’re communicating, but how it’s being received. “Let the silence do the heavy lifting” advises author Scott when it comes to coaching and developing your team members. Silence is one of the most powerful weapons an individual can bring to the table when negotiating. Long, drawn-out pauses are awkward and uncomfortable, and it’s just human nature to want to fill the void, often without thinking. In most cases, the first one to speak often ends up losing. After working with a professional coach and taking multiple Dale Carnegie courses, I’ve learned there is power in silence. I now think of my words in terms of currency – they have value. I practice the art of pausing before speaking. Thinking about what I want to say and to whom I’m saying it forces me to choose my words more carefully. As a professional speaker, educator and writer, I’m a lifelong learner. Confucius said, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” When it comes to enhancing the effectiveness of our communication, it comes down to two simple things: 1. Precision of your plan and 2. Preciseness of your speech. Plan what you want to say before you say it and choose your words carefully. You are more effective when you are selective, and this applies to everything. So, choose your words wisely, and more importantly, listen carefully as they offer valuable clues. Debbie Phillips is an internationally recognized industry thought leader, educator, career coach, author and speaker who holds a doctorate degree. She has dedicated her life’s work to educating and connecting high potential talent to opportunities in the real estate industry. Phillips can be reached at debbie@thequadrillion.com or 404-787-4409. www.haaonline.org


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FOCUS, continued from Page 55 2020 habits in a world that daily transforms our normal. Momentum keeps us from reverting back to old habits and maintaining the proper course. Why do people fail? One single moment in time is rarely responsible for our failures. It’s thousands of little misguided choices that lead to hardship. We lose our focus in small decisions that compromise our standards and replace our success with excuses. Momentum keeps us focused on our goals. When I did my swim workouts, I repeated a statement of affirmation in my mind as I swam, “The water holds me high and strong; I can do this all day long.” Then, with each stroke I would say to myself, “I am a twotime triathlete.” I did 33 laps in a 25-meter pool, two times a week for months. Unfortunately, nine days before the race, I was rushed to the emergency room in severe pain and diagnosed with Acute Diverticulitis. I was put on potent antibiotics to fight the infection, bed rest and a liquid diet. My 10day plan before the race was ambushed, and

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I was left wondering if I could even participate. I had dinner with some very influential friends who gave me permission to quit. They told me no one would expect me to race after this diagnosis so close to the race. I was physically weak from fighting the infection, and very unprepared, but I decided to continue with my race. I could not quit without at least attempting to reach my goal. For momentum, I organized all of my workout gear for the swim, bike and 5K on my dining room table. Every day, the vision of my gear inspired me to race. My focus fueled my commitment. Provide your team with printable visual affirmations and reminders of their goals. Practice remote team-building, connect remote teams with mentors and support to keep their momentum strong. Share industry hashtags: #multifamilystrong and create your own #ALLIN hashtags teams can share to maintain positive energy.

I look forward to national news stories reporting how essential apartment management teams provided a sense of community to help Americans. There has never been a better time than now for the principles of focus: vision, commitment and momentum. This is our time to shine. As a 60-year-old, non-athletic woman weakened by infection, I crossed my finish line, and it will be these valuable principles that help you cross your finish line, too. Toni Blake is a touring speaker with the Apartment All Stars and owner of TotallyToni.com. She is celebrating over four decades in property management and is one of three living recipients of the Multifamily PRO Industry Legend Award. Blake is a popular guest on industry radio and podcasts. She has hosted many of the top industry awards shows and has been featured as a speaker at the top industry local, state and national conferences.

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With hurricane season around the corner, learn how to prepare for property damage with these steps that will ensure maximum recovery. By

CHIP LANE, The Lane Law Firm

Hurricane Season: What to Do Before Disaster Strikes

T Pay close attention to three main things: policy limits, deductible and replacement cost coverage. Those are three simple things we “think” we know about, but the second and third categories often cause a lot of headaches.

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he most critical time for your business and/or property to prepare for an eventual insurance claim is right now, before there is an imminent threat. Unlike tropical storms and hurricanes, that give us some number of days to prepare, most property damage events occur without any notice. Think about flash floods, fires, hailstorms, tornados, theft and vandalism. You don’t want to react after an event – frantically weighing the pros and cons when a little bit of planning could have saved you plenty of heartache, headache and a lot of money. Here are a few crucial steps to help ensure you are prepared for an eventual insurance claim for property damage: Review your Insurance Policy The hurricane season of 2017 was the most expensive ever, with over $200 billion in damages. If you owned and/or managed property along the coast from Rockport to Houston that year, you were probably impacted in one way or another by Hurricane Harvey. The wrinkle that some owners did not anticipate was the Army Corps of Engineers flooding that occurred for days after Harvey was gone. Insurance policies are very technical in determining what is and is not covered, and some policies did not provide full coverage for all the damage from Harvey. Pay close attention to three main things: policy limits, deductible and replacement cost coverage. Those are three simple things we “think” we know about, but the second and third categories often cause a lot of headaches. Meeting with your insurance agent before a storm threatens is the perfect time to review your coverages. You do not have to wait for renewal time to make changes to your policy either.

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A.Policy Limits: These are almost always set by the carrier after they perform an inspection of the property and look at documents you submit, justifying the value. Some policies allow you to increase or decrease your limits but being underinsured can create a major problem in the event of a catastrophic loss. These limits are especially important when it comes to coverage for loss of rent or business interruption coverage. B. Deductible: Your insurance broker can help you navigate options when it come to your deductible. Some options include a flat dollar amount or a percentage of your total insured value, however, pay close attention to the different types of deductibles in a policy. For example, you could have one deductible for a hailstorm and a much higher deductible for a tropical cyclone/hurricane. You may also have a deductible per building, so if you have a multiple building apartment community, that could make a very big difference in whether you get paid at all on a loss. C. Replacement Cost Versus Actual Cash Value: This is the main area where property owners think they are covered for a loss and find out they might not be fully covered. Most people understand that the initial loss amount paid after a storm is depreciated based on factors like the age of the structure. The differentiator between the two is that an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy ends with that one payment, but a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy allows you complete repairs and recover that depreciation. As you might expect, an ACV policy has a much cheaper policy premium but could cost you dearly after a loss, so choose wisely.

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Make Property Maintenance a Priority: One of the most frequent reasons we see the denial or underpayment of an insurance claim has to do with “deferred maintenance” or the “wear and tear exclusion.” What that means is that even though a storm may impact the property, if the damaged item (e.g. roof/siding) was not maintained, the insurance company could deny the loss and claim the damage was not caused by the storm. Rather, they often claim it was poor maintenance that caused the damage. The easiest way to circumvent that argument is to create a maintenance schedule and stay on top of it. Use Technology to your Advantage With the ease and affordability of digital photography and cloud storage, preparing for a disaster and insurance claim is much easier now. No longer do you need to have filing cabinets of paper files of leases, transactions, receipts, etc., as all of those are easily scanned, stored and can be backed up in the cloud. Take advantage of the multiple vendors that offer cloud storage. The cost of this varies, but in most cases, 1 TB of data is often less than $100 per year. You may think having it stored locally on computers is enough, but when 8 feet of water destroy all of those computers, you will wish you had the data backed up to the cloud. Additionally, while a photo may be worth a thousand words, it is often worth much more money for an insurance claim, too. Having good photos of the property condition and major mechanical items with model numbers all have a huge impact on property damage claims. It is a good idea to do an annual photo

inventory of the property. If during your photo inventory you notice damage or issues, you’ll be able to stop any issues before they fester for too long. Make an Emergency Plan Most claims will not result in the complete destruction of your properties, but in the event of a major loss, business operations may be interrupted for some time. You’ll want to have a plan to have non-employees ready to assist. Making a plan and having contacts ready for repairs, off-site access to files and insurance policies will help ensure a quick turnaround and hopefully minimize your damages. Interviewing a contractor or insurance claims professional can and should be done before your property is damaged. As with everything, they key an insurance claim to go smoothly is to be very prepared before anything happens. If things don’t go as planned, and your insurance company doesn’t properly handle the claim, well, that’s a topic for a different article. Chip Lane is a Texas trial lawyer with over 16 years handling property insurance and business interruption insurance disputes for singlefamily, multi-family and commercial property owners. The Lane Law Firm, a proud supplier member of HAA since 2016, fights underpaid and denied property insurance claims on behalf of their clients throughout Texas. Visit www.InsuranceFighters.com for more information.

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Law, continued from Page 12 claim that an owner knew about the hazards of COVID-19 but the resident did not. This would support an argument that there is no duty to warn a resident of a hazard like COVID-19 because the resident already knows about it. 3. Even if no duty exists, any precautions an owner has taken with respect to minimizing the probability of transmission of the virus would be relevant as a defense against liability. Many owners have closed or reduced activity in common areas, restricted maintenance services to emergency situations only, and upgraded the cleaning of areas that residents may commonly touch. These could all be used in defense of an owner – that the owner has taken reasonable steps to minimize transmission of the virus and the potential exposure to residents. 4. If you have a resident or an employee who has tested positive for the virus at your property, it would be beneficial to seek the advice of the local health department. It may also be beneficial to send a letter to residents stating what has happened (without providing information regarding the resident’s identity) and what you are doing regarding cleaning effected areas. Unfortunately, a positive test seems to come days after a person is actually showing symptoms. It is doubtful that any notice could prevent a resident who has already been exposed from being exposed. However, the communication with residents after you know about the potential exposure incident may be helpful in claiming that you have done what you can regarding the issue. Who would have thought that a case involving spiders might help us defend against claims about the virus? However, this Supreme Court case may be useful. As we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 journey, it may be important to adjust your procedures to build defenses to this type of claim.

Want more “It’s the Law?” Want to see current and previous issues of ABODE online? Visit

http://issuu.com/haa_abode.

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The Go-Getters HAA’s MEMBERSHIP RECRUITERS

MEMBERSHIP: ENGAGE! Recruit for HAA and become part of the Go-Getter Club.

1. Top team Destination Wedding Management/Onsite Personnel with team captains Jessica Cantu, Cinch Cabinet Refacing Kits, and Melissa Friend, Greystar 2. Sponsors Best Plumbing and Redevelopment Services 3. Top Recruiter Donna Farthing with four recruits

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HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS Members who have recruited more than 100 companies Monette Reynolds Claude Arnold Sherry Stevenson Kenn Brown Kirk Tate Tina Cavaco Suan Tinsley Terri Clifton Sonny Unverzagt Kevin Fenn Del Walmsley Diane Gilbert Nancé Wells Anita Harrison H.P. Paul Young Dwayne Henson Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks Mike Koch Merry Mount

Come Join Us! Go-Getter meetings are quarterly: Thursday, July 9 Thursday, September 10 Thursday, December 10 All meetings start at 4 p.m. at Cadillac Bar & Grill. Visit www.haaonline.org/gogetters for details.

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 Kaylon in the Membership Department at members@haaonline.org. 64

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Go-Getters Happy Hour Thursday, March 12 at Cadillac Bar & Grill

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The Go-Getters HAA’s MEMBERSHIP RECRUITERS Go-Getters Happy Hour Thursday, March 12 at Cadillac Bar & Grill

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Welcome Mat OWNERS

A/M Acquisitions LLC Amir Mahmoud 27327 Merrick Meadow Drive Spring, TX 77386 713-269-8455 Referred by Claudia P. Rubio

Blair Legacy Properties Ashlee Blair 388 Bethany Road Sunnyvale, TX 75182 310-216-8552 Blair Legacy Homes Excentury Investment LLC Venus Garza 8800 Gulf Freeway Houston, TX 77017 713-910-3006 Casa Grande Apartments Flip Street Property Management Alexander Cedillo 13105 Northwest Freeway #500-110 Houston, TX 77040 832-308-3330 Referred by Bernice Cedillo, CAM Full Tilt Assets LLC Danielle Hoover 30 Glade Park Drive Missouri City, TX 77459 281-969-3810 R & J Assets LLC Robert Summers 10015 Beacon Crossing Lane Cypress, TX 77433 713-504-5385 R & J Assets - Homes RRW Properties Russell Wiscovitch 3411 Garth Road #114 Baytown, TX 77521 713-489-9758 RRW Properties - Homes

Introducing HAA’s NEW MEMBERS

Sentinel Peak/Summit Properties Char McCurdy 5910 N. Central Exp. #980 Dallas, TX 75206 214-205-3230 Lakebridge Apartments Sorrell Warren Sorrell Warren 1415 S. Voss #110-419 Houston, TX 77057 713-766-1183 Sorrell Warren - Homes Watermark Residential Kristin Weldele 901 Wabash Ave. #300 Terre Haute, IN 47807 317-513-9204 Magnolia by Watermark

SUPPLIERS

Ages Consulting, LLC dba Alternative Green Energy Solutions Zamara Munoz P.O. Box 92393 Southlake, TX 76092 817-402-0220 A/C Contractors, Construction MgmtConsultants, Electric Contractors, Electric Vehicle-charging docks, Heating Contractors, Heating Equipment & Systems, Lighting - Outdoor, Lighting Consultants, Plumbing Contractors Referred by Melissa Friend Aryce Designs Ariel Vargas 3616 Richmond Ave. #2103 Houston, TX 77046 281-236-6617 Event Planning Referred by Keely Park

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

www.haaonline.org

Concrete Eurway LLC Stephen Croon Jr. P.O. Box 6335 Katy, TX 77491 281-678-9970 Concrete Contractors, Concrete Repair, Concrete Stain & Sealer Materials, Asphalt & Asphalt Products, Paving Contractors

Gadler Construction Inc Trey Gadler 10006 Windriver Drive Houston, TX 77070 713-392-2036 Painting Contractors, Remodeling & RepairBuilding Contractors, Roofing Contractors, Siding Contractors Referred by John Bouren

Everest Siding and Windows Doinita Jones 11424 Spring Cypress Road #A1 Tomball, TX 77377 832-773-8221 Mold Inspection & Testing, Mold Remediation, Remodeling & RepairBuilding Contractors, Roofing Contractors, Siding Contractors, Window-Replacement & Repair

iTech Monitoring Gabriel Eid 25514 Oakhurst Drive Spring, TX 77386 936-242-6409 Security Control Equipment/Systems, Security Systems Consultant

FCC Environmental Services Mike Ewald 10077 Grogans Mill Road #466 The Woodlands, TX 77380 346-334-1444 Garbage Collection, Trash Service - Valet Five Stars Painting Jose Ortega 13280 Northwest Freeway #F402 Houston, TX 77040 281-258-4482 General Contractors, Painting Contractors Freedom Furniture & Design Diana Beck Lavine 6701 N. Beltline Road #120 Irving, TX 75063 972-385-7368 Interior DecoratorsDesigners, Furniture Sales Fresh Aire of Galveston County Doyle Williams III 2951 Marina Bay Drive #130-176 League City, TX 77573 713-443-2146 Air Purifying & Cleaning Equipment, Odor Control Referred by Leticia Rodriguez

Jose’s Painting & Cleaning Services Jose Alfaro P.O. Box 840222 Houston, TX 77084 832-593-4521 Painting Contractors, Drywall Contractors Monument Roofing Systems Andrea Brown P.O. Box 22497 Beaumont, TX 77720 409-860-9343 Roofing Contractors, Roofing Consultants Nationwide Trash and Janitorial Services LLC Renee Simmons 215 Country Road 193 Alvin, TX 77511 713-677-9868 Trash Service - Valet, Janitorial Services

SERVPRO of Town & Country Jean Foty 2436 Peyton Road Houston, TX 77032 281-219-8180 Cleaning Specialists, Disaster Recovery/Relief That Kimberly a Division of Marketing Doer LLC Kimberly Scott 9702 N. Sam Houston Pkwy East #1015 Humble, TX 77396 512-560-0996 Marketing Consultants & Services, Media Consultants Referred by Derek DeVries, CAS Turner Paving & Construction Inc Scott Turner 10610 Tower Oaks Blvd. Houston, TX 77070 281-897-0197 Parking Area Maintenance & Marking, Paving Contractors Referred by Amanda Kelly TWFG - Marandi Insurance Brandy Carter 2620 S. Sam Houston Pkwy West Houston, TX 77047 713-728-7900 Insurance, Insurance Consultants Referred by Chris Rankin I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

Restore Waste Alliance (Trash Valet Service) Ronald Brooks 7231 Winding Canyon Lane Houston, TX 77083 512-294-5487 Trash Service - Valet, Trash Hauling

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

Royal Painting & Remodeling LLC Suleyma Monge 23506 Ortensia St. Richmond, TX 77406 832-451-6124 General Contractors, Painting Contractors

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I wasn’t exp surprised tha said, laughin business for anything. Fo or get it righ don’t need re resident and owner are ha good experie way. I didn’t watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me said, laughing. “ I’ve been with th business for 15 years. I never expe anything. For me, if I get my job d or get it right, I’m satisfied with th don’t need recognition. As long as resident and my management and owner are happy, I’m happy. It wa good experience, though, feeling t way. I didn’t know that someone w watching!”


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The Ambassador ONE Society HAA’s WELCOMING COMMITTEE

ESSENTIAL WORK

HAA Ambassador suppliers are out helping our members and their communities.

Mark your calendars and join us! Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at Craft Republic, 11470 Westheimber: Dates as of press time. Please check the calendar at www.haaonline.org for updates: June 3 • July 1 August 5 • September 2 October 7 • November 4

THE AMBASSADOR ONE SOCIETY is an organized network exchange that helps supplier partners build their business contacts within HAA. It’s the perfect way for new suppliers to get started with the association. Group members share leads, make introductions and support HAA and its members. For details on how to join and for meeting dates, visit www.haaonline.org/ambassadors or contact Amanda in the Membership Department at 713-595-0316, or email asherbondy@haaonline.org. 68

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Portfolio Changes The following owner/management companies have added the listed properties to their portfolios: • Allied Orion Group: Sunswept Townhomes, 211 units at 12247 Sunset Meadow Lane. • Arcturus Income Property Management: Loop Crossing Apartments, 54 units at 9709 Timberside Drive; Palms at Baytown, 91 units at 1000 Northwood Drive, Baytown; and Texas Angleton Ranch, 152 units at 1400 E. Henderson St., Angleton. • Axiom Residential: Trafalgar, 129 units at 2900 Briarhurst Drive. • Berkshire Residential Investments: The Grand Estates in the Forest, 416 units at 2477 FM Road 1488, Conroe. • Charles Armstrong: Charles Armstrong - Homes, two units at various locations. • Excentury Investment LLC: Casa Grande Apartments, 63 units at 8800 Gulf Freeway. • First Choice Management Group: Wilshire Park Apartments, 184 units at 2686 Murworth Drive. • Gables Residential: M5250, 298 units at 5250 Brownway St. and Crimson, 295 units at 2220 Westcreek Lane. • Gray Spear Capital: Braeswood Plaza Apartments, 66 units at 5430 Birdwood Road. • Greystar: Domain Morgans Landing, 350 units at 3300 Bay Area Blvd., La Porte and 2727 Brazos, 25 units at 2727 Brazos St. • Hogg Palace LLC: Hogg Palace, 79 units at 401 Louisiana St. • Hudcon Inc: 609 Oxford Street Apartments, seven units at 609 and 613 Oxford St. • JBLT Homes LLC: North Main Apartments, 11 units at 705 N. Main St., Galena Park.

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• Kaplan Management Co. Inc: District at Memorial, 326 units at 10300 Katy Freeway. • The Life Property Management: The Life at Clearwood, 276 units at 9465 Clearwood Drive. • The Lynd Company: Royal Oaks at Westchase Apartments, 282 units at 11212 Westpark Drive. • MLDC Management LLC: Tradewinds Apartments, 350 units at 2040 Greenhouse Road. • Oak Leaf Management Co.: The Victorian, 172 units at 9400 Coventry Square Drive. • Portico Property Management: Greenhouse Apartments, 350 units at 2040 Greenhouse Road. • Prince Realty Investments & Management Enterprise: 100 Lamar Apartments, 20 units at 100 Lamar St., Willis. • Q10 Property Advisors: Mount Vernon Lofts, 42 units at 4509 Mount Vernon St.; Tranquility Grove, 92 units at 15455 Ella Blvd.; and Cottages of Cypresswood, 136 units at 7203 Oakwood Glen Blvd., Spring. • RangeWater Real Estate: The Bennett Baytwon, 204 units at 2200 W. Baker Road, Baytown. • RangeWater Real Estate: The Bennett Baytwon, 204 units at 2200 W. Baker Road, Baytown. • RRW Properties: RRW Properties - Homes, one unit at various locations. • Sentinel Peak/Summit Properties: Lakebridge Apartments, 272 units at 300 Woemer Road. • SI Communities: Villa Anita II Apartments, 108 units at 8103 Grow Lane; Villa Anita I Apartments, 190 units at 5757 Guhn Road; Las Villas del Parque Apartments, 187 units at 5555 Gasmer Road; Colonial Oaks,

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80 units at 3940 S. Shaver St.; Terraza West Apartments, 384 units at 10222 Forum West Drive; Las Varandas Del Sur Apartments, 240 units at 240 units at 10003 Forum West Drive; Fair Oaks Apartments, 122 units at 910 Fair Oaks Road; Broadway Park Apartments, 224 units at 2505 Broadway St.; and Ranchwood Apartments, 224 units at 5251 Gasmer Road. • SunRidge Management Group Inc: The Bennett Baytwon, 204 units at 2200 W. Baker Road, Baytown. • Watermark Residential: Magnolia by Watermark, 336 units at 7203 N. Grand Parkway West, Spring. • Willhoit Properties Inc: Timber Run Apartments, 192 units at 3030 Hirschfield Road, Spring and Laurel Point Senior Apartments, 148 units at 16170 Westpark Drive. • Willowick Residential: Venue Museum District, 224 units at 5353 Fannin St. • ZRS Management LLC: The Dacoma, 283 units at 3900 Dacoma St. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

In the News

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

On April 6, Camden Property Trust launched a $5 million giveaway for residents struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Residents could have applied for up to $2,000 per apartment to help with living expenses. Only 16 minutes following its launch, the money was gone. Approximately 2,520 online requests were made by residents. Karya Property Managemet’s Nitya Capital launched a $4 million fund to provide $1,000 in rental assistance to residents who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis. Shera Lehman is now with Maldonado Nursery & Landscaping Inc. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

Have news for our readers?

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

Email ABODE at comm@haaonline.org.

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

See more online at www.haaonline.org

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GO-GETTERS of the YEAR Claude Arnold 1977 Millie Gray 1978 Dwayne Henson 1979 Jim Womack 1980 Dick LaMarche 1981 Monette Reynolds 1982 Nora Krakower 1983 Kirk Tate Dave Marshall 1984 Robin Reed 1985 Doris Hemsworth 1986 Sherry Stevenson 1987 Merry Mount 1988 Nance Wells 1989 Jeanne Marie Zublin 1990 Suan Tinsley 1991 Mike Dillon 1992 Cristina Buaas 1993 Sonny Unverzagt 1994 Carolyn Hudson 1995 Nona Durrett 1996 Alison Hall 1997 Tina Cavaco 1998 Carol Marple 1999 Julie Davidson 2000 Cesar Lima 2001 Mike Koch 2002 Diane Gilbert-Guthrie 2003 Billy Griffin 2004 Anita Harrison 2005 Roger Camp 2006 Gloria Haney 2008 Kevin Fenn 2009 Quintina Smith 2010 Claude Arnold 2011 Debbie Sulzer 2012 Jimmie Hotz 2013 Nancy Gilman 2014 Christy Rodriguez 2015 Crystal Jackson 2016 David Lindley 2017 Diane Gilbert 2018 Terri Clifton 2019

Photos from top left: The book that started it all, originally published in 1921. The famous Blue Vase Award in 1979. The 1980 Go-Getter Gazette honors top Go-Getter Claude Arnold. In 2010, Arnold is still the top Go-Getter of all time with more than 510 new members recruited, and he’s still going strong for this year’s membership campaign. Bill Schlotfeldt, right, welcomes radio station KXYZ as HAA’s 1,000th member in 1970. The 1986 Go-Getters show off their red jackets.

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HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS The Houston Apartment Association thanks these auspicious members who have each recruited more than 100 members for the association: Claude Arnold Kenn Brown Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton 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 H.P. Paul Young Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks

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HAA GO-GETTERS AND MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGNS The history of the Houston Apartment Association’s membership recruitment THE GO-GETTERS have been a part of the Houston Apartment Association since the association’s formal inception in 1960. A sewer fee tax problem might have brought industry leaders together to form HAA, but the Go-Getters helped fuel its membership momentum. By definition, a go-getter, according to Meriam-Webster, is an aggressively enterprising person. HAA Go-Getters are energetic, ambitious and fierce. They recruit apartment owners, management companies and supplier partners to join the association, thus growing HAA’s membership, influence and reach. Five years after HAA was formed, the GoGetters helped grow the association to 500 members, with Charles Underwood as head of the membership drive and Fred Rizk as HAA president. Today, HAA has 1,808 apartment owners, management companies and supplier companies as members. In the HAA 50th Yearbook, former member services director, Lisa Butler, wrote that no one suspected HAA to grow into full adulthood. With the help of the Go-Getters, HAA is the biggest apartment association in the country today. To showcase how much the association grew by its 50th year, Butler boasted that the 2010 Installation Gala had more than 800 people in attendance. Last year, HAA welcomed 1,052 guests to the 2019 Installation Gala, a sold-out event. In the beginning years, Bill Schlofeldt headed the membership drives. Sort of similar to how a Go-Getter meeting works today, membership drives involved an HAA member asking someone in the industry to join them for a drink at a bar or restaurant. In the 50th yearbook, Butler shared that the 1963 general meeting announcement invited members to “join us at Kaphan’s on Main for a good steak dinner for only $3.” Membership campaigns used to be held in

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the spring and summer seasons. Instead of limiting recruiting to a couple season each year, the 2020 HAA President, Clay Hicks, opened recruiting all year long in 2017 when he was the chair of the Go-Getters committee. A tradition that lives on today, Go-Getter campaigns have been themed since 1979. Dwayne Henson lead the first themed membership campaign titled “World Series Campaign.” This year’s theme is a spin off the hit TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress,” titled “Say Yes to Membership,” with Terri Clifton as the Go-Getter Committee chairperson. HAA’s Vice President of Membership and Marketing, Amanda Sherbondy, has been the staff lead on the Go-Getters Club and Committee since 2007, when she joined HAA. Sherbondy said she’s having the most fun with this year’s theme, with her second favorite theme being “Oh the Places You’ll Go” of 2015, when Kelly Scott was the Go-Getter Chair. The first prize for recruiting, awarded in 1963, was either a trip for two to Mexico or $150 in cash. Among HAA’s younger professionals, those trips are legendary. Ask any HAA icon what his or her favorite memory was as an HAA member, they will most likely attribute those Go-Getters trips. No longer are Go-Getters rewarded with trips, but the memories that were made from those trips will live on forever. When HAA first started, the organization was closed to supplier partners, who were formally called associates. It isn’t clear when exactly supplier partners were allowed to join, but in 1965, the Product Service Council was formed. Up until then, according to the HAA 50th Yearbook, supplier partners had no voice in the organization. Today, many supplier partners have been listed as Go-Getter of the Year throughout time. Nora Krakower, who owned Royal Plumbing Supply, was the very first supplier partner to

be named Go-Getter of the Year in 1983. What is a Go-Getter of the Year and how did it come together? In 1976, Go-Getters added structure to the recruitment process. Charles Lewis, a supplier partner, organized the first Go-Getter Club to recognize HAA members who recruited new members. H.J. Tollett Jr., who would become HAA’s president the coming year, was named the first official Go-Getter when he brought in 15 new members and received the coveted Go-Getter blazer. In 1978, the first Go-Getter Recognition Dinner was held to honor outstanding individuals, ending with a Go-Getter of the Year award. This event transformed into the Industry Achievement Awards and then again into today’s Honors Awards. Since 1978, 43 Go-Getters have been awarded Go-Getter of the Year, with two people being honored in 1983. Today, an aspiring Go-Getter is an HAA member who recruits just one member. Aspiring Go-Getters become official GoGetters when they recruit 10 new members, landing them on the December ABODE cover. After recruiting 15 new members, Go-Getters receive the coveted blue blazer. The National Apartment Association changed the color of the blazer from red to blue in 1991. Go-Getters continue to earn badges for their jacket when they recruit 25, 50 and 100 members. Go-Getters recruiting 100 members get a red blazer. In 2020, more than 1,298 individual HAA members are either Go-Getters or aspiring Go-Getters, individuals who have recruited one new member. There are 19 Honorary Life Members, meaning they each recruited more than 100 members for HAA. The Go-Getters have been part of HAA’s history since the beginning, and they will continue to grow HAA’s membership in the years to come. Thank you, Go-Getters!

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Index of Advertisers By CATEGORY

A/C Supplies

Landscape Contractors

Century A/C Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 281-530-2859 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.centuryac.com

Outdoor Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 713-955-0990 . . . . . .www.outdoorelementstx.com

HAA reserves the right to reject any advertising if its content is inappropriate or inconsistent with HAA’s standards for publication or HAA’s business interests, in HAA’s sole opinion.

Texscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 281-846-3779 . . . . . . . . . .www.texscapeservices.com

Answering Service On Hold USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 800-755-4142 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.onholdusa.com

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

Carpet Installation Dixie Carpet Installations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 281-261-6334 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.dixiecarpet.com

Outdoor Furniture

Texas Southwest Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 800-719-4321 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.texasswfloors.com

Texacraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 800-327-1541 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.texacraft.com

Collection Agencies

Personnel Agency

Alexander-Rose Associates Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 713-644-4441 . . . . . . . . . . .www.alexanderrose-inc.com

ASAP Personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 972-432-6667 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.asapdo.com BG Staffing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 713-781-8367 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.bgstaffing.com

Electric Contractors Affordable Quality Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 713-695-5992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.acuityelectric.com

Plumbing Contractors

Brandt Electrical A/C & Heating Services . . . . .31 281-693-3383 . . . . . . . . . . .www.brandtelectrical.com

AAA Plumbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 713-462-4753 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.aaaplumbers.com

Foundation Repair

Resident Screening Service

Church Foundation Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 713-468-8400 . . .www.churchfoundationrepair.com

CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover 888-297-8821 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.corelogic.com

General Contractors Camp Construction Services . . . . . . . .Back Cover 713-413-2267 . . . . . . . .www.campconstruction.com Cotton Commercial USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 877-511-2962 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.cottongds.com

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

FSI Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 832-767-1115 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.fsiconstruction.com

Screens

Gemstar Construction & Development . . . . . .23 281-821-1195 . . . . . .www.gemstarconstruction.com

Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

Guardian Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 832-672-4196 . . . . . . . . . . . .www.guardianconst.com

Security Control Equipment/Systems

MultiFamily Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 713-266-9100

SentriForce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 888-671-2202 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.sentriforce.com

RENCON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover 713-666-3636 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.rencon.com TPI Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 713-668-7986 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.tpiinc.com

TARGET QUALIFIED LEADS With HAA’s job board, you’ll discover a professional community that’s committed to helping you find the right candidate or your next job opportunity in the greater Houston and surrounding areas.

www.haaonline.org jobs@haaonline.org 713-595-0300

Swimming Pool Service Poolsure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 800-858-POOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.poolsure.com

www.haaonline.org/rcr

Glass – Plate, Window, Etc. Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

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

Insurance Harco Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 713-681-2500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.harco-ins.com

HAA Products & Services Rental Credit Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 713-595-0300 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.haaonline.org/rcr

Want to see current and previous issues of ABODE online? Go to http://issuu.com/haa_abode. Or view this issue on your computer, iPad or smartphone at http://issuu.com/haa_abode/docs/abode_may2020.

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MarketLine By BRUCE MCCLENNY, President, ApartmentData.com

• • • • • • • • • 1050 – • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

HOUSTON Snapshot 89.6% $1,056/mo. $1.20/sq.ft./mo. 884 sq.ft.

Recently Opened (12 months): 63 communities 16,779 units

1000 – – 90.0 975 –

– 89.0

– 88.0

Under Construction: 81 communities 23,472 units Mar 20

Feb 20

Dec 19

Jan 20

Nov 19

Oct 19

Sep 19

Jul 19

Aug 19

Jun 19

May 19

Apr 19

Mar 19

Feb 19

Jan 19

Dec 18

Oct 18

Nov 18

Sep 18

Aug 18

Jul 18

Jun 18

May 18

Apr 18

– 87.0

Proposed Construction: 89 communities 27,516 units

History of Effective Rental Rate & Occupancy for All Units

Hottest Submarkets Over the Past Three Months

Concessions

Annualized Rank 1 2 3 4 5

Occupancy (%)

Operating Supply: 2,845 communities 667,973 units

Rental Rate (¢/sq.ft./mo.)

Past 12 Months: 1.8% rental rate growth 12,059 units absorbed

1025 –

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Submarket Heights/Washington Ave Hwy 288 South/Pearland West FM 1960 East/IAH Airport Downtown Galleria/Uptown

% of Market Absorbed 7.0% 6.4% 8.8% 22.0% 8.0%

Rental Rate Growth % 2.6% 1.7% 0.7% 0.5% 0.4%

Total Units Class w/Concessions All 309,839 A 78,538 B 126,107 C 93,015 D 12,179

% of Total Units 46% 51% 48% 45% 27%

Average Special -2.9% -4.0% -2.3% -2.3% -1.6%

Citywide Effect -6.0% -7.8% -4.9% -5.0% -5.9%

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 42 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.

TEXAS

Dallas/Ft. Worth

San Antonio

Austin

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

91.5% $1,174/mo. $1.34/sq.ft./mo. 876 sq.ft.

89.7% $978/mo. $1.15/sq.ft./mo. 854 sq.ft.

91.1% $1,313/mo. $1.50¢/sq.ft./mo. 874 sq.ft.

Past 12 Months: 3.5% rental rate growth 22,761 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: 1.5% rental rate growth 4,399 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: 3.6% rental rate growth 8,696 units absorbed

Operating Supply: 3,166 communities 748,527 units

Operating Supply: 929 communities 198,222 units

Operating Supply: 1,020 communities 238,546 units

www.haaonline.org

ApartmentData.com has been providing apartment data and marketing products since 1986. ApartmentData.com provides real-time access for property specific information, market surveys and historic submarket data for more than 3.5 million apartment units in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Tennessee. For more information, contact Bruce McClenny at 800-595-8730. © 2020 ApartmentData.com May 2020

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Back Page

with News from around the COMMUNITY

COVID-19 Updates and Resources Resources from HAA, TAA and NAA online: All HAA members are also members of the Texas Apartment Association, www.taa.org, and the National Apartment Association, www.naahq.org. You will need a login to both sites for certain information and can receive them by requesting from each organization.

Visit the HAA homepage at www.haaonline.org/covid19 for links to these COVID-19 Updates and Resources Visit NAA’s resources at https://www.naahq.org/coronavirus-guidance Visit TAA’s resources at https://www.taa.org/resources/useful-resources-for-respondingto-covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

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

Return Service Requested

Profile for HAA Publishing

ABODE May 2020  

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