Turning a page in history

  • By Peggy Shaw
  • Published February 2017

their different activities and events to really have a relationship, so when an issue comes up, we can really explain why and how it's going to impact our industry," he said.

He believes that many elected officials don't understand the consequences of their actions on housing in this country, so making them aware of those consequences is of critical importance to the industry, he said.

Pinnegar has said that he plans to ensure that NAA's voice also is strengthened in legislative and regulatory matters at the state and local levels.

With its 170 affiliates across the country, NAA has been a clearinghouse for information for quite some time and has recently staffed up to enhance that role, while focusing on technology and addressing the tenant group community that, he said, is "increasingly nimble."

"The National Renters' Day of Action occurred in September last year, which was really a warning for all of us to be much more aware of what's happening out there and to be able to respond quickly. We do have an infrastructure that we have laid in place. We have people that are trained in advocating with elected officials and that's something we're going to be committing more resources, more time and more effort to at the state and local level," Pinnegar said.

Internally, at the board of directors meeting he and NAA staff members attended in Charleston at the beginning of the year, the group kicked off a strategic planning task force and engaged a firm to assist with the effort that is a focus for this year.

"Over the holidays, we sent out an RFP (request for proposals), we hired a strategic planning firm to assist us and we had the initial meeting with that task force at our board meeting," he said.

Pinnegar is pleased that NAA leadership is committed to looking at how to align the organization, its products and services networks to meet the needs of the industry, which has been changing over the last three to five years in the realms of technology, consumer demand and the trends with regards to Millennials and the Baby Boomers coming back to rental housing.

NAA membership has grown by around 12,000 since Pinnegar accepted the position of COO in 2011 and he believes that the more NAA can position itself as a valuable resource to help its members navigate through the increasingly complex landscape of residential housing, the more successful the organization will become.

"We've had a very good growth curve and I anticipate that the economy will continue to do well and that we are going to continue to post bigger and bigger numbers between now and two years from now," he said.

The commercial real estate industry that has been on an upswing since 2010 is cyclical and, while people are cautious, they're still feeling like there's some life left in this cycle, he said.

And, he also was cautiously optimistic about the effect the Trump administration will have on the apartment industry.

"I think time will tell on this, but President Trump was raised in commercial real estate, so I would have to assume that he would understand the industry and I would hope that he would do no harm to us," said Pinnegar.

"He does understand it and it's the first time we've had somebody in that office that understands commercial real estate, so this could be a very good time for our industry and, again, that cycle could continue," he said.

The most challenging aspect of his role as president and CEO of NAA, he said, is the reevaluation and realignment of the organization to meet the current needs of the industry.

"So, as new CEO, it's a great time to turn over all the stones and look at everything and say, 'How do we do this and how can we do it better?' Change is always difficult, so it's going to be a challenge, but the result will be an organization that will be much better positioned to help guide its members through the increasingly complex landscape of the rental housing business," said Pinnegar.