• The rise and sell of BRE

    • 2014-02-04
    • WENDY BROFFMAN

    And, if stock prices are an indication of which REITs investors wager are ripe for M&A, Home Properties and Post Properties both are on the radar as potential targets.

    Exactly 12 months after the Archstone asset sale, in December 2013, BRE entered into an agreement to merge with Essex Property Trust--its closest West Coast competitor--after r


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  • MHP Reflections

    • 2014-02-04
    • Linda Hoffman, Publisher

    I grew up at the convergence of two mighty rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri. With a simple look at this powerful artery beating the heart of a country as the Mississippi so honestly does, life suddenly makes sense--as does America, especially now.

    As a younger self, I watched mere mortals struggle against the will of the "Old Man" with a


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  • Rentals grow more scarce, driving rents up

    • 2014-02-04
    • Josh Mitchell, blogs.wsj.com

    The rental vacancy rate, or the share of units that are empty and available for rent, fell 0.5 percentage point in 2013 to 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the Commerce Department in January.

    After peaking at just above 11 percent in 2009, rental vacancy has fallen sharply in the wake of the housing collapse and recessio


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  • Retirees are not the labor exodus problem

    • 2014-02-04
    • Robert Romano, Forbes

    These numbers are based on the annual figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and speak to a pronounced drop in labor force participation--that is, those working or looking for work--with the participation rate dropping from almost 66 percent throughout 2008 to its current level of 62.8 percent, the lowest it's been since 1978.

    If


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  • Slippery slope of big data

    • 2014-02-04
    • Michael Schrage, research fellow, MIT Sloan School's Center for Digital Business

    You slice, dice, parse and process every screen-stroke, clickstream, like, tweet and touch point that matters to your enterprise. You now know exactly who your best--and worst--customers, clients, employees and partners are. Knowledge is power. But what kind of power does all that knowledge buy?

    Big data creates big dilemmas. Greater knowledg


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  • Time to move

    • 2014-02-04
    • Shanthi Bharatwaj, thestreet.com

    But the future of the government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs as they are more commonly called, is unlikely to be determined in 2014.

    Given the considerable disagreement in Congress over the role the government should play in the mortgage market in the future and worries that a change from the status quo would derail the housing recovery, f


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  • Detroit puts hopes in corporate subsidies

    • 2014-02-04
    • Shikha Dalmia

    Led by Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans Inc., they are trying to rebuild everything--retail, housing, start-ups, transit and even street life--in the seven-square-mile downtown area.

    Their theory is that a thriving core will lift the rest of the 130-square-mile city out of its economic torpor. The challenge for the new mayor, Mike Duggan,


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  • Not picture perfect

    • 2014-02-04
    • LISA BENSON

    It turns out that an online image he liked, downloaded and integrated into his new marketing campaign was a copyrighted, fully-staged photo by one very famous photographer out of New York City.

    Petrified and embarrassed, he worked with his web developer to settle the claim.

    "Here our company was just getting started," said Hammond. "And


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  • Rentals rising

    • 2014-02-04
    • GARY FAUTH

    Every two years Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies publishes an analysis of current rental housing trends. The most recent report was released last December. It documents the recovery of the multifamily rental market, but highlights a financing policy issue that might emerge as a threat to sustained market expansion. Here are the key points


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  • The whole truth

    • 2014-02-04
    • LAURYN SCHIMMEL

    Technology is exciting. It has the power to unite. It has the power to transform. With the right technology, companies are more productive, more efficient, and more profitable.

    Technology can also be scary. As Edward Snowden and his National Security Agency leaks reveal, the Internet age exposes companies, individuals and their data, and heig


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  • Lessons on value-add

    • 2014-02-04
    • WENDY BROFFMAN

    According to a December article in the Wall Street Journal, a flood of new student housing development from large REITs and private equity firms is squeezing out smaller owners.

    More supply th


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  • Catching the silver tsunami

    • 2014-02-04
    • PEGGY SHAW

    "The sheer number of baby boomers will fuel a demand for new housing in every age-qualified sector, from single-family to assisted living," said Manny Gonzalez, principal with national architecture and planning firm KTGY Group, Inc., who believes rethinking the old models and creation of new, innovative living environments will fuel development of


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  • Convention in the Mile-High City

    • 2014-02-04
    • LISA BENSON

    "There were a number of discussions among executives and suppliers around whether legal substances should be available at nonsanctioned events," he said.

    Certainly this was all to the chagrin of executives at the National Apartment Association (NAA), as they would prefer convention excitement be based on learning and networking opportunities.


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  • Colorado primer: for the curious

    • 2014-02-04
    • Michelle Broder Van Dyke, buzzfeed

    Who can smoke marijuana? Anyone over 21 can legally use cannabis in Colorado. For those under 21, it is illegal, although minors can gain the benefits of medical marijuana with parental consent. Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000. People who already have medical marijuana cards will continue to abide by the same rules. <


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  • Letter from Land and Buildings to BRE

    • 2014-02-04
    • Jonathan Litt, Founder & CEO, Land and Buildings

    In the letter, Land and Buildings expresses its disappointment that BRE's senior management failed to seriously consider its $60 per share offer. It addresses management's failure to address the significant and persistent undervaluation of the company's assets. Land and Buildings noted that its standing offer represents a 16 percent premium to the


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  • The shocking reality of rental housing

    • 2014-02-04
    • Larry Oaks, VP of housing, LISC

    But that's not the most startling part of the survey. It turns out that renters in smaller cities like Duluth and even housing boomtowns like Phoenix are frequently facing dire housing circumstances.

    Nationwide, half of all renters pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. And one-in-four pays more than 50 percent. For them, money


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  • ULI weighs in

    • 2014-02-04
    • Thomas Grillo, Boston Bus. Journal

    Proposed steps include:

    Promoting cost-effectiveness through consolidation, coordination, and simplification: including consolidating monitoring and due diligence activities; coordinating competitive funding competitions; improving codes, zoning, and regulation; and streamlining HUD financing.

    Removing barriers to reducing construction


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  • Trends to watch

    • 2014-02-04
    • Heather Clancy

    That demise continues to stir debate among those who believe the mandate takes away consumer choice for old-school bulbs, which make up about half of the residential lighting market. The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress in mid-January even includes a provision to ban the enforcements of the "onerous" standard.

    Political posturin


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  • A steady eye

    • 2014-02-04
    • Sarah Borchersen-Keto, reit.com

    A public, non-listed REIT sponsored by Steadfast REIT Investments, LLC that launched at the end of 2013 is seeking to capitalize on strong job growth and pent-up demand for apartments in the greater Midwest and southern regions of the United States.

    Steadfast Apartment REIT, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., began offering up to $1.1 billion i


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  • Obama: Energy efficiency for millions of apartments

    • 2014-02-04
    • Pete Danko

    And they plan on doing it through pressures in lending requirements. What comes of this partnership remains to be seen, but the goal is imminently sensible: to make apartments more energy efficient.

    According to EPA, around a third of Americans live in apartments in multifamily buildings, and their energy bills add up to $22 billion a year. T


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  • The hunt for lions

    • 2014-02-04
    • Ken Sundheim

    Engaged employees learn, grow, display strong leadership skills, provide heightened return on investment and significantly decrease your firm's turnover rate. Formulating a team that approaches work with vigor and passion, however, is easier discussed than executed.

    Building just such a team is a crucial in your company's ability to operate s


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  • Customer service in dollars

    • 2014-02-04
    • Dan Pallotta

    That's the recording you'll eventually receive (after you've gone through two decision trees) if you call the Google headquarters phone number, the only number listed on Google's "Contact Us" page.

    Really? Google--as in Android, Chromebook, Google Glass, Google TV--does not have live customer support? No, it doesn't. Google's intense focus on


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  • Who's really listening?

    • 2014-02-04
    • Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor, Harvard Business School

    Your own team. They couldn't care less about ringing rhetoric quotable by future generations. They want to know whether to update their resumes or renew their commitment to the work.

    U.S. President Barack Obama is a larger example of the position faced by turnaround CEOs who must sell their agenda to stakeholders through public communications


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  • Just what the doctor ordered

    • 2014-02-04
    • Christopher Gray, NY Times

    The architect for these model tenements, Henry Atterbury Smith, rethought the whole window idea, not only getting light and air inside the apartments, but also getting the tenants outside.

    At the turn of the last century, reformers became more and more interested in improving the housing of low-income wage earners. Dark hallways and stairwell


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  • The Closer

    • 2014-02-04

    Like John Godfrey Saxe's poem, "Blind Men and the Elephant," much has been said of the latest State of the Union address by President Obama.

    As punditry is appropriately colorized by the perspective of the teller, our industry leaders may be the clearest sounding bell on how it affects not only to our own livelihoods, but the tipping point of


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