• Shores: A love story

    • 2011-12-15
    • PEGGY SHAW

    The love story began in 1955, when Epstein was first approached by then Los Angeles County Supervisor Burton Chase to assist in the planning for the creation of Marina del Rey, soon to become the largest recreational boat harbor community in the world. Less than a decade later, when construction of the marina was completed, Epstein and his partners


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  • MHP Reflections

    • 2011-12-15
    • Linda Hoffman, Publisher

    Humans are beautiful, complex creatures.

    Try as we may, we can not simplify this complexity into an app, a box or other metric container, wrapped in our intentions. We will alway yearn for inspiration, crave beauty and seek wisdom.

    Here's how I know.

    Raised in St. Louis, I shared a city with the Pruitt-Igoe apartments. Inspired by modernist t


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  • A credit score that tracks rent payments

    • 2011-12-15
    • Tara Siegel Bernard, nytimes.com

    The new report also includes any property tax liens and whether you've fallen behind on your homeowner's association dues. It may reflect that you now owe more than your house is worth or if you own any other real estate properties outright. It also is supposed to catch mortgages made by smaller lenders that the big credit bureaus may have missed.<


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  • Apartment construction surges

    • 2011-12-15
    • Derek Kravitz, Alex Veiga, AP

    The number of permits to build apartments jumped to a three-year high in October. In 12 months, they've surged 63 percent.

    Blame the housing bust, which left many people without the means, the credit or the stomach to buy. More people need apartments. The demand has driven up monthly rents. And apartment-home builders are rushing to cash in.

    Th


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  • Apartments rock downtown

    • 2011-12-15
    • Michelle Jarboe McFee, The Plain Dealer

    With apartments nearly full and waiting lists piling up, a sense of rental euphoria has fallen over downtown Cleveland.

    The downtown apartment market has tightened up dramatically, thanks to growing zest for urban living and a housing crash that helped make apartments the hottest commodity in the real estate business.

    The occupancy spike-to 98


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  • Bozzuto takes a Giant leap

    • 2011-12-15

    Cathedral Commons is a $125 million, two-block, mixed-use development that will include 137 apartment units and eight townhomes, more than 500 parking spaces, and 128,000 square feet of retail anchored by Giant Food, the grocery market share leader in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

    "Giant is looking forward to the transformation of the c


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  • Business analytics seeing huge demand, outpacing talent

    • 2011-12-15
    • Krystal Peak

    A survey out the first of December, by the EMC Corporation, is showing that nearly one-third of companies across the globe are able to use new data to aid in business decisions and reveal customer insight.

    EMC reached across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and China to see how companies are using data tools such as m


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  • Can we consume less?

    • 2011-12-15
    • Fred Pearce, Reuters

    Will rich societies start consuming less? Could wealth go green? Might parsimony become the new luxury? Heresy, surely, you would say. But it might just be possible.

    Take Britain. A new study finds that the country that invented the industrial revolution two centuries ago reached "peak stuff" between 2001 and 2003. In the past decade, Britain has


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  • CBRE Econometric Advisors forecasts 5.5 percent vacancy

    • 2011-12-15

    The multihousing vacancy rate in 2011 isprojected to be 5.5 percent (on an annualized basis), down 60 basis points (bps) from a year ago and 190 bps from its 2009 peak.

    "Apartment demand is benefiting from slight job growth as well as an expanding pool of potential renters," said Gleb Nechayev, senior managing economist, CBRE-EA. "With gross reve


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  • Despite housing glut, REITs prosper

    • 2011-12-15
    • PEGGY SHAW

    On a year-over-year basis, AvalonBay Communities saw FFO per share growth in Q3 of more than 19 percent, the highest growth rate in six years for the multifamily REIT that, as of the end of September, owned and managed 47,279 apartments on both coasts, with a handful in the Midwest. NOI growth was more than nine percent, the best growth rate for th


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  • Drinking through a firehose: has data mining gone too far?

    • 2011-12-15

    "Even traditional companies have discovered they can generate totally new lines of business by collecting and using their customers' information," says Andrea Matwyshyn, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. From grocers to gas stations, retailers offer loyalty cards that track purchases. Visa has filed a patent for a method to


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  • Equity Residential to take stake in Archstone

    • 2011-12-15

    The stake would be about half of the ownership held by the two banks and sets the clock ticking for the remaining owner, Lehman Brothers, to match it.

    "A 26.5 percent stake gives us a seat at the table regarding making decisions and the long-term outcome of the portfolio," Equity Residential spokesman Martin McKenna said.

    Lehman, which is opera


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  • Gratitude as a business strategy

    • 2011-12-15
    • Howie Jacobson, FT blogger

    There's nothing wrong with expecting excellence, and taking steps to get it. The problem is, we tend to take excellence- and thoughtfulness, and kindness, and joyfulness- for granted.

    When things go as we expect, we don't even notice or acknowledge it. Dennis Prager refers to this as the "broken tile" syndrome: look at a ceiling with one broken t


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  • I don't understand what anyone is saying anymore

    • 2011-12-15
    • Dan Pallotta

    Abstractionitis
    We have forgotten how to use the real names of real things. Like doorknobs. Instead, people talk about the idea of doorknobs, without actually using the word "doorknob." So a new idea for a doorknob becomes "an innovation in residential access." Expose yourself repeatedly to the extrapolation of this practice to things more compl


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  • I spy with my little iPhone

    • 2011-12-15
    • Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American

    Until the recent uproar over the discovery of Carrier IQ's analytics software running on a variety of mobile devices, including Apple iPhones and Google Android phones, however, most consumers failed to recognize that they also have little control over the software installed on the highly subsidized handsets they buy. Nor was it clear just how much


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  • Is multfamily's future in TOD?

    • 2011-12-15
    • Frank Bosl, Senior Vice President of the Multi-Housing Properties Group

    The citizens of Seattle have just such an opportunity by encouraging development of dynamic pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in the areas surrounding Sound Transit's light-rail stations. Nationally, these "new" neighborhoods are called transit-oriented developments (TODs). Locally, the Seattle Planning Commission has coined the phrase "transit com


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  • Know when house rules violate lease

    • 2011-12-15
    • Janet Portman, Rent It Right, Chicago Tribune

    A: Your owner appears to be a little confused as to the meaning of a lease: It's a contract that binds both sides to its terms, as written. If one party to the lease wants to change or add to those terms, it must get the OK from the other party. Unless everyone agrees to vary the terms of the deal-which includes adding important conditions as to us


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  • Lehman seeks financing for Archstone counterbid

    • 2011-12-15
    • Brian Louis

    Lehman, which owns 47 percent of Archstone, is in discussions with investors including Blackstone Group LP and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. to arrange financing, said the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. Equity Residential said Dec. 2 that it agreed to pay $1.33 billion to buy the interest from Bank of Ame


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  • Senior housing is booming, baby

    • 2011-12-15
    • Harold Brubaker, philly.com

    In the third quarter of 2011 alone, 39 senior housing deals worth $5.5 billion were completed, primarily by real estate investment trusts that specialize in housing for the elderly. That figure includes independent-living and assisted-living communities, but not nursing homes.

    The total value of senior housing deals in the quarter ended Sept. 30


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  • Tenants trying again to buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village

    • 2011-12-15
    • Charles V. Bagli, The New York Times

    The tenant association hopes to convert the adjacent complexes, with 11,232 apartments, into a condominium or cooperative under a plan in which residents could buy their apartments or remain as rent-regulated tenants. In what would be the largest conversion in the country, the tenants are seeking to preserve Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper's role


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  • The great shrinking state

    • 2011-12-15
    • Gale Holland, Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times

    Unable to afford Orange County's skyhigh rents, she opted for Portland, Ore. "A big motivator was that I lived with roommate after roommate after roommate," said McCluer, 30. "Friends said you could probably live on your own up here. The rent was a huge deal for me."

    McCluer would like to move back, but it's still too expensive. "It's really diff


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  • The latest cottage business: app fees

    • 2011-12-15
    • Scott James, The Bay Citizen

    At a "nice" $3,500-per-month loft in the Mission, "80 people showed up for the open house," said Ms. Lamas, 23, who recently began working at a tech company in SoMa. "And the landlord said to me that he'd gotten 250 applications."

    The cost of applying was $40, so if the landlord wasn't exaggerating, he grossed $10,000 in application fees.

    Call


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  • The ultimate question: Would your customers recommend you?

    • 2011-12-15

    Peter Fader: Can you tell us what NPS stands for? Those three letters are on everyone's mind these days, and a lot of businesses are being run by them.

    Rob Markey: NPS originally stood for Net Promoter Score. It was designed as a way to help marketers, operations folks, call center operators and business leaders figure out the extent to which the


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  • Through the eyes of the imagineers

    • 2011-12-15
    • LISA BENSON


    Kimberly Scott, founder of Capture the Market, a real estate video production studio in Dallas, Texas, is hesitant to agree with such a trivialization. She might argue that when forging a tech-based business in the multifamily industry, there is a higher barrier to adaptation of new products and resistance to "new."

    "Over the past eight year


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  • Using social networks to improve operations

    • 2011-12-15
    • Gary Edwards & Mike Amos

    Then telephone surveys began to supplement mystery shopping. Today, digital technologies are supplanting both, with online customer surveys providing an exponentially greater number of performance snapshots per day.

    A well-managed loop that links customer experience feedback with recommendations on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp


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  • When nothing works

    • 2011-12-15

    As Bertie examined my elbow, I reminded him of everything I had done to try to fix my problem. When it began to hurt, I used ibuprofen. When that didn't work, we tried two injections of cortisone, six months apart. Meanwhile, I did physical therapy, tried ultrasound, used a brace, performed daily exercises, applied ice, and went to acupuncture and


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  • Your use of pronouns reveals your personality

    • 2011-12-15

    The research: In the 1990s, James Pennebaker helped develop a computer program that counted and categorized words in texts, differentiating content words, which convey meaning, from function words. After analyzing 400,000 texts-including essays by college students, instant messages between lovers, chat room discussions, and press conference transcr


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  • The Closer

    • 2011-12-15
    • Tim Cavanaugh, reason.com

    Back in the innocent days of 2007 or so, it was customary for experts to say that housing had led the recession and housing would lead us out.


    Whatever measure of truth there may have been in that clichÚ, the reality is that by refusing to accept the real estate correction as the healthful and decades-overdue solution it is, America's leaders


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