• The American Dream loses its luster

    • 2012-04-10
    • PEGGY SHAW

    In fact, the percentage of departing renters opting for homeownership also reached some historic lows in Q4 2011 and multifamily REITS like Camden Property Trust are reaping the rewards.

    "We continue to benefit from incredibly low move-outs to purchase homes, which was 11.2 percent for the fourth quarter and, for the full year, move-outs to purch


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  • MHP Reflections

    • 2012-04-10
    • Linda Hoffman, Publisher

    Times, they are a-changing.

    From rent control to principal forbearance to mounting regulation to healthcare, our world is evolving at a rapid clip. It is the best of times.

    It is the worst of times. If you are underemployed, under water, under-insured, life is a storm cloud.

    If you are a landlord in a growing number of markets, your rents are


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  • Squatters training

    • 2012-04-10
    • Michael Gartland, NY Post

    In March, board member Andres Perez held a teach-in on how to wrest "control" of vacant apartments. He called it "homesteading."

    "The best time to enter a building is in the late hours," he advised a group of about 20, who gathered in front of the half-empty East New York housing complex Arlington Village.

    "You make sure you have your proper to


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  • Rentals to the rescue

    • 2012-04-10
    • Elsa Brenner, The New York Times

    The shift away from ownership housing is being repeated across the country, said Douglas M. Bibby, president of the National Multi Housing Council.

    "In 2008 everything started falling apart," he said. "In the two previous years, condos represented a third of all multifamily completions, with everyone betting on their values going up." Instead pri


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  • New HUD rule on GLBT

    • 2012-04-10
    • Mike Householder, The Washington Post

    HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the new equal access to housing rule "says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transexual) individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose."

    Donovan made the announcement at a White House conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender housing and homelessness in D


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  • Time is not on the side of the unemployed

    • 2012-04-10
    • Ben Casselman, wsj.com

    In recent months, employers have stepped up hiring, layoffs have slowed and the unemployment rate has begun to fall more quickly. But the rosier picture hasn't been a boon to everyone without a job. In February, 3.5 percent of the U.S. work force was unemployed for more than six months, compared with 4.0 percent in February of 2010, a smaller decli


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  • San Francisco gold rush

    • 2012-04-10
    • Stephanie M. Lee, sfgate.com

    Largely in response to the city's growing technology sector, 22,000 residential units are in various stages of approval and construction. In a few years, residents could be signing leases for new addresses in South Beach, South of Market, Central Market and Mission Bay.

    "There's been so much approved over the last four years that's never been bui


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  • Apartment lobby taking 2012 policy agenda to Congress

    • 2012-04-10
    • Cole Epley, Memphis Business Journal

    "The single-family collapse clearly illustrated the consequences of the overzealous push on Capitol Hill toward purchasing homes," said NAA president Douglas Culkin in a statement. "With more than a third of all Americans renting and upwards of 7 million new renter households expected this decade, it's time for Congress to create a balanced housing


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  • A license to rent

    • 2012-04-10
    • foxnews.com, The Associated Press

    The fight has pushed Farmers Branch, a quiet collection of bedroom communities and office parks, into the national debate about illegal immigration. Local Latinos say it also has made U.S. citizens and immigrants feel unwelcome in the city, where the Latino population has fallen in recent years.

    City officials and law backers argue that undocumen


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  • Deutsche avoids Dodd-Frank rule

    • 2012-04-10
    • David Enrich and Laura Stevens, wsj.com

    The bank on Feb. 1 reorganized its U.S. subsidiary, known as Taunus Corp., so that it is no longer classified as a "bank-holding company," according to disclosures by the bank and on the U.S. Federal Reserve's Website. Deutsche Bank is at least the second large European bank to make such a change, following in the footsteps of the U.K.'s Barclays P


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  • Apartment loans by agencies creating bubble

    • 2012-04-10
    • Oshrat Carmiel, bloomberg.net

    Multifamily loans issued by government-sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are buoying the price of apartment buildings to the point that buyers may not be able to refinance once interest rates rise, according to the report by N.Y.-based Chandan Economics LLC.

    Getting a new, pricier loan for an apartment property bought at today's price


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  • Bank of America faces hurdles in rentals

    • 2012-04-10
    • Nin-Hai Tseng, Fortune

    To help struggling homeowners, Bank of America recently launched a test initiative that will give some a chance to rent the very homes they risk losing. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank began sending letters accompanied with leases to 1,000 homeowners in Arizona, Nevada and New York.

    The move isn't anything other lenders haven't tried, but it's cle


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  • The long view on unemployment

    • 2012-04-10
    • The Associated Press

    In an interview with ABC News, Bernanke said in March that he is sleeping better these days because the U.S. financial system looks stronger, and threats from Europe's debt crisis look less worrisome. He said the jump in gas prices should have only a moderate drag on growth.

    But Bernanke said the economy isn't strong enough to continue to reduce


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  • Taking work home

    • 2012-04-10
    • Maura Webber Sadovi, wsj.com

    In April, local developer Millcraft Industries of Washington, Pa., will begin renting units in a 16-story former state office building that is undergoing a $45 million conversion.

    When completed in September, the 218 apartments in the renamed River Vue complex will fetch average monthly rents of about $1,650 and offer views of the Ohio and Monong


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  • Want to improve customer service? Treat your employees better.

    • 2012-04-10

    On the one hand, moments of tear-your-hair-out frustration are commonplace-from shopping in stores where sales associates are nowhere to be found, to dealing with salespeople unable to help locate a sought-after item, to encountering repetitive robotic voice messages that never lead to a live customer service rep. On the other hand, the rise of 24/


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  • Where magic is made

    • 2012-04-10
    • Arletha Grandison, MBA,

    As the leasing and marketing manager of the 734-unit Crestview Apartment Homes located in metropolitan Atlanta, daily, I often consider Borden's four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

    Interestingly, there are yet new and innovative ways to effectively market our community, and forge its image before our residents and prospect


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  • Stressed out! How to navigate one or more life-changing events

    • 2012-04-10
    • Julie Revelent

    After undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy, and relieved to be cancerfree, she received another devastating blow: losing her job as managing director of a Wall Street firm, as well as the insurance that came along with it.

    And if things couldn't get worse, Kevin, who was healthy again, was diagnosed with stage 3B malignant melanoma and given


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  • Work related stress in America

    • 2012-04-10
    • Ned Smith, Daily Business Review

    But there are ways to reduce its impact on human lives and companies' bottom line, even though stress is a daunting, pervasive problem, experts say. A recent survey of 2,500 employees by ComPsych, a provider of employee assistance programs (EAPs), underscores the dimensions of the problem.

    Due in part to the prevalence of stress in today's workpl


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  • An eye for detail

    • 2012-04-10
    • Joshua Gans

    Manhole covers have to be one of the most generic, standardized building products one can buy. I suspect that it is a highly competitive market, probably relatively regional, that achieves low cost because almost every plate ordered is the same.

    So if Disney decided to order just a few thousand speciallydesigned manhole covers, it probably paid a


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  • Sick days

    • 2012-04-10

    But during keynote presentations and panel discussions at the recent Health Care Business Conference at the University of Pennsylvania, the emphasis was on solutions. Participants analyzed ways that individual companies are digging deep into the system to come up with approaches that rely on new technology, new business models and new marketing str


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  • A-list rents

    • 2012-04-10

    Let's admit it. One of the guilty-though largely unspoken-pleasures of living in NYC is going about our daily business in close proximity to some of the world's most famous personalities.

    Of course, New Yorkers are far too cool to start snapping photos or asking for autographs. But even the most hardcore of locals has felt that special rush of re


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  • Engineering brilliance

    • 2012-04-10

    Ten23 owners told the architects they wanted apartments that were filled with natural daylight, and common terraces filled with trees and lawns, to create homes that reflects the harmony of the countryside with the excitement of the city.

    To achieve this goal, the design firm chose Advanced Glazings, Ltd., to daylight the building. Advanced Glazi


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  • Car loans Americans' top bill-paying priority

    • 2012-04-10
    • The Associated Press

    It used to be that Americans would pay their home loans first, then their credit card and car loans. After all, homes have been most people's most valuable possession for decades, one that nobody wanted to jeopardize.

    But TransUnion, a credit information company, studied the payment patterns of 4 million Americans with at least one car loan, one


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  • Post-financial crisis, a new generation's views on money

    • 2012-04-10
    • Tamara J. Erickson

    In 2008, adult conversations shifted. After nearly a decade of headlines on terrorism and the resultant wars, suddenly signs of financial trouble demanded top attention. Within months, the global financial crisis, considered by many economists to be the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, settled in around the world.


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  • Household formation trends and links

    • 2012-04-10
    • Cardiff Garcia, ft.com

    To get some sense of how much higher demand for housing would have been if household formation had remained at its precrisis pace, here's an excerpt from the Goldman note: "Holding headship rates within each age group constant at their 2007 level, growth in the size of the population and changes in its age structure would have warranted annual hous


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  • The one thing

    • 2012-04-10
    • Scott Edinger, Edinger Consulting Group.

    Assertiveness gets a bad rap when people equate it with being pushy and annoying. But that shouldn't stop you from learning to apply it productively (that is-in service to your strengths). More harm is done when people aren't assertive enough than by being too assertive. At least you know what pushy people think, but those who don't assert themselv


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  • Credit due

    • 2012-04-10
    • Ben Dattner

    Most leaders know not to act like the boss in the FedEx ad. But few think carefully enough about all the ways in which credit (an extremely powerful motivator) and blame (a potential motivation killer) are apportioned in their teams. Here are a few rules designed to help you do it better:

    Give credit where credit is due
    It sounds obvious but


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  • Turning off, tuning out

    • 2012-04-10
    • Academic consortium of writers at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

    Welcome to the new world of work, where 5:30 p.m. is far from the end of the day. It is a world in which smartphones and laptop computers-devices that ostensibly enable us to work faster, more efficiently and more flexibly-have become 24/7 intravenous hookups to our jobs. Not only do we have difficulty maintaining personal boundaries with work beca


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  • The march toward multihousing continues

    • 2012-04-10
    • Peter Coy, Bloomberg Business Week

    One reason for the boom in multifamily construction is that rents have risen, making new rental projects more attractive to investors. Obviously rents can't get too high or people will be turned off. In fact, a recent study said that the financial advantage of owning over renting is the biggest in at least two decades.

    On the other hand, it's har


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  • Smooth sailing ahead for Chicago apartments

    • 2012-04-10
    • Robert Carr, globest.com

    Most view the national market as strong, of course, with downtown Chicago's positive demand indicative of the country's shift back toward urban living.

    Ron DeVries, VP with locally-based Appraisal Research Counselors, said during the "Apartment Markets and Market Segments" discussion that it's the peoples' desire to live in downtowns today-and th


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  • Make an impression in 30 seconds. Go.

    • 2012-04-10
    • Holly Newman and Ron Ashkenas

    Most of us are not in the business of making TV commercials, but in conversations there is almost always a 30-second moment that can make the meeting memorable.

    Malcolm Gladwell touches on this phenomenon in his book, Blink. He talks about "thin-slicing," or "the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very


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  • Keeping pace

    • 2012-04-10

    Prospective residents no longer have to physically visit a community to get a feel for the apartment or community. Leasing offices now get prospects and residents communicating from all directions: office visits, landline calls and mobile devices, Website chat, email, social media, text, live Skype chat, Apple Facetime video chat, and interactive t


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  • Americans stay put; instead accessorize

    • 2012-04-10
    • Dawn Wotapka, wsj.com

    Of those looking to move, some 44 percent expect to buy, while 42 percent are looking to rent, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker survey released in March. (The questions related to moving are new this year, so no previous comparison is available.)

    Not surprisingly, the survey found a lack of confidence in the hous


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  • Household landscape 2012

    • 2012-04-10
    • Natl. Housing Conf., Center of Housing Policy

    A new study by the Center for Housing Policy confirms that falling home prices have not solved the housing affordability problems of the nation's working households. In fact, the Center's Housing Landscape 2012 report found that the share of working households paying more than half their income for housing rose significantly between 2008 and 2010 f


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  • The power of an authentic smile

    • 2012-04-10
    • Guy Winch, Ph.D. in The Squeaky Wheel

    Because we view complaints as acts of self-assertion rather than the requests for help that they indeed are, we often fail to utilize the most effective tool we have for eliciting help in complaint situations-conveying an implicit optimism about getting the outcome we want by using authentic smiles.

    Authentic smiles convey optimism and strong con


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  • The Closer: Building a strong foundation for a housing recovery

    • 2012-04-10
    • Scott Brown

    The federal government, which now owns or guarantees some 37 million mortgages because of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts, is forced to take possession of properties at huge expense to the taxpayer. Nobody wins.

    I believe there's a better way to manage and recover from the foreclosure crisis.

    First, there are many homeowners who could m


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