Executive Director's Update

June 2016

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As I was driving the other day, I asked my phone to please (yes, I say “please” to my phone) find directions to my destination. I am always amazed that it gets done so quickly. Then, there is the other side of that equation—now that I have arrived at my location, how do I turn my very pleasant sounding guide OFF? OK, I will also admit here that I am not a technology wizard. My children are always saying, “OK, mom, give me your phone and I will find it for you.” That’s great but I still don’t know how to do it myself. Now I also recognize that there are others who are in my exact same position, so look for a class soon on how to use your smart phone.

But whether or not I know how to use technology, it is around us every day, all day, and is a part of our lives more and more. It used to be that there were only seven digits to a phone number; now there are ten because we all have unique area codes. We also used to have landlines in our homes, and when we left our homes and realized we forgot to lock our door, we had to actually drive back home to lock the door instead of just pushing a button on our phone to lock the door for us. What’s next? I am almost afraid to ask, but I also have to admit that our world is becoming more efficient and moving at speeds that we could only dream of five to ten years ago. Nevertheless, here we are and there is no stopping it now—so get on board and buckle up—it’s going to be a bumpy ride and one that requires us all to open our minds to what the future is creating for us.

I hope you enjoy this month’s edition on technology and look for more at our September Trade Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. We are going to be bringing in all the new gadgets, programs, and incentives that our residents will be looking for, because as our theme says “It’s EASY Going GREEN.”

On another slightly different note, I want to thank the following individuals for agreeing to go on a field trip with me May 3rd when we went before the Long Beach City Council to ask them not to change the current Proactive Rental Housing Inspection Program (PRHIP) until it has been in place long enough to provide time for a better look at how the program is working. We are also requesting a good landlord program be implemented. You have heard me time and again talk about how much I respect this industry. I mean it when I say that you have to have a heart to be in this business and while we don’t agree with “bad landlords” who do not take care of their properties, we want to make sure that there is separation between them and the over 99 percent of good landlords who are responsible. I quite literally hijacked the students from our classroom and asked them to attend because we wanted to show support for our industry. Some of them had never attended a City Council meeting and here are some of the comments: “I had no idea what happens at those meetings”; “It was interesting to see the process.” So I want to thank them all on behalf of AACSC, your presence made a difference!

Take a look at our calendar for upcoming events and classes, and be sure to sign up for the next Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) class starting in August so it will end just before the holidays in December. See you at our Summer Social on July 21 at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach!

March 2016

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This month is very important for ALL of our members. If you attended our monthly Membership Meeting at the Petroleum Club you are aware of all the bills and challenges that face us this year. If you were not able to attend, then keep an eye out for both the Capitol Update by Greg Brown and our regular update (Sacramento Report) from our own lobbyist Ron Kingston. Ron also provides us with timely articles on critical issues as a feature so whenever you see a Special Report from Ron. be sure to take a look – it impacts YOU and our industry.

But this is also a BIG month for another very good reason. March 29 and 30 is our annual Lobby Day in Sacramento. It is a time when we gather together as a State Association (CalRHA) and let our representatives know how the bills they are voting on will impact us personally, professionally and as an industry. It is also a time that we are able to connect on a personal level at the Capitol reception in a more relaxed atmosphere – a time when you can talk with others in our industry to share the successes and challenges faced by those in different parts of California. And, CalRHA is growing and we are welcoming a new member, Berkeley Property Owners Association. As we have said, the larger we get, the stronger voice we have with our legislators.

Check out the calendar this month, too, there is a lot going on at AACSC and it begins with our first Product Service Council (PSC) and Management Service Council (MSC) quarterly luncheon at the Long Beach Yacht Club. The topics this year are great, so you won’t want to miss any of them.

We are now well into our first CAM (Certified Apartment Manager) class and we had 25 people begin the class. Thank you to our instructors. Lucille Aresco-Crowley who started the class with a bang is always a favorite. Then we had Michael Brennan, one of our attorneys who loves to teach; and Kirk Davey who taught the students the important financial management aspects of apartment management. So we are well on our way to educating more CAM graduates. If you are a CAM graduate and need to make sure that you maintain your certification, get in contact with Teresa Maldonado, our NEW Education Coordinator at AACSC, to see how you can join the new CAM Club. This group is for CAM graduates only and we are focusing on next level issues.

Also on tap for March is the next PN Mixer (Professional Network Mixer) in Torrance. It will be held on March 16. Be sure to look on your AACSC Weekly Update email for the location, or call the office. If you want to connect with the members, this is a relaxed and easy way to come and enjoy some time with friends. We also want to encourage you to bring along a friend – we will be having a 50/50 drawing at each event and giveaways by our vendors. This is also a new event, so join us as we relax and get to know each other.

Finally, I want to thank those who attended our Installation at the Virginia Country Club on January 29th to install our new President Steve Schiro. It was a great evening and Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell was our guest who installed our Officers and Directors.

Two Months into 2016

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Two months into 2016 and our industry is about to experience a very active year in many respects. Issues we will be hearing about include rent control, REAP, sub-metering, lead-based paint, Section 8, and comfort animals.

It is hard to repeat the same message, but this bears repeating - if you know owners, landlords or management companies who are not members, please remind them that AACSC, YOUR Association, is the only one that has a full-time lobbyist. This means that we are aware of the very latest attempts to change how you can operate your properties. Too many times I run into very informed individuals who tell me that they are a member – that is until I ask them if the organization they are associated with lobbies bills on their behalf. At that point, I get that dear-in-the-headlights look. It matters to AACSC that we have the best when it comes to protecting your property rights and it should matter to you, too. There is one perfect thing about quality – it never goes out of style. Broken record? Yes, and I will keep on repeating this message because it is too important to miss. Just look at your investment and what it means to you, your family and how you want to protect it. Help us by referring new owners and staying alert to our communication.

What is new in 2016? We have already begun to streamline our communications to you with one weekly email update that tells you what is happening: classes, meetings, events and legal issues. We have added an education email on Thursday as well so you can easily plan your education calendar. But when you see a Red Alert email, we encourage you to look, read and act. A Red Alert email means that legislation that will affect you needs immediate attention. Often times the Red Alert is time sensitive so be aware when you see it and be ready to take action if required.

As you look through the magazine, we encourage you to communicate with us about what you would like to see, read about or learn. We are committed to making the Apartment Journal your go-to source for all things multifamily.

We are always looking for those of you who would like to get more involved at the Association. It is a great way to meet others in your industry who can either provide a service to you or who, in turn, might need your service. Make sure to join us every month for our membership meetings, too. We are going to change this up a bit this year so we hope you will come and experience the new AACSC in 2016.

Welcome 2016!

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I hope that your New Year is off to a good start and that you are focused and ready for a positive, productive and prosperous 2016. The one thing that has become crystal clear is the concept of the Smart Home and we are not just talking about single-family residences, we are now including renters as part of this equation.

With the rental market continuing to have a strong showing and millennial tenants taking up residence for longer periods of time, if you are not at least thinking about upgrading or offering an interconnected lifestyle, then it is time to look at what is available for you and your tenants that is within your reach and affordable. Here are a few things that you might consider: smart locks – residents just use their smart phone or smart credential to enter their unit. If they lose their keys, the property management team can manage the locks from almost anyplace - no onsite required - no physical key required.

There is also something new when it comes to package delivery, too. What about security cameras around your property? This might also save on property insurance costs, too. One of the most popular amenities today is the addition of the dog spa (never thought I would ever see this in-house). There is no telling what technology the cloud and our cell phones will come up with next, but our tenants are looking for convenience and, without breaking the bank, some of the simple solutions might help retain those tenants for a little longer. Just a few ideas, but don’t forget that customer service and positive relationships with your tenants is still the key to retention.

As for AACSC, we are looking forward to growing and I am inviting you to attend one of our upcoming AACSC Orientation meetings. This is not just for new members and vendors, it is also to get an update on committees, education, events and to inform you on how to get involved. This year we will be expanding our reach even further into our territory and we need YOU, our members, to help us get connected in cities like Cerritos, Bellflower, Torrance, Marina Del Rey, Signal Hill, Seal Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates and Redondo Beach – just to name a few of our 54 Cities.

We are looking to connect our members to committees, education, events, local and statewide legislators and city councils. If there was ever a time when we need your participation, it is now. Like any other asset, your apartment investment deserves your attention and care. On the political side of things our industry remains under attack it is critical that we continue what we started last year and remain vigilant in our efforts to inform and educate our elected officials as to the negative impact that many of their laws produce. So get involved and we will see you at the next Orientation meeting, or you can email your interest to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will call to discuss the best committee fit for you.

I have a personal mission this year - to make sure that the apartment industry, its residents, our elected officials and our cities understand what owning multi-family property brings to our communities. I am clear in my purpose to educate and inform that the slum lords are not welcome and to turn the tables on those who want to stake their claim who misrepresent our industry. Our members, in my humble opinion, are doing the greatest good for our communities – you provide housing, security and a safe place to reside. To give credence to anything less is not acceptable. I recently had the opportunity to speak to a reporter who asked me about our owners and for some unknown reason I did not get the feeling that he was looking for the reply I provided when I said, “You have to have a heart for this industry and that is what our members have …. A calling to do what is right, to provide good housing and to help others”.

In conclusion, I hope your year is blessed with good fortune, I hope you will come and volunteer so that we can continue our strong growth and I thank you all for the opportunity to represent you for another year.

Heart For The Business

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I am, as always surprised that we are rounding the final corner on another year! If I were to refer to this year in racing terms, I would have to evaluate it this way – we started out with all cylinders a-blazing, moving quickly toward the first turn, when BAM, we got hit with over 1,000 bills that our ever vigilant lobbyist, Ron Kingston, had to read, consider the impact and decide on how to proceed. What was accomplished throughout the race was nothing short of epic. With CalRHA, we cruised into the stretch at our first ever CalRHA Statewide Legislative Day Reception. We approached the halfway point of the race with tenacity, information and options for our legislators to help them create a new path that they could live with (called amendments) and continued to move ahead knowing full well that there was still more left in the race that we (our industry) had to do before the race was over.

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