President's Message

Tremendous Opportunity


It seems like I was just out enjoying your company at the AACSC Holiday Party, but now I’m writing to you in February! It’s tough to keep up. I want to send out a special thank you to the AACSC Board and staff for a great evening at our Installation Dinner. Last year was very productive, but this year is full of promise and tremendous opportunity. We’ve got the right group in place to make it happen.

What are your plans for your rental business this year? Are you looking for some ideas? There are a wealth of great ideas available through NAA. Start with their website, scroll to the bottom of the home page, and click on News & Publications. Here are some examples of NAA articles that will get you thinking: “Attracting Young Residents with Website Design,” “Pet Services on the Rise,” “Why Good Maintenance Leads to Good Resident Relations,” “Outsourcing Accounting and Back Office Function,” “Package Management - An Expected Amenity,” “Roofing: Tips to Help Protect your Property.”

I also like to read their economic predictions for our industry in the coming year. Here are some highlights: continuing low cap rates, lower demand for high-priced one-bedroom apartments, and millennials clustering more in urban centers. Their quote from Kim Bettencourt, Fannie Mae, for the residential rental business in the coming year: “A combination of low interest rates, a healthy spread between cap rates and U.S. Treasury Rates, continued job growth and demand for multifamily rentals from Millennials, coupled with low home ownership rates present a positive scenario for multifamily fundamentals over the next 12 months.”

Finally, some thoughts regarding Nancy Ahlswede. I joined the Board of AACSC shortly after Nancy retired. Prior to that, I would regularly see her at our monthly membership meetings and always looked forward to her legislative reports. In fact, I would say that the primary motivation I had for attending the membership meetings was to hear her reports. She was that good. Last month I attended the reception that AACSC had at the Association’s offices to remember Nancy. There must have been 20 or 30 photographs of Nancy with various state and local politicians, past and present AACSC Board members, Nancy giving out industry awards, Nancy presiding over membership meetings and our annual trade show. There were pictures from various times throughout her 28 years with AACSC. I don’t think there are many of us who could document our business and professional life as clearly as she did through all of the photographs taken of her as our executive director.

Looking at those photographs and seeing her in a way that I wasn’t able to while she managed AACSC, I couldn’t help thinking that I had just had the privilege of seeing the summary of an important person’s life who had truly left their mark.

Get Involved!


Happy New Year everyone! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to serving as your President this year. I expect a number of great things to happen in 2017.

For starters, I think that by the time you read this, USC will have whipped Penn State in the Rose Bowl. (Sorry UCLA fans.) I think we’ll have a good year in the rental real estate business, and be able to manage around any legislation that’s passed this year affecting our industry.

I don’t know about you, but I have a big wish list for my real estate business this year, and maybe the best way to ensure that those wishes all come true is to put together some good New Year’s resolutions and start working on them. Do you have a plan yet for 2017? Are your goals in place yet? If not, here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Help your business and your industry by getting involved with one of the AACSC committees.

AACSC has local and state legislative committees, a trade show committee, member ship committee, golf tournament fundraising committee and Political Action committee. Get involved. Your help is needed. You’ll meet great people, learn a lot, and make a difference.

Lest we forget our regular order of business as we wait to see what will be on our legislative calendar this year, nevertheless we will hold out an optimistic view that we will continue to be successful as AACSC works with our lobbyist to fend off negative laws that will impact our industry.

We will also be offering a full schedule of great educational classes this year. Get the schedule now and sign up for the classes that will help you up your game. AACSC is working on a certification program for landlords that will educate, test and verify to all interested parties (like the city or pros pective tenants) that you have the knowledge and tools to run a great rental business. Watch for announcements on this program on AACSC’s website.

I also want to thank all of our vendors who continue to sponsor our events and would like to acknowledge the NEW Ambassadors Committee.

This new group is excited to get involved and it is a great way to see what AACSC is all about. Our Ambassadors are informed of all the activity around the Association so be sure to look for them at all of our events. Just a hint—they will be the ones with the badge that says AACSC Ambassador on it. Let them know you are interested in joining the team and we will get you connected, too.

Finally, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year and I would like to personally invite you to the AACSC 2017 Board Installation Dinner on January 19th at the Virginia Country Club. We have some great new board members that I would like you to meet. They are bringing us new ideas, new energy and a new perspective that will be very useful as we begin to work on this year’s issues and challenges.




I love the holiday season. It brings back memories of a happy childhood, Santa, exciting gifts, visits with family and the food. The food is the best. The aroma of turkey baking for hours, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie—I can’t get enough. There are also a lot of people who use this time of year to donate their time and give generously to people who are either less fortunate or have fallen on hard times. It’s a special time for sure, but sometimes I think I take it all for granted and don’t set aside enough time to remember the people who helped ensure that I could enjoy all those wonderful memories.

I was reminded of this recently while reading an incredible book called The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. It’s the story of the last naval battle in history. It happened during the waning months of WWII and pitted the US Navy against the Imperial Japanese fleet. I purchased the book while on a tour of the battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro Harbor.

During the battle, the USS Samuel B. Roberts, DE-413 was sunk, and the survivors drifted on life boats or whatever they could hold onto for three days until they were finally picked up. Bob Despain was one of those sailors picked up. He happened to be on the USS Iowa the day I visited, and he signed my copy. The book is filled with stories about the efforts of incredible people making unbelievable sacrifices. They faced a determined foe and didn’t blink. On top of that, when they came home, they weren’t looking for a handout.

Earl “Blue” Archer, a Kalinin Bay VC-3 Avenger pilot suffered a serious back injury while flying through the brambles of flak. He had an option to take an 80 or 90 percent disability benefit and begin a life of inactivity, or he could take three or four aspirins twice a day and continue flying planes in the naval reserve. He decided he could make a living and passed on the disability payment.

These are the men who helped make sure that I could enjoy all those lovely holiday memories while I was growing up. Their contributions can also be celebrated on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day.

Is there anything we can learn from these people that we can apply to the struggles we face in our own lives today? I think so. If we want to use their example of not backing down against a determined foe, it might help us defend our property rights next year.

I hope that you will join me and take some time to reflect on the people who have helped us get here and maybe draw inspiration from them to help us going forward. And if you are looking for a worthy cause this holiday season, a visit to the USS Iowa, or a donation to the non-profit organization that maintains the USS Iowa, helps to keep the contributions of these great Americans alive for future generations.

Organized and Effective


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year and share with you what AACSC has done and what I’ve done as President of the Board to help our members and protect our property rights.

Let’s start with political efforts both statewide and local. As usual, there were well over 100 bills introduced in State government that would have negatively affected our industry.

They were fought with a tremendous degree of success through the efforts of both our lobbyist Ron Kingston and through personal appeals to individual Assembly Members by your Board. I personally met with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assembly Members Patrick O’Donnell, Ian Calderon, David Hadley and others to press our case. Our State Legislative Committee and our Political Action Committee (PAC) were beefed up this year and we are better organized and more effective than ever before.

On the local level, our Executive Director Johanna Cunningham, your Board and I meet on a regular basis with all of the Long Beach City Council and have worked very hard to help them understand the negative impact our industry faces with initiatives like Just Cause Eviction, REAP and Rent Control. To date, these efforts have helped convince the Council that it is in nobody’s best interest to consider these measures.

There were two projects I worked on this year that have improved our member benefits and experience. First, we’ve made several changes to our membership meetings including more legal updates and a different seating arrangement design to make it easier for us to get to know one another better and share our ideas. Finally, we added snacks to keep those stomachs from growling.

The second project was to deliver completely updated, user-friendly forms. This project had been talked about for several years, but I made sure it happened this year. The new forms, by the way, are fantastic thanks to a lot of effort by Board member Vicki Abe.

Another of my missions this year was to reach out to the large property owners and managers in Long Beach to get them more engaged in our efforts to defend our property rights. I’m happy to report that several new large property owners are getting involved. I’m confident we will be able to do an even better job for you with their help. Of course there are many things we do that you will never see such as our constant planning, strategizing, organizing and structuring that happens on a daily basis; these combined efforts of our great, dedicated staff and Board are helping to improve and protect your rental business. For that we can all give thanks and carry on.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf


If you have heard it once, you have heard it a thousand times. It is a little like the boy who cried wolf. The same message, the same threat and after a period of time it wears thin. The Call To Action just seems to lose its impact. However, at the risk of repetition I am compelled to tell you that this threat is not only real, but they are organized and ready to pull the Rent Control trigger.

I attended a recent Long Beach City Council meeting and the agenda included discussion about the recently enacted PRHIP ordinance. In addition, there was talk among the audience about fears of a possible REAP ordinance and rent control. When the meeting was over and I was walking to my car, the immortal words of Greta Garbo popped into my mind—"I want to be alone." I think Greta was trying to say that she wanted people to leave her alone, and I found myself wishing that the City Council, the housing inspectors and the groups trying to pit tenants against landlords, would just leave us alone. Of course—that will never happen! Now that I'm over the fantasy, I'll tell you what we must do.

We must work like we've never worked before to protect our businesses and our rights.

The AACSC does many things to defend our industry including local lobbying, state level lobbying, communicating with and updating our members on important issues, but we should be doing more and we'd like you to be more involved.

In that regard, we plan to set up a new committee, different that the committees that we have set up in the past. We're calling it the Special Committee for Long Beach Legislation. It will consist of a group that includes AACSC members, nonmembers, AACSC board members, property management groups, major property owners and other influencers who understand the importance of our mission.

Initially, we will be assessing how real the various threats are and when they might be coming our way.

We'll develop a list of actions:

• How to counter negative legislation,
• Identify people or groups that we can align with and collaborate.
• How best to get the word out to ALL owners, landlords, management companies.

We know this threat is real, and we also know we cannot do this in a vacuum. Your involvement in this very important movement is critical. Please contact us at AACSC to get involved. We will be announcing future meetings through our website, in our AACSC Beacon Newsletter delivered to your e-mail every Tuesday and in the Apartment Journal magazine. If protecting your rental business is important to you, please join us!

Be sure to attend the Annual Membership Meeting on October 27th at the Petroleum Club, 7:00 p.m. where we will be updating you on new laws, new forms and electing our new Board Members.

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Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

California Southern Cities
333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

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