April 2, 2019

CRC’s Heather Palmer and Ari Abramson Present at MMHA Conference

Heather Palmer Ari Abramson MMHA Conference

(CRC’s, Heather Palmer, Director of Sales and Training and Ari Abramson, Vice President, Acquisitions, participated in separate panels at the recent Maryland Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) conference addressing marketing strategies and the acquisitions environment respectively. MMHA, an affiliate of the National Apartment Association (NAA), promotes and maintains the highest standards of excellence in the local multi-housing industry including education, legislative and advocacy services.

Heather Palmer was part of a panel that discussed new trends in marketing strategies, including research and programming, targeting consumers in the multifamily sector. Palmer explained to the group that CRC believes prospective residents gravitate toward experiences that allow them to be part of the leasing process. This is the reason why the company employs customer centric, digital advertising tactics to appeal to these customers. Further, CRC specifically communicates the living experiences residents can expect at each of their communities with the inclusion of virtual tours, auto-responders for quick text communication and high-quality videos.

Palmer added that CRC multifamily outreach methods include geo-targeting, which allows for specific mobile marketing based on the geographical location of local businesses, shopping centers and business parks. This technique allows CRC to generate meaningful leads for their multifamily communities based on a specific area.

“We utilize an omni-channel approach to our marketing as it is extremely important for customers to have a consistent and seamless online experience,” concluded Palmer.

Ari Abramson’s panel addressed the expected outlook for acquisition activity in 2019, market fundamentals that drive this sector and a narrowcast examination of the Baltimore City and Baltimore County marketplace.

Abramson noted that, in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2018, more than 150 multifamily communities exchanged hands with transactional volume eclipsing $8.25 billion. Offerings fell into three general categories including: (1) older vintage properties which can be considered workforce housing, (2) assets constructed between 1990 and 2015 that could benefit from value-add renovations and (3) newly-stabilized or pre-stabilized Class A product constructed by merchant developers. “Each of these categories provide different value-add opportunities. Specifically, for these opportunities we evaluate the dynamics of new supply, job/wage growth and local employment growth. Thereby, we often focus our attention on areas of Maryland proximity to employment centers, retail amenities and top-rated public schools. ”According to Abramson, market fundamentals, including stabilized interest rates, point to the continuation of high sale transaction volume across Maryland in the year ahead.

“When I see all the construction cranes rising over Baltimore City and Baltimore County, I am encouraged by the growth of this marketplace,” Abramson told the audience, “My concern of the pockets of new supply is about the pace of absorption at the top-of-market Class A rent levels. ”He further explained that, “as new Class A apartments come on-line, and new upscale developments continue in the urban core, we may see value-add multifamily opportunities in slightly older vintage assets where a rent and amenity gap exist. “Overall, I am optimistic about the economic drivers of the Maryland multifamily market due to the stable local corporate employment basis along with a plentiful talent pool of our local universities,” Abramson added.

Lastly, Abramson expressed the importance of quality on-site operations teams as key to the success of any multifamily opportunity. He explained that the operations team implements the value-add business plan every day and creates value for each opportunity whether that be a new lease, a renewal, a renegotiated service contract, a timely capital improvement project or even a simple smile.

“Each of these things drive value and plays a dynamic role in creating a sense of community for our residents,” he said. “At CRC, our operations team lives by our corporate culture of 1) Respect of past – built on tradition; 2) Embrace change – remain flexible and adapt; 3) Built the best team – we have the best skilled people; 4) Act with integrity and responsibility – we are going to do the right thing; and 5) Exceed expectations – set challenging goals and work together,” he concluded.

About CRC

Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), headquartered in Baltimore and founded in 1960, is a full-service real estate management company. The privately-owned firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of retail centers consisting of over 4 million square feet of space, as well as apartment communities featuring more than 10,000 apartment homes. Positioned throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, the value of the portfolio exceeds $2 billion.