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Case Study: Alliance Residential Shines From the Valley of the Sun 

Alliance Residential Shines From the Valley of the SunPhoenix, Arizona is the hottest city in the United States. Temperatures regularly reach over 100 degrees, and it’s over 90 for almost half the year. It’s also home to Alliance Residential, the fourth-largest multifamily property management company in the country.

According to Property Manager Insider, Alliance managed 110,712 units in 2019, and it’s the fastest-growing company on the list. This privately held company may be headquartered in Phoenix, but it operates in 33 housing markets across the U.S.

Apartment investment loans for tental units in Arizona is growing.

Brad Cribbins, President and COO of the company’s management division, credits the company’s culture with its rapid growth. As he tells Multifamily Executive:


“There are a lot of things in this industry that every company does well. Internally at Alliance, we’ve been trying to shift our focus to what it means to be the best, and not just be good at what we do, but be great,” he says. “We want our employees to think about how to leverage their abilities for a higher purpose—to create an unprecedented lifestyle for our residents at our communities to enrich their homes and lives.”

Building a scalable business has a lot of moving parts, and the fundamentals that fueled Alliance’s growth were planted when it secured its first apartment loans. Let’s take a look at how this company became one of the leaders of the multifamily property management industry. 

The Nation’s Hottest Housing Market

Phoenix always stood out for its ability to withstand effects from a recessionary market that devastate other parts of the country. The Great Depression of the 1930s, for example, hit Phoenix, but its diverse industries kept it afloat. Like the state of Arizona, diversity is the key to the success of Phoenix as a city.

It was, however, susceptible to the effects of the housing market collapse in 2007. This is because a lot of the local economy by that time was deeply invested in construction, loan processing, and other operations in real estate. Some analysts even believe the economy could be slowing down entering the 2020s.

But like the mythical bird the city gets its name from, the city of Phoenix always rises back. The military has a large presence in the area, giving great opportunity for government contracts. And living in “the valley of the sun” comes with a lot of free, sustainable solar energy that much of the city is now equipped with.

Companies as diverse as Apollo Group, PetSmart, GoDaddy, Harkins Theaters, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, U-Haul and Avnet were either founded or are headquartered in the area. And major enterprises like IBM, Home Depot, Honeywell International, Boeing, Charles Schwab, USAA, Walmart, Yelp, Alaska Airlines, Humana, and Target have significant operations in the area. 

This is why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development consistently points out the Phoenix economy outperforming the rest in its 2019 Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis of Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona

Building a top-performing company isn’t easy in such a competitive market though. It takes a well-oiled machine, and that’s what Alliance has.

Get in the Business of Building Partnerships

Cribbins says there are no individuals on his team. Everyone from the ground up takes personal ownership of the success of the company. This is a key ingredient in managing one unit or 100,000. You get what you pay for, and if you want to attract top talent, you need to incentivize hard work.

That’s not all - Alliance fosters a community atmosphere among both the staff and residents. As labor costs rise, budgets fall, and resources become scarcer, it’s worth taking the time to build these solid network connections.

The important part of having multiple properties and communities is that everyone supports each other. When one piece fails, the rest can work a little harder to make up for it. This team mentality and honest business starts with apartment loans. It continues every day with small acts like picking up after yourself and greeting every resident with a friendly smile. 

Alliance’s performance speaks for itself. The company rose from managing 99,000 units to breaching the 100,000-unit mark in 2017. It’s one of only six property management companies in the entire country to reach that accomplishment. In the music business, it’s called a gold record, and it’s a more rare feat than it may look.

The key to expanding into other markets, whether it’s from Phoenix to Tucson, New York, or Orlando, is streamlining the financial process as much as possible. And just because Alliance is a massive company doesn’t mean it doesn’t also take advantage of financing for new builds.

Like most property management companies, Alliance is able to secure apartment loans using the existing assets in its $10 billion real estate portfolio. The company’s 3,500 employees certainly don’t pull out their individual tax returns and credit scores. And it’s still following many of the same processes for the $20 billion in assets the company manages today.

What You Can Learn from Alliance Residential

You may not have the purchasing power of Alliance Residential, but you can start building toward that future using the same fundamentals. We all know that owning apartment buildings generates revenue, but with that revenue comes a lot of work.

Don’t just focus on the bottom line. Instead, focus on building a company atmosphere where each individual from the ground up feels personally responsible for the success of the company. When you do this, you attract top talent that’s willing to stay and give their all because they believe in the company vision. If that vision is just to protect the bottom line and make money, don’t be surprised when your team leaves for greener pastures during inevitable slow seasons.

If you start with a solid foundation, every apartment complex in your portfolio will shine, from the first to the last.

Read 565 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 May 2022 20:05

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