Scottsdale, Ariz.–Dale Phillips has been with Mark-Taylor since 1995. Under his leadership, Mark-Taylor Residential communities exceeded pro-forma rent expectations. Over the last decade, Phillips has also orchestrated Mark-Taylor’s business development and expansion into third-party management.
He talks to MHN about the shift in Mark-Taylor’s growth strategy and why, despite Las Vegas’ destroyed real estate landscape, the company thinks it’s a good place to invest.
MHN: What has caused a shift in Mark-Taylor’s growth strategy? It used to be a developer and manager of its own properties but is now a third-party manager?
Phillips: While our development roots remain an important cornerstone to our history, the notion that Mark-Taylor is primarily a developer and owner of its own properties has gone by the wayside. Since the sale of a seven-community portfolio in 2006, we went on a mission to extend the strength of our brand to benefit third-party owners. As a result, we have experienced exponential growth over the past three years, nearly tripling in size. In April of 2007, Mark-Taylor managed 4,800 units primarily in the greater Phoenix area. Today, we are 13,800 units strong in four cities, adding Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas to our roster in the past 12 months. This is particularly significant, given that our growth comes during a volatile time period, one that is riddled with economic hardships and ownership transitions. Today our portfolio is 98 percent third-party fee-managed.
MHN: Why did Mark-Taylor think it was a good idea to enter the Las Vegas market? Is there anything positive to note about Vegas?
Phillips: Las Vegas has always been on our radar, both geographically and logistically. We think Las Vegas is ripe with opportunity, and our brand is a perfect fit for the demographic. Hospitality employees spend their days and nights entertaining, hosting and serving people from all over the world. When they come home, it’s their turn to relax. We welcome the opportunity to take care of those who take care of others, and the reception has been warm and enthusiastic.
MHN: What kind of properties has Mark-Taylor added to its management portfolio in Las Vegas?
Phillips: The two communities, owned by the BRIO group based in San Diego, Calif., are Class A properties in two solid growth areas of town. Shadow Hills at Lone Mountain is set at the foothills, and Allegro at La Entrada is located in the Henderson area. Both have a niche appeal.
MHN: What are the company’s plans for the next 12 months? Add more properties to its management portfolio, acquire properties or build new ones?
Phillips: Our focus is primarily on building our management portfolio in Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. We continue to refine our management transition process and are ready to put our brand to work in our current markets and beyond. Our success is attributed to earning our clients’ trust and confidence, and our ability to outperform the market consistently year over year. Our current clients are taking us into new opportunities, which is the greatest of compliments. As ownership groups within our portfolio begin to appreciate our capabilities and see the results, doors are opening. We are entertaining an offer to manage our 13th community in the Northwest, which came to us through a partnership relationship on another community within our portfolio.
MHN: When do you anticipate new construction to resume in the multifamily sector?
Phillips: In this competitive environment, without providing too much detail, we are assessing opportunities and plan to build new communities in the future.