Shared Experience Is What It’s All About At Our Communities

Tom Sloan was recently named VP of Camden Property Trust’s eastern division. He talks about the state of Camden’s eastern division portfolio and his projections for 2010.

Tom Sloan was recently appointed as vice president of Camden Property Trust’s eastern division. Sloan previously served as regional vice president in the company’s Washington, DC regional office.

Sloan talks to MHN about the state of Camden’s eastern division portfolio, his projections for 2010 and the hot amenities for the year.

MHN: What do you plan to accomplish in your new role?

Sloan: My goal is to leverage the strength of our outstanding Camden east coast team and markets as the economy improves to deliver best results possible. Our east coast markets were the first to experience job loss and rent erosion when the mortgage crisis hit in 2007. We expect to be among the first markets to recover, so we need to be the first to push back on rent and other income opportunities. Our hope is that job creation in our strongest sub markets by the end of 2010 will provide much anticipated rent stability and traction. Leading our markets and delivering a top quality Camden franchise is my priority.

MHN: How are Camden’s properties in the Eastern division performing? Vacancies,
 rent growth etc?

Sloan: Market wide occupancy is healthy in the east for Camden. Our communities in Washington DC are currently 96 percent occupied. The DC Metropolitan market and the Carolinas is 94 percent occupied. Tampa and Orlando have a combined occupancy of 93percent, and South Florida is 96percent occupied. Division rents range from small increases in DC to slightly negative in the rest of our portfolio for new leases. Renewals have been flat to slightly positive across our east coast markets.

MHN: What are your projections for the coming year in terms of rent growth and
 vacancy trends on the East coast?

Sloan: Market wide occupancy for the East Division is expected to range between 94 to 96percent occupancy in 2010. Rents are expected to improve slightly in DC with continued slight declines in the rest of the division. “Flat and full!” is a good battle cry for 2010.

MHN: What are the amenities that will be hot in 2010?

Sloan: Shared experience is what it is all about at our communities. Internet cafes, community rooms, pool gathering areas, even business centers are still the most popular amenities we provide our residents. With the challenging economy, residents are staying home and reconnecting with their neighbors. Our teams are all focused on delivering a sense of community at our communities!

MHN: Why do you think Camden was named one of Fortune’s 100 best companies to
 work for?

Sloan: Being ranked number ten on Fortune’s list of 100 best companies to work for is a fantastic outward recognition of what Camden employees already know. We have a very unique and special culture with a foundational gratitude for the contribution of all employees. One third of the criteria for achieving recognition for the Fortune list is based on employee feedback in an in depth survey. The 2010 survey reflects the reality that we all genuinely like working together, and that we have fun at work. I came to Camden as a result of the 2005 merger with Summit Properties. I remember asking myself “Can they all really be this nice?” for the first year. The answer was, and continues to be “yes!”

MHN: How does this ranking help residents of Camden’s communities?

Sloan: The amazing aspect of Camden being named in the top ten of Fortune’s list is unlike other great companies on the list like Google for example, we do not have a single spectacular campus that our employees all enjoy. Our employees work in more than 180 locations across the country yet they universally understand and appreciate our culture and they feel a commitment to delivering our brand promise of Living Excellence to our residents. Our customers living in our communities benefit from our consistency of commitment, and the quality of our employees.