It has not been an easy year for the multifamily industry, but challenging circumstances did not prevent H.G. Fenton Company from standing out among its peers, and the San Diego County Apartment Association has recognized that achievement. SDCAA recently honored the apartment and commercial real estate company with 25 Mark of Excellence awards.
SDCAA has been presenting the Mark of Excellence awards at an annual ceremony for the last 17 years, and in 2010, H.G. Fenton outdid itself by earning more SDCAA awards than it ever has in the past; last year H.G. Fenton walked away with 15 awards, and took 18 back to the office in 2008. The honors bestowed upon the real estate company, which has a portfolio of 12 owned and managed apartment properties encompassing more than 3,000 residences in San Diego County, span 10 categories for communities ranging from 26-100 units, 101-300 units and over 300 units.
Four of H.G. Fenton’s properties earned Rental Community of the Year. El Dorado Hills in Tierrasanta won third place for properties with over 300 units, and Bella Del Mar in Del Mar and Seagate in Carlsbad also ranked third for communities with 26-100 units and 101-300 units, respectively. Aquatera in Mission Valley earned first place for properties with 101-300 apartments. Aquatera and Mission Valley-located River Front communities also took first and third place in the Property Team Achievement of the Year category.
A great many SDCAA awards went to individuals. H.G. Fenton’s Nicole Zilliox earned the title of Bookkeeper of the Year. For Rental Manager/Owner-Operator of the Year, H.G. Fenton held the first three spots, with Kimberly Brown of River Front, Irina Polyak of Aquatera, and Kimberly Duggan of Solana Highlands in Solana Beach taking home honors. In the Assistant Managers of the Year category, there were more first-place wins. River Front’s Stephanie Hong and El Dorado Hills’ Shay Ruffin earned the top honors, and Guy Tran of Aquatera won third place. H.G. Fenton employees swept the leading three positions for Porter/Groundskeeper/Housekeeper of the Year with Juan Valencia of River Front, Ana Sosa of Solana Highlands, and Alfredo Serrano of Aquatera winning the honors. Aquatera’s Cliff Brown took first place in the Maintenance Technicians of the Year category, and Arturo Jauregui of Evening Creek in the City of San Diego and Chris Homer of El Dorado Hills both claimed second-place honors.
Everyone wants the gold, but the silver and bronze awards also represent outstanding achievements in any competition. For Maintenance Supervisor of the Year, Lee Young of Tierrasanta Ridge in Tierrasanta and Jack Prosser of Portofino in Mission Valley were recognized with second- and third-place honors. Taking home third-place awards for Leasing Professionals of the Year were Kelly Dixon of Seagate and Kelsie Ward of Club River Run in Mission Valley.
And Aquatera, a property mentioned repeatedly in the distribution of the SDCAA awards, achieved first place in the Marketing and Resident Retention Program category. A resort-style apartment home community, Aquatera encompasses 254 luxury residences, and just eight months after its debut, every unit had been leased. The property offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with as much as 1,370 square feet of space and a list of coveted amenities that includes a 10,000 square-foot two-story clubhouse with an exercise facility, cyber café, professional chef’s kitchen, and TV and game room. Demand for Aquatera is such that H. G. Fenton has a waiting list for the property.
While renters are not lining up outside the doors of every property in metropolitan San Diego, the area has fared far better that most this year. “Resumed job growth has generated new renter demand,” Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services concludes in a recent report. “As a result, the average apartment vacancy rate in the metro area improved 40 basis points year-to-date to 4.5 percent in the third quarter, a reversal from the corresponding period in 2009, when vacancy climbed 90 basis points.” Marcus & Millichap anticipates that the vacancy rate will have dropped to 4.3 percent before the ringing in of 2011.