11/26/2012 | by
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Aimco CEO Says Customer Service Key for Apartment REITs

Terry Considine, chairman and CEO of multifamily REIT Aimco (NYSE: AIV), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

With the residential housing market starting to show signs of recovery, multifamily property owners have to take care to ensure the quality of their product and customer service, according to Considine.

"At Aimco, we place a great priority on satisfying customers. We have the highest renewal rate in the business and among the highest increases in renewal pricing," Considine said.

Considine discussed Aimco's balance sheet and capital structure. Considine noted that Aimco shareholders will enjoy an annual earnings increase for "the next several years" of 6 cents per share just due to lower interest expense.

"Our balance sheet is in very good shape," Considine said. "We do expect it to come down in terms of total leverage to about seven times EBITDA. We think that will be achieved in about another year or year and a quarter."

Considine was asked about the acquisitions market. He said he feels the company is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities.

"We have plenty of financial capacity. We look every day and underwrite potential acquisitions. We look particularly for ones that are distinctive properties where we can add value through operations or redevelopment," he said.

Considine also offered his thoughts on the importance of Aimco's involvement in local communities. Aimco sponsors community service programs for company employees.

"I think it's important in all real estate to be involved in the local community, because real estate is real. It's located. It exists in a community," he said. "I think what's true about multifamily is that we're providing homes for our customers, so that's a very personal relationship. Identifying with and serving their values is important."

Considine looked ahead to 2013.

"It's likely to be very competitive. I think the economy will be choppy as people work through the government funding problems. There will be the emergence of new supply that will affect pricing at the high end of the price lines," Considine said. "I think we'll do fine, but we'll have to work at it."