San Francisco Apartment Association
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SF Apartment : February 2017

the President's report

Three Cheers to 100 Years

by Eric Andresen

November’s SFAA Trophy Awards program was absolutely phenomenal. If you were not able to join us, I’m sorry you missed it. We not only celebrated the 10th anniversary of this amazing annual event, but we also recognized the contributions and exemplary efforts of dozens of people in our industry. You will read more about our winners and see some awesome photos from the event on pages 18 and 52.

Providing an opportunity to gather for a little fun and recognizing people for their accomplishments is a top priority for SFAA. Any chance to just hang out and relax together in a positive atmosphere is good for our souls—especially in the all-too-negative environment we all work in.

And that’s why we started the Trophy Awards program 10 years ago—to create an opportunity to celebrate each other, recognize our good work each year, and to reconnect and hang out with people we rarely get the opportunity to spend time with in our fast-paced lives.

And while reconnecting, we also get to recognize incredible people for their exemplary work that helps the entire industry as a whole, making us all look better for our professionalism. We get the chance to acknowledge that most of us in the business are doing a good job, despite the negative press and bad rap we seem to get all the time. We really are the best at providing safe and reliable housing to tens of thousands of San Francisco residents, and it’s important that we acknowledge that every once in a while—even if only among ourselves.

When I served as President of the California Apartment Association back in 2006, one of the duties I really enjoyed was attending the various awards programs of local associations around the state. What I appreciated most about these events was the sense of comradery, and how much people from every level of our industry looked forward to getting together and spending a few hours swapping stories, exchanging ideas, and making new friends.

I am so grateful that we see that same comradery in our own annual program. People from so many different areas of our industry gather together, and for some, this is the only time all year. Staff from many of our larger companies get together, many not even knowing that they work for the same owner, or in the same neighborhood.

We see and honor people from all walks of the income-property life—from independent property owners to large management companies, from janitors and doormen to general managers and attorneys. This year was no exception, with almost a dozen new honorees and a few return winners.

Every year we strive to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be nominated, and that all nominees not only have a fair shot at winning an award, but also that everyone has the opportunity to have a good time, to meet others in the industry they perhaps never would have had the chance to meet otherwise, and to simply celebrate with others in a beautiful setting.

Top all of this off with an awesome meal, and then the all-important awards ceremony, and by the time you head home at the end of the night, you can’t help but feel rejuvenated and excited to work in this amazing industry. So, if you haven’t attended one of these awards program yet, I hope you reconsider when the awards program gets underway again after next year’s Anniversary Celebration.

SFAA 100th Anniversary
2017 will mark the 100th year of the Apartment Association—incredible! Back in 1917, a group of income-property owners and managers got together and formed a small association that has, over the past 100 years, grown to almost 3,000 members representing tens of thousands of San Francisco apartments.

The San Francisco Apartment Association has gone through many changes and has had many names. It was originally founded in 1917 as the Owners and Lessees Apartment House Association. On November 19, 1957, the membership of the Owners and Lessees Apartment House Association voted unanimously to merge with the Apartment House Association of San Francisco to become the Apartment House Associations Consolidated. In the 1980s, the name was changed to the current San Francisco Apartment Association.

SF Apartment Magazine writers Dan Wilson and Emily Landes wrote two incredible articles in 2008 about SFAA’s history that I invite you all to read. They can be found on the Magazine page of SFAA’s website, or you can use these links: http://www.sfaa.org/mar2008/0803wilson.html and http://www.sfaa.org/feb2008/0802wilson.html to find them.

During this past century, the income property world has changed dramatically—from a time when the fading Barbary Coast provided a dramatic contrast to the upper crust neighborhoods of Pacific Heights, when there wasn’t even a “South of Market,” and no one could have even dreamed of the incredible heights of our new downtown neighborhoods. There were no bridges in and out of San Francisco, and City Hall had recently reopened after the 1906 earthquake, while some of San Francisco was still rebuilding.

Back then there were few, if any, controls regulating our industry and, unfortunately, that probably led to the vast amount of regulation we have to adhere to today. No one had even heard of rent control 100 years ago, and they probably couldn’t even imagine that something like that would ever take hold in the City by the Bay.

But San Francisco, even then, was the city where innovations and trends got started, where new and sometimes really wacky things would happen that would change American society. One thing has always been a constant for San Francisco—change. Not all of it good, but change just the same. We will explore a lot of that over the next year as we look to our past and celebrate where we’ve been, and where we still get to go.

A 100th Anniversary is, of course, an amazing opportunity to celebrate—and we certainly will. In November, we will hold the biggest party the San Francisco Apartment Association has ever seen, and I hope all of you will make every effort to join us. This will be an awesome opportunity to learn a little more about the history of our association, and to celebrate our successes on behalf of San Francisco’s rental property owners.

The evening promises to be full of surprises and many special guests. We will celebrate our association and our industry—and have some fun! There will be opportunities to learn more about our association and its history, to meet some of the people who have served over the years and have shaped the association as we know it today, and to look to the future and successes that the coming years may hold.

The SFAA 100th Anniversary will be held on November 9, 2017, at the landmark Ritz Carlton Hotel. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss this incredible event!



Eric Andresen is the current president of the SFAA, and he owns and operates both West Coast Property Management and West Coast Property Maintenance Company. He can be reached at eric@wcpm.com.