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Budget Control: Cutting Costs Without Cutting Corners

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In the face of challenging economic conditions reminiscent of the Great Recession, multifamily operators are grappling with the need for optimized expenses to achieve budgeted NOI and meet expected returns. 

How are apartment industry leaders strategically managing property-level expenses, especially after significant nationwide tax and insurance increases?

In this Voices for 2024 discussion, operators are taking a deep dive into navigating these fiscal challenges, offering practical solutions to keep site expenditures low while safeguarding the income side of the business.

Join our panel of expert guests to gain a comprehensive understanding of “back to the basics” cost-cutting approaches, hear executive perspectives and learn actionable strategies to ensure financial success in an extremely competitive landscape.

Topics covered include these critical issues:

  • Strategic expense management that keeps the business balanced
  • Navigating tax & insurance challenges
  • Executive insight into real-life, day-to-day experiences with cost control
  • Practical steps for achieving budgeted NOI

David Polewchak

Vice President, Asset Management, Orion Real Estate Partners

David Polewchak is the Vice President, Asset Management at Orion Real Estate Partners. As an asset manager, David oversees the financial and operational performance of numerous multifamily assets across multiple markets where he deploys asset strategies focused on increasing asset value and performance.

David started his career as a student housing operator and then transitioned into multifamily housing. David’s extensive career and education in multifamily operations, revenue management, multifamily technology optimization, and asset management have given him a unique and comprehensive understanding of multifamily business.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Colorado in Business Psychology and an MBA from Regis University in Finance and Accounting.

Melissa Miller

Senior Vice President, Allegiant-Carter, Allegiant-Carter

Melissa Miller is a seasoned and accomplished multifamily property management professional with over 26 years in the industry. As the Senior Vice President of Allegiant-Carter, Melissa is focused on the financial operations of the business, using proven strategies to increase revenues and economies of scale for expense control for the firm's 38 assets and over 10k units across a wide variety of asset types, including Class A, Core Plus, Value-Add and New Development.

Her prior experience is well rounded with extensive experience in interior, exterior renovations, asset repositing, acquisitions and dispositions, as well as roles in Senior Management, Multifamily Brokerage and Industry Direct Sales, including serving as Managing Director of American Landmark, as Vice President of Carroll Management Group and as National Account Manager for Valet Living.  

She is also an active member of the apartment industry with immediate focus on Legislative Committee for Space Coast Apartment Association, Florida Apartment Association and Apartment and Office Building Association. In addition, Melissa is a major contributor to the Florida Apartment Association APAC, prior President of the Southwest Florida Apartment Association and Space Coast Apartment Association, and also Board Member for the Bay Area Apartment Association.

Her professional and industry certifications include Florida Housing Occupancy Specialist (2006), National Center for Housing Management Tax Credit Specialist (2022), Certified Apartment Manager National Apartment Association (2009) and Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (2012).

Melissa Gill

COO/CFO, Stonemark Management

Melissa Gill is the COO/CFO at Stonemark Management. As COO/CFO, Melissa oversees Stonemark’s day-to-day operations, designs and implements policies, implements strategic direction, and supports the delivery of high-quality services to clients and associates.

Melissa’s accounting expertise spans a period in excess of 30 years and includes both public and industry practice. She has been committed to excellence at Stonemark since 2016. Before Stonemark, Melissa also owned and managed her own business for 12 years. Melissa’s success stems from her diverse accounting and operational background and is enhanced by her management experience that focuses on strong customer service and communication.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Business Management from Trinity College in 1988 and received her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation from the State of Vermont in 1989.

Andrew Bowen

Vice President & Industry Principal, RealPage, Inc.

Andrew Bowen serves RealPage customers and partners as a Vice President and Industry Principal dedicated to the Institutional and Build-to-Rent spaces. For over a decade, his focus has been on the tools that help investors and operators of multifamily real estate drive yield through better leveraging data and analytics.

Considered one of the experts on revenue management in multifamily, he is a regularly featured speaker on both the webcast and conference circuit, bringing a passion backed by over 20 years of operational experience to the conversation.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  When not pontificating on the future of the industry, you can usually find him either in the gym or on the lake with his two grown “boys” and his wife of 25 years.

Tracy Saffos

Industry Principal, Asset Optimization, RealPage, Inc.

As an Industry Principal in the Asset Optimization group at RealPage, Tracy supports all Asset Optimization as well as Consumer Solutions.  She joined RealPage in January 2014 after a 30-year career in multifamily real estate. 

Tracy was Vice President of Operations for a 50,000 unit Multifamily REIT based in Denver where she was responsible for a portfolio of 10,000 units in California an Arizona. Responsible for 34 communities and revenues of over $142 million annually, she was awarded with the “Distinguished Service Award” and “Career Achievement Award” by this REIT.

Tracy also served as Vice President of Multifamily Operations for a 40,000 unit Diversified REIT. She managed a portfolio of over 9,500 units in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and Alabama for which she was awarded the “Vice President of the Year” for exceptional financial and operational achievements.

Budget Control: Cutting Costs Without Cutting Corners

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Budget Control: Cutting Costs Without Cutting Corners

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