By Peter Madrid
Mike Clow, CPM, Executive Director | Greystar, is the 2019 National Apartment Association (NAA) Board Chair. He sat down for a Q&A with Apartment News to discuss his role and his vision for NAA, the leading voice for the apartment housing industry.
Q: What was your involvement with NAA and how did it lead you to your role as incoming Board Chair?
A: I started attending NAA meetings in 2008. I worked my way up to a regional vice president and represented multiple states in Region 7, of which Arizona is part. After five years as RVP I applied to be an officer. I started as NAA Secretary and co-chaired the National Education Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. In 2015 I became NAA Treasurer and co-chaired the Budget Finance Committee. I moved up to Vice Chair and in 2018 I was named Board Chair.
Q: What will be your primary responsibilities as NAA Board Chair?
A: I will be the volunteer leader to oversee a board of directors of 39 individuals around the country. My job is to work with the paid staff, President, and CEO of the NAA in Arlington, Virginia. I will provide oversight and provide guidance to the NAA staff. I will represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and quoted in various national articles. I will be the spokesperson for the association. I will go to Arlington about three to four times a year and plan to visit Capitol Hill in March. It’s about a 30-day-a-year commitment.
Q: How will this position benefit AMA and its membership?
A: It’s good for the AMA in that I will be the second national chair from Arizona. Tom Shelton was NAA Board Chair 2003. It’s good recognition for Arizona. It’s a good spotlight to be in. It’s another compliment to the great work and history of the AMA more than 40 years of existence. It’s good for me, and really good for Arizona.
Q: Multifamily is one of the hottest property types in the Valley. How long do you see this cycle continuing?
A: I’ve been doing this for long enough and have been through three cycles. I was around during the RTC in the late 80s, the ‘dot coms’ in the early 2000s, and the housing crises in 2007 and 2008. In most cases there was a reason that put us there. Low money became available; there was a tax change in 1986. Projects got built because there was money and they had a rent level that made them attractive. Today I don’t see the rapid availability of free cash. All these going up have to make sense.
To use a sports analogy – what inning are we in? We’re in a doubleheader. Maybe the third or fourth inning. This cycle the jobs are more diverse over several sectors. Those jobs are not just construction jobs. We have a more diverse economy as well. Compared to our peer groups in the West and Southwest, Phoenix and Arizona are still very affordable. To employers we are very attractive as one of most affordable states in the U.S.”
Q: Affordable workforce housing is needed not just locally but nationally as well. What do see as possible solutions to this issue?
A: There will always be challenges or dilemmas when it comes to how much government intervention you have or how much public/private interaction you have. A lot of what we try to do is support private activities; let the builders and developers build to help the (affordable housing) situation. We must have programs to help in the long term. We also need a supply that meets demand. In that regard, Arizona is in good shape.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your role as NAA Board Chair?
A: I’m looking forward getting out and meeting the affiliates – state and local associations across the U.S. I’m also looking forward to representing the AMA and my employer, Greystar.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) serves as the leading voice and preeminent resource through advocacy, education and collaboration on behalf of the rental housing industry. As a federation of nearly 160 affiliates, NAA encompasses more than 75,000 members representing more than 9.25 million apartment homes globally. NAA believes that rental housing is a valuable partner in every community that emphasizes integrity, accountability, collaboration, community responsibility, inclusivity and innovation. To learn more, visit www.naahq.org.
Mike Clow bio:
Mike Clow is Executive Director of real estate operations of the Western U.S. for Greystar. His portfolio includes Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and North Dakota. He has been active in the multifamily industry since 1989. Prior to joining Greystar in 2008, Mike was a principal with Gray Clow Residential where he developed, managed, and sold more than 7,500 units. He also served as division vice president of BRE Properties, a broker with CBRE, and a regional manager with Evans Withycombe. Mike holds a BS degree in management and an MBA from Arizona State University. Mike holds a CPM designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and an active real estate broker's license in Arizona.
Click for the digital version
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS