My youngest daughter ended her Elementary School career last Friday when she completed 5th Grade and I have had a hard time coping with closing that chapter of my life. I have acutely felt the march of time this week as I’m learning to accept my new identity as a mother of Tween/Teen Middle School girls. It gets harder to lie about my age when people find out that I’ve been married for 17 years, I’ve worked for Camden for 15 years and my children are both in Middle School. It’s not fun to feel the effect of aging on my body – my hair is grayer, my lines are deeper and my thighs are wider! Sigh! I wish it was as easy to make myself look younger as it is to give my aging Camden community a facelift.
Over the past few years Camden has heavily invested in transforming older assets into gorgeous new-looking communities in a process we call “repositioning”. The community I manage, Camden Legacy Park, is at the end of our reposition phase so I am a first-hand witness to the amazing difference these upgrades make to the look and feel of our apartments.
When I transferred to my current community 8 years ago our kitchen cabinets were “European-style” white-washed wood and laminate. Our kitchen counters and all appliances were white. The flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms was old-fashioned square tile. Our common amenity center consisted of a bland fitness room, a sad little grill at the pool and an indoor hot spa that was never used. Now our apartments come standard with stainless steel appliances, dark wood cabinets, faux granite countertops and gorgeous wood-look flooring. We added some bold stripes and perky carpet to our fitness room, built an amazing outdoor kitchen by the pool and we turned the indoor spa into an outdoor living area complete with a gas fireplace and a TV. Add to that a beautiful 3-tone exterior paint job on our buildings and it is impossible to believe we were built in 1996! We look like the new kid on the block!
What the average apartment renter does not realize is that who actually owns your community makes a huge difference as to how they respond to resident requests for updates. Camden is one of the few apartment companies that owns and manages its assets. Most communities are owned by investors and managed by a 3rd party. Why does this make a difference to you? Let’s put it this way. If you own the house you live in and want to make some upgrades, you are free to do whatever you want. You can replace your tile with hardwood flooring, you can put in a pool, you can knock down walls. The only thing restraining you from your dreams is your budget. If you are renting your home and you wish to make modifications, you must contact the owner and plead your case to them. Most likely they will not be interested in putting forth the time, energy and money associated with upgrades unless they think they make a profit down the road when they decide to sell. It’s the same with apartments. Owners who use a 3rd party to manage their communities are not necessarily motivated to make upgrades that satisfy their residents because they are so far removed from the actual property. Camden is committed to continually maintaining our communities and making investments to keep up with modern trends. We even have a website devoted to celebrating the voice of our customer! Have you made a suggestion for an upgrade at your community that was later built? Know that when you ask, we listen.
We love not having to lie about the age of our communities at Camden! We want you to have pride in the place you call home and we love the valuable feedback we get from our residents. We look forward to many more facelifts in the years to come!